Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Onions

Uun-yens, as we say here in the South, or as I got into the habit of saying, Un-yawns, after years of watching/listening to Louisiana Chef Justin Wilson.

Back in the "goldie days", before we had cable or satellite or there was a Food Network channel, Justin Wilson was one of the few cooking shows that came on our 10 or 12 tv channels.
J loved the show and watched it over and over and over.
To this day I still pronounce some things like Justin Wilson did.


("Goldie days" came about a good many years ago, when my youngest son was little, still in elementary school. He liked to sleep with his clock radio playing at night. I forget what channel he listened to, but every Sunday morning it would play "Golden Oldies".  He called them "goldie" songs, and when I'd mention, or he'd ask about when me or J were kids/younger, he'd call it the "goldie days", so we all got to calling it that LOL.)

Anyhoo. Onions.

At the food give away last week, we were given a box with 20 onions and 20 tomatoes. 


I use onions rarely. Less than rarely even. I don't add them to anything in cooking. The last thing I used any onions in was the salsa/pico de gallo I made a couple weeks ago. J eats some fresh sometimes, mostly in the winter if I make pintos and cornbread.

So 20 onions will last me probably for forever. But I don't have too good a way of storing them so they last long term. I've hung them in my laundry room, which is cool like a basement in the winter months, but after a month or so they still went bad.

I decided to keep 4 of the onions fresh. I used a nylon knee-high stocking and tied knots between onion, then hung it up in the laundry room.


For the rest of them, I decided I wanted to chop some, and make some onion rings.


I have chopped onions I had bought at the store in the freezer, but I have been trying to get away from freezing as much because I always fear my freezer breaking down again and having no place to put all the stuff.

On one of my favorite cooking sites, Christy Jordan's Southern Plate, Christy tells/shows about dehydrating fruits, vegetables and meat to save freezer space.
But I like the idea of not having to depend on the freezer so much in case anything happens.

I picked up this Ronco dehydrator at Goodwill a couple of months ago for $6.96.
Wasn't sure it worked, but figured I could gamble $7 bucks. Then a lady walked by and saw I had it in my buggy and said she was glad I was getting it, so she wouldn't, lol. She told me it worked, it had still been warm when the worker brought it out and set it on the shelf.


It's not one of the better ones, as it only has one temperature setting, but I didn't want to dive in and spend a couple hundred bucks on a dehydrator when I've never even used a dehydrator before.
I consider this one a teaching tool.

I never did order/buy any of the screens they say you can get to prevent smaller foods from falling through, so I read that you could use cheese cloth or parchment paper. I figured the cheese cloth had the better ventilation.


Chopped the onions in my (Mom's old, 1970's, Made in America, Still Going Strong) food processor and spread them onto the cheese cloth covered trays.


I set it outside on the carport to work overnight. I read that dehydrating onions are pretty strong smelling, and we were already suffering the peeling/slicing/chopping part, so, yeah.


I found and downloaded the Ronco Dehydrator instruction manual online, and it said to rotate the trays every 4 hours.

I think 4 hours was probably too long, though. I'm not exactly sure if my onions are dehydrated or cooked.


Some cheese cloth fibers got in with the onions when I peeled them off. I fished out as many as I could see, but my eyesight isn't so great anymore. I figure maybe the strings will float when I re-hydrate the onions, and if not, oh well, it won't kill anyone to eat them.


Also, this happened to my dehydrator trays:



Every tray. At this rate, it probably isn't going last me another 5 dehydrates. 

Good thing I only paid $7 bucks. I'd have been very pissed if I'd paid $40 for it new and this happened.

Otherwise I decided to make onion rings and freeze them.

Recipe at: http://deep-fried.food.com/recipe/moms-french-fried-onion-rings-with-freezing-directions-274730

I've never made onion rings before, much less intending to freeze them, so I had to look for a recipe, and then try to learn how would be the best way to go about freezing them.

I went ahead and battered and fried up a batch.
I can't recall exactly what it was, but it seems like I remember not having good luck with re-heating something I'd pre-fried and froze in the past, so I was (am) concerned these aren't going to be good later.

I laid them on paper towels to drain the grease, but they were soggy when I put them in the freezer bag.


I also attempted battering and flash freezing some.


A lot of the batter settled down onto the pan, so the rings are no longer evenly coated and I'm not sure how that's going to turn out when they are fried later.


I stopped there, and when my taste tester is home tomorrow, I'll cook up some of each and see how they turn out, then I can finish the rest.

2 comments:

Prudent Wisdom said...

Only wish you had posted this about a month ago! I ended up just throwing out a bushel of onions from our garden then, I tried to dehydrate with m oven but only made a mess Then turned around and try to make onion powder but again another Mess. I'm never thought about onion rings!

Melissa said...

Oh no! But I know what you mean, I've thrown out more onions than I care to think about. I hang the net bag I usually buy them in the doorway, but they still turned mushy and rotted.
I didn't understand it because my Grannie had a Onion/Tater bin and I had thought onions were more long-term lasters.
I read where someone advised to not let them touch, so I'm trying the fresh ones in the nylon hose to see how long those last.

I have no idea where the idea for onion rings came from. I had originally planned to just chop and dehydrate them all. Next thing I know, I'm searching the 'net to learn how to make onion rings.

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