You ever wonder why weather forecasters get paid? Why don't they just say "it will be light today and dark tonight," at least then they would be right half the time. When England was "jolly" and "olde" they used to predict the weather by onion skins, If the skins were thick, it would be a rough winter. If they were thin, a pleasant spring. I'm sure they were right about the same amount of time as your local weather person.
So, why are onions considered one of nature's wonder foods? Well, for one thing they are one of the few food products which are sodium free, fat free and cholesterol free. They also fight bacteria and fungus. Not enough? Okay, they are known cancer fighters, immune system boosters and help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Due to the fact they contain a good amount of fiber, onions can also help in weight reduction.
Okay, let's get to the point of onions making you cry. The reason for this is due to onions being very high in sulfuric compounds. When you cut into the onion, these compounds spray and, quite naturally, you begin to tear up. This affects some people more than others. By-the-way, if you are an average American, you eat 20 pounds of onions a year!
Onions are one of those food products which can be cooked any way you like (and of course eaten raw). Some of my favorite ways to cook onions, however, are any of the ways which caramelize the onions as this brings out their natural sweetness.
Ingredients for Glazed Baby Onions (serves 4 as a side-dish):
- 24 pearl onions, whole and unpeeled
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 Tbs. sugar
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
- Into a large saucepan of boiling water, add the onions and cook 10 minutes. Drain the onions and place them into a bowl of ice water.
- Remove the root end of the onions and then peel them.
- In a medium saute pan or skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and saute 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, vinegar, garlic, salt and white pepper.
- Increase the heat to high and pour into the pan the vinegar mixture. Cook 10 minutes.
- Spoon the glazed onions onto serving plates and serve.
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