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105 votes

How to know when a recipe shouldn't contain onion/garlic?

Bolognese is (to Italians) a specific dish with a precise ingredient list. You wouldn't put garlic in a chocolate cake, but that's because it probably wouldn't taste nice. Imagine a chocolate cake to ...
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70 votes
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Fry onions and garlic before adding to the sauce?

Sauteing onions: Softens them, most people prefer not to run into raw onions in their sauce. Onions will cook in a sauce, but very slowly, so frying them before makes sure they will be soft even if ...
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47 votes
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Onion and Garlic, a no-no?

Clearly, your flatmate was misinformed. Firstly, Italian cuisine is defined regionally. There are vast differences throughout the country, usually defined by local ingredients and historical ...
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47 votes
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Is there a word for the flavour shared by onion, spring onion, shallot, leek, and chive?

Conversationally, "oniony". Everyone will understand that, and tend to say it naturally. In a more serious cooking context, you could also get away with "allium flavor", though likely not in everyday ...
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42 votes
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Why stud an onion?

It's convenience, and actually doubly so: It helps to find the cloves (biting down on a clove is horrible, imho, much more than on a stray peppercorn) and it especially if you are using onions with ...
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42 votes
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How to know when a recipe shouldn't contain onion/garlic?

The general category for vegetables/herbs (that are not leafy green herbs, or spices) added to a dish for flavor (rather than bulk/texture/nutrition) is "aromatics", and that describes what they are ...
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41 votes

Why use onions in cooking?

Their primary purpose is flavor, although (as mentioned by @David Richerby) they can also be used for thickening in some cases. If you don't like them, but other members of your household do, then it ...
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37 votes
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How to keep onions from sinking in a salad

This is physics. There's an effect called: "Granular convection" It's a phenomenon where if you have materials of different sizes in a container and vibrate or shake them, that the largest objects ...
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37 votes

Fry onions and garlic before adding to the sauce?

You can find out. Split your sauce into 2 batches. Add onions and garlic raw to one and sautéed to another. Some people like the sharp strong taste of those things raw. In the US that is not ...
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36 votes
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Where does the green part of the scallion start and the white part end?

If you want to be really, really picky, then the 'green' is each individual leaf as it breaks away from the cylindrical whole. That leaves you with the decision as to whether to pick off each leaf, ...
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36 votes

Substitute for onion sweetness?

You might try carrot. It is a common ingredient, often used in Italian cuisine, for example, to counteract the acidity in tomatoes, when making a sauce. In my example it is grated, then simmered ...
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34 votes

How to know when a recipe shouldn't contain onion/garlic?

My 2 centesimi (italian for cents) from a very much biased perspective, i.e. trying to push my subjective point of view with supposedly objective criteria. Sugo alla Bolognese, or ragù alla Bolognese ...
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31 votes

How should I fry onions without burning them?

You may need to use a little more oil/butter, but the biggest things are to not get them too hot, and to stir them fairly often. Once they're sizzling that's hot enough. Some cookers will get keep ...
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30 votes
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If you 'caramelize' an onion, does an onion contain sugar?

Yes, onions contain sugar, just like most fruit and vegetables. It is not simply a common phrase, it is true caramelization. They have 4.24 g of sugar per 100 g in total (wet weight). For dry weight ...
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  • 124k
29 votes

Is it ok to skip onions in a recipe?

While you can do whatever you want to recipes you're following, you should be aware that onions are the backbone of the flavor of many dishes. If the recipe calls for more than a quarter onion or so ...
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  • 20.2k
26 votes

Does it matter if I sauté onions for high liquid foods?

It makes a big difference. The heat you can impart to anything by boiling is limited to 100°C (212°F). This is too low for some of the flavor magic to happen, like maillard reactions, which start ...
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  • 66.6k
23 votes

How to keep onions from sinking in a salad

I don't think the issue here is dicing vs slicing the onions. The reason why the latter appears to present better in this answer is in my opinion because of the size relative to the other ingredients. ...
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22 votes
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Why use onions in cooking?

As a child, I used to hate the feel and taste when I conciously bit on a piece of onion (strongest offender: medium-sized chunks, sautéed glassy but still firm). Sometimes that still happens. However,...
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21 votes
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How well does it work to just throw in all the ingredients and boil?

Ah, One Pot Pasta.... As loads of bloggers, authors and cooks - possibly inspired by Martha Stewart and her team - have confirmed: dumping the pasta, sauce ingredients and a carefully meassured ...
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  • 53.9k
20 votes

Barbecue sauce with onion

Unless he actually canned the sauce (processing the jars in boiling water bath or pressure canner as appropriate) and was working from a trusted recipe, no, this is definitely not safe. It takes ...
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  • 57.3k
19 votes

Why use onions in cooking?

As a onion-lover I suggest using a similar vegetable instead of onions themselves. Try with leek, it has a lighter flavour than onion. Cook it in the same way. Another option would be shallot, which ...
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19 votes

Fry onions and garlic before adding to the sauce?

You can also use ‘layering’, particularly with the garlic. Garlic fried in oil at the beginning of the process contributes rich, mellow, savory flavors, but a little finely minced or shaved garlic ...
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18 votes

Onion and Garlic, a no-no?

I agree with moscafj's general answer: there is no pan-Italian "rule" like this in Italian cuisine. It's common to mix the two in many Italian regions, and it's certainly common in other world ...
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  • 31.5k
18 votes

Is it ok to skip onions in a recipe?

You can absolutely leave the onions out! Onions are only necessary if you like them. And, no, you don't need to find a substitute. Think about it this way. Recipes are like guides. You can tweak most ...
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18 votes
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What type of onion is a "British Onion"?

"British Onion" on the packaging isn't describing a type of onion, but advertising that the onions were grown in Britain (which is a common strategy to make produce more appealing in British ...
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  • 7,163
17 votes

First onion or first minced meat?

I have been told that the reason for cooking the garlic/onion first is to "layer" the flavors. I have also been told that onions will not brown if you add them to the meat raw. So with all the urban ...
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  • 171
17 votes

How to keep onions from sinking in a salad

I found that slices float better and present better. They don't take much longer to cut and you don't need much onion for a salad. Slices on the right Thick slices can be cut to taste. You want ...
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  • 6,358
17 votes

How should I fry onions without burning them?

You are frying them at too high a temperature. They just need a mild sizzle to properly cook until translucent; even lower if you are caramelizing them. Try putting your dial about halfway between ...
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17 votes

Where does the green part of the scallion start and the white part end?

The classic "high dining" answer is as you propose: the tender light green part gets kept with the white, while the mature part of the leaf gets removed and thrown away, or used for ...
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  • 124k
16 votes

Do onions help to sweeten tomato sauce?

Onions contain a good amount of sugar; that is why they brown and burn easily. The sweetness is more than often hidden behind the sharp onion smell and taste. Some onions like the vidalia onion ...
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