Authors note – pictures to follow – we ate all the evidence.
People avoid onion rings thinking their must some voodoo involved. Not so. Easy.
What you need:
- Onions – white, yellow or for the best – SWEET onions
- Buttermilk – 1 quart
- Flour – 1 cup
- Beer – 8 to 10 ozs. more or less – choose a good beer, on the sweeter side
- Salt – 2 tsp.
- Pepper -1 tsp.
- Personally I would add 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Cut about 1/4″ off of each end of the onion and peel the onions of the ‘paper’ skin. Then with a sharp knife test the next layer and if it is at all papery or leathery, peel it as well. Discard.
Turning the onion on its side slice it cross ways every 1/2″. Discard the heart of the onion – those hard little tight rings in the center. Separate the entire onion into rings by layer. If you break one no big deal. We’ll still use it.
In a bowl place the buttermilk and onion rings. Stir until the rings are coated. Stir every 15 minutes for an hour.
After the hour is up do two things in this order:
- Get your vegetable oil heated to 350F. Get it right up there and make sure it is there with a thermometer. You want about 1-1/2 to 2″ of oil in preferably a cast iron pot or very heavy sauce pan.
- And then use a different bowl to make the batter:
- Put a cup of all purpose flour in the bowl. Add the salt and pepper. Whisk the dry ingredients together.
- Add a cup of beer and whisk together until you get a consistent batter. Add more as needed to make a medium pancake batter consistency.
Now here’s the tricky part – you gotta keep that oil between 350 and 365F. Which means you are going to slip one ring at a time out of the buttermilk, dip it into the batter then slide it into the oil. After a few minutes the bottom turns a deep golden brown. Using a fork or tongs or chopsticks flip it over.
Once you are used to this you can do two or three at a time – but watch that temperature.
Drain on a napkin lined plate, or lay out on a wire rack or even drain them by just piling them on a cardboard egg carton – sans the eggs of course.