It's a well-known fact for the majority of homemakers that cutting onions is one of the most unpleasant tasks when preparing various dishes. At the same time, onions are put into nearly everything and must usually be chopped as finely as possible. This of course leads to eyes watering up from the pungent odor they possess and is especially irritating if the homemaker happens to have makeup on.
The makeup simply gets smeared and requires reapplication. But the undesirable feeling and burning in the eyes can plague even those ladies who do not put makeup on, and therein lies the reason why chopping onions is so frustrating.
Here are a few tips & tricks on how to both get the job done properly and greet your guests without having makeup smeared all over your face or having a sad expression:
1. Before you begin chopping your onions finely, leave them peeled and cut into 2 in cold water for about half an hour to an hour. Another option is to put them peeled in the fridge for awhile. This way a lot of the pungency will evaporate.
2. Chopping onions finely is best done using a manual onion press. They are sold in larger stores, are inexpensive and save a lot of time and effort. Plus, they are designed in such a way so as to prevent eye irritation while chopping.
3. There are also electrical onion presses, which are even more convenient but a little bit more expensive. It's best to first determine how often you chop onions finely instead of later trying to find space to store yet another appliance.
4. If you don't feel like spending money, you can grate it on a plain old grater but this means definitely dealing with the pungency by getting rid of it.
5. If you do not have a grater either, you'll have to go about the standard way of knife in hand and a cutting board. Cut each onion head into 2 and each half into cubes. It's very important not to cut off the little onion roots beforehand because this will activate the pungent vapors. Dicing needs to happen quite quickly and with a sharp knife (again to avoid watery eyes).
A little trick against watering eyes is to keep a cup of cold water under your face while chopping.
Once the onions are diced, hold the tip of the knife firmly to the cutting board, so that it doesn't move, and using your other hand to hold the knife handle, perform quick arcing movements over the onion pile. This makes chopping easy and the onions can be used for any dish you desire.
And after you've managed to quickly and successfully handle the task of onion chopping, without it costing you rivers of tears, you can proceed to cooking up a delicious recipe such as: onion soup, pirog with onions and olives, cottage cheese with green onions in the oven, onion pita, potato muffins with onions.