Kitchen Why’s

Was looking at a few recipes on other sites. Realized that I had fallen into the trap of just saying do this, but not saying WHY you do it. There are reasons you chop things in different sizes. Also I am really good with my knife skills. So I write with my skills on my mind, but there are other ways you can get the same affect if using a knife isn’t as easy for you. So let’s go thru somethings and as you read my recipes or any recipe you can adapt to your skills.

Chopping in large pieces

If your cooking something for a long time you want large pieces. The longer the cooking time the larger the pieces, shorter times smaller and thinner. That is why you need to read the whole recipe, this allows you to determine what size to chop the vegetables.

Finely chopped

Lots of recipes call for things to be finely chopped and cooked for a long amount of time. Question is why finely chopped. The reason is so that they totally dissolve into what your cooking them in. Now Chefs who write the cook books seem to think everyone has their knife skills. So since most people don’t, how do you get the same affect. If you have a food processor you can throw everything in it and blitz it till it is just about mush. Simplest way is just use a box grater. Most box grater have 2 grater sizes. If you want it to totally dissolve use the fine size. If you want it to be still slightly visible (for example a carrot in potato soup, you still see it but it is just about totally gone) use the larger size.


Anything that is to be minced is something that is to be cooked quickly or keep raw. Reason for it is to keep the sharpness of the flavour. For example minced garlic  exactly what is it. You see it in lots of recipes. You can do it with a knife and salt, chop the garlic sprinkle with salt and mash with the side of your knife. Simple way to get the same affect is with a micro grater or a garlic press.

It was the minced garlic in the recipes I was looking at that made me realize I had fallen into the same pattern in my recipes. I know exactly what they mean but it is an assumption to think everyone does. Won’t make the assumption anymore.

About Graham Stewart

This is me on a bad day.
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