Friday, 5 October 2012

Late Night Onion Rings

Mmmm. It's late and I'm hungry! After all that turkey cooking and entertaining I find myself to be starving. I certainly can't get in the car and drive after all that wine, and I'm sick and tired of potato chips. Or maybe you have a house full of guests and everybody wants a bite, but you don't want to haul out a bunch of stuff and start cooking up for a crowd again. Either way, I've got the perfect snack for you!

I got the idea for this after Rachel Ray posted a recipe a couple of years ago that she called "Late Night Bacon." You put the bacon slices between two sheets of paper towel and microwave them for 8 minutes. Or however long she said. I don't remember. But my oh my! What a good time so many of us had mocking her "recipe"! Yes, this would be the same Rachel Ray that had her own cooking show on television. Could she be serious, or was she just mocking all of us that followed her recipes like disciples? I joined a Facebook group called Late Night Bacon just for the fun of it.

You just never know what surprises life has in store for you. Through that group, I became facebook friends with the most fabulous and wonderful lady I have never met. Smart, funny, talented chef Sandra Jayne. We spent so many nights laughing our heads off until the wee hours of the morning trading stories and jokes. She really changed my life and her humour carried me through a dark time when laughter was the best remedy. She was in the process of opening her own restaurant just outside of San Antonio at the time and in just one year, it has become wildly successful. Four Kings. Go there if you ever get a chance. I hope I get that chance some day.

Now the thing about Late Night Food, is that you want taste and flavour with just what you have on hand. Rachel got that part right. And I have to assume she had a plan for that bacon and wasn't just going to scarf it down slice by slice like those crazy people with the food addictions you see on TLC. (The Learning Channel?) So who doesn't love an onion ring? So delicious and so easy. You may never get take-out again.

Here it is:
Slice an onion up into 1/4 inch slices and pop out all the rings in each slice.
Dredge them in 1/2 cup of flour seasoned with salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne powder.
Mix 1 cup of flour and 1 bottle of beer with a whisk. Add more beer if it's too thick. It should be like pancake batter in consistency
Preheat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a pot or else heat up a deep fryer if you have one.
Put a drop of batter into the oil and if it rises up to the top bubbling, the oil is good to go. (Could really use a thermometer you know Santa!)
Put all of the onion rings into the batter and take them out one at a time with a pair of tongs and place them carefully into the oil pot. Flip them after a minute or two when they turn golden brown. Remove them as they turn golden on the other side. They only take about 2 minutes.
Drain them out onto paper towel and salt them immediately. Serve them up right away (to your guests or to yourself as the case may be).

You will honestly be surprised how light and delicious these are. Use anything you like to dip them in such as ketchup. I make them when I serve hamburgers and more than half don't even make it to the table. People in the know have learnt to hang around by the oil pot and ask me how my life is going and casually reach over and grab them as they hit the paper towel. I don't think they actually do care how my life is going at all!  And if you really want to take them off the charts, use a Vidalia onion when they come available. Awesome! Really any food is late night food if you're hungry enough. Enjoy!

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