How To Cut An Onion

Onions are a staple ingredient in many weeknight dinners, so you probably find yourself cutting them quite frequently. Everyone has their own method, but today we wanted to give you a quick photo tutorial to show you an easy way to cut an onion!

 onion steps 2

How To Dice An Onion:

Step 1: Cut the top off the onion.
**Note: Be sure to leave the root end on! It makes it easier to cut AND it’s where the highest concentration of sulfer compounds reside (what makes you cry) so leaving it intact means less tears while chopping!

Step 2: Peel away the outer skin.

Step 3: Cut the whole onion in half length-wise.

Step 4: Lay each half cut-side down on the cutting board. Make several evenly-spaced cuts from root end to stem end being careful not to cut through the root end.

Step 5: Hold the onion together and make horizontal cuts parallel to the cutting surface. Be sure to leave the root end intact.

Step 6: Make multiple cuts across the onion, adjusting the number of slices for desired dice size. Dispose of the root end.

Bonus tips:

Consumer How to Cut Step 8 LR
To cut onion slices or wedges: Cut a whole peeled onion in half from stem to root. Make evenly spaced cuts with the grain.

Consumer How to Cut Step 9 LR

For onion rings: Place a whole peeled onion on its side and slice crosswise every 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Separate each slice into individual rings.

 

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Beer Lover’s Happy Hour Twitter Chat

Join the National Onion Association Twitter Chat

CHAT WITH US!

Spring is here! And what better way for foodies and beer lovers to celebrate the onset of warmer weather and March Madness than a Twitter party?

Join the National Onion Association’s @Onionista and author @JohnSchlimm to chat about springtime, March Madness, and the food and drink pairings that complement the fun of the season — onions and beer — at #OnionChat this Thursday, March 19th at 8pm ET!

Get ready to share your favorite Spring or March Madness recipes, beers and beer cocktails with the onion and beer experts! Note: This party is intended for our Twitter friends of legal drinking age only. RSVP to join the chat and be entered to win one of four prizes including John’s book, The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Happy Hour — which features more than 325 recipes and beer cocktails and a Sweet n’ Savory Onion set from the National Onion Association (NOA). (Open only to residents of U.S. Click here for official rules.)

Here’s a sneak peak of some of our favorite happy hour menu recipes from John that we’ll be serving up during the party:

Happy Hour Onion Petals

Happy Hour Onion Petals by John Schlimm for The  National Onion Association

Happy Hour Onion Petals

Cabbage Slaw
Black Bean & Corn Salsa

Black Bean and Corn Salsa by John Schlimm for The National Onion Association

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Cheddar & Beer Bisque
Sweet Onion Sliders
Chili Beer Salsa
The Red-Headed Onionista

The Red-Headed Onionista by John Schlimm for The National Onion Association

The Red-Headed Onionista

What: #OnionChat Beer Lover’s Happy Hour 

When: Thursday, March 19th at 8pm ET

Hosts: @Onionista @JohnSchlimm

John Schlimm THe Ultimate Beer Lover's Happy Hour

About The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Happy Hour: Over 325 Recipes for Your Favorite Bar Snacks & Beer Cocktails was released in August 2014. It features delicious bar bites – from Sizzling Sriracha Peanuts to Taproom Tacos to Blitzed Bean Soup – and beer cocktails, chuggers, shots, shooters, chasers, punches, floats, and shakes, with nearly 1,000 related pairing suggestions using today’s most popular craft and seasonal beer styles. His now classic and voluminous ode to beer and food, The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Cookbook: More Than 400 Recipes That All Use Beer, was released in 2008.  John is a Harvard-trained educator, activist, artist, businessman, and award-winning author of sixteen books on cooking/entertaining, activism, history, how-to, and fiction. A member of one the oldest and most historic brewing families in the U.S., John currently sits on the Board of Directors at Straub Brewery, Inc.

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10 Pizzas and Flatbreads with Onions

onion pizza

Everyone loves pizza and onions make a great topping choice! Check out some of these delicious pizzas made with onions.

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Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion Pizza via Minimalist Baker

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Sweet Potato Pizza with Kale & Caramelized Onions via Oh My Veggies

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Kale, Peppers & Red Onion Pizza via Primavera Kitchen

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Green No-Cheese Pizza with Broccoli Pesto and Chicken via Sugar et al.

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Cauliflower Alfredo Veggie Pizza via Lemons and Basil

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Porter Caramelized Onion Flatbreads with Smoked Gouda and Roasted Tomatoes via The Beeroness

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Roasted Strawberry, Avocado and Feta Flatbread via Greens and Chocolate

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Sweet & Spicy Caramelized Onion BBQ Pizza via Ring Finger Tan Line

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Breakfast Pizza with Eggs & Bacon via Life Scoops

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Chicken Enchilada Cauliflower Crust Pizza via Cooking for Keeps

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Onions – Filling the Fiber Gap

February’s Nutrition Nugget

Despite of the growing awareness fiber consumption plays in healthy aging and preventing chronic illness, most Americans don’t eat enough fiber. Adults need about 25 – 38 grams of fiber a day, depending upon age, gender and overall health status. Unfortunately, average consumption is closer to 16 grams/day.  

So many foods provide our bodies with the fiber!  Plant-based foods–vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains and fruit are excellent sources of fiber. Canned and dried beans, minimally processed grains, sweet potatoes and the flavor-filled onion can also contribute to our daily fiber intake. One cup of onion has 3 grams of fiber (12 percent of the USDA daily recommended value).  So, onions add to your overall fiber consumption – and better yet, add flavor to other high fiber foods.  A few examples include kale and sautéed onions, caramelized onions and brussel sprouts, and Greek and bean salads with onions. Check out this tasty new Lentil Salad.

 

Roasted Tomato Olive & Onion Salad

Lentil Salad with Marinated Onion, Roasted Tomatoes and Olives

 

So we know fiber is good for us, but do we know why?  The body doesn’t have the enzymes to break fiber down so it moves through the body intact.  Depending upon the type of fiber, it either works like gel, absorbing “bad cholesterol” and carries it out of our bodies (soluble), or works like a big scrub brush inside the intestines (insoluble). In addition to keeping people regular, studies indicate that dietary fiber improves immune health and reduces the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.  The American Heart Association (AHA), American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) all recommend a high fiber diet for health and wellness and to prevent and/or manage chronic disease.

Another advantage of eating fiber is it increases “satiety”–a fancy word that means feeling full. Since it takes longer to chew high fiber food, and longer to digest them, you are more likely not to overeat. A high fiber diet plays an important role in weigh loss and/or weight management, and maintaining a healthy weight is linked to lower rates of all kinds of chronic diseases.

For the March Nutrition Nugget we’ll dig into the synergy of healthy oil and onions. 

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Feature Recipe: Chipotle Egg Breakfast Sandwich

February’s Featured Recipe

Initially, onions sound funny for breakfast, but then I think about omelets and frittata’s, breakfast burritos, corned beef hash, and then they don’t sound funny at all.  The conclusion is onions are great breakfast! And speaking of great, this month’s featured recipe has a lot of great attributes.

Chipotle Egg Breakfast Sandwich is perfect for those busy mornings when you need something in hand to eat on your way to work or school.  My favorite part is how the onion has two roles: one to keep the egg from running all over the pan and two for the flavor and texture it gives this sandwich. I hope you’ll try it for yourself.

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Chipotle Egg Breakfast Sandwich

 

 

 

Posted in Breakfast, General, Sandwich | 2 Comments

How To Store An Onion

Onions are a staple in most American cooking. It’s not uncommon for most households to have several onions on hand at one time. But have you ever wondered how to store them?

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Here are some tips:

Straight from the store

– Store dry bulb onions in a cool, dry, well ventilated place.
– Don’t store whole onions in plastic bags. The lack of air movement will reduce their shelf life.
– Sweet onions contain more water and thus have a shorter shelf life than other varieties.
– To make sweet onions last longer, wrap in paper towels or newspaper and store in the fridge.
– Store onions stylishly in a Stoneware Onion Pot or an Onion Basket. Or try this tip to store them using pantyhose.

Whole peeled onions

– Store in the refrigerator at 40°F or below.

Cut onions

– If you cut or slice the onions yourself, store in a sealed container in the fridge for 7-10 days.
– If you buy pre-cut onions, follow the manufacturer’s “use by” dates
– Try an onion saver container like this one or this one to keep them fresh in the fridge!
– You can also freeze chopped onions to use later! Here’s how.

 

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Onion’s Many Hidden Benefits

January’s Nutrition Nugget

TrunkWhile you may know that onions are tasty, versatile and come in different colors you may not be aware of all the healthy compounds beneath their layers or how onions complement other healthy foods.

A significant body of research shows when we eat a predominately plant-based diet and get regular exercise (a brisk 20 minute daily walk) can lower a person’s risk of early death and aids in the prevention of chronic illnesses ranging from Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), to type 2 diabetes, obesity, cognitive impairment and chronic inflammation­–widely recognized as the root of many illnesses.

On average, a one-cup serving of fresh onions contains 11 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of fiber, 20 percent of Vitamin C,  10 percent of Vitamin B6 and 7 percent of Potassium.

In addition to traditional nutrients, onions are a rich source of phytonutrients, most notably quercetin and anthocyanins. Newly published research points to the fact phytonutrients offer significant anti-inflammatory properties. Plus,  onions are a rich source of more than fifty sulfur compounds, and while the mechanisms of action of these compounds hasn’t been fully identified, they do offer health promoting qualities.

In next month’s Nutrition Nugget we’ll take a closer look at onions and fiber.

Posted in Health and Nutrition, Nutrition Nugget | 1 Comment

Our Favorite Slow Cooker Onion Recipes

onions slow cooker

Let the crockpot do the work for you. Onions are the perfect crockpot ingredient since low and slow cooking makes them soft and sweet and releases their flavor to improve any recipe! Here are 10 of our favorite slow cooker recipes featuring onions.

onion bacon marmalade

Crock Pot Onion-Bacon Jam from A Baker’s House

Crockpot Caramelized Onion Beer Dip

Crockpot Caramelized Onion and Asiago Beer Dip from Crockpot Gourmet

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Slow Cooker Onion Focaccia Bread with Peach & Plum Jam from Canned Time

Slow Cooker Caramalized Onions

Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions from Your Homebased Mom

Crockpot French Onion Soup

Crockpot French Onion Soup from Dashing Dish

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Slow Cooker Chili from The National Onion Assoication

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Slow Cooker French Onion Dip Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions from SkinnyTaste

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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Apples and Onions from The Lemon Bowl

whole chicken

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken from The Yummy Life

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Crockpot Brisket and Onions from Hip Homeschool Moms

Do you have a favorite onion recipe that you like to make in the slow cooker? Share the link with us here. You can also check out 50 more Slow Cooker Favorites on our Pinterest board.

Posted in Recipes with Permission, Slow Cooker | 2 Comments

June 22nd is National Onion Ring Day

Sunday is National Onion Ring Day! 

Bring on the layers of flavor June 22 with an all-American favorite, onion rings!  Celebrate this tasty classic with a batch of homemade onion rings or with family and friends at a local restaurant. Be sure to order a basket or two with your favorite dipping sauce.

Fried or baked, battered or dredged, spicy or sweet, homemade onion rings are simple to make. Check out our basic recipe and tips for the Best Ever Onion Rings.

Baked or Fried, onion rings make a tasty treat.  No wonder they are such a popular appetizer!

Baked or Fried, onion rings are one of the most popular appetizers!

For more golden, crispy, delicious onion ring ideas, see our Pinterest board featuring over 60 must-try onion ring recipes.

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Soul Food in a Bowl

Zyedco-Gumbo-WebImagine a steamy bowl of soup in front of you, warming your nose, tempting your tastebuds.  Your spoon is in hand; ready to scoop up that first mouthful. Can you think of anything else that will satisfy a hunger and soothe the soul like soup? For me, soup is much more than comfort food in a bowl – it is soul food! 

I am sure everyone has a stand-by favorite, but I want to share a recipe for a soup that’s just as famous as the classic French Onion soup, but has endless variety and lots of soul!  I’m talking about one of the oldest dishes in Louisiana and one that can be found at restaurants, special events, and homes throughout the state.

Gumbo is a long time staple and source of culinary pride in Louisiana.  In fact, it’s become as synonymous to Louisiana as jazz or the bayou. Generally, gumbo is defined as a thick, dark soup with rice, vegetables, and meat or seafood.  According to Mark Huntsman, “Most gumbos fall into one of three categories:  seafood gumbo, containing some combination of oysters, shrimp, crawfish, and/or crabs, and more often made with okra than filé; poultry and sausage gumbo, which uses either chicken or turkey in combination with pieces of Andouille or other smoked sausage, and more often made with filé than okra; and the increasingly rare Gumbo Z’Herbes, a meatless soup created for Lent that incorporates a wide variety of greens.”

Cajun or Creole, the origin of gumbo is a bit of a myth.  In Mark Huntsman’s account of the history of gumbo the first mention is from 1803 when the French explorer C.C. Robin ate gumbo at a soiree on the Acadian coast.  Despite the myth, he says writers as early as 1885 recognized gumbo as the culinary legacy of the African/American community. In fact, the modern soup is quite West African in character and resembles many okra-based soups in contemporary Senegal.

Wherever you hail from, whatever your roots, gumbo is the kind of soup that holds something for everyone.  And while you can eat gumbo anytime, February is full of special events that beg to be celebrated with a bowl or two or three.  I’m thinking Super Bowl, Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday is February 12th) and Valentine’s Day are just a few.  My recipe, Zydeco Gumbo, calls for chicken and shrimp, but feel free change up the protein to suit your taste, just do me a favor and enjoy it thoroughly. It’s good for the soul!

 Zydeco Gumbo

1-1/4    pounds boneless chicken, cubed

2            medium onions, cut into wedges

1            green pepper, cut into narrow strips

1            can whole tomatoes (1 pound 13 ounces)

1/4        cup Worcestershire sauce

2            tablespoons prepared mustard

2            tablespoons minced garlic

1            teaspoon thyme

1            teaspoon rosemary

1/2        teaspoon black pepper

1/2        pound shrimp meat

3            cups hot cooked rice

Directions: Combine all ingredients except shrimp and rice in large saucepan.  Cover and bring to boil.  Simmer 45 minutes or until chicken is tender and flavors mellow together.  Add shrimp and heat 1 minute.  Serve with scoops of rice in wide soup bowls. 

Make 6 servings.

Posted in Events and Celebrations, General | 3 Comments