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Onion Rings


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There aren't many things I like better than french fries. And of those, few can be eaten. Onion rings, however, are on the list.

I'm not talking about the minced, formed ringlets served at Burger King (although they go great with a whopper). I'm talking about a thick ring of sweet onion, clothed in a moist yet crispy coat of copper batter, fried to perfection. The kind that releases the perfect mix of oniony goodness and oil when you bite into it.

Anybody got a recipe?

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Let me add, relevent to our "Ranch Dressing" discussion the other day, that I see Onion Rings as one of the few legitimate uses for Ranch dressing. But as always, blue cheese might work even better.

Q: Dstone... do you distinguish between Onion Rings in this context and Onion Loaf? Someone might have a recipe for that... (note that I'm not referring to Onion Loaf bread, but instead the kind that's a big loaf of fried onions...)

Q2: Do you have a deep fryer?

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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I make thinish onion rings and this is how:

Slice onion rings

Toss in flour

Then in milk

Then in flour again

Deep fry

Stir gently in the oil to prevent them from clumping

Salt immediately and eat

How sad; a house full of condiments and no food.

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I've had some good onion loaves where the rings pulled out easily. Some were just heavy bricks of onion and batter -- not too bad in theory, but not too good in practice.

Blue cheese is great for onion rings. I find that most "blue cheese" offered in such situatinons (as with Buffalo Wings) seems like a mixture of ranch and blue.

I don't have a deep fryer, and I don't think it would be a good idea for me to get one. The last thing my arteries need is removing the few remainig barriers to fried food.

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I do much as polly does except with garlic and onion (!) powder and cayenne in the flour. And huge does of salt once they are draining on the rack.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I wonder if there is even a legitimate way to make Onion Rings without a deep fryer, DStone. Maybe there is a way to Pan Fry them? I'm dubious...

I suspect that a "baking" method might exist... but would it taste the same? I doubt it.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Polly,

That's much more straightforward than I expected.  No beer batter?  No folding egg whites?  No baking powder (soda?)?

Straightfoward and lovely.

Beer batter is great too, it just gives a different result.

I make my beer batter by eye:

2/3 plain flour

1/3 SR flour

strong tasting beer

Beer batter protects the onion more, so be careful that it's not too thick, or you can end up with steamed onion inside a big wad of dough.

How sad; a house full of condiments and no food.

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Onion bhajis are my favourite. I don't have a deep fryer I just use a huge saucepan. I deep fry fairly frequently and have never had any problems.

Onion Bhajis

3 medium brown onions

1 cup flour

1 cup chickpea flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 cup cold water

oil for deep frying

Peel onions, cut in half lengthways and finely slice.

Mix flour, baking powder, cumin, coriander and salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Break eggs into the well and whisk to combine, add water and mix until batter is smooth. Stir through the onion.

Heat oil in a large saucepan, drop spoonfuls of mixture into the hot oil and cook until puffed and golden.

Drain on paper towels and serve with a fruit chutney or yoghurt dip.

Makes 14

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The best ones I've ever made were from "Onions, Onions, Onions" by Fred and Linda Griffith. Soak thick cut onions in buttermilk for 2 or 3 hours, Dredge in HIGHLY seasoned flour and fry. They are light and devine.

Stop Family Violence

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The recipe I've been using since 1976, adapted from Family Circle magazine (!):

1 can or bottle of beer, bubbly or flat, cold or warm

an equal volume of AP flour

(a large pinch of salt -- my addition)

Mix until goopy. Let sit 3 hours, refrigerated or at room temp.

Cut 3 very large onions (yellow, white, sweet, whatever) in 1/4 inch rings. Heat oil or shortening to 375 degrees F. in a big pot. Stir batter back together. Dip a few rings at a time in batter, drop in oil. Turn a couple of times to ensure all-over browning. When golden, remove and place on a draining tray or parchment over a sheet pan. Keep warm in a low oven (200F). Repeat until all rings are cooked. Sprinkle with Kosher salt. May be kept warm for a long time in the oven, but they go really fast!

-------------------------

What happens is the alcohol in the beer acts on the gluten in the flour, and you end up with an incredibly bubbly, light, crusty crust. This recipe was printed under the heading, "The Best of the Best," and believe me, it is! Absolutely addictive!

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Suzanne spilled the secret. You need to let the batter rest covered at room temp. for 2 or 3 hours. You can then--if you want--fold in stiff-beaten egg whites for an even lighter crust. Great with fresh shrimp.

PJ

"Epater les bourgeois."

--Lester Bangs via Bruce Sterling

(Dori Bangs)

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I'm still trying to duplicate the flowering onion served at the Outback for example. I don't think my current deep fryer gets hot enough.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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For me, it starts with the onions. There's a huge variation in how supermarket onions will perform based on how sweet they are, how old they are, and how much moisture they contain. In late spring and summer, I'll sometimes pick up a big sack of Colossal Sweet Spanish Onions at Costco. These make a superb foundation for onion rings as well as many other things that involve onions. Of course the super-premium Vidalias are great too, but not necessary. I prefer the simplest dusting of flour and basic seasonings. Frying with a thermometer (unless you've got a great eye) is also helpful and it's good to use a lot of oil and a heavy kettle so as not to experience a temperature drop when you add the onion rings (also helps to do them in small batches). In late fall and winter when the market shifts to storage onions I find that it's quite difficult to make good onion rings so I don't bother (I only do it a couple of times a year anyway, so I don't mind going a couple of seasons without); though if called upon to do so I'd gravitate towards a thick batter in order to shift the emphasis to the crust.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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The definitive beer batter recipe is :

110g plain flour,

10g fresh yeast or 5g dried

150 ml beer

Leave to rise in a warm place for 30 mins or so.

Soak the rings in milk for 30 mins or so, dust with flower then pass through the foam that should have formed on top of the batter mix, deep fry.

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My favorite recipe is

two large onions thick sliced

equal parts flour and water

old bay spice to taste

panko

mix flour, water and old bay spice, should be very thin.

dip onion rings in flour water mixture allow excess to drip off

dedge in panko

deep fry until light(very light) brown

I'm a NYC expat. Since coming to the darkside, as many of my freinds have said, I've found that most good things in NYC are made in NJ.

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I had my best ever restaurant onion rings in Huntington, West Virginia.

They were so good that I made my friend take me back to this dive at least 5 more times in 4 days.

They were served as a side dish and also as a large plate. The rings came almost grease free. That impressed me most. For most other food in this diner was greasy.

Dwights, the restaurant I ate them at has been open since 1947. It is a small diner style restaurant in downtown Huntington.

These were simply the best I have ever eaten. And I have eaten plenty of french fries and onion rings for a lifetime.

I will go back to Huntington to eat these Onion Rings.

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  • 7 months later...

Onion rings are my favorite food, EVER. I have a very simple recipe:

1. Choose one of the recipes above. Prepare the onions accordingly.

2. Put the rings in a deep pot filled with hot oil.

3. Watch as my kitchen fills with deep black smoke, the alarm goes off, neighbors call 911, and my cats decide it's time to head to the hills...

4. Go to my favorite rings-serving restaurant. Realize that I suck at deep frying...

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  • 4 months later...
I had my best ever restaurant onion rings in Huntington, West Virginia.

They were so good that I made my friend take me back to this dive at least 5 more times in 4 days.

They were served as a side dish and also as a large plate.  The rings came almost grease free.  That impressed me most.  For most other food in this diner was greasy.

Dwights, the restaurant I ate them at has been open since 1947.  It is a small diner style restaurant in downtown Huntington.

These were simply the best I have ever eaten.  And I have eaten plenty of french fries and onion rings for a lifetime.

I will go back to Huntington to eat these Onion Rings.

Where does one by Cracker Meal in NYC/Brooklyn?

Is it something I should be able to find easily in the grocery stores around town?

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easy as pie....either bar style or pseudo-haute onion rings

1 pint stout beer

enough tempura batter mix to make it hard to stir

or....

extremely thinly sliced onions dredged in the same tempura mix...(the onion flavor of this one is great)

"Make me some mignardises, &*%$@!" -Mateo

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At my old restaurant we cut either Vidalia or Maui's in half lengthwise and then slice them into 1/2"strips so you end up with onion straws.

Soak them in buttermilk with a spice mix (ours is cumin, cayenne, tumeric and good chili powder, mixed with kosher salt). We dredge them in flour - the trick is to shake off the excess through a sifter and do them in small batches so they don't get gummy and clump together.

Deep fry about 350 degrees till golden. Drain and toss with a little more of spice mix. We serve them as a base for our Sloppy Joe sandwich or as a side for our ribeye steak.

They're stupid good. :biggrin:

We need to find courage, overcome

Inaction is a weapon of mass destruction

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As far as onion rings go, I may not be a master of the trade, but I have surely fried enough of them to at least be considered a journeyman in the Onion Ring Guild of America. I basically put myself through college in a very, very, large (350 plus seats) working all stations and eventually becoming kitchen of a very large seafood place in Baton Rouge LA that is famous for their giant fish shaped plates of thick cut rings. Try this out.

3 eggs

1 qt. cold water

1 tsp Crystal Hot Sauce (or any mild red pepper sauce)

6 large yellow onions

4 cups self rising flour

2 tbls. cracked black pepper

2 tbls kosher salt (or any rough salt)

1 tbls granulated garlic

Beat eggs well and add water and hot sauce in a large bowl

Slice onions to about 1/2" thickness in rings and place in ice water

Mix together last five ingredients in a large bowl

Heat good quality oil (peanut or cottonseed is best) to 350 f

Dip rings in eggwash and flour

Repeat, being gentle (the key is to completely coat with flour mix on second pass)

GENTLY LAY ring into the hot oil and fry until light brown (don't go for dark or golden brown, as they will burn very easily)

Drain on paper and stack as high as you wish

Eat. Accept raves of friends and family. Go clean up the flour from the floor, walls, windows, etc. in your kitchen.

The main deal with getting great looking and tasting rings is to not work with too many at one time, they need to have some room to move around in the oil in order to fry evenly.

The guy I used to work for was an All American Linebacker at LSU in the late 60's and he ran the place like a football coach. Screwed up rings hitting the line were often launched back at the fry station like little 350 degree frisbees. Duck and cover was the order of the day on many shifts.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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