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Who doesn’t love onion rings? What is there not to love about the flavors of onions incased in a crusty shell. Unfortunately most people have only tasted the prepared onion rings sold in the frozen food section of the supermarket. These are not really onions rings. They are onion-flavored glop. Real onion rings are actual rings of onion. There is nothing fake. Onion rings have been a staple of American diners, cafes and roadside eateries for decades. It was a way to get rid of older onions and make a profit by doing so. If you were really lucky, you got onion rings with a beer infused batter and there is nothing quite like chomping in Beer Battered Onion Rings!
When it comes to what type of beer to use in the batter, it is totally up to you. I prefer to use whatever I have on hand. If you are going to use a “dark” variety of beer, the batter will be a little darker and the flavor slightly more “hoppy.” As far as the onions are concerned, any large sweet variety of onion will work perfectly. Just make sure to slice the onion rather thickly.
Since onion rings are deep-fried, oil is rather important. For any food item which is deep-fried, you want an oil with a high smoking point. The best oil for deep-frying is peanut oil. It is also rather expensive. The next choice is a canola oil, much more affordable. Often times in the South, they will use a combination of canola oil and lard and if you opt for this, you will have to watch the oil a little more closely as you don’t want it to start smoking thus burning the food.
If you want to know the secret of how the diner Beer Battered Onion Rings were always so golden, it is because of one simple and inexpensive ingredients. Just a touch of ground turmeric will give your batter a beautiful color and create the golden look to the onion rings.
BEER BATTERED ONION RINGS (serves 4)
Ingredients needed to make Beer Battered Onion Rings:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. salt
1 12-ounce bottle of beer
2 large sweet onions, peeled and sliced thickly
Oil for deep-frying
1) In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, turmeric, salt and beer until smooth.
2) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest 1 hour.
3) Re-whisk the batter.
4) In a large cast iron pan (or large saute pan), add a few inches of oil and bring to 350 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer.
5) Place the onion rings into the batter to completely coat them.
6) Carefully place them into the hot oil (in batches) and deep-fry until crisp and golden.
7) Remove the onion rings from the oil and place on a wire rack so any excess oil drips off of them.
8) Let cool slightly before serving.