Friday, March 16, 2012

Oven-Fried Onion Rings

In the past couple of weeks, I think I've learned a valuable lesson.  I come to realize it's best to avoid saying such phrases as "I feel like things are finally settling down" or "As soon as we get through this, I'll really be more on top of things."  Silly me, this week has been one big reminder that we are not in control.  And so the craziness continues.

That said, I felt like I couldn't delay any longer in sharing this recipe.  I ate so many of these onion rings that I had no room for any of the other items on my plate and kept eating even after I got stomach ache from being so full.  They were perfect crispy-crunchy thick-cut onion rings that my husband, a self-proclaimed onion ring-lover, declared some of the very best he'd ever had.  And, he pointed out, they don't have that distinctly fried aftertaste that a lot of onion rings have.

Oven-Fried Onion Rings
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature*
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
30 saltine crackers
4 cups kettle-cooked potato chips (I used reduced fat Ruffles brand and they worked great)
2 large yellow onions, cut into large rings
6 tablespoons vegetable oil

Adjust the oven racks to lower-middle and upper-middle positions and heat the oven to 450 degrees. 

Place 1/4 cup of the flour and corn starch in a shallow baking dish or pie plate.  Beat the egg and buttermilk in a medium bowl.  Whisk the remaining flour, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper into the buttermilk mixture.  Pulse the saltines and chips together in a food processor until finely ground (or just place in a gallon-sized freezer zipper bag and pound the heck out of them).  Place crumb mixture in a separate baking dish.

Working one at a time, dredge each onion ring in the flour-cornstarch mixture, shaking off the excess.  Dip in the buttermilk mixture, allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl, then drop in the crumb coating, turning the ring over to coat evenly.  Transfer to a large place. (At this point, the onion rings can be refrigerated for up to 1 hour.  If you refrigerate them, let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking).

Pour 3 tablespoons of the oil on each of two rimmed baking sheets.  Place in the oven and heat until just smoking, about 8 minutes.  Carefully tilt the heated sheets to coat evenly with the oil, then arrange the onion rings on the sheets.  Bake, flipping the onion rings over and watching and rotating the position of the baking sheets halfway through baking, until golden brown on both sides, about 15 minutes.  Briefly drain the onion rings on paper towels.  Serve immediately. 

*If you do not have buttermilk, an easy substitute can be made.  Just mix together slightly less than 1/2 cup milk with 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice or white vinegar.  Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes and stir before using. 
Recipe slightly adapted from: The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2011


  1. Wonderful recipe. This is my favorite snacks during midnight. So tasty. :)

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