Taste the difference of Harris Fresh onions and garlic, essential ingredients in these tantalizing recipes from the legendary Harris Ranch Inn & Restaurant.

Cooking With Onions

What should I look for when purchasing onions?
When purchasing onions, look for dry outer skins free of spots or blemished. The onion should be heavy for its size with no scent.

How can I reduce tearing when cutting an onion?
Reduce tearing when cutting onions by first chilling the onions for 30 minutes. Cut off the top and peel the outer layers leaving the root end intact. (The root end has the largest concentration of sulphuric compounds that make your eyes tear.)

How do I remove the smell of onions from my hands?
Remove the smell of onions from your hands or cooking equipment by rubbing them with lemon juice (or salt, if the pots or pans are made of aluminum, cast iron, or carbon-steel).

Why do my onions taste bitter after sautéing?
High heat makes onions bitter. When sautéing onions, always use low or medium heat.

How can I cut the pungency of an onion?
When using yellow storage onions raw, to reduce pungency, sharpness and aftertaste, trim them and remove skin. Slice, chop or dice onion and drop into a bowl of ice water to stand for 1 1/2 hours before draining. If time is at a premium, chop, dice or finely slice onion and place in strainer or sieve. Run water through onions for at least a minute.

How many cups will 1 medium onion yield?
One medium onion equals about 1 cup chopped onion.

Do the different colors of onions taste different?
Yellow onions are full-flavored and are a reliable standby for cooking almost anything. Yellow onions turn a rich, dark brown when cooked and give French Onion Soup its tangy sweet flavor. The red onion, with its wonderful color, is a good choice for fresh uses or in grilling and charbroiling. White onions are the traditional onion used in classic Mexican cuisine. They have a golden color and sweet flavor when sautéed.

Are onions healthy for you?
Onions not only provide flavor -- they also provide health-promoting phytochemicals as well as nutrients. Research shows that onions may help guard against many chronic diseases. That's probably because onions contain generous amounts of a flavonoid called quercetin. Other sources are tea and apples, but research shows that absorption of quercetin from onions is twice that from tea and more than three times that from apples. Studies have shown that quercetin protects against cataracts, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. In addition, onions contain a variety of other naturally occurring chemicals known as organosulfur compounds that have been linked to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Onions are low in calories yet add abundant flavor to a wide variety of foods.

How many calories are in onions?
With only 30 calories per serving, onions are sodium, fat, and cholesterol free, and provide dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and other key nutrients.

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