There are a lot of bad onion rings out there. I know. If onion rings are on the menu, I will find a way to order them, but I rarely order them a second time at the same restaurant. There used to be some good Onion Rings out there (and, eternal optimist that I am, I keep hoping I will stumble upon them once again), but not any more. Onion Rings are pretty much universally bad now, and often the same from restaurant to restaurant. There’s this huge ring of “crunchy” (“stiff” would be a better word) “batter” (if that’s what you can call brown cement) engulfing a thin, watery, tasteless bit of something-that-looks-like-an-onion, which is served up hot and hard. One bite, and that something-that-looks-like-an-onion comes slithering out leaving a hot ring of brown cement in your hand. Sadly, these are not the worst Onion Rings. The worst ones have the same batter, but with reconstituted onions on the inside! Horrific. Let me tell you a little secret though. Onion Rings, good ones, real ones, are very easy to make. If you promise to read my blog forever and ever, comment occasionally, and say nice things to your friends about it, then I will share my recipe with you!
Way back when, when my Dad was healthy, he would visit on a regular basis. I would make a batch of these for him. He’d sit on his stool, drink his Manhattan, eat onion rings and tell me what a good cook I was while I prepared dinner. That doesn’t happen any more. Sometimes he forgets he’s eaten dinner, even when he’s still sitting at the table. Occasionally, he still tells me I am a good cook though. I think I’ll make Onion Rings for him again, next time I see him. Maybe they’ll trigger a memory, just like this recipe did for me.
There is not much batter on these Onion Rings, just a light coating of flour moistened with buttermilk…, and they are sooooooooo GOOD!
Polly’s Onion Rings
- 2 or 3 large brown onions
- 2 cups buttermilk (in a pinch I have successfully substituted 2% milk)
- 4 teaspoons salt (divided use)
- 1 teaspoon pepper (more if you are a pepper lover, you could also substitute or add in a dash of cayenne, if you’d like)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- oil for frying (I use one 48-oz bottle of canola or vegetable oil. I discard all the oil when cool)
1. Cut onion into 1/2 inch thick slices and separate into rings (my rings are usually a bit less than ½ inch)
2. In a large bowl or Ziploc mix buttermilk and 2 teaspoons salt. Add in the onion rings. Stir or shake to drench all the onions. Let onions soak in the buttermilk, at room temperature, for least 10 minutes, and up to an hour or more. Stir or shake occasionally.
3. Drain rings from buttermilk. Discard the buttermilk…or save it for another use. ( I have been know to use the buttermilk and the leftover flour from the next step in Yorkshire pudding batter.)
4. In a large Ziploc bag combine 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Shake to combined.
5. Add onion rings to the flour mixture a few at a time. Shake until covered with flour. Remove the rings from the flour and place on a cake rack to dry for at least 15 minutes (and up to an hour). Repeat until all onion rings are lightly coated in flour and drying on a rack.
6. Pour oil into a heavy pan. Heat oil to 360 degrees. (If you are an experienced and careful cook, the oil can be heating while you are completing step 5)
7. Fry onion rings, in batches, until golden. Turn each ring over at least once. (A batch, determined by the size of your pan and the size of the onion ring, so a batch could be as few as 4 onion rings or as many as 10. Try to cook large onion rings in the same batch, small onion rings in the same batch, the medium onion rings together, and so on.) Each batch should cook for approx. 3 minutes (up the time a bit for larger onions).
8. Transfer cooked onion rings to a paper towel lined tray to drain off and absorb excess oil then place in a 200 degree oven to keep warm, while you fry another batch. (My family eats as I fry, I can’t get them in the oven.) Bring the oil temperature back to 360 degrees before adding more onions.
9. Serve hot with additional salt (I use Kosher salt)
Makes approx 50 onion rings.
I just made these for the “Superbowl Snack” theme meeting of my cookbook club. They are great to make as your guests walk in, as they are best right out of the oil. Don’t cut up too many onions though, or you will never get a chance to sit down. I find folks will eat as many onion rings as I make…, and at a faster clip than I can make them!
Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today. It was a good day to stop by, this is one of my all time best recipes (and one of my most sinful… 🙂 )