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Hit-Or-Miss

Everything You Need To Know About Your Kitchen Knives

Love the knife life? No? Well, here’s a starter’s guide to everything you need to get chopping. We’ll talk about basic designs, uses, technique, and maintenance that will save you from a bad meal or a trip to the emergency room. Speaking of which, let’s start with how to keep all those phalanges intact.

Don’t Get the Point?

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Your whole life you’ve enjoyed everything from hitchhiking to Rubix cubes thanks to your talented, flexible fingers and thumbs. So, do them a favor and point your finger tips AWAY from the blade. You can use the flat of your second digit as a plane that guides the knife by resting the broad, non-sharp part of a chef’s knife to direct your downward motion.

Sharpen Your Skills

One of the most common tips of awesome knife skill proponents is using the sharpest blade possible. Even though sharper knives cut off fingers more easily, they also cut through food with less effort, making your life easier and making an accident less likely. More on sharpening later.

Three’s Company

Another common tips from some very famous chefs (i.e. Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver) is that the most a decent home chef needs is three basic knives: a chef’s or chopping knife, a paring knife, and serrated bread knife.

Chicago-Cutlery-Knives

But you can also throw in a katana if you run a Samurai Delicatessen.

katana

Making the Cut

The chef’s knife is going to be your go-to tool, perfect for chopping and dicing most things that you’ll use in your recipes. Like we said above, there are a number of techniques you can use to prevent injury and eventually get to the point where you’re doing that cool, superspeed chop like on the cooking shows.

Paring knives basically come into play when you’re working on very tiny things where a large and heavy kitchen knife is no longer practical. Examples include peeling fruits like mangos, de-veining shrimps, or removing the seeds from jalapenos.

The bread knife is obviously used to cut bread, but it’ll also come into play when you need to cut tomatoes, giving you the toothy blades to make easy work of their thick skins without pushing out their tender guts. Also, here’s a Bread-y Vet-er to show you how to slice that loaf.

Heavy Metal

Having a heavy knife handle will give you more control over your chop, as well as giving you a little extra inertia where it counts. But if you get a knife that won’t balance in your hand, it can eventually lead to wrist fatigue, and then how are you going to jerk off to pictures of the meal you just cooked?

Can You Handle It?

After considering the heaviness and balance of the knife, the next thing you’ll want to consider is the way it feels in your hands. There are tons of varieties of different grips, ranging from circular, oblong, to “D-shaped”, as well as one’s that imitate katanas. Then, there are plastic, metal, and wooden handles, in addition to a number of tactile patterns that will make the blade less likely to slip in your hand. The only right answer is the one that best fits your hands.

Come Correct

How often do chef’s sharpen their knives? Well, if they’re high quality knives, not as often as you’d think. “But I see them do it every time they go to cook on Hell’s Kitchen???” What their actually doing, dumbo, is honing the blade. Essential, the blade bends when it hits harder surfaces from time to time—chicken bones, avocado pits, etc. The honing rod is just correcting the edge of the blade so that it will continue to cut effortlessly and avoid accidents. If you actually sharpened a knife every time you picked it up, you’d wear down the material of the knife way faster than necessary.

Be Sharp

So, how often should you sharpen your knives? The honing described above is actually the most important aspect, and should allow you to forego sharpening for years. With a regularly honed blade, the most you will need to sharpen it is once every year or two, and that’s with heavy daily use. It’s also worth noting that many people suggest taking your knife to a professional cutlery for sharpening instead of trying to do it yourself or getting one of those ridiculous home sharpeners.

Bonus Tip

Once you’re at the dinner table, only use the serrated side of a table knife to cut bread. Spread buttery goodness with the flat side of the knife because the only bread that should have holes in it is sourdough.

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Hit-Or-Miss

12 Unexpected Foods You Can Eat Raw And How To Do So Without Dying

While many health-conscious folks are into their raw and juice diets, others choose to incorporate uncooked foods without thinking twice. We’re down either way. Although chowing on any food that’s normally cooked will always pose some risk. Here are a few common (and some unusual) eats you’ll want to think twice about.

Chicken

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In Japan, chicken sashimi isn’t a big deal. So, why do Americans freak out over uncooked poultry? The issue has to do with how large quantities are farmed and butchered under less than ideal conditions. Because of this, reports of salmonella poisoning are higher domestically. Restaurants that source chickens from farms with organic, free-range and exceptionally sanitary practices when processing are a safer bet.

Nutmeg

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This PSL spice base shows no signs of danger, so long as it’s eaten in moderation. Taking in extreme quantities may end in myristicin poisoning, which can result in memory loss and visual distortions.

Fesikh

dead-fish

This fermented, Egyptian fish is fine to dine on. Of course, that’s assuming you dry it in the sun or ferment in salt for a whole year. Bad things (Botulism, anyone?) will come to those who don’t wait.

Ackee 

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It looks harmless enough, right? Wrong! Ensure it’s ripe before consuming. And avoid the black seeds at all costs, unless you desire something called Jamaican vomiting sickness. Ew.

Steak

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Many people still believe having steak that isn’t cooked to “no pink” status is dangerous. It’s one hell of a misconception. Tasty examples of raw cow include beef carpaccio and steak tartare. Like most things you pay good money for, leave it to a well-seasoned chef to prepare this. They’ll serve those dishes using higher quality meat.

See: We Ate The 12 Most Bizarre Things You Could Find In LA, Silkworms And Crickets Included

Potato 

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Raw potatoes are about as exciting as gnawing on celery. But if you’re as desperate as Matt Damon in The Martian, go right ahead. Be sure to avoid any green ones, though. Glycoalkaloids found in these can cause diarrhea or put you in a coma.

Fugu (aka Puffer) Fish 

Aloha Fukuoka! Yanagibashi Market

If you’ve got an expert fish monger, you’re good to go. Just have them discard the liver and internal organs before they make you ill. Cyanide has nothing on fugu poison: it’s 1,200 times more deadly.

Rhubarb 

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Normally pickled or baked into pies, this leafy plant contains a poison known as oxalic acid. This only becomes a concern, however, when had in large amounts. I don’t know anybody who goes crazy eating this vegetable, so don’t be the first.

Sushi

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A general guideline sushi purists have (besides never, ever ordering rolls) has to do with cleanliness. If they think for a second that an establishment is less than spotless, they won’t dine there. Same goes for the seafood. Busy sushi bars go through fish quicker, meaning fresher seafood in rotation. On a medical note, the Food and Drug Administration dictates that sushi grade fish be kept at freezing temperatures to ward off parasites.

Starfruit  

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As pretty as it sounds, you should probably only try starfruit if you have strong kidneys. Impaired kidneys can’t filter out neurotoxins, making starfruit and its oxalic acid bad news for weak systems. Side effects include vomiting, convulsions, and mental confusion.

Elderberries 

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This Harry Potter-esque item should be consumed fully ripened, minus the leaves, twigs, seeds and roots. Ingesting them too soon could mean cyanide poisoning.

Sannakji 

sannakji

I’d advise you to cover this raw Korean dish with extra sesame oil and chew like crazy. Remember: they’re served alive. If they fight back and attach themselves to your insides, you’ll choke! But man, would that make for a great story.

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Hit-Or-Miss

Here’s Why You Should Never Miss Breakfast Again [Infographic]

breakfast-most-important-meal

You’ve heard it all before, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” While this saying has garnered a fair amount of eye-rolling for decades past, there’s a lot of delicious truth behind it.

According to this nifty infographic by Chef Works, folks who skip breakfast are 4 times more likely to become obese, while kids who eat breakfast were shown to score 17.5 percent higher on math tests.

The piece also gives us a glimpse into what the rest of the world is eating every morning. We have Tagine, slow-cooked lamb stew, being served in Morocco for breakfast, and Natto, fermented soybeans over rice, served in Japan. Or you could venture to try out Vegemite with some toast in Australia. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you on that one.

PicThx Visual.ly

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News

New Study Shows Fast Food ‘Not to Blame’ For Obesity

So often the sheer number of fast food restaurants, the calorie-laden options available there, and the incredibly cheap prices they can be found at are a central source of blame for America’s obesity. A recent study from Michael Anderson and David Matsa, from the University of California and Northwestern University, reveals that “the causal link between the consumption of restaurant foods and obesity is minimal at best.[TELEGRAPH]