This is the second of two recipes that I tested and shared from Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek’s new cookbook, Starters & Sides Made Easy. Next up: the giveaway!
Okay. Wow. This recipe was definitely named correctly. These onion rings are beyond crispy, beyond crunchy. They’re like…super fantastically crispy crunchy. They’re the real deal, but easy to make. And when you think about it, there’s nothing much in them. What’s great about this is that they’re cheap as well as delicious. And cheap recipes are always appreciated, right? A few notes:
* Checking onions: In Israel at least, we check onions for possible bug infestation. You peel, slice in half, and look on either side of each halved layer as you peel them apart. That’s the quickest way, anyway. For this recipe, you slice the onions into rings, so you’ll need to check each ring. It isn’t a big deal, just something to keep in mind.
* Utensils: I mixed the batter in a 9-inch pie plate with raised sides, and I used an 8×8 baking dish for the breading. Using something with sides as opposed to a straight-edged plate gives you space to work and makes this mess-free. So, sides. Stick with sides.
* Frying: The recipe says to fry the rings in 2 inches of oil, but that sounded like it would result in a lot of oil going down the drain at the end. I fried in 1 inch (in a 2.4-quart pot) instead, and it totally worked.
Recipe at a glance:
- Accessible ingredients? Definitely.
- Multiple steps required? Well, yes. And anytime you make individual pieces of something, it will take more time than it would if you were making a casserole/cake/soup. But it’s a great dish to make as a treat.
- Left with lots of dirty dishes? Not too bad.
- Taste worth the effort? Yes and yes. Especially for a special occasion.
- Make again? They’re on my Chanukah list already.
Tweaked from Starters & Sides Made Easy
Yield: About 25 rings in varying sizes from 1 large onion
- 1 large onion
- ½ cup cornstarch
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- Pinch ground black pepper
- ½ cup water
- Breadcrumbs, for breading *
- Oil, for frying **
* Rather than give an amount, it’s better to toss some in your breading dish (enough to amply cover the bottom) and refill as needed. The authors recommend Panko for the best crunch, but I used run-of-the-mill peirurei lechem zahav and the crunch was really terrific.
** I fried in 1 inch of canola oil. You can always add more if you need it, but I don’t think you will.
1. Peel and slice the onions into half-inch rings. Separate the rings carefully (and check for bugs as applicable).
2. Heat the oil: Pour 1 inch of oil into a 2.4-quart (or something close to that) pot and heat it up over medium heat. The original recipe says to start frying “when the oil is hot,” but without a candy thermometer, that can be tough to gauge. If you have a thermometer, fry your rings at 375 F. If you don’t, do a test ring to see if it browns in 2 minutes. (Note: If the oil is too hot, it will burn; if it’s too cool, your food will soak up extra oil.)
3. While the oil heats up, mix cornstarch, flour, salt, paprika, and black pepper in a dish with raised sides. Add water and stir to form a thick batter. Pour breadcrumbs into a second dish with raised sides.
4. Coat the onion pieces in batter completely (a spoon is helpful). Lift up and allow excess batter to drip off, then coat completely in breadcrumbs. Fry as many as will fit in the pot at one time without overlapping. They should fry for about 2 minutes total (no flipping needed), but you’ll be able to tell when they’re done by eyeballing. They’ll be golden brown and look like the photo above.
Serving: For best results, serve onion rings within 2 hours of frying.
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