Sunday, September 27, 2009

Deep Fried Sweet Vidalia Onion Strips

Strips of sweet Vidalia onions, dredged in buttermilk and seasoned flour, and deep fried to a crispy crunch.

Deep Fried Sweet Vidalia Onion Strips

I know those skinny onion string haystacks are all the rage across the blogs these days, and I love those too. On a burger. Or on top of a salad. But when I want a side or a snack of onion rings, first I want the onions sweet - and that calls for a sweet Vidalia onion - but then, I want them nice and thick. And they must be crunchy. And, light. And not at all greasy. Hey, I have my standards, even with onion rings.

I prefer cutting the onion in half from top to root, and then cutting nice thick strips, mostly because they work better that way in my deep fryer, and they are easier to eat, but, of course, you may certainly cut them into more classic, thick rings.

I also like to give mine a double dip in the flour tub once I've gotten them all coated the first time. I just dump them all back into the flour bowl all at once and give 'em a quick toss, back to the plate and into the fryer. Do them in batches, add just a bit more salt right when they come out and eat 'em right away.

Don't you just hate it when you bite into an onion ring and the whole onion comes out leaving behind an empty shell of coating? Using buttermilk really helps the coating to adhere to the onion pretty well, so you should not have that problem with this recipe. Southerners do love buttermilk, and down here it is pretty much a kitchen staple. I realize a lot of folks use the soured milk method when something calls for buttermilk, well frankly ... while it may be an 'okay' rare emergency replacement, it's just not at all the same as real buttermilk to me. The texture is different, the flavor is different and the properties are different. Get you a small carton of buttermilk to keep in the fridge and besides the usual uses, when it comes time to coating things, use that instead of milk. You will notice the difference immediately and really it lasts a long time.

Oh my goodness do I love these onion rings. They are light, and crisp, and crunchy, just the way a good onion ring should be. Onion rings are excellent served with Mississippi Comeback Sauce for dipping.

Delicious. The secret - well, besides using sweet Vidalia onions of course - is in the addition of cornstarch. Of course, if they are out of season or you don't have access to Vidalias, use another type of sweet onion, or you can also substitute a regular yellow onion instead as well. Give it a try sometime! Here's how to make them.

Recipe: Deep Fried Sweet Vidalia Onion Strips

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 10 min | Yield: About 4 servings

  • 2 medium Vidalia onions, cut into thick rings or halved and cut into thick strips
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • Couple dashes of hot sauce
  • 1 cup of self rising flour
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama)

Preheat the deep fryer to 355 degrees F. Cut the onion in half and then cut into thick strips; set aside.

Set up your dredging bowls. In one bowl, add the egg and beat; add in the buttermilk and hot sauce; blend together. In another bowl, add the flour, cornstarch, salt and Cajun seasoning. Mix well.

Dip the onion strips into the buttermilk mixture, let excess drain off and dredge into the flour mixture. I like to dip them back into the flour mixture one more time. Add carefully to the fryer and deep fry, in batches, for about 2-3 minutes or until light golden brown. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle right away with some additional salt, if desired. Serve hot with Mississippi Comeback Sauce for dipping.

Cook's Notes: Cut into whole, thick slices for whole onion rings, or run onion across a mandoline to slice super thin for onion haystacks. May substitute other sweet onions, or a regular yellow onion, when Vidalias are out of season.


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Posted by on September 27, 2009
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