I was perusing blogs and came across a recipe for baked onion rings. What drew me to try them was that they really did look like the real deal, minus the hassle of frying. The coating evenly coated the onion rings and the mixture remained intact. After baking, the crunchy coating was evenly crisp with a perfectly cooked onion in the center. I was sold, and knew that the effort would pay off with crunchy deliciousness.
To start, you prepare a thick buttermilk mixture with flour and seasonings. You'll want to make sure this is properly seasoned since all the flavorings are mixed into the buttermilk mixture instead of the coating (which you can also jazz up with an herb blend, if desired).
For the coating, the directions call for cornflakes and bread crumbs, though I didn't have any. Rice Krispies make a good substitution, as well as bran flakes or any light, relatively flavorless cereal. I replaced a bit of the rice cereal with oatmeal ground to a powder. I liked the flavor it added, though the coating was a little mealy. Not enough to detract from the taste, so I might do it again.
A few pointers to ease the coating process:
- Make sure all excess buttermilk mixture has dripped off the onion rings, otherwise it'll leave to many clumps in the crumb mixture.
- Work with half the crumb mixture at a time, adding more when you get low. This will prevent more of the mixture from clumping.
- Use your other hand to coat the rings with the crumbs, preferably using a fork. The less you dip your fingers in the mixture, the less messy it'll be.
I found that the rings, once coated in both mixtures, can be left to air dry for a couple of minutes, or even up to an hour. You might then be able to freeze the rings and cook later. If you opt to try this out, freeze in a single layer on wax paper lined baking sheet. Transfer to a gallon size ziploc bag to freeze for up to a week.
To bake, a few tablespoons of oil are heated on a rimmed baking sheet in the oven before the rings are placed on the sheet. This most likely assures maximum crispiness and mimics the frying technique. It produces a very crisp ring with a light and crunchy coating. The flavor was great, and these make a nice addition to hot dog, sandwiches, and burgers as well as soups, or simply for general snacking. Serve alongside your favorite dipping sauce and you're good to go.
Recipe after jump.
baked onion rings
Recipe from Martha Stewart
1 1/2 cups cornflakes
1/2 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Coarse salt (I used around 3/4 teaspoon) and ground pepper
1 medium sweet onion, such as Vidalia (or 2 regular white onions), sliced crosswise into 1/4-1/2 inch slices and broken into rings (discard small center rings)
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a food processor, pulse cornflakes and breadcrumbs until fine crumbs form, then transfer half to a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, flour, and cayenne and season with salt and pepper.
- Dip onion rings in egg mixture (letting excess drip off) and dredge in cornflake mixture (adding more when needed); place on a large plate. Rings can stand for up to an hour. Pour oil onto a rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven and heat 2 minutes. Remove sheet from oven and tilt to coat evenly with oil. Arrange onion rings on sheet. Bake, turning once, until onion rings are golden brown, about 16 minutes.