Emeril's Guide to Basic Cooking for Kids

Washing
Fresh veggies and fruits should always be rinsed well under cold running water and then patted dry with paper towels before using. Some veggies, such as potatoes, need to be scrubbed well with a vegetable brush. Meat, poultry, and seafood should be washed before using, too. Simply rinse under cold water and then pat dry with paper towels before continuing.

Peeling
Some fruits and veggies peel easily with a vegetable peeler. Place the food (such as a carrot, cucumber, potato, apple, or pear) on a cutting board and hold firmly with one hand. Using the other hand, scrape the peeler down the length of the food. Keep turning as you go, so that you remove all of the peel.

Other foods, such as onions and garlic, are peeled differently. Use a sharp knife to cut a little off of both ends. Then use your fingers to peel away the dry, tough outer layers. For garlic, press down on it with the palm of your hand to loosen the skin. It will then peel off very easily.

Chopping
When chopping round foods like potatoes or carrots, the first thing you should do is cut off a small piece from one side so that it doesn't roll away while you're cutting it. Place this flat part down on the cutting board. Then, hold one side of the food firmly with one hand and cut the food to the shape or size desired. The more you chop, the smaller the pieces will get.

When it comes to chopping, onions are in a league all their own! Once they're peeled, cut them in half lengthwise and place them flat side down on the cutting board. Then, while holding the root end with your fingers, make many lengthwise cuts all the way down to the cutting board. Then turn your knife and cut across the lengthwise cuts. Pieces of onion will fall away on the cutting board. The closer your cuts are to one another, the smaller the pieces of onion will be!

 

Mincing garlic is easy! Separate the head of garlic into cloves. Peel as described on page above, then use your chef's knife or a paring knife to cut the cloves lengthwise and then crosswise into small pieces. (Another way to do this is with a garlic press, which is really easy and safe -- and fun! Just put the garlic into the press, close it, and press real hard. Little pieces of garlic -- just the right size -- will come out of the holes!)

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