Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Onion Ring Goodness

Janet here: I can pass on fries with hardly a second thought in a restaurant, but a place known for its onion rings — i.e. crisp, not too battery onion rings that retain some of the sweetness of the onion — are a downfall of mine. Now that I've made a batch of my own, I could be in real trouble because A) they're not as hard to make as I thought, B) they're baked, making them appear to be semi-healthy for you and C) they are freaking amazing.

I adapted a recipe from Ellie Krieger's The Food You Crave. I don't have a food processor (I know, I know, I'm a cooking Luddite) so my rings weren't quite as crumb-covered as they might have been if I'd been able to make finer crumbs, but trust me, this was not an issue. The plateful lasted only a few minutes at our family table, with S and G splitting the last one rather than fighting over it. I can tell this is the beginning of a beautiful recipe relationship.

Homemade Onion Rings
makes about 14 rings, depending on how you cut your onions


2 large Vidalia onions
4 cups potato chips (obviously there's room for lots of experimentation here on chip flavoring to make unique onion rings; I went for your basic potato chip this time since it was my first but I'm going to change it up for sure going forward)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I threw in some red pepper flakes too since we tend to like our food spicier)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup flour, plus two tablespoons flour
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Get out cooking sheets and spray lightly with cooking oil.

Smoosh up your potato chips. If you've got a food processor, that's obviously the easiest route. I don't so I put mine in a plastic bag and pounded away. Add in your spices, stir and the place in a shallow bowl.

In another bowl, mix up the buttermilk, two tablespoons of flour, salt and pepper.

Peel the onions and then slice into 1/2 inch slices and break apart into individual peels. I used the mostly inner ones, i.e. the largest peels, but it's up to you. I saved the rest of the onions for other food. Place the peels into a plastic bag with the 1/2 cup flour and shake it up to cover the slices.

Take each flour-dredged peel and drop into the buttermilk mixture. Then drop into the chip crumbs and cover thoroughly. Place on cooking sheet with no overlapping of onion rings.

Bake 20 minutes until golden brown. If you have two cooking sheets, they may not both fit on one shelf. (Mine didn't.) I switched sheets after 10 minutes and it all came out fine.

Rachel here: Ok, so while I didn't make any onion rings, I have a few things I'd like to add here. The first is that these look and sound delicious and I can't wait for my family to come and visit in a few weeks so that my mom can make them for me (I share her undying love for onion rings and most likely have her to thank for it). The second is that my mom said "Smoosh up your potato chips." If you were to type "smoosh" in a word document it would be underlined as incorrectly spelled. This would be because it is one of my mother's many faux words. We in the Reynolds family speak fluent Jake, so welcome to the fold. Stick around and you'll find yourself saying all sorts of words that leave those not in the know looking at you like you just made no sense (clearly this is their shortcoming, not ours/yours). And finally, I would like to invite you all to join me in congratulating my mother for boldly leaving her photographic comfort zone to use a camera instead of her phone for this post. Seriously, it has taken weeks (months?) to convince her to take this bold step and to assure her that is technology she can figure out. Go, Mom, go!

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