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Onion- Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Allium cepa
Peeling away the mystery of an onion

OnionYes, the onion is an herb. While there are some people that can’t eat onions for health reasons, and in the case of the Jain religion of India won’t eat onions for religious reasons, in most kitchens of the world it is considered to be almost a staple. It is unknown where the onion originated, but a good guess would be central Asia. It is now grown worldwide. There are those who would argue that the onion is a vegetable and a good case can be made for this assertion. But, it is such an important part of so many recipes and so many cuisines worldwide, used for its pungency, texture, and flavor I can’t help but include it in any list I make of herbs and spices.

Onions and their cousin garlic were well known and well liked in Ancient Egypt and were part of the diet of the builders of the Great Pyramids. The Old Testament mentions these two cousins especially in the context of the Israelites in Egypt. There are over 30 recipes that were found on three clay tablets from Mesopotamia that date to about 1600 BC, most of these recipes call for the use of onions. These clay tablets are housed at Yale University. In ancient India onions were very unpopular, people who ate them had to live outside of the towns. They were called “food for low people” and “evil smelling”.

There are many variations in the onion family. These variations include color, red, yellow and white, as well as tastes. Here is a short list of the varieties of onions, green onions, dry onions, Bermuda onions, Spanish onions, red or Italian onions, globe onions (very strong), Maui onions, Vidalia onions, Texas onions, Walla Walla onions, Oso Sweet onions, Rio sweet onions, pearl onions, and boiling onions. Onions may be found in almost as many varieties of processed stages. There is fresh, onion powder, onion salt, onion flakes and onion flavoring cubes. The young green onion is also known as a scallion.

Onions are one of the ingredients in a mirepoix or mirepois. This mixture of diced onions, carrots and celery is used to season sauces, soups and stews. It is also used as a base or bed for braising meats or fish. In New Orleans and southern cooking they are also one of the ingredients in “the trinity”. Similarly to mirepois you use onions, celery, and sweet bell peppers instead of carrots.

Occasionally you will run across a recipe calling for “onion seeds”. Although the seeds look like onion seeds what is really being requested is Nigella seeds. Onion seeds actually have little flavor and what flavor they do have really isn’t very good.

The onion is a member of the lily family and has many cousins. They culinarily include; chives, garlic chives, Welsh onion and garlic.

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Join Us at the Spring Gardening Fair- Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Spring Gardening FairStop by and visit our booth at the Spring Gardening Fair!

April 15 & 16, 9a.m. to 8p.m.
April 117, 9a.m. to 6p.m.

At the newest Delhi Flower & Garden Center in Liberty Township
6282 Cin-Day Road, 45044

Admission: Adults $10, Children 12 and under FREE

DIY Workshops
Local Gourmet Food Vendors
Gardener’s Marketplace
Activities for Children

Enter to win a $100 gift certificate to Delhi Flower & Garden Center

Proceeds from this event will help sustain educational programs for children and will enhance funding for the 2012 Cincinnati Flower Show.

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Vegetarian Spring Greens Dinner with Colonel De- Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Are you ready to try a menu of delicious, healthy, and satisfying whole foods and greens? We’ve had many requests for
this one, and now is the time! Farm Beach Bethel uses organic and biodynamic methods to grow beautiful lettuces and greens such as their Spicy Salad Mix, as well as arugula, endive, radicchio, and dandelion greens. We’ll also use Sarah’s homemade vinegars, and a variety of wild greens foraged on their farm. We’ll be cooking up local vegetables, grains, and using local raw milk cheeses and eggs to round out the menu. It’s going to taste great and feel great!

Nectar Restaurant is excited about the wonderful success during the past year with their acclaimed Dinner Club series. Dinner Club is a fixed priced menu for the evening with a specific theme/ingredient for all courses. Each theme has a “celebrity” host and is an evening out to be remembered. Get in on all the excitement !

Thursday May 19 and Thursday May 26
Price per person: $55  Dinner starts at 7pm.
Reservations required. Please remember changes or cancellations not received 24 hours prior to the dinner will be charged a 25.00 fee.
Nectar Restaurant
1000 Delta Ave, Mt. Lookout Square
513-929-0525

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The World of Peppercorns at Nectar Restaurant- Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Who knew there are so many kinds of peppercorns? At Colonel De’s they have them all- Tellicherry black, white, pink, and green. There are also some fascinating spices that have a peppery flavor, but are not true Piper Nigrums – grains of paradise, cubeb berry, and szecuan. We’re going to spice it up with these exotic flavors in a great menu that showcases the different ways to use peppercorns, and Colonel De will share his in depth knowledge of the history of these highly valued spices. Join us at Nectar Restaurant!

Nectar Restaurant is excited about the wonderful success during the past year with their acclaimed Dinner Club series. Dinner Club is a fixed priced menu for the evening with a specific theme/ingredient for all courses. Each theme has a “celebrity” host and is an evening out to be remembered. Get in on all the excitement !

Thursday April 14 and Thursday April 21
Price per person: $55  Dinner starts at 7pm.
Reservations required. Please remember changes or cancellations not received 24 hours prior to the dinner will be charged a 25.00 fee.
Nectar Restaurant
1000 Delta Ave, Mt. Lookout Square
513-929-0525

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1 Night 12 Kitchens Fundraiser- Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Colonel De will again be participating in 1 Night 12 Kitchens.

Midwest Culinary Institute hosts the event that has quickly become one of Greater Cincinnati’s most popular scholarship fund-raisers.

Held every spring, 1 Night 12 Kitchens gives participants the opportunity to enjoy great food and fine wine selected and prepared by some of the top chefs in Greater Cincinnati. Guests have the opportunity to visit with Midwest Culinary Institute faculty and students and explore MCI’s 12 teaching kitchens. Each kitchen is staffed by professional chefs, who take a night off to raise funds for scholarships at Cincinnati State.

In addition to generous helpings of appetizers, main courses, and desserts from the kitchens, and wine samplings, guests participate in a silent auction that includes wine lots, culinary and other gifts, and tickets for a variety of culinary experiences.

Click here for additional information and purchase tickets to the event.

Sunday, May 1, 2011
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
3520 Central Parkway
Cincinnati, OH 45223
(513) 569-5800

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