All About Onions - Stevie's Crazy Kitchen Blog at - 259016

Stevie's Crazy Kitchen

All About Onions 
Nov. 30, 2011 10:54 pm 
Updated: Dec. 3, 2011 2:19 pm
It's only been within the past few years, once my interest in culinary efforts began to blossom that I began using the revered ONION.  Previously, I proclaimed that I didn't like them, and would pick them out of my food if I could!

Today, I tasted a little slice of heaven once again... after being introduced to French Onion Soup some years back...  Hence, me sharing my confusion regarding the ONION!

Most common is the yellow onion...  Now, I've referred to the yellow onion as a "Spanish," or "Brown" onion, figuring they are one and the same, though I just checked and seeing pics of both yellow and brown, they certainly look different, which suggests to me that they would taste different, ergo... they are NOT the same!

Next, are the "Sweet" onions, Vidalia, Wallawalla, and I think I bought a Texas Sweet a while back.  I can only presume that despite the differences in name, these onions are pretty much alike in flavor.

So we move on to the Scallion, which I've also heard called a Spring or Green Onion.  If there actually is a difference, I presume that it's so slight only a grower would know the difference. 

Now, we head toward the part of the family that is related to GARLIC, and meet the SHALLOT, which I truly believe is  a specialty onion...  The shallot, to me, has a very distinct flavor, that I doubt would be practical to make soup... but then, who knows?  I don't!

So, I am totally forgetting the White and Red onions.  Now I like the red (or purple?) for certain dishes...  Seems they are a bit milder than the others, but I must admit that I'm at a loss regarding the white onion.  I did read some time ago that if you plant scallions in the spring, you'll have mature white onions in the fall...  My attempt at this failed as soon as the temperatures escalated into triple digits and the few I'd planted wilted and died.  Yet I still don't know the difference in flavor to the yellow.

I'm also aware that the LEEK fits into the picture somewhere, but as I've bought maybe two leeks in my entire life, I'm not ready to include them with any importance, though I did make a potato leek soup a few years ago (I wasn't impressed with the recipe...) 

Mostly, I buy yellow onions for everyday cooking, shallots when I want a shallot, green onions (which usually go to compost,) a red onion from time to time... and sweet only when the recipe calls for it...  Basically, when I "read" onion, I presume yellow.

So, that's my story about onions...  Now I put them into food, rather than pick them out!  I hope that I get tomato and have fresh lettuce before my partial red onion bites the dust... I'm ready for a burger stacked with veg's, cheese and thousand island dressing!  So, I guess IT'S ALL ABOUT ONIONS at Casa de Crazy... at least right now!

Be well, and add a pinch of "crazy" to each meal you prepare...
Dec. 1, 2011 5:02 am
When I watch other cooking shows from other countries like In England, France, New Zealand And Australia The Shallot Is commonly used.
Dec. 1, 2011 7:10 am
Stevie, I'm a confirmed sweet onion girl, although I do buy the odd red one. Shallots and green onions, love them. But Spanish onions just make me cry. If a sweet onion won't give enough flavor, I just add a pinch of onion powder. Problem solved, no tears! Lucky me, the commissary charges the same price for red, white, yellow and sweet, about 89 cents/pound. Mom has to pay heaps more for sweet onions. Oh, don't forget Maui onions in the sweet list. But yeah, all the sweets taste pretty much the same to me. But I still don't like big chunks of cooked onions in my food. Never have, so I dice them fine. Fresh onion's a different story. LOVE it!
Dec. 1, 2011 11:34 am
As I mentioned yesterday, I have trouble eating onions, but this made me think about it and I manage sweet onions much better than yellow. Leeks have a more delicate flavor so they get lost if you combine them with robust flavors. I use scallions in salads and things like pilaf or fried rice. Interesting to think about.
Dec. 1, 2011 12:04 pm
Hey Stevie, I like the sweet onions for the burgers, salads, or just about anything you need raw onions on or in. I love the yellow for cooking... in all my cooking! To me those itty bitty shallots are a lot of work for such little flavor. On to The green onions...I pretty much use them as garnish! The red onions I mainly use when company comes... just so I can put on heirs, lol ( they're just so fancy!) Who knew onions made such a great conversation? Thanks my crazy friend and be well!
Dec. 1, 2011 3:20 pm
Stevie just a few years ago my stomach let me know I could not eat raw onions alone. I can eat them cooked or even in salads, just not in quantities like on a coney, etc. Once I saw Mel Gibson in a movie eating an onion like an apple. I thought, well, that should be pretty tasty and I've got all these beautiful vidalias here, let me try that.After the first big bite I couldn't spit it out fast enough! It did not taste like anything I wanted to eat like an apple. lol! Live and learn. : )
Dec. 1, 2011 5:27 pm
King, I really like the flavor of a shallot... esp. I guess as it has a hint of garlic!
Dec. 1, 2011 5:32 pm
Lucy, a cook on tv one time said she always freezes her onion (yellow and the like, not small ones) for 15 mins or so before chopping them. The onion will still chop, but the juices (which make us cry) are frozen! No more tears onions... I'll have to try it some time!
Dec. 1, 2011 5:36 pm
BigShotsMom, I buy scallions, but usually end up tossing most of them out... My biggest issue is with raw onion... don't care for it much, but can (now) stomach the thought of eating them! Give me any of the milder ones, or sweet, for that matter.
Dec. 1, 2011 5:39 pm
Terry, sautee chopped shallot in butter, and add to scrambled eggs... the flavor is heavenly! Probably wouldn't hurt to add some cheese, or other mild veggies like red bell pepper! MMMM... might have to get to the store in the rain tomorrow!
Dec. 1, 2011 5:43 pm
Linnie, I'm with you! Once I decided that I could/would eat cooked onion, it still took a long while before I'd eat raw - by choice, that is... Mamma always taught me to be polite, and choke down things I didn't like when eating elsewhere! Bite into a raw onion... talk about "gag and arf!"
Dec. 1, 2011 5:47 pm
Thanks all for the interesting comments! I've enjoyed reading them all, but what surprised me is that I was bored last night and just started babbling... about onions! Wonder what my next "babble" might be about? Be well, all!
Dec. 2, 2011 11:11 pm
The poor onion must be the Most misunderstood and unloved veggy in the garden! I would eat onions anyway to can give them to me. I even remember as a 2 yo, eating them off the bread board,in which I had to reach up and grab off it and stuffed my mouth. I have eaten Vidalia onions like an apple. So sweet and yummy!Now I need to make some soup! LOL
Dec. 3, 2011 2:19 pm
I love onions - all kinds. I grow the red and spanish but was never really impressed by the "plant one - get one" kind of harvest. I want to plant one and get TEN!!! My onions didn't do so well this year but thankfully my brother-in-law had a great harvest and is willing to share. He said the skins this year are thick, indicating a bad winter! Let's hope he hasn't a clue what he's talking about!!! I actually dumped a guy once because he hated onions! Good crazy Steve!
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Stevie crazycook

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Lansing, Michigan, USA
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Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Member Since
Feb. 2008

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About Me
Started cooking many years ago, and learned as I went. First meal may have been "steak & chips" at age 15, in Birmingham England, where I lived for several years. Mostly grew up in MI, transplanted to the desert 30yrs ago, or so. Favorite cookbook is "Better Homes", also enjoy "Great British Cooking, a well kept secret." Hesitate to call myself "expert," but friends do rave...
My favorite things to cook
Italian has been my "specialty" for some time, and my "signature" meal is Lasagne, salad, garlic bread, which I first made 20yrs ago... from SCRATCH, very first time I made it. (Never again, folks...) Now start with a big jar of sauce!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Thanks to my heritage, I have enjoyed trying foods from different cultures. We still have beer battered fish, and chips of course; ground meat dishes often, chicken occasionally, pork too. I would love to submit a bean dip recipe, however, my ex who gave me the original has passed, and I have no way to verify that it didn't come from another source! I also enjoy British cooking (with a few yankee twists) and once made Plum puddings, also known as Christmas puddings, as far as I know... what an ordeal that was, but well worth the effort. Today, there is mail order!
My cooking triumphs
Greatest triumph was not too long ago, when I held a sit down dinner for 12, Lasagne being the entree. It was a fund raiser I chose to sponsor, and am proud to say that "we" raised over $1000 from that meal alone, minimum donation being $25. All proceeds collected were donated; my partner and I provided the meal and beverages.
My cooking tragedies
MEATLOAF of all things! Went through a stage of "winging" it each time, and I pulled one after another out of the oven that were almost unedible. As yet, not too big on baking... no sweet tooth here! Have dabbled, but find doughs/pastries especially difficult, perhaps as it's 90 degrees in my kitchen much of the year.
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