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So Good They Bring Tears to Your Eyes

 

Onions are an indispensable commodity in cuisines the world over. They are highly versatile, lending themselves to a variety of

 

Onions are an indispensable commodity in cuisines the world over. They are highly versatile, lending themselves to a variety of preparations and cooking methods. Onions are underground bulbs related to the lily family.

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Choose ones that are firm with no soft spots and store them in a cool, dry place. Do not refrigerate your onions, (with the exception of leeks and scallions), unless there is an unused portion, which should be wrapped in plastic first. The sooner you use it the better.

Use a very sharp knife to cut your onions and make sure your blade is partially embedded before applying full pressure. Their moist, smooth exterior is ideal for sliding that dull blade right into your unwitting fingers.

So why do they make you cry? When you pierce an onion you cut its cellular network. A series of sulfur-based compounds are released that instantly combine and recombine in a lightening fast succession of chemical reactions. Sulfonic acid is given off and triggers the tear response when you breathe it in. Sorry you asked?

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To highlight the onion's diversity, below are four recipes, each with a different type of onion, and a different cooking technique, (one not cooked at all).

BAKED STUFFED ONIONS

BRAISED LEEKS

FRIED SHALLOTS

Traditional onion rings, move over. Garnish your next dish with these scrumptious delectables. Simply take a bunch of shallots, peel them, and slice them thinly crosswise. Take some all-purpose flour seasoned with salt and pepper.

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Dip the shallot slices in milk and then dredge in the flour. Place them in a strainer and bang off the excess flour. Drop them in 350 degree vegetable oil. They will cook quickly so keep an eye on them.

As soon as they're golden brown, remove them from the oil, drain, and sprinkle with additional salt. For another delicious alternative, broil halved shallots right in the pan with your steak. They will pick up some of the steak's juices as well as bring some of their own flavor to the party.

GREEN ONION DRESSING

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