Yesterday I followed up on my February Financial Resolution – to avoid eating out for the entire month. I discussed my shortcomings and successes.
I mentioned that I have an undying love for onion rings from A&W. I caved to my cravings early in the month. I did, however, solve the problem so that I didn’t buy any onion rings for the rest of the month. How? I learned how to make good onion rings at home.
I draw some inspiration here from when SquawkFox (a PerFi blogger) decided to stop paying so much for Frappuccinos from StarBucks and started making the drink herself.
Unlike SquawkFox, I didn’t set out to produce an exact replica of the A&W masterpiece. I just wanted to stop paying $3.70 for a little bag of delicious onion rings. Based on my years of scientific analysis, I’ve determined that the key factors of a fantastic onion ring are:
(1) It’s either breaded or tempura battered. Onion rings in run-of-the-mill batter are inherently mediocre. This is entirely determined by the recipe.
(2) It’s carefully wide cut, but not too thick. The outside surface of the onion ring should be wide. The edge of the diameter should be thin. This is determined by how you cut the rings.
I found a good recipe for classic breaded onion rings after a bit of searching. The recipe lacks clarity (e.g. it doesn’t tell you when to add the seasoning salt). As a result, while I won’t repeat ingredients here, I’ll discuss the steps. Spoiler: the outcome is fantastic.
I assembled the ingredients.
I cut the onion into rings, but I didn’t cry.
In the centre bowl, I mixed together the salt, baking powder, and flour, and then whisked in the egg and milk. Into the right-hand (stainless steel) bowl, I poured bread crumbs and then mixed in the seasoning salt. I dipped each ring into the flour/milk mixture, coating it; I lifted it above the bowl and shook it a few times to remove the excess. Then I dipped it in the bread crumb mixture, flipped the ring, and dipped the other side. The next picture is the pre-fried product.
Finally I put each ring in a pan of vegetable oil (use tongs!), on medium-high element heat. The rings need to be able to at least barely float; waste less oil by using a small diameter pot or pan. I watched them bubble; it was quite easy to tell when the rings were perfectly fried.
There you have it: fantastic breaded onion rings.
Getting all of the necessary ingredients for this recipe at one time would cost a pretty penny. Luckily, the only things that we needed to purchase were an onion and breadcrumbs. Those two items cost less than half the price of an order of onion rings at A&W. Notably, we had enough bread crumbs leftover to do it all again. Later that week, we did.