Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Beer Battered Onion Rings

It was at least a few years ago when I first made onion rings - and this was only my second attempt since then because the first try had been so dismal.  Because it has been so long I cannot actually remember what recipe I used, but I do remember the barely battered somewhat soggy and doughy covered onions that resulted.  So when I suggested making onion rings to go with our burgers, my partner was - well, less than excited by the idea. 

Due to the last attempt my expectations were low.  I am not a proficient deep fryer, and to be honest, the thought of a pan full of scalding hot oil on the stove scares me.  Even when taking the fried onion rings out of the oil I was less than convinced that they worked, quite a few of them weren't actually 'rings' - more like half moons.  However, once we'd tasted them we knew they were a success.  The batter was light and very crispy with sweet onion inside and just a hint of spice.  Had I been more patient and delicate when frying them up (as my falafel burger was cooling), I probably could have gotten more perfect 'rings' and a more even batter coating - but I don't think this would have made much difference to the flavor.

Beer battered onion rings
serves 2 as a side dish

2 medium onions - cut into 1/2 inch rings
milk - as much as it takes to cover onion rings (at least a couple cups)

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne (or chilli powder)
1/2 tsp cumin

about 1 1/2 bottles beer (lager style)

Cover onion slices with milk in a bowl and leave to soak for about 30 minutes.  Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan (ie: cast iron) in a 200 C/ 400 F oven.  Sift together dry ingredients then add beer in until you get a (American) pancake like consistency*.  Transfer pan to the stove and put on high heat.  In batches, coat about six to eight onion rings in the batter and fry in a single layer in the oil, turning over once when browned on the bottom side - then remove and put on paper towel to drain.

*You may need to add more flour or beer depending on the consistency of the batter - it shouldn't be too thick.

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