Emeril's Guide to Basic Cooking for Kids

Grating
When grating hard foods, like carrots or potatoes, hold the grater with one hand and the piece of food firmly in the other. Rub the end of the veggie downward over the holes, back and forth over a large mixing bowl or piece of waxed paper, and the grated pieces will fall through the holes. Be very careful not to grate your fingers -- that hurts! Soft foods, such as cheese, are really easy to grate!

Coring apples

  • With an apple corer: Hold the apple firmly on your cutting board. Center the apple corer over the core and press down firmly until you feel the corer hit the cutting board. Twist and pull corer out of the apple, and the core should come right out.
  • With a paring knife: Cut the apple in half. Cut each half in half again. Place the apple on the cutting board and cut the core away from the apple.
  • With a melon baller: This is the easiest way to core an apple! Cut an apple in half. Place the apple half on the cutting board, core side up. Hold the melon baller in your other hand and center it over the core of the apple. Press down into the apple and twist. A round piece of apple core should come right out.

Hulling strawberries
Place the strawberry on the cutting board and hold the pointed side with one hand. Using a paring knife, cut across the top to remove the stem.

Fruits with pits (such as peaches, nectarines, cherries, plums) To remove the pit, simply cut the fruit in half along the indentation, then twist the two halves apart.

Zesting
You can "zest" any citrus fruit (lemons, limes, oranges, or grapefruits). Using a "zester," it's really easy. Simply pull the zester down the side of a piece of fruit, pressing at the same time so that the zester removes tiny strips of the outermost layer of peel. If you don't have a zester, a fine grater works too. Over a bowl or a piece of waxed paper, rub the side of the fruit along the grater while lightly pressing down. The small pieces of zest will fall through the grater. Be sure you get only the colored part of the peel: The white part is bitter!

Trimming meat
It's a good idea to trim the excess fat off of meat before cooking. Simply use a very sharp knife and follow the line between the meat and the fat. If a little fat is left, that's okay.

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