Monday, May 28, 2012

Ring Around High Cholesterol

One of the side effects of having a big garden is that you can only eat so much stuff, and therefore you have to preserve things for when the sight of another cucumber-tomato salad doesn't make you want to vomit. So you freeze what you can (this is annoyingly little, really), and then you make jam with or pickle the rest. And then a year later you STILL have gallons of gallons of pickle spears in your basement. But this is not a cautionary tale! 

We decided to try and use some of them up after seeing Alton Brown make fried pickles on Good Eats (my 9-year-old is a big fan!). Alton's recipe is here, and it worked really well. So well that there are no pictures to show for it! But I decided to use the same approach - that of buttermilk vs. a more traditional egg wash - to tackle something else that has always eluded me: onion rings.

But pickles, you see, pack a lot of flavor on their own, whereas onions need a bit more help. Here's what I did:


1 cup buttermilk
2 cups yellow corn meal
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder

2 onions, sliced thinly into rings
anything else you want to batter and fry, I used some asparagus from the garden and some tomato slices.

oil for frying

Let's do this!

Heat your oil before you begin, aiming for about 350 degrees. I'd love to have an electric fryer with a thermostat to handle this for me, but if I did, I'd probably fry way more food than anyone ought to. What I have instead is an icky anodized aluminum pot that I only use for frying. 

She ain't pretty, but she gets the job done. 
The Calphalon marketing team will surely cringe if they ever catch sight of that photo. But it's their own faults for selling it to me as "just as easy to clean as non-stick!". It's not. 

While the oil is heating, mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl and pour the buttermilk into another. Once it's hot enough, dip an onion into the buttermilk, then into the cornmeal mixture, then into the buttermilk again, back into the cornmeal, then plop it into the pot. Carefully!

Cook it until it's browned, flipping them over with tongs or a spider as needed. Remove and drain on paper towels (or "paper toweling" as Martha Stewart used to inexplicably say)  while you work through the rest. Mine didn't come out looking anywhere close to perfect, but they did look and taste better than most other home made onion ring attempts I've tried over the years.  

I served them with home made ranch dressing, and we called it dinner!

What? There's veggies in there... somewhere...

1 comment:

  1. YUM. I'm coming over to help myself to some of that fried goodness.