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Nip Tuck

GREAT USES FOR YOUR KITCHEN SCISSORS

You say shears, I say scissors. It’s all very potato-potahto. Whatever you call that cutting tool with the opposing blades in your second drawer, it’s high time you gave it the credit it deserved. You see, not only can they do a lot of the work a knife does, they can also do it safer and faster. As a chef, I could never shun the knife, but I’ve also learnt that a good pair of kitchen shearers is one of the most underrated tools in the kitchen. So, let’s unpack all those wonderful ways they make our lives so much easier.

THEY LIKE A STUKKIE BILTONG

OK, let’s not go nuts. Unless you go for a semi-industrial bolt cutter, you’re not going to cut through a thick slab of cured meat without breaking something. But scissors do really well with portioning those oversized pieces, and give droëwors a lovely, fine edge – so much better than tearing off your portions. This method is also great for charcuterie and bacon.

DE-SPRIGGING HERBS

You’re probably saying, duh! But it must be reiterated. I can think of much more interesting things to do in a kitchen than picking thyme leaves off a sprig. The same goes for rosemary. But I’ve also “cheated” a chiffonade (rolling up and thinly slicing flat leaves) by using scissors instead of a knife. So quick, so easy.

LUNCH-BOXING DRIED FRUIT

Shave some time off your clock – or whip up a trail mix in under a minute – by snipping up your dried fruit, especially the bigger pieces like mangoes and pears. On the topic of fruit, scissors are also great for breaking up bunches of grapes for a more portioned snack platter.

NO PIZZA SLICER? NO PROBLEM

I’ve even seen Italians do it… in Italy nogal. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using scissors to cut your pizza. In fact, it’s more accurate, and doesn’t leave those double lines you sometimes get when running your pizza slicer back and straying off the beaten path.

DEBONING A CHICKEN 

If you’ve got JAN the Journal Volume 6, you would have seen my instructions for deboning a chicken, which doesn’t involve a lot of cutting. Scissors are a great way of getting to the most important bits, then you just slide the meat off the bone.

DE-SHELLING PRAWNS

Try doing it with a knife and then think of how much simpler it would be with scissors. Simply cut through the shell and follow the curve, then just slip it off.

CUTTING DOUGH

Not all baking calls for precision, but whether you’re making haute pâtisserie or rustic breadrolls, cutting your dough when portioning it is easy and (virtually) mess free. Plus, you can cut any kind of dough with scissors, from rough puff to phyllo – you won’t look back.

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