Top Five Things to Do With a Sharp Knife
When knives are new, the perfect edges inspire oohs and ahs as they glide effortlessly through food. Very little pressure is needed to slice and dice, and knives “grab” food better, preventing slips. But over time, edges become dull and the joy of a sharp knife fades.
Brød & Taylor knife sharpeners make professional-quality home knife maintenance a breeze. They can sharpen all types of metal knives in seconds, even serrated or Japanese knives. With a few quick strokes, knives perform at their best everyday. And once your edges are sharp, these projects can help you fall in love with your good knives all over again.
1. Mince More than Words
With a freshly honed knife, mincing goes faster and no longer seems like a chore. Chimichurri, a fresh relish based on minced parsley, is one of our all-time favorite things to have on hand in the kitchen. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also super simple, healthy and versatile. Grilled burgers and steaks are classics to pair with its bright flavors, and it’s also great on poultry wings or legs, or even eggs.
Make chimichurri by mincing a little fresh garlic together with a large bunch of flat-leafed parsley, then add olive oil, salt, lemon juice and black pepper to taste. Play up chimichurri’s versatility by swapping out a good vinegar for the lemon juice and adding hot red pepper flakes. Or take it in a different direction by blending it with greek yogurt to make a dip.
Mincing garlic and parsley together to make chimichurri
2. Tackle a Hard Case
Ever shied away from large or firm root vegetables because of the difficulty of cutting them down to size? A well-maintained knife can change all that. Start the process with a flat cut, turned down to create a stable base on the cutting board, then go from there. Dice butternut squash with ease, slice potatoes safely and effortlessly, maybe even make friends with a rutabaga.
Sliced purple potatoes, diced butternut squash and julienned rutabagas
3. Utterly Transform a Vegetable
Hashed brussels sprouts are growing in popularity, and for good reason — they are nothing short of astonishing. No longer dense, heavy and fibrous, they cook in a flash and become ethereal and light, with a pleasing volume and texture. Somehow they even seem less bitter.
To hash them, first slice the sprouts in half lengthwise (along the core) and place them cut side down on the board. Then, starting from the top and moving towards the core at the bottom, thinly slice them, forming ribbons. Our favorite way to cook hashed brussels is to toss them with a little lemon juice, then saute in olive oil over fairly high heat along with thin strips of pancetta. Both the pancetta and the hashed brussels should show a little browning. Season with salt and pepper and they’re ready to serve over pasta or on their own as an elegant and crave-worthy side dish.
Hashed brussels sprouts with pancetta
4. Work Wonders with Proteins
A well-maintained knife works beautifully on proteins. Whether trimming fat, cutting cubes for stew, or dividing a whole chicken, the knife glides through the work with ease and the process feels manageable.
A roulade is one of our favorite ways to prepare poultry for special occasions, and though it looks impressive, it isn’t difficult to do. The breast is first fileted (cut away from the bone and skinned), then butterflied to form a not-too-thick rectangle. To butterfly, the meat is cut parallel to the cutting board to form one or two flaps that fold out like the pages of a book. The butterflied filet can be spread with any number of fillings, such as fresh herbs and seasonings, or wild mushrooms, prosciutto, and parmesan. We’ve filled our featured turkey breast roulade with asparagus, white onion, lemon and pancetta. Once the filling is spread, the filet gets rolled up jelly-roll style, covered with thin slices of pancetta, and tied with kitchen twine to form a cylindrical roast.
Turkey roulade filled with asparagus, white onion, lemon and pancetta
5. Better than Sliced Bread
Serrated knives used to be difficult to sharpen at home. Either they risked losing their shape in electric sharpeners or they required tedious work with a specialized hand tool that sharpens only one serration at a time. Brød & Taylor knife sharpeners have a spring-action sharpening surface that slides along the entire curve of each serration, honing serrated knives in just seconds. With a freshly honed bread knife, crusty, artisan loaves slice more easily. Croutons are easy to make from leftovers. Breads can be sliced thin for elegant hors d’oeuvres, or nice and thick for hearty french toast.
A baguette slices beautifully with a just-honed bread knife
- Learn more about knife sharpening from our complete guide
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