Fried food. Naughty, I know. But oh so good. This is the first year of my life that I have ever deep-fried anything. Can you believe it took me 42 years? My mom bought me a Dutch Oven for Christmas last year and then I ran across a gluten-free doughnut recipe on the internet where the woman was using a Dutch Oven to fry them. I was beside myself with excitement. It brought back instant memories of my Grandma frying and frosting absolutely mouth-watering, delicious, doughnuts for us when I was little.
Once I set aside that small amount of fear I had about dealing with 350 degree oil on my stovetop…I got right to work. First, I made glazed doughnuts, then apple fritters, then onion rings. (Doughnut recipes to be posted in the future…) I’ve made the onion rings a few times with different types of batters and egg and flour dredges. The battered onions come out of the oil crispy but as they sit, they get too soft for my liking. I’ve found that the egg and flour dredges mixed with gluten-free bread crumbs stay nice and crispy. Tonight I served the onion rings with a grilled hamburger and tangy sauce on the side. These would be great for a little get together too. If people like to gather around your kitchen counter like they do at my house, you could fry them while you’re visiting and people could snack and drink a good beer. You could even put some of your guests to work…those are the best parties!
Gluten Free Onion Rings
1 48 oz. bottle of Canola Oil
2 Cups Mama’s Almond Gluten Free All Purpose Flour, or your choice of GF flour
1 Cup Gluten-Free Bread Crumbs (*See note below)
1/4 Cup Almond Milk, or rice, or regular milk if you aren’t dairy-free
4 Tbsp. Sea Salt
1/2 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Chicago Steak & Chop Seasoning, or your favorite steak seasoning
Whisk together 1 cup light mayo, 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Chipotle), 1/4 cup ketchup, 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more if you like it spicy).
Pour oil in a Dutch Oven or deep, heavy pot. You could also use a deep fat fryer if you own one. Heat oil slowly to 340-350 degrees. Use a thermometer.
While the oil is heating, pour 1 cup of the gluten-free flour on a dinner plate. Add 1 Tbsp. of the sea salt and mix together with fingers, set aside. In a medium bowl, add 2 eggs and 1/4 cup almond milk and whisk, set aside. In another dish or on another dinner plate, add the remaining cup of gluten-free flour, the gluten-free bread crumbs, the remaining sea salt, garlic powder, baking powder, and Chicago Chop & Steak seasoning, mix and set aside. *You can use leftover gluten-free bread for the crumbs, just make sure they’ve been dried and crushed completely. Mine were made from a boxed mix for french bread that I bought and didn’t like. (Gluten Free Pantry French bread & Pizza mix. Didn’t like the bread at all but it works great for bread crumbs.)
Slice three large onions. If you’re serving this with dinner, it’s about an onion a person. If you’re doing them for a party as an appetizer, then I would use about 1/2 onion per guest. This is the size of the onions I used. Not huge, but large.
Peel and cut into 1/2 inch (or so) slices. I try to keep mine about two rings thick. Don’t worry about the thick middles. They also fry up nicely. First, coat the onion with the salted flour.
Next, dip carefully in the egg mixture.
I changed the egg bowl to a larger one on the 2nd dipping because it was a bit too tight. After you’ve dipped the floured onion in the egg mixture, place it in the last flour mixture and coat completely. I turned mine over a couple of times and pressed it into the coating.
Once the oil is heated between 340 and 350 degrees do a tester onion. After it’s been dredged lower it carefully into the oil. When it begins to brown, turn it over with a slotted, metal spoon or spatula. Once it has browned to your desired color, remove carefully from the oil and place it on a baking sheet covered in layers of paper towels. Salt with sea salt. Taste. Mine needed to cook just a bit longer. The onion was still a little too crisp. I also decided that I wanted a bit more coating on the next batch.
Go through the process with the remaining onions, cooking 3-4 at a time. You want plenty of room in the frying oil for them to move around and also, if you load too many in there, the temperature will drop too quickly leaving you with soggy onion rings.
As you fry several batches the oil will get darker because of the bits of coating that fall off of the onions. This is normal. Also, keep an eye on the oil temperature. You want it to stay between 230-240 degrees while frying. After a couple of batches, I waited a few minutes to allow my oil to heat back up to the desired temperature. DO NOT turn up your stove. This can heat the oil too quickly, it can get too hot, and you could end up having a very scary problem on your hands.
Remove each batch from the oil carefully, place on the paper towel lined baking sheet and season with salt. I also salted the paper towels so that I wouldn’t have to flip the onion rings over to salt them on the bottom. You can also keep them warm in a 200 degree oven once they’ve been salted, crack open the oven door though to allow any moisture to escape.