Onions always make me cry. Like not just one glistening tear in the corner of my eye, but the kind of cry where if you walked into the kitchen you would think I had just cut off my finger or lost a loved one. Tears stream down my face, my eyes burn and my nose starts to run. It is not a pretty sight or a fun experience.
It wouldn't be such an issue if I only cooked with them occasionally, but when your business makes Onion Garlic Jam and you are cutting 100lbs of onion in one afternoon, it tends to get rather annoying. And yes, annoying is the perfect word to describe the experience.
I am not a trained chef, so my knife skills have been learnt from watching others and hours spent cooking and preserving.
So I asked Chef Cheryl Torrance to come to the Manning Canning kitchen several week ago and provide myself and my staff with a knife skills lesson. Initially I trembled when she said we would be starting the lesson with onions - my nemesis, but in a few short minutes I was literally in shock. I was cutting onions and NOT crying.
STEP ONE: Start by cutting the 'outtie' end of the onion off and creating yourself a flat surface to work with
STEP TWO: With the onion standing up on it's flat end (the one you just cut off), proceed to cut the onion in half and lie it down on it's larger flat surface
STEP THREE: Cutting away from yourself, cut halfway through the onion stopping about an inch from the end
STEP FOUR: Proceed to cut the onion in 1/2" strips or to the size that you would like your diced onions to be once completed
STEP FIVE: Working with your nice flat surface so the onion isn't rolling around on your cutting board, begin to cut the onion to your desired size.
STEP SIX: When you get to the point where there is not enough onion left to cut comfortably, simply tilt your onion so the largest flat surface is against the cutting board and continue to chop
STEP SEVEN: Stand there amazed staring at the diced onion on the cutting board and relish the fact that you didn't bawl, that your eyes aren't burning and you didn't need to use a single kleenex while you cut your onion.
Thanks again to @chef_inked for the fabulous tutorial. You have changed my relationship with onions forever