Hello cholesterol! Today more than ever, we hold true to our motto on 196 flavors, #dietstartstomorrow, with this American classic recipe: onion rings.
I have to admit that these breaded and fried onion rings that are dipped in sauces are a real calorie threat, and yet we are probably all unable to resist when we see them on restaurants menus.
This recipe is definitely quick and easy and it can be prepared entirely or partly ahead of time as you can prepare the onion rings the day before, and fry them at the last minute, or heat them in the oven after they’ve been fried.
There are quite a variety of onion rings recipes. Some contain egg and buttermilk or milk, others contain iced soda water in the batter that coats the onion rings.
This last recipe makes it possible to not only prepare the onion rings ahead of time, but also allow them to stay crispy even if it is necessary to reheat the onion rings in the oven.
What is the origin of the onion ring recipe?
The first written sources of recipes for fried onion date back to 1802 in the book The art of cookery – Made Easy and refined by John Mollard. Named Fried Onions with Parmesan, this recipe calls for fairly thick onion rings of about 1/2 inch, but it does not suggest to separate the rings. Then onion rings need to be dipped in a mixture of cream, flour, eggs, salt and pepper, then fried in a bath of lard. They are finally served with a sauce made with butter and mustard.
It is the Pig Stand restaurant chain, the creators of the drive-in in the US in September 1921 in Dallas, TX (Chalk Hill Road), that claims the paternity of the recipe as we know it today.
About twenty years after its creation, the chain had no less than one hundred outlets across the US.
American brand Crisco also claims the success of this onion ring recipe after its publication in an ad in the New York Times Magazine on November 6, 1933. As Crisco is famous for its vegetable fat, it is easy to understand its interest in promoting such a recipe.
These onion rings are perfect for this week’s Super Bowl theme! I am not a big fan of sport and American football in particular, but I love commercials, and this is what I am waiting for when I end up watching the Super Bowl with friends. Good luck to the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots though!
- 2 large onions , peeled
- 1 cup sparkling water , cold
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups vegetable oil , for frying
- 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- Chopped fresh herbs (chives, parsley, dill)
Slice the onions into ½ inch (1cm) thick slices. Stir the rings so they don't stick to each other.
- In a bowl, mix the flour, cornstarch, salt and baking powder.
- Place 2 to 3 onion rings at a time in this mixture and turn them over to coat them well. Set aside in a separate dish. Add pepper, stirring until all the rings are well seasoned.
- Add cold sparkling water to flour and cornstarch. Whisk until mixture is smooth.
- Pour the breadcrumbs in another shallow dish.
Heat the frying oil to 350F/180C.
- Using two forks, dip onion rings in the batter first, then into bread crumbs, turning them over so they are well coated both outside and inside.
- This can be done right before frying the onion rings but can also be done ahead of time. You can then keep raw onions rings in the refrigerator and fry them before serving them.
- Then dip a few onion rings at a time in the frying oil so they do not stick while frying.
- Turn them over after a few seconds and place them on paper towels after they turn golden brown.
- It is possible to heat the fried onions rings in an oven heated at 350 F for 5 minutes by placing them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Serve hot, accompanied with choice of Ranch dressing (see recipe below), barbecue sauce, ketchup or mayonnaise.
- Mix all the ingredients and refrigerate.