Onion rings are another one of those foods I never really tried as a kid, and was always wary of in college, for no particular reason other than not trying them as a kid.  (It turns out have dietary restrictions was paradoxically really good for expanding my culinary horizons.  Go figure.)  Turns out, though, onion rings are pretty easy to make, and super delicious.  :-)  I’ve yet to make a batch of these that weren’t devoured with gusto in minutes.

You’ll need a fryer, metal tongs, and paper towels to make a drain plate.  (You can make do without a fryer, and heat the oil in a pot on the stove, but I swore off that ages ago — managing the oil temperature is doable but such a royal pain.)  The only annoying thing is that once you’ve breaded the onion rings, you either want to lay them flat in a big ziploc bag to freeze or go ahead and fry them right away:  Gravity isn’t kind to GF breading batter, and if you wait long enough the batter and breadcrumbs will just slide right off.  Don’t worry, though, it takes more than five or ten minutes; just make sure you’ll have time to finish up once you start breading.

But all this is just the technical little piddling details between you, and a fresh hot batch of perfectly textured onion rings.  What are you waiting for?  :-)

Fried Onion Rings

Yield:   3-4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-large to large onion
  • 1 cup dough mix
  • 1/8 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp salt (or more, to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups GF bread crumbs (I use this bread)
  • oil for frying

Directions:

1.  First things first — the onion rings themselves.  Chop the onion perpendicular to the root, in slices about a quarter inch thick.  This should give you a cross-section with intact rings; gently push the outer rings apart with your fingers, and set the inner rings aside to meet whatever other onion-appropriate fate you may have in store for them later.  (I just dice ‘em and save them in a baggie — there’s always a use for diced onions.)

2.  In a bowl wide enough for the widest onion ring to fit in, whisk together the dough mix, xanthan gum, baking powder, and seasonings (parsley, basil, salt, oregano, marjoram, pepper, paprika, cayenne powder).  Coat each onion ring in the dry mix, and set aside.

3.  Whisk the egg and milk into the remaining dry mix.  The resulting wet batter will be very thick, but should be just thin enough to whisk easily.  Pour your breadcrumbs into another bowl, the same size as the first or bigger.

4.  Pour a generous inch of oil into your fryer, and start it heating to 365 degrees F.  While that heats, set out a cooling rack large enough for all the onion rings — that way, you’ll minimize how much of the wet batter will try to stick to anything other than the onion rings — and start breading the rings the rest of the way.  Dip each ring into the wet batter, coat it thoroughly, hold it up for a second to let excess batter drip off, then immediately dredge it in bread crumbs to hold the wet batter on.  (Trust me, give it long enough and it’ll slide right off.)  Stow the breaded ring on the cooling rack and start on the next.

5.  Layer some paper towels on a plate for the fried onions to drain on, and grab some metal tongs to flip them in the oil with, and you’re ready to fry in the heated oil.  Cook the onions a minute on each side (two minutes total), using the tongs to flip them halfway through.  Remember to always drop the onions into the oil angled away from you so you don’t splash yourself!

6.  Move each batch of rings to the paper-toweled plate to drain.  Let them cool a little bit — I find they’re best just warmer than lukewarm — then dig in!  :-)