August 5, 2013

Beer Baked Onion Rings

You reach for a fried onion ring at a bar or a late night diner.  Your eyes are drawn to the perfectly tubular golden crusts.  You grab a ring off the pile, drag it through a heap of ketchup and take a bite.  As you pull the remainder of the ring away from your teeth, the scalding hot onion fails to break and the entire slippery snake slides out of the perfect crust and slaps your chin.  Now you’re left with a fried crust, a slimy string of onion and a burnt chin.  After a few helpings, you’re sick from grease overload. 

While trying to figure out what to do with a large onion sitting in my pantry basket, I found a recipe online for baked onion rings and got excited to have a lighter and more pleasant onion ring experience.  Once my rings were out of the oven, I looked at the half can of beer that was leftover from the recipe and asked myself, “What EVER will I do with this leftover beer?”.  Well, it was the perfect beverage to gulp down with my crunchy, baked rings.  I’m sure you’ll agree.

RECIPE (adapted from Closet Cooking's recipe for Crispy Baked Onion Rings)

Makes 15-30 onion rings (depending on size of onion)

1 large yellow onion, sliced thickly and separated into rings
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup beer (I used Pabst Blue Ribbon)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs or regular breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon blend of paprika and/or cayenne pepper
Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

1.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2.  Place half of the flour in a wide shallow bowl.  In a second wide, shallow bowl, whisk together the remaining flour with the beer and egg.

3.  In a third wide, shallow bowl, mix the panko breadcrumbs, spices, salt and pepper.

 4.  Dredge each onion slice in the flour, then in the batter and then shake them around in the breadcrumbs, making sure to coat completely.

5.  Place the onion slices on a parchment-lined or foil-lined baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 12-16 minutes.

6.  Serve immediately with a load of ketchup.


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