Ah fried food…good, yes…good for you, no. We all know this. Which is why fried food is kind of a like the forbidden donut in this house. Oh don’t get me wrong, we do fry on occasion but it is with a heavy heart as I drop that piece of chicken into a hot batch of oil. So when we were revamping our dinner plan last weekend (who knew I couldn’t find boneless pork ribs at Whole Foods?) Kyle suggested onion rings. Insert eye roll here. I guess he felt like building a meal off of a side dish that night. I certainly didn’t feel like searching around for a recipe I wasn’t totally keen on making in the first place but I agreed only because I knew Ina had an onion ring recipe that I saw her make a few months back which completely piqued my interest.
Thankfully I had a some help making these as my cousin was up to visit for the weekend – the rings would have been a job and half for one person! The process itself is simple but you have to work fast frying them because they cook quickly!! So as I was dipping and dunking, Mariah was flipping and draining. All told we all loved how the rings turned out – crunchy, almost tangy from the buttermilk, and definitely worth the effort. After eating, I realized that we could have played around with the spices a little but I’ll save the changes for the next time we make them.
Cornmeal-Fried Onion Rings
source: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa at Home
- 2 large Spanish onions (or 3 yellow onions)
- 2 cups buttermilk
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (medium) yellow cornmeal
- 1 quart vegetable oil
- Peel the onions, slice them 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick, and separate them into rings. Combine the buttermilk, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Add the onion rings, toss well, and allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes. (The onion rings can sit in the buttermilk for a few hours.) In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
- When you’re ready to fry the onion rings, preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
- Heat the oil to 350 degrees F in a large pot or Dutch oven. (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 into the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes, until golden brown, turning them once with tongs. 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 hot.