FINI Cutlery Blog: Eggs Five Ways!

With an impressive amount of protein and a wide variety of uses, the egg has become a staple of many a breakfast dish. In fact, eggs have been a source of food for living creatures as far back as history is recorded. Looking for tips on preparing these timeless classics? Read on for five ways to make a perfect egg.

1. Hard-Boiling

It can be tricky to perfect a hard-boiled egg. Luckily, there are many simple tips and tricks for getting it just right.

  1. Use older eggs to ensure they separate easily from the shell once cooked.
  2. You want to use a fast, roiling boil (so hot that bubbles are rising rapidly and you can hear the sound of the water boiling), not just a simmer.
  3. Place the eggs in an ice bath until cooled. This will ensure they don't have that unseemly gray skin around the yolk.

    2. Scrambling

    A good scrambled egg can be a great start to the day. In order to make a perfect scramble, try these techniques:

    1. Heat a generous amount of butter in your pan to add a great flavor.
    2. Crack the eggs directly into the skillet, as opposed to whisking them ahead of time.
    3. Use a rubber spatula to break the yolks, and slowly fold the eggs as they heat.
    4. Try adding a drop of creme fraiche or Greek yogurt to lighten them up and add a slight tang!

    3. Poaching

    Whether on its own or over an English muffin, a poached egg is a delightful and delectable breakfast treat, with a touch of class. Try this poach approach!

    1. Use fresh eggs for a perfectly tight poach -- older eggs tend to separate much more easily.
    2. Add a generous amount of white or rice vinegar to your pot of water to help the egg come together quickly.
    3. Don't bring the water to a full boil, as it will break the fragile egg apart! Instead, aim for a rapid simmer.
    4. Crack your egg ahead of time into a small bowl or ramekin, then gently shift it into the water from there to avoid a long, hard fall into the pot.
    5. Stir the simmering water until it has a moving whirlpool in the middle, then gently ease your egg into the "eye of the storm" to help it form correctly.

    4. Over-Easy

    A good over-easy egg can be the perfect companion to a crunchy piece of toast. Get it just right with these tips:

    1. Like poaching, you don't want to break the eggs directly into your hot pan. Instead, carefully crack them into a small bowl and ease them onto the hot pan to avoid breaking the yolk.
    2. There is no need to flip an over-easy egg. A best practice is to simply cover the pan with a lid so the heat moves over the top of the yolk. More seasoned cooks can try to move the hot butter or oil over the yolk instead.
    3. Speaking of butter or oil -- be generous! Trying to lift a perfectly cooked egg off a pan that hasn't been greased enough is a recipe for disaster.

    5. Omelet

    There's nothing like an omelet to get you going, especially one stuffed full of heart-healthy veggies. Here are some tricks for a perfect breakfast omelet:

    1. An omelet is one egg recipe that calls for whisking the eggs ahead of time. Beat your eggs with a little bit of milk for the perfect amount of fluffiness.
    2. Because the egg needs to cook enough to be folded over, make sure you generously grease your pan (or even use a nonstick pan) to avoid a breakfast catastrophe!
    3. While it can be tempting to include a multitude of fillings, try not to over-stuff the omelet. This can make the omelet difficult to fold over and lift from the pan.

    Whether you like a soft, runny egg or a light, bright scramble for breakfast, cooking the perfect egg doesn't have to be hard! Use these tips for a great start to your day.

    Food Prep Basics: Five Knife Techniques to Cook Like a Pro

     

    Fini knives are all about finesse. By allowing your thumb and forefinger to naturally move into the pinch-grip position, your hand naturally grasps the handle, allowing for precise, controlled chopping, slicing and dicing.

    The Grip

    Grasp the top of the knife blade using your thumb and forefinger just in front of the bolster (the part of the blade that flares out where it meets the handle). Wrap the rest of your fingers around the handle. You'll feel the blade control transfer to your thumb and forefinger.

    Rough Chopping

    Rough chopping, also called rock chopping, takes advantage of blade's curve to perform a smooth rocking motion to chop leafy herbs, such as parsley and tarragon.

    Herbs

    1. Place the stemmed herbs in a tight pile in the center of the cutting board. Grasp the knife using a pinch grip and set the blade to the left of the herbs on the cutting board.
    2. Next, place the fingers of your non-knife hand flat on the top of the knife blade, close to the tip. Chop through the herbs from left to right and back again.
    3. Turn the pile of herbs 90 degrees, pack them tightly and repeat. For a coarse chop, make three to four passes; for a fine chop, make seven or eight passes.

    Garlic

    Set a peeled garlic clove in the center of the cutting board. Crush the clove using the broad side of the chef's knife. Use the rough-chopping technique until the garlic reaches the desired fineness.

    Dicing

    When following a recipe, large dice typically means ¾-inch to 1-inch cubes, and medium dice means ½-inch cubes.

    Potatoes

    1. Peel and rinse the potato. Peel off a little flesh from one side to make a flat base. Cut off the rounded tips from both ends of the potato and slice it in half lengthwise.
    2. Set a potato half on its side. Slice the potato half into even slices. Repeat with the other potato half.
    3. Stack three of four potato slices and slice them lengthwise into strips (also known as julienne when ¼-inch thick). Next, slice the strips crosswise into cubes. Store diced potatoes in cold water until you use them.

    Tomatoes

    1. Core the tomatoes and slice them in half crosswise. Hold a tomato cut-side down over a bowl and gently squeeze it to loosen the seeds. Scoop out the seeds with the tip of a spoon.
    2. Set the tomato half on its side. Slice the tomato into even slices. Stack the tomatoes and slice them lengthwise into strips, then crosswise into cubes.

    Slicing Onions

    1. Slice the tips (the root end and blossom end) off the onion. Slice the onion in half from end to end.
    2. Set the onion halves cut-side down on the cutting board. Slice the onion halves crosswise into slices.

    Slicing Meat

    Slice cooked meat across the grain using a sawing motion. To slice uncooked meat, use a back slice. Place the rear of the blade (close to the bolster) on top of the meat and draw the knife towards you.

    Pro Tips

    • Let the knife do the work. You don't need to use much force when using a well-maintained, sharp blade.
    • Use a wooden cutting board. Besides handsome aesthetic appeal, wooden boards collect less bacteria than plastic boards.
    • Curl the fingers of your non-knife hand away from the blade when cutting. Use the tips of your fingers, not the pads, to stabilize the ingredient on the cutting board.
    • Use an offset serrated knife to slice tomatoes and lemons. Serrated blades provide traction on the skins and rinds while non-serrated knives don't.
    • Stack basil leaves and slice them crosswise into thin strips for the chiffonade cut.
    • Save clean vegetable trimmings for making stock and broth.

    Tasty Tarts: Your New Go-To Dinner

     

    If your Pinterest page is full of great ideas that you just don't have time to make, you'll be relieved to know that cooking doesn't have to be about recipes at all. Instead, all you need are some basic skills, a chef’s knife and a knowledge of what flavors work well together to make a meal that is original and delicious.

    For a simple meal that's low on skill and high on adaptability, try making a dinner tart. It's a classic blend of pastry, vegetables and cheese that creates a filling meal with nearly endless possibilities for its flavor profile. And it's super easy to make.

    Getting Started With Puff Pastry

    You don't have to be a pastry chef to make this: Frozen puff pastry sheets are your friend! Let the pastry dough thaw for 30 to 40 minutes before you're ready to use it so that you can unfold it easily -- it should still be cold when you work with it.

    Place the dough on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet to prevent sticking. Repeatedly prick the center section with a fork, leaving an inch or two of crust around the edges untouched. This will create a center section of dough that won't puff up as much as your crust as you bake.

    Choosing Your Filling

    Creating your filling is the fun part! In general, you're looking to create a 3:1 ratio of vegetables to cheese to layer over the center section of your puff pastry. You don't want to weigh down your tart too heavily, so add about a quarter-inch thickness of filling.

    It's possible to make this dinner tart with whatever's lying around your house, but putting a bit of thought into your flavor combinations will guarantee a good result. In general, pair a strong cheese with a strong vegetable and milder cheese with milder veggies:

    Strongly Flavored Vegetables

    Milder Vegetables

  1. Arugula
  2. Beets
  3. Broccoli
  4. Garlic
  5. Onions
  6. Peppers
  7. Swiss chard
  8. Tomatoes (heirloom)
  9. Baby spinach
  10. Bok choy
  11. Carrots
  12. Celery
  13. Eggplant
  14. Parsnips
  15. Potatoes
  16. Sweet Potatoes
  17. Tomatoes (greenhouse)
  18. Zucchini
  19. Strongly Flavored Cheeses

    Milder Cheeses

  20. Blue cheese
  21. Cheddar (sharp)
  22. Goat cheese
  23. Gruyere
  24. Parmesan
  25. Smoked Gouda
  26. Brie
  27. Edam
  28. Colby-Jack
  29. Mozzarella
  30. Muenster
  31. Queso blanco
  32. Swiss cheese
  33.  

    Adding the Flavor

    You can season your tart with simple salt and pepper to allow your ingredients to shine, or you can come up with delicious new combinations of flavors on your own. How can you tell if two ingredients will taste great together? A good rule of thumb is that if it grows together, it goes together. This means that seasonal items like summer tomatoes taste great with warm-weather herbs like basil, while winter squash goes well with hardy herbs that can survive a frost, like sage and thyme.

    You can also think regionally to figure out which herbs and spices to add to your tarts. A tomato and cheese tart with flavors inspired by Mexican cuisine will taste very different from one dressed up in Italian herbs. Here are some hints to get you started:

    • Asian: Ginger, mirin, soy sauce
    • French: herbs de Provence, parsley, thyme
    • Indian: Cumin, curry powder, turmeric
    • Italian: Basil, olive oil, oregano
    • Mexican: Cilantro, cumin, lime


    Putting It Together

    To build your tart, roast root vegetables and steam greens until soft, and drain well to remove excess water. Slice thinly or chop into a filling you can layer easily over the puff pastry, adding your chosen seasonings to taste. Once you spread your filling onto the pastry, layer thin slices or shavings of cheese on top. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees, or until the crust puffs up and browns. Garnish with fresh herbs or greens, cut into squares with a pizza cutter and serve hot.

    Savory dinner tarts are a great way to experiment with new ingredients and flavors as you build your cooking skills, and it's a lightning-fast dinner to keep in your arsenal.

    Knife care: Am I ruining my cutlery?

    Properly caring for your cutlery can extend the life of your knives!

    One of our fans wrote to us inquiring about caring for her newly purchased Fini Knives…It’s always great to hear from fans and we’re thrilled to share our tips on how to properly care for your cutlery. So what can you do to extend the life of your knives? Here we have some suggestions you’ll want to consider!

    Say goodbye to dishwashers! We recommend washing all Fini knives by hand only! Fini knives are made of German forged steel, and although you may think that good cutlery steel is immune to rust, think again! It isn’t. Overtime, the extended exposure to water, detergent and high temperatures can damage them tremendously. Plus, while inside the dishwasher it’s highly likely that they may bump against each other or other hard objects and this can create unnecessary physical contact that can cause pitting. Please avoid! Your knives will thank you for it!

    Drawer storage. Unless you have a dedicated space within the drawer for your cutlery, use a block or a magnetic wall rack! Blocks are designed to hold each knife properly without the risk of getting damaged by other knives or hard objects! Magnetic wall racks are easy to install and can be pretty useful around the kitchen. Either option can work for you too.

    Cutting board. After slicing and dicing, do you use your knife blade to clear your board? Well, that’s not a very nice way to treat the cutting edge of your quality Chef’s knife! Flip it over and let the spine do the work!

    Do you have any questions, comments, ideas or suggestions? Send us an email to info@finicutlery.com! We love to hear from you! Happy Chopping!

    What is the Rockwell scale?

    WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

    Rockwell scale? What’s the Rockwell scale? Who could possibly want to learn about steel hardness? We hear some of our biggest fans indeed enjoy learning the key components that make our beautiful Fini knives! 

    In our world, the Rockwell scale plays a key role in determining the strength of the steel we use to make our knives...Now, don't assume that the higher the number, the stronger the steel. Let's not confuse "hardness" with "toughness" In fact, the higher the number, the harder the steel, but as hardness increases, toughness goes in the opposite direction. So what now?  As everything else in life, the perfect formula for a great steel knife is a balance of hardness and toughness (and a few other secret ingredients!). 


    The Rockwell scale is commonly used today to measure the hardness of metals. The hardness of most knives on the market today ranges from the low 50s to mid 60s. Keep in mind that the Rockwell scale is not linear, but exponential. In other words, going from HRC 64 to 65 is not the same as going from HRC 50 to 51. Our gorgeous knives are made of German forged steel with a score of HRC 58 and a 20 degree double edge blade that’s sharpened by hand! Voila!

    The steel’s final degree of hardness is determined by the maker during the process of treating and heating up the steel. Generally speaking, a relatively soft knife ranks lower in the Rockwell scale and it is typically easier to sharpen, but doesn’t hold its edge for too long. A knife that ranks higher in the Rockwell scale tends to be more resistant to wear, and although it may be more difficult to sharpen, they do hold their edge longer.

    Although we find it highly unlikely that this topic will ever come up in your future conversations, should anyone ever ask about the Rockwell scale, you'll know what to say!