A few weeks ago I was having a discussion with a friend and the conversation rolled around to cooking. She had mentioned that she had not really enjoyed cooking until she learned how to properly use knives. I had never really thought about it before, but not knowing how to properly use a knife would make cooking a chore, rather than an enjoyable experience. It makes the job much harder than it has to be and requires a lot more effort.
Flash forward to another conversation that I had with my sister when she was cooking in my kitchen. She told me that my knives were so dull that I could hurt myself and that I should really learn to sharpen then properly. She’s a fancy chef, so I think that she knows what she is talking about.
Then the people at Craftsy reached out to me. They offer amazing online classes and asked me if would I like to try a few of them. Guess what the first one they wanted me to take was? Knife Skills.
Huh.You think maybe the Universe is trying to tell me that I should take a knife skills class?
I happen to love online learning and have actually taken a few Craftsy classes before, so this partnership could not be a better fit. I am actually going to be doing one class per month for the next 6 months and sharing my experience here with you.
From the comfort of my kitchen, I took the Complete Knife Skills class (which happens to be FREE!) and learned so much! I really thought that I knew what I was doing when it came to using my knives. Turns out, I was doing a few things completely wrong (not to mention unsafely) and learned a lot of cook tricks to make the sometimes tedious job of cutting and chopping easier. No more dull knives for me.
I have already started to notice a change in how I work with my knives and it really does make cooking more enjoyable. The best way to have good knife skills to use them a lot. My Caramelized Onion and Garlic Jam is a great recipe to practice peeling and cutting onions, shallots, and garlic. This jam is so versatile. I love to use it in a grilled cheese sandwich, on a cheese plate, on top of grilled chicken, on pizza, tossed into pasta. You can do a million things with it.
1/2 cup olive oil
2 pounds Vidalia onion (or any other variety of sweet onion)
2 large shallots
6 cloves garlic
1/2 cup red wine
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
Fresh thyme (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Peel and thinly slice the onions and shallots.
Remove the peel from the garlic by cutting off the bottom.
Break up the cloves in a large bowl.
Place another bowl on top and shake vigorously.
The peels come right off. Like magic!
Add the olive oil to a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot. Add the onions, shallots, and garlic.
Cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
They will start to soften and turn translucent.
Remove the lid and add red wine, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar.
Cook for another 30 or so minutes, or until the onions are caramelized. Add fresh thyme and season with salt and pepper. If you still have large cloves of garlic remaining, use a fork to mash them up and stir into the jam.
This jam keeps for two weeks in the fridge.
*** This post is a sponsored by Craftsy. This is one installment of a 6 month series. All opinions are 100% my own. ***