Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Kitchen Tip: Onions Part 2

Onion basics... The most common types of onions are yellow onions, red onions, white (sweet) onions, pearl onions, shallots and green onions/scallions. (Just an FYI, I have updated last week's post with pictures about chopping an onion.)

Most recipes if they do not specify an onion type imply yellow onions.Yellow onions are higher in sulfur than the milder onions and thus has a stronger flavor. Yellow (and all other onions) become sweeter and the flavor tames when cooked.

Red onions get their name from their color. They are in fact more of a purple color than red, but that happens to purple foods... Red onions are usually the onion that is used raw, such as on hamburgers, or in salads. They are usually the onion used when grilling kabobs.
 White onions can also be used raw in salads and grilled as well. They are a sweet onion that are usually used to make onion rings. White onions are also the type of onion that authentic Mexican cuisine typically uses.
Shallots are typically more expensive than most onions. They are normally used in salads, sauces, stews and meat dishes.

Green onions or scallions (the green part) are simply onions that have not matured. They are typically used in salads, baking, stir-fry, soups & virtually all meat dishes. Green onions should be crisp with white bulbs and dark green ends.

When buying onions, buy onions that are firm (not soft or squishy) and that do not have mold spots and that are free of blemishes. The skin should be dry, crisp (not wilted) and even colored.

To store onions: keep in a dark, dry place that is well ventilated - onions should not be kept in the refrigerator.

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