Monday, March 30, 2009
In honor of St. Patrick's Day March's Food Network Cooking Club Challenge the recipe chosen was Riccardo's Beer Battered Onions Rings. I was actually looking forward to trying this one as I have never made onions rings before and I love all things beer battered. The major downside was that this treat is in exact opposition to my return to boot camp and attempt at healthier eating. That being said I made them, the boy and I tried some and I threw the rest out! A bit wasteful, I know. but luckily it wasn't a time or wallet intensive treat.
As you know, it's rare that I follow a recipe to the letter. For this one I decided to use white (because I had one in the house) and red (for something different) onions instead of the recommend Spanish onion. I made one batch of batter using pale ale and another using a darker honey brown beer. I also made my own dipping sauces, a Chipotle Ketchup and an Apricot Mustard Sauce.
Beer-Battered Onion Rings
adapted from Riccardo's Beer-Battered Onion Rings
1 medium white onion
1 medium red onion
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups pastry flour (separated)
4 Tbsp cornstarch (separated)
1/2 tsp baking powder (separated)
1/2 tsp salt (separated)
1 cup pale ale (I used Stella Artois)
1 cup honey brown beer (I used Sleeman's Honey Brown)
oil for frying
1. Preheat deer fryer (or large pot of oil) to 190C/375F. Place a cooling rack on a backing sheet or line a baking sheet with paper towels.
2. In a paper bag or a large bowl, toss the onion rings in the cornstarch to coat well. Set aside.
3. In a bowl, combine 1 cup of flour, 2 Tbsp cornstarch, 1/4 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt. Whisk in the pale ale.
4. Using your fingertips or wooden chopsticks, dip the rings in the batter, 4 or 5 at a time. Shake off excess batter and deep-fry for about 3 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, drain on the baking sheet. Season lightly with salt. Repeat with 1/2 of the onions, both read and white.
5. Repeat step 3 with remaining ingredients, this time using the Honey Brown beer.
6. Repeat step 4 with remaining onions.
1 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp or more chipotle puree or chopped chipotles in adobo
1/4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1. Whisk together all ingredients until well combined. Add more chipotle if you like more spice.
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/4 grainy mustard
1/3 cup apricot jam
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1. Whisk together ingredients until well combined. Add more jam or mustard to taste.
These were really quite easy to make, although frying on the stovetop I found it hard to keep the oil a constant temperature. It's something that's definitely easier when you have an actually deep fryer, although that's not something I'll be adding to my kitchen arsenal anytime soon!
We could really taste the difference in the two batters and between the different onions. My favorite combination was the Honey Brown batter with the red onions dipped in the chipotle ketchup. The slight sweetness of the batter and rings paired with the spicy sauce was really nice. The boy also preferred the honey brown batter, but liked the Apricot Mustard sauce better. It was a fun Saturday afternoon treat, to taste the different the different rings, with different sauces and pick our faves. The boy liked it all so much, that he is hoping I'll make some beer battered fish for fish and chips next! We'll see when that happens.
Make sure to check out the Food For Thought Blog over at foodnetwork.ca on Wednesday or Thursday to see how the other participants fared. Enjoy!