I believe you can fry.
Maybe you didn’t come from a family that fried regularly. Perhaps the idea of a barrel of boiling oil scares you. But listen to me.
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Once you learn some common sense basics, frying is actually a simple task. The payoff is that there are few other culinary feats that are more impressive than bringing a plate of hot, crispy, freshly fried food to the table, be it chicken or churros. And in the pantheon of frying, few will surpass onion rings.
Onion rings are much better than French fries, and French fries are great. They are definitely Too good to just enjoy when you go out. I’ve relied on Rachael Ray’s wickedly easy “Spicy O-nuts” from her “Cooking ‘Round the Clock” for nearly two decades, and they’ve never let me down.
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The secret is the ever-winning combination of pancake mix and beer, resulting in beautifully puffy rings that disappear from the table in an instant. The spices balance out the sweetness and the crunchiness is absolutely amazing. So don’t be nervous. You probably have an onion rattling around in your kitchen right now. What more glorious fate could you give her than that?
Recipe: Spicy Sweet Onion Rings
Inspired by Rachael Ray’s “Cooking ‘Round the Clock”
- 1 16 oz bottle of vegetable oil
- 1 large sweet or yellow onion
- 2 cups complete pancake mix
- 1 cup beer (if you drink, drink the rest while cooking.)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 tsp chipotle powder or 1 tsp hot sauce (feel free to adjust spice level to your taste.)
- salt to taste
- Cover a large plate or pan with paper bags or paper towels. In a large pot, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. If you have a food thermometer, it should read 375°. If not, look for the oil to be a little sizzling so you know when it’s ready.
- Meanwhile, cut the onion into thick rings and separate the rings.
- In a large bowl, combine the pancake mixture and spices. Mix the beer.
- Working with about 5 or 6 onion slices at a time, dip them in and coat them in the batter. Fry them until golden and puffy, turning once or twice, about 4 minutes.
- With a slotted spoon or kitchen spider, remove the onion rings to the plate to drain. Salt generously.
- Repeat with the rest of the rings. Serve immediately.
A few things to keep in mind for success:
- Make sure your oil is hot and ready so your rings don’t get muddy.
- Don’t fill the pan – you want to keep the oil nice and hot and make room for your bobble rings.
- Like a new car pulling out of the parking lot, onion rings quickly depreciate. This isn’t something to do when you have a bunch of other dishes to keep an eye on or when your guests are rushing to the table.
- Make sure the oil is completely cooled down before disposing of it.
More restaurant classics to make at home:
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