Sunday, February 28, 2010

Perfect Onion Rings

We celebrated our son’s birthday last night. As is our tradition the honoree picks the menu. I knew onion rings would be one of the choices.

I pretty much have this down to a science but last night I sliced them as thin as possible without using a mandoline (besides, I play it poorly), or slicing any fingers. I used my small fan to blow the sulfuric fumes into the family room, interrupting Olympics watching and appetizer consumption.

I use mostly an Emeril recipe. I referred to this in an earlier January post so I thought I'd share it.

2 large onions sliced very thin, thinner than 1/8 inch

2 cups buttermilk

¼ cup hot sauce, any brand is fine

4 tablespoons Emeril’s Essence

2 cups flour

Candy thermometer

Canola oil (you can also use vegetable or peanut oil)

Mix the buttermilk, hot sauce and one tablespoon of Essence in a bowl.

Place the onions is a 9 by 13 inch pan or baking dish

Pour the buttermilk mixture over the onions, cover with foil and put in refrigerator for at least one hour.

Mix the flour and two tablespoons of Essence in a separate bowl.

Heat the oil in a tall stovetop pan to at least 360 degrees.

Working in batches, thoroughly coat onions in flour mixture and fry for about three minutes. Place each batch on paper towels. Season each batch with more Essence.

Keep a knife handy to fend off errant hands sneaking samples before dinner.

Filets were also on the menu last night. Crisp, thin, deep-fried onion rings are extraordinary on filets.

There are rarely leftovers but once when there were some I used a Ziploc and refrigerated them. Two days later I crisped them up in the oven. Almost as good as freshly fried.

If you have a deep fryer, the kind shown on cooking shows, go for it. I have been able to do French fries and onion rings in my tall stovetop pan.

Important safety tip—do not dispose of or strain the oil back into the container shortly after use. Something bad will happen. Wait until the next morning.

Still working on perfect French fries.

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