Crispy Vidalia Onion Rings & Assorted Vegetables with Chili Lime Dipping Sauce

If you could conjure up the lightest, crispiest, most ethereal onion rings, these are them. The beer batter just barely clings to any vegetable lovingly dipped in it, but don’t be deceived; these have a serious crunchiness. Best of all, these are well-behaved rings: no drooping, no slipping.

Crispy Beer Battered Onion Rings
Crispy Beer Battered Onion Rings

I love onion rings…love, love, love them. But over the years, I’ve gotten used to not ordering them…too many disappointments. When onion rings are good, they’re so good, when they’re mediocre, they’re so bad. These are not those onion rings. 🙂

Reminiscent of an Italian Fritto Misto crossed with a Tempura, this beer batter would make anything taste good. I began with onion rings and moved on to what ever random vegetables I had hanging out in the kitchen. No reason to stop there – seafood would be lovely as well and I can’t wait to try a par-cooked asparagus.

Chili Lime Dipping Sauce
Chili Lime Dipping Sauce

These onion rings are made with Vidalia onions, but any sweet or just regular old onions are good, too. Beer can be replaced with club soda or soda water – they’re still delicious.

A simple Chili Lime Dipping Sauce takes these over the top, although I fear the little bit of yogurt in the sauce does little to salvage any hope for nutritional redemption. It does, however, give a nice tang. The sauce, by the way, is simple amazing with any number of things, Stupid Simple Sweet Potato Fries, for one.

Crispy Beer Battered Onion Rings
Crispy Beer Battered Onion Rings

Beer Battered Onion Rings

  • Servings: varies
  • Time: 25 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 large Vidalia onions, cut into 1/4-inch rings and/or assorted vegetables of your choice (pictured above is one onion’s worth)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 1/3 cups ice-cold beer.

Place onions in a large bowl filled with cold water and soak for about 10 minutes. Drain and dry on a clean kitchen towel.

Mix all batter ingredients together in a bowl. Place bowl over ice water.

Heat about 2 inches of oil in a heavy pan to 365 degrees. Put dry onion rings in batter. Lift out a small handful at a time, allowing excess batter to fall back into bowl. Carefully place in hot oil and fry, turning once, three to four minutes until golden brown.

Remove and drain on a rack over a sheet pan. Salt while still hot.

 

Chile Lime Dipping Sauce, makes about 1/2 cup

  • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Thai chili sauce, or more, to taste
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Zest of 1/2 lime

Stir together Mayo, yogurt, chile sauce and lime juice.  Grate lime zest over the top.

from the kitchen of http://www.frugalhausfrau.com

Nutrition:

I have no idea on how, exactly, to figure the nutritional value in this – the batter is not all used, and the oil is problematic – obviously, some is absorbed, but how much?  Let’s just say don’t eat these often!

Money and Time Saving Strategies:

  • Vidalia Onions: Well, yellow or white onions are more inexpensive, but a pricier Vidalia is a small splurge that won’t break the bank.
  • Oil: If I use oil like this, I’ll give it a strain, and if it’s hot out, I’ll throw it in my freezer so it can be used more than once.  If I’m going to saute something, I’ll pour a little of this “slightly” used oil in the pan. No sense in wasting.
  • Flour and baking items:  Try to buy during Holiday sales, when the prices are lowest and coupons are available.
  • Beer:  Always on sale during any holiday!

Recipe made June 2012

Comments and discussion always welcome - tell me what you think.

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