Yesterday for Father’s Day, we went to my sister’s for dinner and upon arrival, discovered my nephew, Ryan, and his girlfriend, Laura, making “fried” onion rings. I was impressed so I began shooting photographs of the two of them, with my digital camera. The pictures all turned out nicely, and the onion rings were, in a word, delicious. I asked for the recipe and it turns out, Ryan found it on a website called http://www.cookingforengineers.com.
The recipe they tried, which came with illustrations, originated with Cook’s Country Magazine. The author notes that, “Usually, home cooked onion rings are dipped in a batter made with some mixture of milk, buttermilk, cream, sour cream, and mayonnaise then tossed in seasoned bread crumbs. The onion rings are then fried or baked. (Frying onion rings always ends up with the best results, but who wants to mess with all that frying oil unless you’re already planning to fry something more substantial – like a chicken?) Baked rings have a tendency to not be crispy or crunchy and somehow lacking in flavor. Cook’s Country solved this problem by using a rich, seasoned batter of buttermilk, flour, and cayenne with a final coating of saltines and potato chips…”
Personally, I use saltine crackers in a lot of favorite recipes–most notably in my salmon patties, but I have never heard or read of using kettle-cooked potato chips in a recipe. (This gives me some ideas).
To make the fried onion rings (which are actually baked not fried, but in a small amount of oil), you will need:
Oven-“Fried” Onion Rings (serves 4) Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C)
2 medium (200-250 g total) yellow onions cut into rings
1/4 (30 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large (50 g) egg
1/4 tsp. (0.5 g) cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. (3 g) table salt
1/4 tsp. (0.5 g) ground black pepper
1/4 (30 g) all-purpose flour
30 saltine crackers and 4 handfuls of Kettle potato chips, crushed–to make into crumbs–use a food processor, or for less mess, put the crackers and chips into a zip lock storage bag, seal and crush with a rolling pin. Ryan and Laura put the crackers and chips into a zip lock bag but then whacked it with the handle of a knife until they had fine crumbs. I think my rolling pin is a better way to do this step.
3 TBSP (45 mL) vegetable oil -coat sheet pan
Whisk the buttermilk with 1/4 cup flour, cayenne pepper, egg, salt, and pepper to form the batter. Then line up the onions, remaining flour, batter, and crumbs on the kitchen counter so you can form
an assembly line for dredging, dipping, and coating the onions. Then turn on the oven to preheat to 450°F.
Take each onion ring and drop it into the flour to create a dry surface the batter can cling to. Tap off the excess flour and drop the ring into the buttermilk batter. Using a fork, lift the ring out of the batter and allow the excess to drip off; then drop it into the saltine-and-chip crumb mixture. Using your fingers, press the coating onto the ring and then transfer to a plate. Repeat process for each ring.
Pour 3 tablespoons vegetable oil onto a cookie sheet with an edge, like a jelly roll pan, and place on the center rack of a preheated oven; wait eight minutes – just enough time for the oil to produce wisps of smoke. Remove the pan from the oven, tilt it to coat the pan evenly with oil, and then place the onion rings onto the pan making sure none of the rings are touching. Return the pan to the oven and allow the rings to bake for 8 minutes; remove the pan from the oven and flip all the rings over. Bake another 8 minutes in the oven and the onion rings will be done. Serve hot!
On a final note, the potatoes the kids made were also delicious but I don’t have that recipe yet. I’m proud of both of them; they worked together and did a fine job.My sister Susie thought so too!