Sunday, September 6, 2015

Texas-Style Buttermilk Onion Rings, Kicked up! (Plus, a million thanks to my readers)

As promised, I am sharing the recipe for the "Buttermilk Onion Rings" that I made to serve with the "Juicy Pub-Style Burger" that I posted a few weeks ago.

There's a simple back story as to why I made these onions rings.  We visited Texas Hill Country on a recent summer trip to visit my son.  My husband absolutely loves onion rings, so we placed an order as an dinner appetizer.  They were HUGE-- and they were also delicious.  The onions were soft inside, and the coating had a thick and crunchy coating.  I could see plenty of coarse pepper and the seasoning had a bit of kick to it.  Both of my men devoured them, with relish.  I ate one.. okay two.  Okay, I forget how many I ate (I'm usually not as crazy about onion rings as they are).

When we returned home, to California, I wanted to recreate them, as best as I could,  I wanted to surprise my husband with them since he loves them so much.  I don't deep fry food very often-- choosing to find a way to bake "fried" foods instead.  I've had success with Crunchy Oven Fried Fish and Baked  Coconut Chicken.   At some point, I'll tinker with making a baked onion ring recipe. This time, I decided to stick with deep frying them, just as they were in Texas.

I began searching around for a Texas version of onion rings, and wouldn't you know-- I landed on one "The Homesick Texan's" recipe.  I've made several of Lisa's recipes and I own her first cookbook, and I read her blog.  Lisa's  sounded like the recipe I was looking for, so I cut two large sweet onions into thick slices...

... and let them soak into buttermilk for about fifteen minutes. Soaking them in buttermilk helps to soften the onions, and that's what I wanted.

Meanwhile, I seasoned some unbleached flour with salt, chipotle chili powder, oregano and coarse black pepper and gave it a whisk.  I filled my Le Creuset Cast-Iron Braiser with 2 inches of vegetable oil (peanut is even better) and inserted a candy thermometer to monitor bringing the oil up to 350F. NOTE: You could use a cast iron skillet or sturdy pot, of course.  I just find that my braiser is just the right size and height and I don't have to use a ton of oil this way. Shallow frying, baby!

Dipping the buttermilk-soaked onion slices into the seasoned flour AND not breading my camera can be a challenge.  But my method is to touch the wet onion rings with one hand and to keep the other hand free of buttermilk. My right hand lifts the coated onion rings and doesn't get wet. This technique really does help, and my camera stayed relatively clean.   Repeat this twice-- Buttermilk, coat with flour, buttermilk, coat with flour. (You can use the paper or plastic bag method, but I find my finger method works just fine.)

I like to line a baking sheet with paper towels and to set the battered onion rings on a baking rack.  I also preheat the oven to WARM.

Once the oil is hot enough, the onions go into the oil  (in small batches) and they start to cook until golden brown-- turning over halfway through, about 2-3 minutes each side.

Once golden brown, remove them and set them onto the baking rack and into the warm oven. (Or, set on paper towels and serve them immediately.)

These might not be the famous Texas 1015 onions that I can't find in California, but they look good just like the ones we ate in the Lone Star State.

TASTING NOTES: I enjoyed mine atop that Juicy Pub-Burger, and felt quite satisfied that not only did I learn how to chop my own hamburger meat in my food processor-- I  also relished the smile on my husband's face when he saw that I had made onion rings, just for him. That is worth the effort it took to make these.  Pssssssssst. By the way, I didn't find them to be all that hard to make. That will be our little secret. (Until he reads this post. )

A SPECIAL HEARTFELT THANK YOU to every single  person who left a comment on my last post. I had shared, very openly, my personal feelings about not being the caliber of food blogger that I thought I should be... that I wasn't posting often enough, and that I didn't feel I could compete with the famous and financially successful food bloggers.  I received numerous private emails, Facebook comments and those that are on my blog that truly touched me very deeply.  The encouragement that was given to me is priceless.

People who really are  reading my blog,  made themselves known to me, and it both humbled and encouraged me. Thank you!  I have no plans to abandon my food blog anytime soon. I'm no longer going to worry that I don't have a million followers or billions of Pinterest pins.  What matters most, is that I enjoy cooking and baking, and challenging myself to try new techniques. Photographing what I make is my creative outlet, and I'm still trying to improve my work.  If I can inspire a few people to try my recipe, and
they like it -- and even take the time to tell me,  that's priceless.   The friends that I have made, since I started blogging are precious to me.   I might never meet you personally, but I feel a sense of kinship with all of you.

Enough said. I'll blog when I can, without any further feelings of guilt or lack of confidence in myself. It's all because of you!

As always, scroll to the bottom of this post to find the printable recipe.

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bellini said...

Personally I have not been blogging as I once did which also means I am not reading my favourite blogs either as much as I would like. I am happy to hear that you are not abandoning your blog Debbie. What would we be without you.

Susan Sevig said...

Oh Ms. Debby!! Love me some onion rings and these look perfect. I knew you would love that braiser! Now it is my turn to buy my own braiser which I have been wanting for a long time.

Wave Watcher said...

Hi Debbie, I've been reading your blog for many years now, and always enjoy reading the recipes you share. I have especially enjoyed and tried many of your German ones, and probably all the olallieberry ones. How often you blog doesn't matter to me. Somehow I missed the one on burgers, but we've been gone much of the summer and trying to catch up on emails after an absence can be challenging. I have commented, but also emailed you personally which I prefer.
Everyone's lives go through changes, as when your son moved away, but we adjust one way or another. Just blog when you can, but don't punish yourself if you don't.

Big Dude said...

Like your husband, I love onion rings and yours look delicious - I like the spices you used.

Wave Watcher said...

Debbie, I also love the way you have your recipe index arranged, all there to see easily by just scrolling through. I hate those that have ten pictures on a page, then you have to hit next, etc. I refuse to look for recipes on those websites.

Anonymous said...

Hello Dear Debby,
The personal motivation behind your blog is, IMO, exactly what it should be: expressing your many creative talents, having a ton of fun, and cleaning batter and flour from your camera. Beyond enjoying your pix and wonderful text, your readers also lean how to cook/bake some wonderful recipes. I should also add that you publishing schedule does not matter for your friends and fans; most of us understand that you also manage a full time job. Your posts are always welcome here!
Onion Rings? I too rarely deep fry, and for all of the obvious reasons. Your method for buttermilk/battered/fried O.Rings seem ideal to me. Sadly, one ring on a burger just won't cut it. I'll stick with a full slab of raw, sweet onion on the home ground burger AND a generous side of Debby's Buttermilk Onion Rings. It just has to be...
Thanks again and whatever your informal publishing schedule, it is fine with me. -Craig (The other one).

P.S. Your newer readers should not overlook the substantial recipe archive. You cannot imagine how many times I've found 'just the right recipe,' sitting there and waiting for me. -C.

Joanne said...

Onion rings are pretty much my FAVORITE guilty pleasure food...dying over these. So excited.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Your onion rings look better than any I've eaten in restaurants. And along with that hamburger, you've created an irresistible meal. Keep on blogging whenever you feel like it. I love knowing that other people are reading my posts, but in the end, you have to love doing it for yourself.

Debby Foodiewife said...

Thank you, "Wave Watcher" and "Other Craig". I also needed to update my index, that had lapsed for a couple of months. All done! xoxo

Debby Foodiewife said...

Yes, Linda, I am blogging for ME. I was just feeling guilty that I wasn't posting at least once a week, which is in my ad placement contract. From this point forward, I blog for the fun of it. Period.