I love onion rings. Always have. Even when I was really young, before I like onions on or in anything else, I loved onion rings. When I was growing up we had a little diner in town that had been around since my parents were growing up- Dave's. They talk about going there during their open lunch period in school to buy a burger for a quarter or something ridiculous. When I was in 6th grade, I remember walking by there after school and stopping in for laffy taffy from their candy bar or an ice cream cone. But what I really loved was a double (cheeseburger) with ketchup and pickles, only, and onion rings... with a chocolate milkshake, of course. Even as I type it I can smell the onion rings and burgers frying. Hmmmm.
Dave did not make his onion ring batter with beer (certainly not a Blue Moon), and he did not serve them with a chipotle aioli dipping sauce. The recipe is an evolution of my grown-up tastes... inspired by my youth. The breading is similar to a tempura type batter and works great on anything from zucchini to thick slices of portabella mushrooms.
2 large Vidalia onions
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup if buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup beer
vegetable oil for frying
extra sea salt for sprinkling
Slice the onions in thick slices, then separate the rings. Place them in a large bowl. Sprinkle them with 1/2 cup of flour and toss, coating them with flour.
In a separate bowl, mix together 1 cup flour, buttermilk, garlic powder, cayenne, pepper, salt and beer. Whisk together until it is smooth.
Heat oil on medium high in a deep pan for frying. To test the oil to make sure it is hot, drop a little bit of the batter in the oil. If it starts to bubble immediately, the oil is ready.
Dip each onion ring into the batter, then put it into the frying pan. Cook only enough rings at a time so they don't over crowd. With tongs, half way through, flip the onions so they cook evenly on both sides. Remove from the oil and let them drip on a paper towel. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Here are the onions tossed in flour- it helps the batter stick to the onions.
Here I am, whisking the batter. It should be like a thin pancake batter.
Chipotle Dipping Sauce
for beer-battered onion rings
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup 1/2 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce from can
1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Stir together all of the ingredients in a small bowl.