Remember how I bought all those extra onions for my onion soup? Well, I've been working my way through them. I started wracking my brain and the Internet for recipe ideas, and suddenly onion rings popped into my head. Only Jeff and I don't really love onion rings because of all the batter and the thickness of the onion slices, so he took my idea for onion rings and suggested onion strings. I needed no convincing!
I put a chicken in the oven to roast and started making the onion strings. They are so easy! First, you just get your sous chef to thinly slice the onions with the mandoline. Then you soak the onions in buttermilk for about an hour, heat your oil, toss the onions in seasoned flour, and fry them up. They're crispy, crunchy, salty, and downright irresistible! Seriously. Couldn't keep my hands off them.
Onion Strings (adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks!)
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1 large onion
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling on top
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cups canola oil
Thinly slice the onion, and place the slices in a baking dish.
Pour the buttermilk over the onions, and soak for about 1 hour, turning them occasionally to make sure both sides get coated in the buttermilk.
In another baking dish, combine the flour, salt, and cayenne pepper.
Heat olive oil to 375 degrees. While it's heating, line a large plate with paper towels, and have some salt nearby.
Once the oil is ready, grab a handful of onions, letting the excess buttermilk drip off them, and swirl them around in the flour mixture.
Shake off the excess flour, and drop them in the oil. Use a skimmer or spider to separate them.
Fry for a couple minutes, until light golden brown, and then scoop them out with a skimmer or spider, and place them on the paper-towel-lined plate. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
Repeat with remaining onions, frying in batches, until they're all gone.
Serve hot. And do try not to eat them all while you're frying them -- I lost that battle.
I thought these were amazing... and even better than what you get in most restaurants because the onion strings were fresh and hot, and we got to snack on them right after they came out of the oil.
I know some of you fear frying, and I admit it can be a little intimidating. For something like this, I use a deep pasta pot. The 4 cups of oil don't even fill it halfway, so I know the oil will stay in there and not really splatter. I also rely on my skimmer, which has a long handle, to reach into the pot and get the onions out. I'd really love a spider, which would be even better for this sort of task, but I just haven't bought one yet.
Onion rings, onion strings, or neither?