Sunday, August 12, 2012

Time Saving Tips: Cutting meats and vegetables

Lord knows, I'm not one of those speedy choppers, with knives flying flying all over the place, like Zorro on crack. Considering how many family members, walk by, and steal a piece of carrot here, green pepper there...I wouldn't even attempt it. But, I have picked up quite a few tips, over the years that saves me, so much time. I make a LOT of  stir-fry, so it's an absolute necessity for me. Here are a few.

You can dice a seeded pepper in about 1 minute, with this technique. first cut it into strips, then lay them on their side, and cut across the strips. Anything I can cut into strips, (celery, peppers, carrots, half frozen steak) I do this way. I find it easier, to shred carrots, than cut them. They cook faster, that way too.

You can dice a peeled onion, in less than a minute with this technique. make several slices into the onion, but don't cut all the way through. The closer they are together, the smaller, the pieces will be.

Turn the onion, and make slices the same way, not all the way through.

Then, lay the onion on it's side and make slices, all the way through. You'll wind up with a small piece that, can either be chopped or discarded. You can also do this, with a firm tomato, using a serrated knife too.

You can cut an entire pound of bacon in about 1 minute, if it's nearly frozen. Thaw a package of bacon for only 30 minutes. Stand the mostly frozen bacon on it's side, and slice through. then allow it to thaw further before using. I keep a freezer bag of pre-cut bacon on hand, for those recipes that call for, just a few slices.

It is so much faster, to cut up meats, if they are partially frozen. For diced chicken, I lay the partially frozen breast, on it's side, and slice it through. Now I have two thinner pieces. I slice these into strips, then cut across the strips, like the photo of the pepper above. You can cut up a 3lb. bag in about 5 minutes. You could split this up, between freezer bags, for later use.

                Partially frozen round steak, can quickly be sliced very thin.

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