I recently had a great chat with reporter Jan Zeschky for a story he was doing on the ‘health benefits’ of craft beer. These things always make for delicious conversation about the importance of choosing and savoring quality food and drink. We both got off the call very ready for lunch. I don’t know if it was that conversation alone or the fact that in needing to be on a celiac-friendly gf diet, it’s been a few years since I’ve really enjoyed a great batch of onion rings and a beer. I’ve never been a big beer drinker, but I do very much appreciate the concept of artisan, lovingly crafted batches of just about anything, including beer. Fortunately, the variety of decent gluten-free beer in the marketplace has expanded and I can take care of the occasional penchant for a cold one.
Not so much for onion rings. Until this weekend, I had yet to meet a GF onion ring that even came close to replacing those decadent, albeit greasy, beauties A+W restaurant makes. We’ve played around with a few prototypes in the deep fryer and almost nailed it. The crispiest ones I’ve had to date came out of the oven(!!!) here this Sunday and made a wonderful accompaniment to the Kale White Bean and Sausage Soup Brian had whipped up for brunch. Onions are a vegetable and these are yummy. Still, like that beer, enjoy mindfully and in a portion you can feel good about.
Crispy Baked Onion Rings
- 2 medium white onions
- 4 cups of gluten-free brown rice krispies cereal (or 2 cups of other crispy GF breadcrumbs)
- 2 large zip seal bags
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- that starchy liquid from a 540 mL can of white beans or chickpeas that you usually drain off
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Peel and slice the onions into thick rings. Place in a large bowl of ice and cold water and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 F and line a large baking sheet or two with parchment paper.
- In a blender or food processor, whirl the rice krispies into coarse crumbs.
- In one of the zip seal bags, combine the rice krispie crumbs and 1/2 a teaspoon of the sea salt.
- In the other zip seal bag. combine the cornstarch and remaining sea salt.
- Place the liquid from the beans or chickpeas in a bowl.
- Drain the onion rings and pat dry. In small batches, place the rings in the bag of cornstarch and shake well to dredge. Remove and dip in the bean liquid followed by shaking in the bag of rice krispie crumbs. (To spare using bags, you can also use large bowls and lightly toss the rings by hand.)
- Place onion rings on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Flip each onion ring over and continue baking for an additional 12-15 minutes or until golden and crispy. Season to taste with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper or herbs and spices of your choice.
Enjoy straight up or with a dip like yogurt-dill ranch or a Thai sweet chili sauce. Next time, I’m going to try these with about 1 Tbsp hot sauce added to the bean liquid. The next time, a beer batter, the time after that…there will be more times for sure! These were goooood!