Originally Posted by mumu
So how does one know when say chop talking about the general term(render to bits) or cutting of vegtables( chop/cut veg. )? How do you know which to do when says chop.
I view the situation based on what I'm preparing. A recipe may say chop an ingredient and if I think I would prefer to have pieces of the vegetable/whatever evident in the dish, then I'll cut in larger pieces than if I wanted to have them be less evident. Even then, I might change my mind. Meatloaf is a good example.
Sometimes I want the green pepper and onion be distributed within the meat mixture more thoroughly. That's when I'll chop them quite small. Other times, I want a "bite" of pepper or onion when I'm eating my piece of meatloaf. That is the time I'll cut them into much larger chunks.
Actually, now, I don't get so wrapped up in the size of what is chopped, minced or diced because I have serious issues with arthritis in both my hands, which makes any knife work painful. On a good day, I can chop, dice or mince away like nobody's business. But good days are few and far between.
Actually, when it's all said and done, I'd recommend that unless you are going to culinary school or plan to pursue a career as a chef, don't get too wrapped up in what really amounts to minor differences in the techniques you're asking about. Just have fun in the kitchen.