One day, months ago, after Ben and I were watching a show on the Food Network about fried foods, Ben had asked me to recreate the beer battered onion rings that were featured. Knowing I’m not one to frequently bust out a vat of oil to “waste” on frying, I quickly filed his request in the very back of my mind. No, seriously, the very back shelf of my brain that is probably full of dust and other undesirable recipe requests.
Onion rings have never been one of my favorite foods. The only time I’ve ever had them was when someone else ordered them at a restaurant and shared one or two with me. Regardless, when I was planning out my menu for the Oktoberfest Burgers, the dusty old onion ring file jumped to the forefront of my thoughts and I just couldn’t push it out of my mind. Ben was going to get his wish. I quickly searched for a few recipes, combined them together to suit my tastes, then whipped up these lovely fried circles of joy.
Despite my previous aversion to onion rings, I certainly enjoyed these! It is important to use a nuttier beer, as it accounts for most of the flavor in the batter. You can spice up the batter however you wish. I chose to keep it simple with a little bit of garlic powder and smoked paprika. Keeping it basic allows the edge of the beer to shine through and doesn’t overpower the onion. Plus, it’s all about the dipping sauce anyway, right?
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour , divided
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 egg , separated
- 1/2 cup (or more) beer, medium body
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
- Juice from one lime
- Salt and pepper , to taste
- 2 large onions (the sweeter, the better), sliced into thick rings
- Canola oil , for frying
In a large bowl, whisk together 3/4 cups of the flour, garlic powder and smoked paprika; set aside.
In a separate large bowl, beat the egg yolk then stir in the beer, butter, lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix into the flour and spices until just incorporated. The batter should be a similar consistency to pancake batter. Add more or less beer to achieve the appropriate thickness. Allow the batter to stand for 1 hour.
Heat a couple inches of oil to 350 degrees in a heavy sauce pan or Dutch oven. Meanwhile, whip the egg white until stiff peaks form, then fold into the beer batter. Place the onion slices into a plastic zipper bag with the remaining 3/4 cup flour. Shake to coat the onions.
Remove flour-coated onions one at a time then dip into the beer batter. Transfer to the hot oil (in batches so to not over-crowd) and fry until golden, turning halfway to evenly brown each side. Raise oil temperature back to 350 degrees in between batches. Drain on a baking sheet lined with paper towels and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
Source: Methods and ingredients adapted from multiple sources.
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