Don’t Cry For Me Mr. Onion
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Introduction: Sixty-six words to start off the show. Skip it if you don’t wish to see my scowling face or hear my mellow tones. [0:35]
PLAY Background Information: Before cutting, let’s get some background information on onions. Things like types of onions, how they are grown and cured, what a “sweet onion” is, and more than you care to know about “propanethial sulfoxide.” [5:11]
PLAY Knife Skills Review: If we’re going to cut, we need to talk knives and how to use them. All you’ll need is a chef’s knife and a paring knife, and a little bit of practice. [2:43]
PLAY Onion Preliminaries: Before you slice or dice, you’ll need to peel (most of the time). Like everything else, there’s a few tricks here. [3:46]
PLAY Dicing: Probably the most common thing done with onions is dicing. (You won’t find any chopping or mincing here.) There’s three techniques: one that most people do that I don’t like, one that few people do that I do like, and one that can yield the smallest little onion pieces you’ll ever make (and that I think is original to me). There’s also a technique for producing larger rectangular pieces. [8:10]
PLAY Slicing: Even with slicing I’m a contrarian. There’s the way most people slice, and then there’s the way a few of us do it. And if you want really, really thin slices, you can use a mandolin. I’ll show you a safer way. [3:22]
PLAY Green Onions: Life isn’t all red, white, and yellow round onions. A lot of recipes call for green onions, and I see a lot of students struggle with them. [3:36]
PLAY (Bonus) Chives: Since I’m on the subject of alliums, let’s discuss green onion’s much thinner cousin the chive. For some reason, a lot of cooks think you have to use scissors and not a knife for chives. Maybe they aren’t doing it right? [0:51]
PLAY (Bonus) Shallots: On the surface it may look like you can handle a shallot as a small onion, but there are some subtle differences. [3:53]
PLAY (Bonus) Garlic: Ah, the “stinking rose.” Throw away your garlic press and learn a better way to use this allium with much less waste. (I may mince words but never garlic!) [2:53]
PLAY Conclusion: All good things must come to an end. All that’s left is to thank everyone who helped with this video. [0:33]
What could be more common than the lowly onion? It’s possibly the most common vegetable in many cuisines, and until recently, also the least expensive. For millennium, in many cultures it has been considered as food for the poor and the down-trodden. It is the vegetable that new cooks are the most confused by, and that chefs leave for apprentices or prep cooks to handle.
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©2014 Peter Hertzmann. All rights reserved.