So we shall talk about chopping onions, fast and efficiently. If you weep uncontrollably at the thought of chopping onions, you can borrow my little trick of keeping some swim goggles handy in the kitchen. No -- not a snorkel goggle-- I mean those sleek things that folks like Matt Biondi or Michael Phelps would wear. It might look a little ridiculous to wear swim goggles, but hey... better than having your mascara run all over your face.
Now, I realize that most people with rudimentary knife skills can probably figure out how to chop an onion. I mean, you just chop it, right? However, if you want to really increase your efficiency, I figured out a way to speed things up and control the size of your diced onion cubes with a little more calculation involved.
So first, trim the top and bottom off the onion so it has a flat side on each end. This also helps you pull the skin off more easily, rather than that ever so frustrating process of pulling apart layer after layer of papery-thin stuff. When you have cut the top and bottom, cut your onion in half from top to bottom. ("Navel to navel" if that makes more sense.)
Secondly, flip half of the onion on it's cut side, and begin making slices across the length, parallel to the top and bottom cuts. As far as the width of each slice, that just depends on how big you want your chunks to be at the end.
When the slices have all been made, gather them back into the original 'shape' of the onion-half, and if you're very adept, you can either set it back up on it's side, or leave it along the large cut side that you made in the first photo. For the purpose of illustrating how I am chopping this onion, I'm setting it up on it's side again so the camera can capture more of the process.
Now, carefully *because cut onions tend to be slippery* chop your onion slices top to bottom, using a counter-clockwise cut working your way in reverse, starting at the positions of 2 o'clock, 1 o'clock, 12 o'clock etc, until you've reached 10 o'clock.
In this manner, you're working with the concentric circles of the onion rings, and cutting across them perpendicularly, yielding diced onions. It is quick and easy! (PS. You can use this same technique to dice just about any round vegetable.)
Lastly, I also wanted to share with you a fantastic tip for getting onion and garlic smells out of your hands. You see, since onion smell comes from oils, washing with hot soapy water will just open up your skin's pores, and makes the smell stick even more. The first suggestion is to actually use very cold water, which will help the oils bead up and wick away from your hands. The second suggestion is to use something made of stainless steel to rub against your skin. You can purchase the Stainless steel "Rub-Away-Bar" or just use a large stainless steel spoon, and use the convex side of it against each hand like a bar of soap.
And that's my tip of the day. Stay tuned for some actual recipes, soon. I promise.