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If you're like me and have very sensitive eyes, onions don't make your eyes tear-- they burn them horrendously, even for something as mild as ordinary white onion let alone sharper varietals such as vidalia, shallots, yellow onions, or red/purple onion. This makes working with freshly-peeled onions a problem since they are a common staple in cuisines of all difficulties around the globe, and chopping them by hand is just out of the question because it would take too long and hurts too much. Now here's your solution! Even if you don't have a sensitive eye problem, this is a nice method/process that I wanted to share because I don't see pre-chopped onions in the frozen veg section often, and when I do it's usually not worth the value for the money because buying fresh onion is far cheaper. Just pick a day that you can set aside about 30-45 minutes for this, then it will be a big time saver in the future! I repeat this process every few months with 5 onions, feel free to use more or less depending on how often you cook with onions. PLEASE NOTE Step 2 for the tools you will need!
- 5 large white onions
- water (Zaar wouldn't let me send it in with just 1 ingredient)
- YOU DON'T NEED TO ADD WATER! ALL YOU NEED IS ONIONS! The Zaar wouldn't let me submit the recipe with just one ingredient, so I just put down "water" because it wouldn't alter the nutrition facts, and there will be some residual water in the freezing and thawing processes.
- TOOLS YOU NEED: safety goggles, a very sharp knife that can handle tough foods, a cutting board, a mini food chopper or a standard food processor, and freezer bags. I use gallon-size Hefty One-Zips. OPTIONAL- Allergan tear drops or other natural tears, rubber gloves.
- If you have a food processor, you can probably chop all the onions at once. Me, I use the mini food chopper for this. It looks like a tiny version of a food processor with a blade that rotates. You can pick them up for $10-15 at most department stores, a very nifty must-have for urban foodies with limited space and budgets who lack a dishwasher. Safety goggles are also integral because though you may look silly doing this, it's worth it to avoid that horrid burning pain. Swim goggles also work in a pinch! Onto the process:.
- Put on the goggles to prevent getting eye burn.
- Lay the onions out on the cutting board. With the sharp knife, cut the ends off of each onion and peel each one. This step can be a pain, which is why the rubber gloves are an optional tool because if you have cuts on your hands the onion can burn.
- If you use a strong food processor, you can just throw the peeled onions in and pulse until they are chopped to the consistency you like. Store in the freezer bags, making sure you label it with the date you packed it. I use a gallon size bag for this amount of onions, sometimes two gallon-size bags.
- Use the tear drops in case the goggles slip or you feel any burning after cleanup!
- If you use the mini food chopper, cut the onions into pieces that will fit in the chopper's cup, then pulse until chopped, and repeat until you use up all the onion pieces, spooning the chopped onion out into the freezer bags.
- If you're cooking with onions the same or next day, put some aside (see next step for amounts.).
- When a recipe calls for a "small onion", I use 1/4 cup. If it calls for a "regular" onion, 1/3 cup. "Large" onion = 1/2 cup. Otherwise, just follow what the recipe says for the amount of chopped onion if they give you an actual measurement.
- FOR FUTURE USE AFTER FROZEN: Simply open the freezer bag and measure out what you need with the cups or spoons. You may need to add just a wee bit extra to make up for frost crystals taking up space. You can thaw it out over a couple hours or overnight, but I prefer to microwave for about 30 seconds then blot off the excess frost and water.
- The onion usually lasts indefinitely once frozen, but I find that after about 6-7 months it starts to lose potency from freezerburn. This is why it's important to label the bags with the dates you packed them.
- This method will work for any kind of bulbous onion, I do this with shallots and white onions the most often every few months.
this is a fantastic recipe which I will use often! Thank you for posting it. GL