Top 3 reason why you need Good Knife Skills

Why do you need good knife skills?

As a cooking teacher people always ask me, what is the most important thing you need to know to be good cook? I respond the same way every time – learn good knife skills! Knife skills are the basis of cooking, leading a healthy lifestyle and earning your culinary independence. Here are the top 3 reasons you and your family need to learn good knife skills.

1. Safety First- Using the right knife skills in the kitchen will keep you from cutting yourself when you prepare food. It will also help you from using knives the wrong way and getting cramps in your hands and arms.

2. Even Cooking- Making all of your cuts are the same size, will ensure all of your food cooks at the same time. That goes for vegetables, meat, seafood and fruit.

3. What's Cooking, Good Looking – Food should taste good, but it should also look good too (Like me). Learning knife skills will allow you to make precise cuts so your meals look like 4 star masterpieces even with 2 star prices.

Now get crackin'!

Chef Egg

Get Fresh and Clean w/ Sally Sanitation

Get Fresh and Clean w/ Sally Sanitation

Even though I am the Chef in my kitchen, I am certainly not the boss, for real. Meet the real captain of this ship, my friend Sally Sanitation.

There are a lot of characters that roll through my kitchen. When somebody cuts up, that's when Sally Sanitation comes to life. A kitchen sink so big and bad that it's a good idea for everyone to keep it clean. Sally always lets Egg know that she better not see any germs. Everybody in the kitchen better wash up and cross-contamination better not cross her! Sally drop the hammer hard my friends.

Sally passion for the kitchen started in her high school culinary program. After graduating college with a degree in food chemistry she went to work for as an inspector for the FDA while working on her higher education in food/nutrition public policy. With her PhD in hand, Sally is leading the way to make sure our food and water supply are clean and healthy for all to enjoy.

How did Sally meet Chef Egg? Sally was walking through her local farmers market when saw Chef Egg performing a cooking demo. She saw the excitement that Chef Egg brought to the table and had to be involved with his mission. Sally has the perfect personality to teach about the importance of cleanliness and sanitation in the kitchen. She also has the authority to keep Chef Egg's kitchen crew in line. But in her off time, she enjoys watching her "stories" and enjoying a fresh glass of mango juice from Marley's garden.

Top 5 Cleaning Tips

1. Clean the dishes after your meal. I love to cook, but I hate to do the dishes. I know it is not a great way to end an evening, but try to make it a habit to clean the dishes after your meal. Sometimes it's hard, but it's important because you do not want a sticky dirty kitchen. Bugs and rodents love dirty kitchens. When hand washing dishes use hot water to clean the yuk from the dishes. Apply soapy water to sanitize the plate and rinse with clean hot water. Let the dishes dry in drying rack. Do not run the water full tilt and try to limit the water usage. If you have a dishwasher make sure that you wash on a full load.

2. Instead using toxic chemicals to clean your kitchen, make your own. Mix together 2 cups of white vinegar, a drop of liquid dish soap, 3 cups of water in a spray bottle and shake. The vinegar will kill germs, odors and bacteria and the dish soap will break down the grease. This is a cheap and effective way to clean the surfaces in your kitchen.

3. Clear the clutter - Remove mystery odors from your kitchen by keeping your fridge and pantry clean and organized. Throw away old food and condiments. If it's in your fridge and pantry and you have not used it in 6 months to a year, chuck it. Either its gone bad or you will never use it anyway. You will be surprised at what you find.

4. Reduce the amount of dishes you have to do by reducing the amount of dishes you have on your shelves. I had a problem where me and my roommates where doing a mass amount of dishes all of the time. The solution was to pick out the dishes we use the most and pack up the rest. We went from 20 plates, 30 cups and 100 pieces of mismatched utensils to 10 plates, 15 cups and mugs and 2 complete, matching sets of forks, knives and spoons.

5. Make Cleaning fun - No, for real, it can be done. First make a list of chores, this will keep you focused. Second, enlist your roommates and loved ones. The more hands you have working the faster it will get done. Third, rock out while you clean. If I may quote Madonna, "Get into the Groove". Choose funky and groovy tunes by artists like Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and even Lady Gaga. Also genres like old school hip hop and Motown classics and even 70's funk will really get you moving. Sing your song out loud, get your booty shaking and get your clean on!

Now get Cracking! Chef Egg

Who is F-A-T-T-O-M?

Who Is F-A-T-T-O-M?

It's not a who, but a what.

As a new cook you want to be safe in the kitchen. This couldn't be more important when starting to make snacks and meals for your friends, family and yourself. Stories of other people getting food poisoning are never fun. But, if you get caught on the wrong end of your great aunt Doreen's famous egg salad, it is definitely something you will never forget. Messing with F-A-T-T-O-M, will really ruin your day!

What is F-A-T-T-O-M?

F-A-T-T-O-M is an acronym for the conditions bacteria and gross stuff need to thrive and grow.

  • Food - The type of food you have will let you know how risky you food choices can be. Foods like fish, milk, eggs, and cooked grains are all have a high risk of contamination.
  • Acid - The level of acidity will let you know if it's a good environment for bacteria to grow. Bacteria like slightly acidic environments and foods like tomatoes, and vinegar.
  • Time and Temperature - The more time food is in the "Temperature Danger Zone" (40 F- 140 F, see below) the better chance that bacteria can spread. They love warm temps, which is the perfect environment for them to reproduce - Oh yeah that's business time for little microscopic organisms, and they can go all night long!
  • Don't drive on through the "Temperature Danger Zone". Keep hot food hot (above 140° F), like soups, meat and casseroles and cold foods cold (below 40° F), like salads, dairy and eggs. This will keep those little buggers from getting busy and making your life miserable.Foods kept in the danger zone for more than 3 hours should be thrown away.

  • Oxygen – Just like you most of bacteria need oxygen to grow. That's why we wrap our food in plastic and seal containers tight. No air, no bacteria!
  • Moisture – Bacteria also need certain amount of moisture to live and produce. Foods that are low in moisture like pasta, dried grains and nuts have less of a chance for bacteria to grow than meat, vegetables and cooked grains.
  • Think about FATTOM the next time you bring dishes to a potluck, cookout, camping or to a sweet music festival. When I go to a party (and I do like to get down), I like to make sure everyone stays safe and has a great time!

    Now get Crackin'! Chef Egg

    How to Cut Fresh Fruit

    How to Cut Fresh Fruit

    Well, It's been several years, but my show Cooking with Egg is back on track. Check out my first episode called "Fruit Cups". I shot this in Silver Spring with my buddy Wanakhavi and finished it up with an awesome new filmmaker out of Baltimore named Brian Morrison of Wood Room Cinema. Big shout out to the Foley Family for letting me takeover their kitchen for the day.

    In this episode I am going to teach you how to make a fruit cup for everyday of the week. Sharpen your knives and lets get crackin'!

    Now let's Get Crackin'! Chef Egg

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