Before starting to cook, we must recognize how we must cut each ingredient in order to obtain the best results in the kitchen. These cutting techniques were created for 3 reasons:
• To pay attention to the presentation of our dishes.
• In catering, in order to differentiate between dishes that have the same ingredients. What we do is cut them in different ways and we can therefore distinguish one dish from another.
• To reduce cooking time.
So now we are going to find out what the basic kinds of cutting are in cooking, so that we can take advantage of them depending on the ingredients that are going to form part of our creation:
1. Brunoise: The smallest and finest cut that exists. It consists of cutting the food into 2mm cubes. It is used for all types of sauces, soups, cooking bases and vegetables.
2. Julienne: These are thin strips of equal thickness, variable according to their use. You can julienne all types of vegetables, mushrooms etc.
3. Vichy: Cut into thin slices
4. Soufflé: Potatoes cut widthwise and thin. When preparing them, fry them first in warm oil followed by frying at high temperature so that they swell up.
5. Mirepoix: A cut from which we obtain 1cm squares. To obtain this, first we make sticks and from these the squares. Unlike the above, it is a very widely used type of cut.
6. Tourné: Cut based on turning vegetables.
7. Chips: Cut very thinly widthwise. Fry them in very hot oil.
8. Straws: Cut into long very thin strips.
9. Matchsticks: Cut long and rectangular to resemble a matchstick.
10. Batonnet: Cut long and rectangular, thicker than the match
11. Spanish: Cut rectangular, 1 cm wide by 8 cm long.
12. Large Dice: Cut into large dice
13. Puente Nuevo: Cut rectangular, 2cm wide by 10cm long. Once fried they are stacked, simulating a construction.
14. Grid: Cut finely widthways, using a slicer and changing direction with each cut.
15. Braise: Used mainly for vegetables that we will use afterwards for bases, sauces and braising. The result is a 4cm dice.
Now, it’s time to get down to work!