Friday, December 30, 2011

Mille Feuille with Best wishes for New Year!

                                             5 Portions


Ingredients:
600g Puff pastry, cold - store bought is ok if butter based
250g crème legère
Icing sugar

Procedure

  • Preheat oven at 160C/320F. Roll puff pastry to a thickness of 3mm, place on a tray lined with parchment paper and bake for about an hour until crunchy and golden in color.
  • Take out of the oven, raise the oven temperature to 200C/390F and while you wait for the oven to reach the new temp dust the cooked puff pastry with plenty of icing sugar.
  • Bake again for about 5 minutes checking that the sugar caramelizes without burning. Remove, let cool. Cut into rectangles, chose 6 ones without any cracks, dust them with sugar on the flat side.
  • Heat up a knife that you will be using as a branding tool to mark the sugared pieces. Put creme legere in a pastry bag fitted with a round tip (a star tip is a nice alternative). 
  • Pipe a few dollops of cream on a rectangle of puff pastry, place a second rectangle, more cream and finally the last rectangle of puff pastry that has been branded on top.

Pastry Cream for Mille Feuille: 

Ingredients:

450g whole milk (2 cups, 1lb)
50g heavy/whipping cream (about 2oz)
2 vanilla beans
---
4 egg yolks (should weigh 90g/3oz)
90g sugar (3oz)
25g corn starch/corn flour (about 1oz)
25g flour (about 1oz)
---
4 gelatin leaves or 8g of powdered gelatin dissolved in 40g of water. ( Forget ounces, here you are better off thinking in grams)
50g unsalted butter (about 2oz)
30g cocoa butter, optional (about 1oz)
---
30g mascarpone cheese,optional (about 1oz)
 

Procedure:
  • Sift together flour and starch, set aside. Place milk and cream in a sauce pot. Scrape vanilla beans, place seeds and scraped pods in the milk+cream pot.        
  • Bring to a boil, turn off, cover and let infuse for 20 minutes. Few minutes  before the infusion is ready place egg yolk and sugar in a bowl, start whisking  until the mixture is light in color, then gradually add flour and starch.  
  • Place gelatin leaves in cold water for a couple of minutes, when soft squeeze  well to remove excess water and keep aside (this step is called blooming).  
  • Remove scraped vanilla pods from infused milk (don’t discard them, you can use  them to make vanilla sugar by first washing them, then drying them well in a  low temp oven and finally grinding them with sugar in a food processor).  
  • Pour hot milk over the eggs, sugar and flours mixture while whisking. Return  mixture to the sauce pan and cook over low heat constantly whisking. When the  mixture starts to boil it will also start thickening.  
  • Keep whisking for about two minutes, the cream will be very thick. Take the pan  off the heat, add the bloomed gelatin and whisk well until completely dissolved.  
  • Add butter in three additions and then cocoa butter, if you have it. With an  immersion blender puree the mixture until very smooth, about 2 minutes.   
  • Place the cream in a shallow dish, cover with plastic film and place in the  freezer for about 15 minutes. In the refrigerator it will take almost an hour to  be completely cold.   
  • When the cream is cold, place it in the bowl of a stand mixer (if you don’t have one a  hand- held mixer will also work) and whisk at medium high speed for 5 minutes. 
  • Gently mix in the mascarpone cheese, if you have it. Place cream in a piping bag and keep refrigerated until ready to use. Shelf life is 2 days. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Season's Greetings


Special Strasbourg Bredele Cookies

This is is a traditional recipe from Chef Luc Dimnet, of Brasserie in New York City who was born in Strasbourg Alsace, where the Christmas traditions are alive and strong.

Ingredients:
3 ¼ cups flour
18 tablespoons butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Zest of 1 lemon
3 eggs
1 egg yolk

Procedure:

Place flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the center, and add the butter. With your fingers, mix the butter with flour until sandy. Add the sugar, cinnamon, lemon zest and the whole eggs. Mix well to obtain a smooth dough. If the dough seems too dry, add another egg.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow it to rest overnight, or for at least 6 hours.
When ready to bake the bredele, preheat oven to 355 degrees. Roll out dough on a floured surface to 3/16-inch thickness. Cut dough into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies on a buttered cookie sheet.
Beat the egg yolk with a fork, and brush cookies with egg wash.
Bake for 15 minutes, then let the cookies cool.
Remove from cookie sheet and enjoy this Christmas!


Friday, December 16, 2011

VICHYSSOISE (French leek and potato soup)


Although there is some debate about who invented this famous soup, the story goes that French Chef Louis Diat invented it while working at the Ritz-Carlton New York in 1917.

In 1950, Diat told the New Yorker magazine:

     "During the summer of 1917, when I was seven years at the Ritz, I thought about the soup with leeks and potatoes from my childhood that my mother and my grandmother would always make. I remembered how, in the summer, my older brother and I put cold milk in to cool it and how delicious it was. I decided to do something similar for patrons of the hotel Ritz. "

Traditionally, vichyssoise is served cold but many people find it enjoyable served hot as well as cold


Ingredients:

2 large leeks, trimmed, chopped and washed 
2 T. butter 
7 small Charlotte potatoes, peeled and chopped, or equivalent non-waxy potato 
4 C. whole milk 
4 C. water 
1 carrot, whole 
1 stalk celery, 
finely chopped 2 bay leaves, 
2 sprigs thyme, or 1⁄2 t. dried 
1⁄2 C. fresh chopped chives and/or parsley 
Salt and pepper

Procedure:

Heat soup pot and melt butter, then add leeks, celery, bay leaf and thyme. 
Sweat covered over medium heat about 10 minutes without browning. 
Add carrot, chopped potatoes, and cook covered another 5 minutes. 
Add water, 2 t. salt and bring to simmer. 

Simmer lid on till vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes, then add milk and wait just till it returns to simmer. Remove carrot and bay leaf and purée with hand blender, or transfer to food processor to purée. 

Add more salt and pepper to taste, then fresh herbs just before serving. Adjust amounts of liquid to obtain the consistency of soup you prefer, either thicker or thinner. For a richer soup, replace some of the milk with cream.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Crispy Pecan and Cocoa Nib Cookies


Ingredients:


12  oz (360 gr) pecans
 4   oz (120gr) cocoa nibs
 6   oz 180gr) all purpose flour
 1   oz (30gr)  cocoa powder
 8   oz (240gr) butter
 3   oz (90gr)  honey
10 oz (280gr) sugar
 2  pinches salt
 2  tsp espresso powder
 1 Tbsp vanilla extract



Have 2 parchment paper sheets ready on 2 baking pans.
(You can also use 2 silicon-baking sheets)
1 large round cookie cutter


Procedure:


Making the dough
Chop the pecans and cocoa nibs until no large pieces remain, don’t make powder... Alternately, you can do this in a food processor. In either event, toss the chopped pecans and nibs with the flour and cocoa and set aside.
In a medium pot, melt the butter and honey together. When they’ve liquefied, add the sugar, salt, and espresso powder. Bring this mixture to a boil; stir occasionally to insure the sugar dissolves completely. Once is begins to boil, turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and dry ingredients. Stir well, reserve for one hour at room temp.

Preheat the oven to 350° (180°c)
Use a small ice cream scoop or Tablespoon to measure out even, rounded portions of dough. Drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, bearing in mind they will spread considerably; leave about 4 centimeters between each cookie. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until they have spread thinly and turned uniformly dark and lacy. You may find some of the cookies spread enough to assimilate their neighbors. Don’t Worry. You can cut them free later. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the pan for about a minute before trying to cut them out with the cookie cutter.


Cutting the cookies
To cut the irregularly shaped cookies into clean rounds, you’ll need to use the largest round cookie cutter you have. The goal here is not to “cut out” the cookies like you would with an unbaked cookie dough, but rather to stamp “perforations lines” onto each soft, semi-molten cookie. Don’t worry about trimming away the excess. Just stamp.
Once the cookies have cooled completely, simply pick up each cookie and snap off the ragged edges. The excess will break away cleanly, leaving you with a perfectly round cookie. (Do not, under any circumstance throw away the scrappy crumb type bits! You must save them, in a zippy bag, to sprinkle over ice cream or possibly breakfast cereal. You will thank me for this reminder someday.) If at any stage in the game, the cookies become too hard to stamp, just pop them back in the oven for 30 seconds or so, then try again. You can keep these cookies in a glass jar or in a metallic box for a few days.

Nota Bene:
Cocoa nibs are basically raw chocolate, pieces of cacao beans that have been roasted, hulled and prepped to the point where all that there is left to do is process them into bars. Nibs, on their own, taste vaguely similar to roasted coffee beans. Nibs are a bit crunchier than coffee beans, since some coffee beans can become quite delicate after roasting, but give primarily the same textural effect when covered in chocolate. Cocoa nibs are always found in small pieces, rather than coffee bean-sized pieces. The flavor is slightly nutty and, while there are definitely some chocolate notes in there, they are primarily going to contribute texture and a hint of bitterness (the same as raw cocoa powder).

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fig Financier

Financier is a delicious, buttery cake, a lovely Dessert with tea or coffee. History tells us they were created by pastry Chef Lasne in 1890 to feed his clients working at the Paris stock exchange. Lasne had the idea (marketing ahead of time) to change the oval shape of the original cake to evoke that of a gold bullion and so the financier was born!

 6 portions

Ingredients

187g / 6.5 Oz butter
187g / 6.5 Oz egg white
63g/2.25 Oz flour
125g/ 4.5 Oz almond powder
212g/ 14 Oz icing sugar
2 boxes or 1/2 pound Figs
The juice of 1 lemon

Procedure

  • Put the butter in a sauce pan and let it melt till it turns brown.
  • Meanwhile mix all the ingredients together in a bowl (the flour, the almond powder, the icing sugar and the egg white ).
  • When the butter is brown let it cool down, then add it in the bowl. 
  • Fill the batter into your molds such as financier or muffin molds. Add 3 fig quarters on top of each cake.
  • Cook in molds at 190°C/350 F for 15 minutes.   
  • In a bowl blend the figs left with lemon juice and caster sugar to make the coulis.   

 Tips: You can also make with other fruits you like.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tian Provençal of Sardine with Tomato Confit


6 Portions

For Sardines:

Ingredients:
6 pieces or 150g/ 5oz sardine filets
Salt 
Ground pepper 
Olive oil

Procedure: 
  • Take out the fish bones with a tweezers 
  • Pre-heat a sauce pan with a spoon of olive oil. Season the fish both sides.You can add lemon peel, ginger, and any flavors you like.
  • Sear the fish skin side first until you can see on the edge a nice brown color.
  • Finish cooking in the oven 350f ( 190°C) for 5 minutes depending how thin the flesh is.

For Tomato confit:

Ingredients:
6 large tomatoes
Salt pepper olive oil
Garlic,  thyme,  bay leaves
Pine nuts
Onions 

Procedure: 
  • First, slice the onions without crying ;)
  • Sweat them with olive oil at low heat, add salt and pepper.
  • Peel the tomatoes by blanching them in boiling water in order to take off the skin.
  • Cut them in 4 take out the seeds and dice them.
  • Cook the tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper, bay leaves and thyme , garlic, drain the excess water. When cooked, add roasted pine nuts to the tomatoes and add the onions. 

For serving use a ring mold and fill up with the tomato confit. Then you may add on a Parmesan tuile which is made by baking thinly grated parmesan on a non-stick tray. On top place the sardines and serve.



Friday, November 18, 2011

Bœuf Bourguignon


A traditional Sunday dish, beef bourguignon is a recipe from Burgundy, France. Burgundy is a region renowned for the quality of its cattle farms, especially the Charolais cattle and its vineyards such as the Côtes de Beaune and Côtes de Nuits-Saint-Georges. Along with “pain d’epices” or “oeufs en meurette”, beef bourguignon is emblematic dish of Burgundy and its terroir.

Ingredients:
 
900 g/ 2lbs. stewing beef (Beef cheeks when in a rush, otherwise chuck, rump, or round)
450 g/1lb. veal bones, or 2 cups reduced veal/beef stock
2 thick slices bacon
2 T flour
1/4 C cognac
1 bottle dry red wine (not too dry, not too sweet)
2 cloves garlic,
6 carrots peeled
2 bay leaves,
3 sprigs fresh thyme
20 pearl onions, or 4 large white onions,
1/4ered 360 g (13 oz.) button mushrooms
2 T. butter 450 g,
(1 lb.) fingerling potatoes
1 bunch chopped parsley

Procedure:
Trim silver skin off meat, and brown with bones in oven 1 hour at 375 F/190C. Cut meat into large dices. Dust well with flour but shake off excess Meanwhile, chop bacon and brown in wide sauté pan over medium heat. Careful not to burn oil, remove and reserve bacon once browned.

Place beef pieces in bacon fat and brown on all sides, then deglaze with Cognac, which can be flambéed if desired. Reduce 3 minutes, and then add the herbs and wine, which should cover about 1/2 way up the meat.

Salt lightly, and bring to the simmer over medium heat, careful not to ever boil. (Best not to put on a lid, as the steam build-up can quickly toughen the meat.) Add bones once browned, or make quick stock on the side by boiling bones and trimmings in wide skillet covered with water, till 2 cups liquid remain – then add to wine and meat.

Meanwhile, unless you have a huge pan, you'll have to cook the vegetables in a separate sauté pan. Melt 2 T. butter brown the mushrooms uncovered, about 10 minutes. Then add onions and carrots with light browning about 10 minutes, covered. Add garlic cloves for last 2 minutes, salt, and reserve till last 30 minutes of meat cooking.

Leave the meat immersed in the wine, and pour veggies over top, continue cooking uncovered so that sauce can thicken. If sauce remains much too thin to coat the back of a spoon, but meat is already tender, optionally pour off the sauce into another wide pan and boil to reduce sauce until it's thick enough to coat the meat.

Check for seasoning, toss in parsley the last minute, and serve with fingerling potatoes, which have been boiled about 30 minutes, salted, till tender.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pan Seared Foie Gras with Echalots Confites

                                                  6 portion

For Foie Gras

Ingredients: 

1 whole duck or goose foie gras, deveined, cold - serves 6 people 
1 cup of corn starch (a.k.a. corn flour) 
coarse salt 
pepper

Procedure: 

  • Slice foie gras using a warm chef’s knife. Dredge slices of foie gras in starch, brush off excess starch, arrange on a cold plate. 
  • With the tip of a paring knife score une side of the steaks mimicking grill marks. 
  • Preheat a non stick skillet over medium high heat. Pan is ready when smoking. 
  • Arrange slices of foie gras, scrored side down first. Sear for about 1 minute, then gently flip and sear other side, for about 1 minute. 
  • Serve immediately on warm plates. Season with salt and pepper.

Tips: 

Keep the slices cold until ready to cook them. Don’t crowd the pan with too many pieces, it’ll drop the temperature of the pan preventing a nice brown color and it’ll make it difficult to flip the steaks. Clean the pan if you see burned starch particles. Drain the excess melted fat in between batches.

For Echalots Confites

Ingredients :

9 shallots 
100g unsalted butter (about 3oz) 
1 tablespoon raw sugar (or white table sugar, or brown sugar) 
Salt 
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 
60g/2oz sugar 
1⁄4 of a glass of water

Procedure:

  • Trim the root end of the shallots but don’t cut it off completely or the shallot will fall apart during cooking. 
  • Cut the shallots in half, peel them. In a deep small pot over medium heat add butter and let melt, add shallots, sugar and a pinch of salt. 
  • Stir to coat then lower the heat and cook slowly until shallots start to brown, without caramelizing. Stir occasionally during this phase. 
  • Turn off set aside. 
  • Prepare caramel: in a small pot over high heat (on a small burner!) add about 2 tablespoon of the 60g of sugar. Wait until sugar starts to melt then add another tablespoon at the time until all sugar is in the pan. Cook the sugar swirling the pan occasionally until dark in color (like coffee or coca cola). At arm length pour the water, swirl the pan to dissolve the caramel then pour the obtained caramel syrup over the onions. Let mixture cool then taste to adjust seasoning (salt), add balsamic and stir gently. 
  • Strain the shallots and save the juices that can be boiled down to a syrupy consistency and served as a sauce (duck, foie gras, seared lamb chops, pork chops etc).


Friday, November 4, 2011

The Ultimate Hot Chocolate



SERVES 4 PEOPLE

2 ½    cups whole milk
1
½    cups whipped cream {35 %}
¼       cup granulated sugar
¼       cup Cocoa powder, unsweetened
1        Pinch of salt
1        Teaspoon Vanilla extract

Method:

In a saucepan, warm 2 cups of milk with 1 cup of cream. In the mean time mix sugar, cocoa, salt, the vanilla extract and the rest of the milk (1/2 cup), mix well until you obtain a paste with no lumps. Turn the stove on low, then add the paste slowly to the warm milk; whisk well to get a foamy creamy chocolate. Reheat until it is hot but don’t let the liquid boil! Whip the left over cream (1/2 cup) until you have a smooth whipped cream. Pour the hot chocolate into the serving cups, pour the cream on top…. 

Serve immediately. 

(To have a Mexican twist, add a cinnamon stick to the milk when warming) 
(If you are “lush” or it’s very cold outside, add ¼ cup of Frangelico (hazelnut liquor) before pouring in the cups.;)

 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Pumpkin & Pear Risotto

Preparation: 10 mn


Cooking time: 2 hours
Serves 6:
Ingredients:
6cl/3 tbs        sunflower oil
100g/3 oz       yellow onion
400g/14 oz     rice Arborrio or Carnaroli
25cl/1 cup      white wine
½ Lbs             pumpkin
1 tsp              cinnamon powder
2                    pears
1ltr/2,1 pint   vegetable stock
70g/2,5 oz      butter
115g/4 oz       freshly grated Parmesan cheese
To taste          sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Procedure: 
1.  Peel and cut the pumpkin into chunks and sautee in a pan with 1 Tbsp of oil, salt & pepper and cinnamon until tender than reserve. Peel and cut one pear into into small dices and save in water. Heat the stock. In a separate pan heat the sunflower oil, add the onions, and fry very slowly for about 3 minutes without coloring. When the onions have softened, add the rice and turn up the heat. 

2.  The rice will now begin to lightly fry, so keep stirring it. After a minute it will look slightly translucent. Add the white wine and keep stirring — it will smell fantastic. Any harsh alcohol flavours will evaporate and leave the rice with a tasty essence.

3.  Once the white wine has cooked into the rice, add your first ladle of hot stock. Turn down the heat to a simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside. Keep adding ladles of stock, stirring and almost massaging the creamy starch out of the rice, allowing each ladle to be absorbed before adding the next. Add the pumpkin.This will take around 15 minutes. Add a good pinch of salt .Taste the rice — is it cooked? Carry on adding stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite. Don’t forget to check the seasoning carefully. If you run out of stock before the rice is cooked, add some boiling water. Add the pear 5 mn before the end.

4. Remove from the heat and add the butter and Parmesan. Stir well. Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for 2 minutes. This is the most important part of making the perfect risotto, as this is when it becomes outrageously creamy and oozy like it should be. Eat it as soon as possible, while the risotto retains its beautiful texture.

5.  Serve in a hot plate and put 3 slices of pear for decoration.

(You can use comte instead of parmesan)
 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cook’n With Class partners with Valrhona Chocolate....Mmmm



It looks promising when the week of the Salon du Chocolat in Paris coincides with Cook’n With Class’ partnership with Valrhona, one of leading Chocolate producers in the world.

Founded by Alberic Guironnet in 1922 in the town of Tain l’Hermitage, South Eastern France, Valrhona has grown to be the reference for Chef’s worldwide when it comes to luxury chocolate.

We use their chocolate for all our cooking classes because of its outstanding quality. There is no comparison when you taste their dark & milk chocolate made from the purest cocoa beans. All of the great Pastry Chefs use this brand from Christophe Michalak to Jean Paul Hévin and even the pastry Chef to the President of France. What’s good for the President is good for Cook’n With Class Clients!

We are supplied with 70% guanaja cocoa beans and 35% ivory cocoa beans, cocoa powder, praline and a sumptuous gianduja. In the Desserts & Market Classes this high grade chocolate is used to make the mousse, the soufflés, the tarts even the crème brulee.

And for all you serious Chocolate lovers we are pleased to announce the Creation of our new 100% Chocolate Class.

Learn how make your own exquisite chocolates, truffles, chocolate feuillantine, & éclairs with our Chef in 4 hours. These Michelin star recipes we will be teaching you are guaranteed to take you to another level and impress those whom you wish to share with (or not;)…More details coming soon~!

Bon Degustation as they say!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Raspberry and Lemon Curd Gratin


Ingredients:

460 g (1 lb.) trimmed fresh raspberries 
Lemon curd: The zest and juice from 2 lemons 
200 g /7 oz caster sugar
120 g /4 oz butter at room temp 
2 whole eggs 
3 egg yolks 

Procedure:

Beat 2 whole eggs, 3 yolks and 7 oz. sugar with silicone whisk in non-stick fry pan. 
Whisk constantly over low heat till light, creamy and thickened, but without any solid bits, about 5-7 minutes. Pour in the juice and zest of 2 lemons, cook, whisking till re-thickened, then whisk in warm butter in 8 cubes, off heat. 
(Leave out 30g/1 oz. butter for lighter version. Cool to room temperature while occasionally whisking.)
Place raspberries in individual gratin dishes, cover with lemon curd, and brown lightly under broiler on high heat, 1-3 minutes before serving warm, not too hot. 

Serve with dollop of crème fraîche and optional tuile cookie: 
Mix 2 oz./60 g. soft butter with 2 oz./60 g. sugar and a pinch of salt. Beat in 1 egg white, then fold in 2 oz./60 g. flour. Spoon onto non-stick buttered cookie sheet, 1 T. per cookie, swirling with back of spoon till thin and even. 

Optionally, sprinkle with shaved almonds and bake at 400F for 3-5minutes,or until cookieis half brown,half white. Remove from pan while warm with thin spatula and cool on flat surface or on rolling pin for basket effect.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Only Kitchen Knives You'll Ever Need...



Photo: François Roy, La Presse

You cook a little, a lot, passionately? Make sure you look for quality before quantity. Before investing, know that your needs are probably easier met than you might think: you can cook everything with five knives. Take a look here:

                                                   
  

1-The Chef's Knife
The name says it all, it's the Chef’s best friend. This one comes out when we have a recipe that involves cutting vegetables into julienne strips, dicing, slicing, and chopping herbs. This is the one where you will lose more time if the blade is not sharp and will probably invest the most. "It’s the purchase of a lifetime!” Always try before you buy: Make sure the handle is comfortable and appropriate for the size of your hand, its weight is well balanced and the tip height is sufficient enough to avoid your fingers touching the board at each movement. If your budget allows, take a forged knife that continues into the handle. This knife will be stronger and better balanced (from 100 euros). 




2-The Bread Knife
This knife goes up against the worst offenders: fat (pastries) and hardness (frozen bread). You can afford to save - a bit - but to save your fingers, we would choose a blade firm enough not to deviate from its path when cutting a crusty loaf, or worse, out of the freezer.
Large rounded teeth are also a measure of quality. Small teeth do not sharpen enough. Count about 40 euros.




3-The Fillet Knife
It's a must for all fish lovers. Its blade is long enough (about 20cm), narrow and very flexible to gently lift the filets without losing an ounce of flesh. But carnivores will appreciate it too. Its flexibility allows you to go along the bones and make very precise cuts, such as rack of lamb. If you plan to use it for meat, opt for a model with a shorter blade and less flexible. In any case, if you have wet hands using it, make sure the handle is polycarbonate.




4-The Boning Knife
Jonathan Garnier, of the Culinary Guild, recommends the traditional Boning Knife, with a rather short blade (15 cm maximum) slightly flexible and easy to handle. "We can save money by buying a piece of meat and preparing the parts yourself." We must therefore have a certain know-how ."Unless you are a hunter or like to work with whole game, we can do without,". You can also opt for a slicer, a reduced size copy of the Chef's Knife.



5-The Paring Knife 
The Chef’s "second" best friend ? With its small sharp blade of about 10 cm, fairly thin and rigid, the paring knife helps all manipulations too precise for the Chef's Knife: peel an apple, remove core, cut into quarters. Prefer a water resistant, plastic handle. "And not too long a blade, advises Jonathan Garnier, the Culinary Guild, which allows you to handle the knife from the center for the more accurate work." From 10 euros.
The Tradition
Customs dictates that one does not offer a knife so as not to "cut" the bonds of friendship or love with the person who receives it. But one can easily ward off bad fate by offering some money to buy the knife. One cent is enough! 

Sharp Advice!
To keep those blades sharpened:

- Never use a knife to push food on the cutting board.

- Never place knives in the dishwasher.

- Never cut bone or frozen products.
Instead, keep an "old" knife of poor quality for such tasks.

- Never wait to clean the blade - especially if it was used to cut acidic foods - with a little hot water and soap (as needed).

- Never use a glass cutting boards and granite that are too hard. Prefer wood, not too firm or too soft, and very resistant.

- Never use to cut cardboard, plastic or Styrofoam.