*************(Updated 5/25/15 to include recipe)***************
This week has been an absolute whirlwind for me over here at From James to Jamie. On top of changing WordPress themes to a much more reader-friendly – and stats-friendly – version, I finally had a photo accepted by Foodgawker! As a result, Isetting new records for views and visitors, and I also added new places to my list of countries that have viewed my blog! For non-bloggers, that may not sound all that exciting, but for a new blogger like myself, I nearly peed my pants with excitement.
I read a post from a very successful blogger last week, where they talked about the first time they hit a particular statistical milestone, and how they can still remember the day. I don’t think I’ll ever forget this past Friday, when my food was finally considered as gawk-worthy, and the excitement that followed from the influx of Foodgawker-related readership.
However, even more important, exciting, momentous, etc., is the discovery that I made on Saturday night while hosting a barbeque for Mateja’s birthday. We’d originally planned to head up to Cultus Lake Provincial Park, located only about 10 minutes from home, and host a little shindig down by the water. The weather having decided differently than us, threatened that idea in ominous forecasts all week. To stay on the safe side, we changed plans and invited everybody back to our house. Expecting a few more than our actual turnout, and expecting the extra difficulty of using other people’s BBQs to cook (had we stuck with the plan to be up at the lake), we opted for store-bought burgers. Having no opportunity then to wow our friends on the protein front, I looked for something interesting I could add to the mix.
That’s where my “discovery” comes into play, as it was then that I became aware that good homemade onion rings are possible! I mean, if a restaurant can create a side of onion rings, then obviously so can a home cook – it’s just that I’d never heard of it actually being done before. I figured it was something that you could try, and they might even be half-decent, but they wouldn’t compare to the powerhouses such as my all-time favourite, A&W. Boy was I wrong – and in the tastiest way possible.
As I said, I figured that one could at least try, and so that’s what I did. I used the recipe from my very first search result on Google, Old Fashioned Onion Rings from AllRecipes.ca. I adjusted it only slightly, and ended up with an amazing result!
I decided to use two large sweet onions instead of one, though I was picky with which parts I used, so it probably ended up being equivalent. As I didn’t have a deep fryer and merely guessed at how hot my oil was, I cooked them more by sight than by suggested cooking time. Finally, when the rings were cooling down after deep frying, I ground some Himalayan pink salt directly overtop to season (which the recipe called for, but without specifying whether table, salt, kosher, or other).
These things received rave reviews, and I’m already looking for reasonable opportunities to make them again. I know I could totally whip up a batch again tonight, but that’s a slope I don’t want to attempt standing on. As they say, everything in moderation, right?
Old Fashioned Onion Rings
Adapted from “Old Fashioned Onion Rings” by “JeanieMomof3” at allrecipes.ca
- 1-2 large onions, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rings
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup bread crumbs, or more as needed
- 1 large egg, preferably free range
- salt for seasoning (I recommend Himalayan pink salt)
- vegetable oil, for frying
- Combine the flour, baking power, and salt in a medium-sized bowl and stir to combine. Dredge each onion ring in the dry mixture, and remove to a plate. Repeat until all onion rings are coated well. I recommend reserving the middle portion of the onions which aren’t the traditional “onion ring” shape. If your rings are served as a side for burgers, you can sauté these extra bits of onion and add them on top.
- Your dry mix will now become your batter. Add the egg and milk to the mix of dry ingredients, and mix thoroughly with a fork. Dip each onion ring in this batter, shake off any excess, and then remove to a wire rack. Make sure to have a cookie sheet or an alternate underneath the rack to collect any drippings. Repeat until all onions are coated in the batter.
- Pour the breadcrumbs into a shallow bowl or onto a large plate. One at a time, dredge the battered onion rings, tapping off any excess. Place the breaded onion rings on a plate while they await deep frying. Repeat until all onion rings are thoroughly coated in breadcrumbs, adding more the to bowl or plate as necessary.
- Fill a medium-sized pot with about a one-inch layer of vegetable oil. Turn on the element, and heat the oil to the point where dipping the tip of an onion ring into the oil causes the oil to pop and crackle. Test with one or two onion rings, adjusting the heat accordingly – you are looking for about 1 1/2 minutes worth of cooking, and a golden brown colour. For instructions when using a deep fryer, consult the allrecipes.com link above.
- Remove to a large serving tray lined with paper towel, season to taste with salt, and let cool slightly.
- Enjoy! Oh, and try to share…
* If serving as an accompaniment to a main dish like a burger, each onion will comfortably feed about three people.
As I’m just learning this food photography thing, I would love any feedback possible. I’ve numbered my photos, and I would love if you could comment, telling me which picture you prefer. As well, any constructive criticism is welcomed. I know I have a lot to learn, but also a great desire to do so. Thanks in advance, and until next time, happy cooking!