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Crunchy Polenta Onion Rings

Someone very dear to me told me this was the best onion ring recipe…ever. As usual there was a slight doubt in my mind as this person is well known for let’s say ‘exaggerating the truth’. For example, the revolving BT tower in London – she went here for dinner one night, got a little squiffy and sauntered through the wrong door……ending up sitting in a colander instead of the toilet…?

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My brother and I used to venture to the top of Box Hill in Surrey (the hill where someone is buried upside down at the top), in the UK on Saturday mornings just for the onion rings we’d get in the American diner. Even though our heads were dry and our hangovers well and truly set in, we’d endure the children’s parties and screaming babies for the onion ring stack. It was mighty, it was delicious and it was pure and simple brilliance.

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I have tried to emulate ‘The Stack’ in my photos (please forget the pole is the pole the kitchen paper normally dances around) now it is the onion rings crutches. Anyway, this lady was right on this occasion and I am forever thankful for this recipe, as well as Simon Rimmer (who invented it).

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It’s a very simple recipe, it’s really the polenta and hint of chilli that make these stand out from the rest. Feel free to add your own spices……..

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 litre buttermilk
  • 175g plain flour, sifted
  • 60g polenta
  • 1 ½ tbsp. sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • Vegetable oil, for deep frying

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Method

Cut the onion into 1cm – ish rings, separate and leave in a bowl filled with the buttermilk for about 30 minutes.

Heat the oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed pan until a bread crumb fizzes and browns when dropped in.

Get a wide bowl and add the flour, polenta, salt, pepper and chilli to it. Mix this together well.

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Once the rings have been well drenched in the buttermilk, carefully extract and coat in the flour mixture and leave to one side once coated.

When the oil is hot enough, fry the rings in batches until they turn a golden brown and have floated to the top.

That’s it, enjoy!

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11 replies »

  1. I’m still chuckling at the image of your friend in a colander but can I just say OMG!! These looks sooo tasty! You should take them over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday. They will be extremely well received!

  2. These look fantastic. Somewhere in my distant past I read about another perfect onion ring batter and it is an easy formula that I didn’t have to write down: mix equal parts of beer and flour, let it sit on the counter for a few hours, add onion rings and deep fry. Don’t add anything else—no salt or egg or anything. They are much like a tempura batter, airy and crunchy.

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