2/24/10

Knife skills lesson & Indian omelet

I used to be one of the culinary assistants at Sur La Table. One of my favorite chefs to assist was Robyn Webb. That's how I began testing recipes for her magazines and books, and eventually became freelance recipe tester, photographer and editor of her blog. Before each class, Robyn would do a mini demo on how to properly use knives. If you would wake me up at 3 am, I would be able to recite her demo word by word :)

This past Sunday I came over to my friend's AnnaS's condo (not to be confused with my twin sister Anna) to do a knife skills lesson and to teach her how to make an Indian styled omelet.

The class went great! There were no cut fingers, and Anna kept on saying "oh, this is how you are supposed to do that!" Some of the things that I taught Anna how to do were:

* how to properly hold a knife
* how to move the knife (away from you, and in a very rhythmic motion)
* how to properly "open up" and chop a green pepper {note, this is Anna's cutting board: I advised her to get an upgrade!}


*how to chop an onion {this is an action shot of Anna}: there are two ways, and of course Anna liked the one that has a shortcut ;)


* how to chop ginger and garlic


In the end, we used some of the ingredients from the class to make an Indian Styled Omelet inspired by one of my earlier recipes.

You basically roast in a dry skillet some cumin seeds. Then add some olive oil, garlic, ginger and red onions. Let everything cook until ginger and garlic become fragrant, and the onions become slightly translucent.You then add green peppers and continue to cook for a few minutes. Season everything with salt & pepper, add chopped cherry tomatoes, and cook for a few minutes. Pour whisked eggs with a touch of milk, and let the omelet cook until everything is set. Sprinkle with some turmeric and top with fresh basil.


Anna's fiance, Nathan, joined us for lunch, and everyone was very happy with results.


In March I'll be doing another knife skills lesson for five people this time: Stephanie, Brian, Sylvie and Tammy.

If you are interested in a knife skills lesson and live in DC area, contact me!

P.S. A reader left a comment that some of my photographs take ages to load because their size is too huge. After double checking this fact with my Twitter followers, I decided to change the size of photographs I post (they'll still be 645x450, but be in a compressed format). Hopefully this will make your reading experience a lot faster and more enjoyable. If you have any other suggestions for my blog, don't hesitate to let me know: I promise I will consider them!

14 comments:

Anna said...

I learned so much from you, Olga! Thanks so much for teaching me knife skills!

nicole said...

i'd be interested in a knife skills class, but my knives suck.... (all from ikea), so i should get a better knife before? or is it the other way around?

Shaw Girl said...

So excited for the March knife skills class! I think @frijolita will also be joining us.

Lauri Strawberry said...

Thanks so much for changing your picture size. It makes your blog a lot easier to read at work. Also, I can't wait to try the omelet!

radha said...

I'd be interested in a knife skills lesson too, but I clearly need to buy new knives, right?

lk (Healthy Delicious) said...

That's so cool that you used to work at sur la table! I always wanted to take a class there, but didn't get around to it before I moved.

I recently learned to open up peppers, and it's the best thing ever!

Junglefrog said...

I am still really glad that your cooking course included knife lessons, but I am still in the learning process very much. In fact I was cutting (or trying to) julienne today but it looked no were near it!! Gotta look it up how to do it again...:)

Megan said...

How did you get the culinary assistant position at Sur la Table? That's something I would love to do (or at Williams-Sonoma) in my "free" time. Knife skills are the one thing I really, really need work on. I try to have my dad (he's a chef) teach me whenever I am home.

K said...

I'm not really an "egg" person, but this omelet looks fantastic!

Lo said...

Ooh. Bet that omelet would be fantastic with a bit of yogurt dolloped on top!

5 Star Foodie said...

You should totally do this class as a part-time job :)

Esi said...

I need to develop better knife skills...just gotta find the time for classes :)

The Duo Dishes said...

Love working with knives. With just a few tips, you can shave off lots of time in the kitchen. No pun intended.

BlueToYou said...

neat idea for the omelet but where's the sour cream?