Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Homemade Vidalia Onion Rings
FRESH HOMEMADE ONION RINGS seem like such a delicacy at our house, a rare and special pleasure. The arrival of the summer's Vidalia onions are cause for such a celebration.
Ordinarily, I am not fussy about the way others pronounce words. Not even my own name, and you cannot believe the variety of ways people can say, "Rocky". But when it comes to the South's, specifically Vidalia, Georgia's beloved sweet onion, I'm afraid I get a little defensive.
The name, Vidalia, is NOT pronounced vee-doll-eea with the head tilted back ever-so-slightly, chin jutting forward, eyebrows arched while the nostrils flare imperceptibly. The word Vidalia is said like so: VIE-DALE-YA and it is spoken with a smile.
I make a batter, dip the onions, then pan fry them, in a single layer, in shallow peanut oil, in a black iron skillet. Have you ever bitten into an onion ring and the entire onion slice pulls away from the crust? It happens when they are deep fried in oil that is too hot. The outside browns before the onion has a chance to cook. Not these onion rings. The batter adheres well and forms a crispy crust which encases the sweet and tender Vidalia onion slices.
Home Made Vidalia Onion Rings
3 large Vidalia onions
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup milk
Cooking oil for frying
Wash and peel onions and cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Separate rounds into rings. In a bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper, and baking powder. Whisk together the egg and milk. Add milk mixture to the flour mixture and blend well.
Dip onion rings into the batter and fry in a single layer in shallow, hot oil, in a large skillet. Once golden brown on one side, flip over and continue frying on the second side. Remove to paper towels to drain.