So Much for Cooking Classes

A number of years ago for Christmas, my family purchased a cooking class voucher for me. I could view that as a plea from them that I improve my cooking skills, but I take the positive view on that event by thinking that my family knows of my love for cooking and thought it would be interesting to me. I looked though the catalog and settled on a knife skills class.

I was (and am) envious of those chefs that can quickly slice or chop nice even pieces. I can get it done, but not to the chop-chop-chop-chop speed. I was more like slice….slice….slice. I attended the class and it was a good primer on different knives, care for knives, how to properly hold the knife and the best ways to chop.

To hold the knife, I learned to pinch the top of the blade right before the hilt with my index finger and thumb, letting the rest of the fingers wrap around the handle. To chop, create a “wall” with the second part of your fingers on your other hand (curl your fingers in) and move your knife up and down against that wall.

I proceeded to go home and tell them all about what I learned. The next day, using the wall, I chopped away. On my second item my thumb forgot to curl and SLICE – right into the tip of my thumb. So much for cooking classes!

Photo Jan 26, 5 25 42 PM

The best part of this is the carmelized onions.

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Simple recipe.

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I used a mandoline to cut this onion thin. And I still have the tips of all my fingers!

Photo Jan 26, 4 54 46 PM

Cooking the beans.

Photo Jan 26, 5 02 20 PM


Photo Jan 26, 5 02 28 PM

Toasting the almonds.

Photo Jan 26, 5 12 14 PM

Carmelizing the onions.

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A great side.

Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Almonds

Prep Time: 0 hours 15 minutes | Cook Time: 0 hours 40 minutes | Makes: 6 to 8 servings | Difficulty: Easy


  • Kosher salt
  • 3 pounds green beans, trimmed of stem end
  • 1/2 cup skin on sliced almonds
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Fill a large high sided skillet with some water, adding enough to be just shy of the rim of the pan by about 1 inch. Place over high heat and bring up to boil; add a big pinch of salt and the green beans. Cook for about 5 minutes, the beans should still be crisp. Drain the beans and then run them under some cold water to stop them from cooking. Reserve the beans while you start the onions.Return the skillet you cooked the beans in to the cook top over medium heat. Add the almonds and toast stirring every now and then until golden, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the almonds from the skillet and reserve. Return the skillet to the heat and add the butter and olive oil and heat until the butter has melted. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook stirring frequently until the onions caramelize, 20 to 25 minutes. Add the thyme, and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the cooked cooled green beans and almonds, and stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: kosher, Low Carb, Recipes, Side Dish, vegan, Vegetable2, Vegetarian

Author:The Ranting Chef

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14 Comments on “So Much for Cooking Classes”

  1. May 19, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    My husband is a professional chef with crazy-amazing knife skills. Although I am a good cook, I know that I will never be able to approach his chopping proficiency so I do not even try. I am okay being slow and keeping all of my fingers intact. PS-If it makes you feel better, it takes way more than a couple of cooking classes to become impressively agile with a set of knives.


  2. May 19, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    The good news is…you usually don’t make that mistake twice! ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. May 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    Practice makes perfect ๐Ÿ™‚ Bon courage!


  4. May 19, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    It’s probably more common than you think. My first day on the job at the first big-time restaurant job I had, I sliced the end of my thumb off.

    It may be related to nerves and not knowing how to sharpen a knife.


  5. May 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    Ooooooo! Almonds! I usually do this with walnuts! I want to try it with almonds! Yum!

    Sorry about your finger! ๐Ÿ™‚ And I think you are more accurate taking the positive view in that your family just knows of you love cooking and thought it would be interesting to you. But you know that, but it was still funny!


  6. May 19, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    Interesting way to cook the green beans. I like it.


  7. May 19, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    my wife had great success with Loretta Pagininni – we still use the ravoli and walnut sauce as the most on demand course for holidays.

    I stay out of the kitchen – those knives are sharp!


  8. May 19, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

    Looks delicious!


  9. May 19, 2013 at 10:45 pm #

    Cook because you love it–its the best and only way to keep in practice (and maintain your finger tips!)


  10. May 20, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    Learning how to properly use a knife was one of the most difficult, though most rewarding, cooking lessons I ever had. Though, like you, I still have problems with it. ๐Ÿ˜›

    This recipe looks delicious, by the way! My husband loves fresh green beans, so I’ll definitely be saving this for later. ๐Ÿ™‚


  11. May 20, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

    looks delicious!


  12. May 21, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    The recipe does look delicious…



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