Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Guinness Battered Onion Rings

One night last month I came home from a London trip to find a kitchen full of teenage guys hovering around our deep fryer. My son and a few friends had gotten the ingredients to deep fry potatoes, onions and Oreos....yes, Oreos! After a few nibbles on some very good French fries, I went upstairs to change and to give them the freedom to be creative. A few minutes later my son came up with a plate of onion rings (I was glad it wasn't an Oreo!). I took a bite and asked what the spice on them was. It was my homemade chili powder and salt. Oh, they were good. I rarely fry anything and only have the deep fryer because he wanted it a few years ago. Well, he is back to college now and I still couldn't stop thinking about those onion rings. On Sunday I decided to experiment and make my own. I've never made a beer batter, but I thought it sounded good, even though my son had just used a regular batter. I looked in the reliable "Joy of Cooking" cookbook, and pared down and simplified a recipe there. I wanted a fuller flavor so I made it with Guinness. I just substituted the beer for a Guinness Extra Stout. Just as I was taking out the first round, my neighbor knocked on the door. We tested them hot from the pot, with a sprinkling of fleur de sel and homemade chili powder. They got a 2 thumbs up. We ate a few more and I took some pics before the light faded. I sent her home with a plate full and the rest of the batter. They were a huge hit next door, too.

The following day we got a snow-sleet-ice-freezing rain storm. Everything was a mess. I managed to shovel a narrow path of the cement like snow from my front steps. Later in the afternoon I heard a rustling and scraping sound out front. I opened up my front door and there was my neighbors husband shoveling my whole front steps. When I went to thank him, He replied with something that sounded a lot like onion rings!!! I think we both made out well!
Guinness Battered Onion Rings

3 onions sliced in 1/2 inch slices
About 1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups flour
12 ounces Guinness Extra Stout beer
1 extra large egg, separated
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups canola oil

Put the onion slices in a medium bowl and pour the milk over them. Let them sit about an hour, tossing occasionally. In another medium bowl, mix the Guinness into the flour while stirring. Stir in the egg yolk and salt. Let sit for about one hour. Just before deep frying, beat the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold the egg white into the beer batter.

Over medium high heat, heat the oil in a medium size pot or deep fryer to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with several layers of paper towels. Drain the milk from the onions and put them into the batter. Carefully drop onion slices in the hot oil, one at a time without overcrowding. Add only as many as you can so they do not overlap. You'll need to make several batches, but since they cook so quickly it will go fast. Using 2 forks or tongs, turn the onions when they are brown on one side. Remove from the oil when both sides are a golden brown and put on the paper towel lined baking sheet. They brown within a few minutes, so keep an eye on them. Keep frying the onion slices until all are fried.

Sprinkle with homemade chili powder and salt to taste and serve hot.

Diane's Fire Breathing Chili Powder

Increase the "fire" by slowly adding more of the ground peppers
1 tablespoon ground ancho chilies

1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground chipotle pepper

3 tablespoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground dried oregano

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients together, being careful not to breathe in the pepper. Store in an ai
r tight container. Makes approximately 3/4 cup.

Guinness Battered Onion Rings recipe click here.

Diane's Fire Breathing Chili Powder click here.

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