Monday, August 22, 2011

50 cooking videos project

12 months
1 flip video camera
1 Sony Vegas Movie Studio
1 crazy culinary instructor
50 videos

During the next 12 months (Sept 2011 - Sept 2012), I will be working on making short videos to demonstrate cooking techniques. My goal is to make 50 videos that will cover topics like how to sharpen a knife, how to cut various vegetables, how to sear meat, etc.  

These videos are for you, my dear cooks, so please chime in.  I have my list of topics.  Most of them are techniques that I teach in my classes that produce the reaction of "Aha!  So that's how you do it!"  If you want to see how to do something in the kitchen, leave me a comment, and I'll consider adding it to the list.

Wish me luck!

Update: Here are the videos:
  1. Claw and Pinch Grip
  2. Dicing Carrots, Celery, and other Vegetables
  3. How to slice an onion
  4. Dicing an Onion Video
  5. How to slice a shallot
  6. Dicing and Mincing a Shallot
  7. Slicing and Mincing Garlic
  8. Mashed Garlic
  9. Herbs
  10. Celery Root Peeling and Cutting
  11. Peeling and Cutting Butternut Squash
  12. Ginger (and Pear Ginger Tart Tatin)
  13. Julienne and Brunoise
  14. Slicing and Dicing Bell Peppers
  15. Slicing Fennel
  16. Browning Meat
  17. Testing Fish for Doneness
  18. Washing Swiss Chard, Kale, and other Leafy Greens
  19. Roasted Swiss Chard
  20. Deglazing a Pan and Making a Sauce
  21. Trimming a Rack of Lamb
  22. Deboning a Chicken (to make a boneless breast roast, and bone-in leg roast)
  23. Searing Fish
  24. Seared Duck Breasts
  25. How to Cook and Eat a Whole Fish
  26. Homemade Pasta Part 1: the dough video
  27. Homemade Pasta Part 2: shaping video
  28. Homemade Pasta Part 3: cooking and saucing
  29. How to Poach an Egg Video
  30. Stirring the Pot
  31. Poached Eggs for Company
  32. Asparagus 2 Ways: Ribbons and Blanched
  33. Seared and Grilled Asparagus
  34. How to Steel a Knife
  35. How to Grill Fish
  36. How to plate your food so you get laid


Kari said...

Sauces, poached eggs, poaching fish, steaming fish, anything lobster... just a few ideas.

Helen, consider adding Google +1 & Twitter buttons on your blog if you are interested in more followers. Love your work!

Helen said...

Hi Kari,

Fabulous suggestions for videos and for social networking too! I have tried to add share buttons to the bottom of my posts before with no luck since I have an old blogger template :( But you've inspired me and after 2 hours of tinkering, I finally got most of them to display after each post (facebook, twitter and google buzz). No luck with Google +1! Ridiculous considering the fact that Google owns blogger. Well, better than nothing...


Helen said...

after another hour, got google +1 buttons to work. it took some damage to my template, but hopefully it's minor enough that only I will notice.

Crazy Radishes said...

I would love to see a video demonstration of how to do an emulsion sauce with butter - beurre blanc maybe? Everytime I try, I end up with two drops of way too sour sauce!

Filleting fish would be another great idea.

Helen said...

Hi there Crazy Radishes,

Thanks for these great ideas. I have to admit that it's been a while since I've made a beurre blanc, but Julia Child has a wonderful recipe for it in Mastering the Art of French cooking volume 1. I am not sure if a video will solve the sourness problem. It's more about tasting and adjusting seasoning. Don't forget the salt :)

Fish techniques are definitely on my list!


Keenan said...

The proper technique for tossing food in a skillet. Seems simple enough and it looks so cool when chefs do it, but every time I attempt it, my floor becomes a rat's holiday.

Kari said...

Looks great, Helen!

Hey, Crazy Radishes - check out Anthony Bourdain making a beurre blanc in the South Florida episode. Educational and entertaining!

Anna said...

This is really basic but I would like to learn how to use a frying pan. Everything I make either burns on the surface or is raw on the inside. I try to follow the recipe directions but never seem to get it right. There is also the lid factor.

Anna said...

One more .. what rack in the oven to put stuff on? It seems to me there is a difference and I always manage to choose the 'wrong' one since it's rarely specified in the recipe.

Anna said...

Last one .. how to cook or fry whole fish head included.

Helen said...

Hi Anna,

Thank you so much for your suggestions. They are excellent cooking questions and I think I can answer most of them without videos. But if I think some way that a video can help, I'll make one.

About pots and pans:
1) here is info on which pans to use for what and which brands/sizes to buy.

2)here is how to sear successfully (or get good browning). This post is about scallops, but exactly the same technique applies to anything that had parents (chicken, beef, pork, lamb, fish, etc).

3) for proteins that are thicker than 1 inch, you'll need to involve the oven unless you want them really rare, like tuna and scallops. How to involve the oven and at what temperature depends on many factors, but here is my post on how to do that for meat that you want to be medium-rare.

About racks of the oven:

If the recipe doesn't specify, it's the middle. If you want the bottom to brown (like when roasting vegetables), place close to the bottom of the oven. If you want top to brown (like when finishing a tart), place close to the top. If you want to compensate for unevenness of the oven when baking things like cookies, place in the bottom third for half the time and top third for half the time and rotate the cookie sheet 180 degrees. If you are using recipes that don't specify such things, get yourself better recipes :)

Stephanie said...

I love the sound of this project. I'll be watching your fish cooking techniques in particular.

Jeanne said...

Helen, you are almost halfway, please don't give up. And boning a chicken! How ambitious!

I am attending a small cooking school (similar to what I imagine yours to be) in France in March. I have requested to deal with the Bresse and am dying to know if they really do taste different than our free range chickens here in the U.S.

Do you have any experience with the blue-footed Bresse?

Helen said...

Hi Jeanne,

I've only had a Bresse chicken in France and yes, they are spectacular. The only chicken in the US that comes close is Misty Knoll from Vermont. I find that most of the stuff sold as free range is nothing special.