Did I mention something about being healthy this week? Onions are a vegetable….Well besides wanting pizza on Thursday and Friday I sometimes want a hamburger (not both the pizza and hamburger, one or the other –remember I said we were trying to eat healthy ;). Well with that hamburger I either like fries or onion rings. Until recently I had never made onion rings, we just usually went to our favorite diner when we wanted good onion rings or french fries (not often, I don’t want ya’ll to think we eat a lot of junk food). After reading through a few recipes, I didn’t find one I liked particularly well so I improvised and came up with this recipe. I have made it a few times and we like it. I also wanted a spicy dip to go with the onion strings, like some of the chain restaurants give you with fried onions. I immediately thought of the Russian Dressing my parents would make for leftover turkey (mayonnaise and ketchup) as the base. With a little experimentation, I came up with a sauce that compliments the onion straws and is great on burgers. This recipe is fairly flexible, increase the buttermilk and flour if you use a larger onion. 1 large onion could serve 4 people. I use a small or medium for us and it is plenty. Onion straws (some refer to them as strings) are best served hot. I call these onion straws because they are very thin unlike the big onion rings we are used to.
Ingredients for onion straws
1 small sweet onion
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups buttermilk
4 cups (1 quart) vegetable oil
Directions for onion straws
1. Slice onion in thin rings, place in shallow dish and cover with buttermilk. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. You can let these soak while you cook dinner or at least let them soak for 10-15 minutes.
2. Heat all of vegetable oil in a large saucepan or stock pot over medium heat.
3. In a large bowl, mix flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper.
4. Remove onion rings from buttermilk and toss onion rings in the flour (discard buttermilk)
5. Add onion rings to hot oil (the oil should be around 375F or if you don’t have a candy thermometer to measure the oil temperature – if you put a little flour in the pot and it sizzles, the oil is ready).
6. Fry onion strings until golden brown; about 5-10 minutes.
7. Scoop onion strings out of the oil with a slotted spoon and place on plate with paper towels to drain oil. Serve with dipping sauce (see below)
Ingredients for spicy straw sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/8 teaspoon horseradish
1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (1/8 teaspoon if you want a little spice, 1/4 teaspoon if you want more spice)
Instructions for spicy straw sauce
1. Mix all ingredients together
Source: Lindsay Lou original