When I was a kid, I HATED onions. My mom tried to hide them in every food imaginable, but I could always tell. I would announce my detection of onions, and my mother would reply in an exasperated, sour tone, “Oh Melissa, you can’t even taste them.” That must be the mantra of mothers everywhere, because now I use it with my own children.
What exactly did I have against onions? Well, I honestly didn’t even really know what they tasted like, because I had never really allowed an onion to stay that long on my tongue. What I objected to the most was how they were crunchy, even after they were cooked! Vegetables that are cooked should be soft, not crunchy.
So I turned up my nose and refused to eat anything with onions in it, until the day I was dying.
When I was almost 14 years old, I went on a wilderness trek with my youth group from church. We hiked for 15 hours and finally arrived at our destination at 3:00 a.m. Our bed was some wood chips under a tarp. Needless to say, I was not pleased with the accomodations. I was even less pleased with the menu.
When we finally got to eat the next day, they made soup with onions. Since I was starving to death, I made an exception to my “no onions at any cost” rule and ate the soup. I’m not sure if I started liking onions that day, but I did become thankful for onions that day.
And from that has blossomed a beautiful love affair. Onions are amazing. Onions are delicious. I actually get excited now when things have onions in them.
My husband shares my love of onions. When we were first married, we thought it would be a brilliant idea to buy a 20-lb. bag of onions, cut them all up, and freeze them. Just so you know, this is not a brilliant idea.
My husband ended up wearing swim goggles to protect his eyes, and we both found it difficult to breathe and were set upon by several coughing spasms. To top it all off, our freezer smelled like onions for a year!
Once I started liking onions, I began ordering onion rings at restaurants. Most of the time, the onions were encased in so much batter that it was hard to even tell if there was an onion in there! I always found myself disappointed when I ordered onion rings.
But now I can make them at home, and they are FANTASTIC. I found this recipe for Crispy Shoestring Onions in Savoring the Seasons With Our Best Bites. Instead of onion strings, though, I decided to make onion rings. I switched it up even more by using red onions instead of the traditional white or yellow onions. And guess what. They are delicious. The batter is light and crunchy so the onion can still be the star of the show.
- 1 large red onion thinly sliced
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbsp. milk or buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. black pepper
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- vegetable oil for frying
Heat at least two inches of oil to 350 degrees in a pot with high sides. (Don't use a frying pan!) I suggest using an electric skillet so you can control the temperature of the oil.
Whisk eggs and milk together with a fork.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Take a few onion rings at a time and dip them in the egg/milk mixture. You can use your fingers, or tongs. Let the excess drip off.
Put them in the bowl with the flour and other dry ingredients. I like to quickly shake the bowl back and forth so that the flour mixture covers the onions. (Just scoot the bowl back and forth on the counter. Don't pick it up and shake it).
Take the onions out and gently place them into the hot oil.
Cook until golden brown, turning with tongs if desired.
Remove with tongs and place on a plate with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.