Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Onions for Dummies (I know you're smart!)

So today is a link up that I like to do/ read through so I am re-posting my tutorial, with a little more explanation. If you read my 100 th post then you have already seen most of this, but I'm rewriting some things. 

 First, let me explain why I wrote this post in the first place. I have seen so many people struggle with onions. Most people don't have superb kniving skills. (yes, I made that up. Just go with it) I realize that not everyone got to learn to cook from a master chef, so some people just do things the way they were taught and never even realize they're struggling. That being said, I don't have time to address all the struggles at once, so I started with one that I absolutely have a solution for.

Have you ever tried or seen some try to remove the flaky skin from an onion while the onion is still in tact? It's a sad sight. Usually it takes about 10 minutes and the skin ends up crumbling into these tiny little crispy confetti-like pieces that get into all of your food, stick to your cutting board, and resist the broom like nothing else. And these are usually the same people who try to slice up their onion as it rolls uncontrollably across the cutting board, taking their fingers on a dangerous ride in and out of knife range. 

Let me just tell you, that technique is a recipe for disaster (and shortened fingers). So I have a solution to both the peeling and the chopping dilemma. 

 First, cut off each end of the onion. These pieces are no good anyway, and once you make these first two cuts you will have a flat edge to work with. You always want to have a flat edge on the cutting board side. And if at all possible, it's best to have a flat edge on the side you're cutting as well.

Turn your onion up on the flat edge, and slice it in half from top to bottom. You now have two onion halves. (I realize this doesn't work if you're making onion rings...my solution? Make onion petals instead, like Longhorn or Outback). Now, as you can see in the picture above, the skin and very first layer of the onion peel off with almost no effort. And it all comes off in one swift motion.

No before you start the next step, look at the bottom, middle picture above. See that little green thang? That's the middle of the onion. He's the culprit of the tear-inducing-chaos. If you pull that little wedge out before you start chopping, the bawling will be minimal, I promise. Don't get too attached...I know he's a cute little onion wedge.

Next, lay your onion half with the largest flat edge toward the cutting board. Here's where I can't give specific directions. You can dice, slice, chop, julienne, chiffonade, mince, allumette, etc. But lets just chop for now...this is a rough chop because that's what I took pictures of. Slice your onion in one direction most of the way across. When you get to the point that your knife starts to slip towards your non-kniving hand, simply rotate the onion wedge 180 degrees so the slope is going away from your hand. You can press your knuckles against the flat side to keep pressure against it, and now if your knife slips, it just smacks the cutting board. And you still have 10 fingers. Genius, I know. That's basically it.

You're welcome.

Now get to chopping:)


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