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Old 11-18-2008, 08:56 AM   #1
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Bell peppers and knife techniques

Having a new kitchen knife and wanting to get "handier" with it, I've been paying more attention to the TV chefs and what they are using to cut food with, along with any technique they are using. I was watching Essence of E the other day and saw him cut a bell pepper like I've never seen before. The technique appeared to waste some (very little the way he did it), but was extremely fast and saved him a trip to the sink to rinse seeds out. Something I end up doing no matter how I cut it.
He stood the pepper on end, stem up, and made four downward slices, rotating the pepper ninety degrees after each slice, leaving the seeds and veins intact under the stem cap.
Maybe he had the perfect shaped pepper, maybe his cuts had a slight arc to them, but at any rate, when I tried it (not wanting to waste very much of the pepper) I got some seeds. OK, maybe he's done it more than once and knows what he's doing I only had the one pepper to work with, but am going to be trying this again. The four pieces of pepper you get are fairly flat and easy to slice.

Does anyone else do this?
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:11 AM   #2
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I have done it that way. I also cut off the top then reach in with my fingers to twist out the central mass of seeds and stuff. Then cut it into sections to dice or julienne.

You can also cut off both ends and make a cut to lay the center section flat and go from there.
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:25 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
The technique appeared to waste some (very little the way he did it), but was extremely fast and saved him a trip to the sink to rinse seeds out. Something I end up doing no matter how I cut it.
I use Rachael Ray's method - put a garbage bowl on the counter, put all the stuff in that, then throw it all away when done. Saves trips to the sink and the garbage can.

That said, I might try Emeril's technique, if I can remember to next time I cut peppers. I cut the core out, shake the seeds out, and then cut it into quarters. I end up with basically the same thing, but his method saves pulling out the core first.
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I have done it that way. I also cut off the top then reach in with my fingers to twist out the central mass of seeds and stuff. Then cut it into sections to dice or julienne.

You can also cut off both ends and make a cut to lay the center section flat and go from there.
That way has become my preferred way. Then I'll trim the cap to get more pepper from it, but that way leaves a lot of veins that still need scraped out. I think I want to get better at the standing up method. It was almost like he was fileting the pepper. Like I said, I think the shape of the pepper helps a lot with it... nice and uniform and not so apple shaped, like some peppers are.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:38 AM   #5
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Using a paring knife, I turn the pepper stem down, then cut the pepper in half from the bottom to the top, leaving the stem. I then pull the two pieces apart. The stem part will remain on one half of the pepper...just pull it back and out with your fingers. Then it's easy to have your way with the rest of the pepper.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:52 AM   #6
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Go to you tube and search for 'cutting bell peppers' videos. There are a lot of videos with different methods.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
Having a new kitchen knife and wanting to get "handier" with it, I've been paying more attention to the TV chefs and what they are using to cut food with, along with any technique they are using. I was watching Essence of E the other day and saw him cut a bell pepper like I've never seen before. The technique appeared to waste some (very little the way he did it), but was extremely fast and saved him a trip to the sink to rinse seeds out. Something I end up doing no matter how I cut it.
He stood the pepper on end, stem up, and made four downward slices, rotating the pepper ninety degrees after each slice, leaving the seeds and veins intact under the stem cap.
Maybe he had the perfect shaped pepper, maybe his cuts had a slight arc to them, but at any rate, when I tried it (not wanting to waste very much of the pepper) I got some seeds. OK, maybe he's done it more than once and knows what he's doing I only had the one pepper to work with, but am going to be trying this again. The four pieces of pepper you get are fairly flat and easy to slice.

Does anyone else do this?
That's how I like to do it. You're left with a little bell pepper cage.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:57 AM   #8
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is a video of the basic technique I use. I did not listen to the audio so I can not vouch for what they are saying (and i am not sure what she was doing when she was turning her knife back and forth), but I use this method with great success. I do not bother with the paring knife. I find I can get rid of the ribs just fine with my chefs knife. What they do not show in the video (not sure if they talk about it though) is that you can use the top and bottom you cut off as well so there is almost no waste.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:58 AM   #9
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I use Constance's method.
Another tip is to slice them with the skin side down. MUCH easier that way.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:59 AM   #10
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Another tip is to slice them with the skin side down. MUCH easier that way.
That is true if your knife is not very sharp. If your knife is sharp then there is little difference.
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