My friend Steve and I were elbows deep a couple of weeks ago in one of our many food discussions, when we somehow stumbled onto the topic of deep frying. Even though I try my best to eat healthy, there is something super exciting to me about frying things. Maybe it’s the dangerous nature of hot oil or the sizzling sound things make while they are cooking, but regardless of why frying things excites me.
It just so happens that Steve’s brother owns a deep fryer.
I think not.
Two seconds after the fryer was made known, the idea for Fried Food Saturday was born. An entire day devoted to fried foods, foods wrapped or topped with bacon and Steve. Duh, we had to celebrate Steve’s birthday and FFS at the same time. It was fate.
Lots of delicious foods came to be that fateful Saturday. Lots of beers were consumed. Lots of fun was had by all.
BUT… the shining star of FFS had to be these onion rings. They were crispy without having too much batter and the batter was flavorful without being overpowering. And they were delicious plain or in a sauce.
They are now the standard by which I will judge all other onion rings. Restaurants better get their sh*t together.
The best part? They can definitely be made WITHOUT an at home fryer. You just need a soup pot full of oil and you are good to go.
You will need…
2 large Spanish onions or 3 yellow onions
2 cups buttermilk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup yellow cornmeal
1 quart vegetable oil
Start by peeling the onions and slicing them 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick and separate them into rings.
Combine the buttermilk, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper in a medium bowl.
Add the onion rings to the buttermilk and toss well.
Set them aside to marinate for at least 15 minutes. They can sit in the buttermilk for up to 3 hours.
In a separate bowl combine the flour, the cornmeal, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
When you're ready to fry the onion rings, preheat the oven to 200 degrees F and line a baking sheet with paper towels. (This ended up being unnecessary for me since people were eating them faster than I could get them in the oven.)
Heat the oil to 350 degrees F in a large pot, Dutch oven or fryer. (A candy thermometer attached to the side of the pot will help you maintain the proper temperature.) Working in batches, lift some onions out of the buttermilk and dredge them in the flour mixture.
Drop them into the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes, until golden brown, turning them once with tongs.
Whatever you do, don't crowd them!
Place the finished onion rings on the baking sheet, sprinkle liberally with salt, and keep them warm in the oven while you fry the next batch.
Continue frying the onion rings and placing them in the warm oven until all the onions are fried. They will remain crisp in the oven for up to 30 minutes.
Serve them hot with your favorite dipping sauces.
Share them with friends. That way no one will have to worry about onion breath.
Love and Beer Floats