Peeling pearl onions can be a squeeze play

WHAT'S COOKING?

September 07, 1994|By Rita Calvert | Rita Calvert,Special to The Sun

Q: I love little pearl onions. The fresh white and red varieties look so tempting, but how do I peel them without spending

hours?

A: The best way to remove the skins from all those tiny onions is to dip them first, very briefly, into a pot of boiling water. While the water is heating, score an X through the root portion of each onion. Drop them into the water for 30 seconds and then drain. The skins will pop off when you give the onion a squeeze, then cut off the root end. Cook as desired.

Q: At the end of the summer I have an abundance of corn on the cob that I would like to freeze. Can I leave the husks on? What's the best treatment for the corn?

A: For freezing whole ears of corn, it is not practical to leave the husks on because unhusked corn takes up more space in the freezer and will be more difficult to prepare later. The silk and husks on frozen unhusked corn would become very limp and difficult to remove. The best way to freeze corn, is to first clean the ears by removing the silk and the husks and cutting out any bugs or worm holes. Blanche medium-size ears of corn for 4 minutes in boiling water to cover, 3 or 4 ears at a time. Cool quickly by running under cool water and drain. When dry, the ears can be packed in freezer zipper plastic bags and frozen.

A reader's favorite trick for making fresh bread crumbs is to whir broken up pieces of fresh bread in a blender.

Send questions to: What's Cooking, c/o Food & Home, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Or call Sundial, The Sun's telephone information service, at (410) 783-1800 (268-7736 in Anne Arundel County, 836-5028 in Harford County, 848-0338 in Carroll County). Using a touch-tone phone, punch in 6180 after the greeting. Questions of general interest will be answered in this column.

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