Mom’s Onion Rings
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© Paden Reich
I have memories of biting into a fresh onion ring when I was a little girl, sitting at a picnic table in the backyard, while my dad tended to another round of hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. After that delicious bite I got up from the table and danced around the backyard, before returning for a second bite of onion ring—to me, that epitomizes the definition of happy food. Those are my mom’s onion rings. One bite and I wanted to dance. I feel the same way about them today, and in fact I took this straight from my mom’s recipe box. I made them on my show for Tom, Wolfie, and my brother Patrick, and while they didn’t get up and dance, they did ask for more. These taste like classic onion rings, but the crust is lighter than a thick, traditional batter that consumes the onion. In fact, these are intentionally onion-forward. And oh-so delicious. Get ready to make your own happy memories.
1. Separate the onion slices into rings, and place in an 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Pour the milk over the onion rings. Cover and chill for 15 minutes.
2. Pour the oil into a large Dutch oven; heat over high to 360°F. Stir together the flour, kosher salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper in a shallow dish. Place the eggs in a second shallow dish. Dredge the onion rings, 1 at a time, in the flour mixture; dip in the egg mixture, and dredge again in the flour mixture. Place the coated onion rings on a baking sheet. Discard the milk.
3. Fry the onion rings, in batches, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes, turning once. Drain on paper towels; sprinkle evenly with the table salt. Serve the onion rings immediately, or keep warm in a 200°F oven until ready to serve.
You can use white or sweet onions, too— whichever you prefer!
2 large yellow onions (about 2 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup whole milk
6 cups vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1/2 teaspoon table salt
Hands on time