I have a sensitive threshold with onion rings, where the line between “yes, more more more” and “ugh never again” is quite hazy. These onion rings stretch out that divide so that I can eat about 12 more onion rings while wavering between the 2 extremes. They are light, crispy perfection, and just when you think you’ve overdone it, your body surprises you by making room for just one more and then maybe just one more after that. Plus the buttermilk ranch dip, ERMAHGERD; I’ve been wasting my life eating onion rings without ranch dressing all these years. Time to make up for lost snacking opportunities starting NOW.
BA’s Best: Beer-Battered Onion Rings
Taken directly from BA’s Best arsenal
1 large sweet onion, sliced into ½-inch thick rounds and separated into rings
2 cups buttermilk
¼ cup cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 ½ tsp kosher salt + more for sprinkling
1 cup chilled club soda
¾ cup chilled lager
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
¾ cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
2/3 cup buttermilk
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp finely chopped chives
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, finely grated
¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp mustard powder
¼ tsp onion powder
Place the onion rings in a large bowl and pour in the 2 cups buttermilk. Submerge the onions as best you can and chill for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the buttermilk ranch sauce by mixing all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Season with salt to taste. Chill until ready to use. This sauce actually gets better with a bit of time as the flavours can really meld together.
Whisk together the cornmeal, baking powder, paprika, ¾ cup flour, and kosher salt in a medium bowl. Whisking constantly, gradually add the club soda and lager, leaving a few little lumps in the batter. The mixture should be thin, like crepe batter, but if it isn’t, whisk in a bit more beer (to thin) or flour (to thicken). Don’t overmix this batter! You want it mostly smooth, but not beaten to death.
Set a large cooling rack inside a baking sheet and top with a layer of paper towel. Place the remaining ¾ cup flour in a shallow bowl. Pour the vegetable oil into a deep-sided frying pan or heavy pot to about 2 inches deep. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until a candy/frying thermometer registers 375 degrees F. Remove 5-7 onion rings from the buttermilk, let the excess drip off, and dredge in the flour. Shake off any excess flour and dip the onions into the beer batter, letting excess batter drip off. Fry the onion rings, keeping an eye on the oil temperature to ensure it isn’t plummeting. Turn the onion rings occasionally until they turn crisp, puffed, and golden-brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer the fried onion rings to the prepared baking sheet and immediately sprinkle with salt. Repeat with remaining onions and batter, letting the oil temperature creep back up between batches.
Serve the onions hot or warm (they stay crisp for a pleasantly long period of time before becoming soggy!) with gallons of the delicious buttermilk ranch sauce you made. Oh you didn’t multiply the recipe to yield literal gallons of dressing? Weirdo.