Dinner Diva: How to Chop an Onion

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Yellow onions
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Onions are foundational for a lot of my recipes. Knowing HOW to properly and safely chop an onion will absolutely help you get your dinner on the table quicker! The way I do it is easier, safer and faster. Yes, I have a video demonstrating this important skill on http://savingdinner.tv

Here’s how to chop an opinion, in 5 easy steps:

1) Wash your onion (yes, even with the skin on, always wash ALL produce)

2) Cut off the end with the swirly paper top (that’s considered “the end). Don’t cut off the root end though, that holds the onion together.

3) Now cut the onion lengthwise so that you have half a root end on each half. Take the skin off in one fell swoop.

4) Place the onion half flat side down on the cutting board. Now take your knife and make perpendicular cuts to the onion half, about 1/8th of an inch apart.

5) Using the hand that isn’t holding the knife, make a claw with your fingers so they’re not vulnerable to the knife. Now slice thru like you’re slicing the onion. The perpendicular cuts will automatically “dice” your onion for you!

Now what about those pesky fumes that make you cry and ruin your mascara? A cooking school in Washington State suggested putting a tablespoon of vinegar on your cutting board to cut the tears. Never tried it, but sounds like a great idea!

After all this chopping, don’t you think you need a good recipe to get that onion cooked? I just got a ton of butternut squash with my CSA basket and this recipe is awesome, so here you go:

Butternut Soup
Serves 4

1 onion — chopped
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups butternut squash — peeled and cubed
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 pound low fat cream cheese
salt and pepper — to taste

In a large sauce pan, heat oil and butter together over medium high heat and saute the onion. Add squash, broth, thyme and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat and allow to simmer. Cook 20 minutes or until squash is tender.

In a blender, puree squash with cream cheese in batches until smooth. Return to saucepan and heat through, but don’t boil.

Per Serving: 295 Calories; 14g Fat;
10g Protein; 12g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 51mg
Cholesterol; 642mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve with a big spinach salad and some whole wheat dinner rolls.

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