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on the hob - Echoes of Flavio's Ghost Dreaming
on the hob
 I really dislike chopping onions. I've tried many gadgets and many techniques, apart from swimming goggles (that's next) and nothing quite saves you from the tears.  But like so many things it is a little pain for a little gain. The aforementioned onions, together with peppers garlic, black beans, salt and pepper, a bit coriander and a bit of any herbs there were in the kitchen, are now slowly cooking away in a frying pan... for a friend coming for dinner tonight. Some cassava boiling in another pan, some arepas I made earlier that should go in the oven later, some plantain and some avocado, lettuce  and watercress salad. I tend to stick to the few things I  like how they turn out, this  refried black bean meal is one of them. Should be ok.

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kilinrax From: kilinrax Date: November 26th, 2010 04:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Curious observation; since I started wearing contact lenses, this doesn't bother me at all.
flavius_m From: flavius_m Date: November 29th, 2010 07:08 am (UTC) (Link)
it seems like it boils down (argh, sorry) swimming goggles or swimming onions: chopping them underwater. But as I nearly always use them for a sofritto ... you don't really want to throw soaking wet onions into hot oil..
glensc From: glensc Date: November 29th, 2010 10:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Cut them under oil?

OK try justing coating them in oil and your knife blade also, carfeul with the slippy fingers though.

flavius_m From: flavius_m Date: November 29th, 2010 10:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Knowing myself, I don't think I'll be trying that one .... :-0
barbedwirekiss From: barbedwirekiss Date: November 26th, 2010 07:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Have you tried using red onions? They have a bit more of a subtle onion flavour but are still quite strong taste-wise but they don't carry anywhere near as much of the irritants as their white onion cousins.
flavius_m From: flavius_m Date: November 29th, 2010 07:12 am (UTC) (Link)
I ended up using red onions this time, actually -not sure whether they are less aggressive but they did work very well in the food.
spangle_kitten From: spangle_kitten Date: November 27th, 2010 12:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
A tip Glen learned is that if you chop them underwater (the onions that is, in a bowl of water, I don't suggest you go scuba diving although I suppose that would work too ;p) all the juice and spray goes into the water and no in your eyes. You can also then use the oniony water to make stock with.

I presume it's effective, I've never used this technique as I never use onions.
flavius_m From: flavius_m Date: November 29th, 2010 07:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, scuba cooking:)

But it seem to me it must be awkward to chop onions finely under water -and then, not a good idea to throw them into hot oil.

I was actually considering swimming goggles (I almost wrote googles..)
(Deleted comment)
flavius_m From: flavius_m Date: November 30th, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, the voice of science thus spake!

(I know, I know... :)
monted From: monted Date: December 5th, 2010 08:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
From a purely technical perspective from one who enjoys eating them but not having them his eyes:

1: really, really sharp knife. Not bendy. The sharper the knife, the less of the juice is sprayed into the air by crushing the layers. It's also safer as the knife won't skip around.

2: good technique. As much as I think Ramsey is a prat, he knows how to handle a blade: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwGBt3V0yvc&NR=1

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