Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dice onions faster than the CIA

OK, kitchen dork moment: I figured out a way to dice an onion faster than the French/CIA technique.
  1. Cut off the top and the stem of the onion
  2. Cut the onion in half
  3. Peel off the outer layer, unlike in the stem-on method, it comes off easily in one piece
  4. Put the onion halves on the cutting board flat side down
  5. Turn 90 degrees and slice each half into "almost moons", leaving about half an inch at the end facing away from you.
  6. Turn 90 degrees and dice, starting at a slight angle to get a radial pattern.
What makes it faster:
  • With the CIA method, peeling each half takes longer, because the skin is still attached at the stem end.
  • Moons is faster than the CIA stick pattern because you can slice across instead of forcing the knife straight down
  • You don't have to make the horizontal cuts before dicing
  • The onion doesn't start to fall apart after the horizontal slices
What makes is safer is that you never slice towards your fingers like you have to when making the CIA-style horizontal cuts.

This works especially well when I do micro dice like for lightning gyros:

  • Cube some meat
  • Brown quickly in olive oil in a hot skillet
  • Pepper, salt, add some oregano
  • When the oregano gets fragrant, deglaze with a few tbs broth or whatever is at hand. Turn off.
  • While the deglazing liquid cooks down, mix 1/2 cup of pre-made or leftover tsatziki with a bit of yoghurt, good olive oil, and 1/10th inch diced tomatos, onions, and cucumbers. Adjust salt and pepper. (If you have no tsatziki, use yoghurt and add some crushed garlic and lime juice).
  • Serve meat on toasted flour tortilas or pita with a bit of the "salsa"

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