Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Polenta Crusted Onion Rings

Polenta Crusted Onion Rings 
·         2 large Maui onions (or other sweet onions)
·         2 cups buttermilk
·         Teaspoon each seas salt and freshly ground black pepper 
·         1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (can be seasoned with garlic salt, allepo pepper and fresh cracked black pepper)
·         1/4 cup polenta (not instant)
·         1 quart vegetable oil
Peel the onions, slice them between 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick, and separate them into rings. Combine the buttermilk, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Add the onion rings, toss well, and allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes. (The onion rings can sit in the buttermilk for 1-3 hours.) In a separate bowl or container, combine the flour, polenta and the chosen seasonings. 
Set aside.
When you're ready to fry the onion rings, preheat the oven to 200 degrees F or heat your warming drawer on low. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
If you have it, a rack over a second baking sheet is a good thing for draining
Heat the oil to 375 degrees in a large pot or Dutch oven. (A candy thermometer attached to the side of the pot will help you maintain the proper temperature.) Working in batches, lift some onions out of the buttermilk and dredge them in the flour mixture. Drop into the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes, until golden brown, turning them once with tongs. Don't crowd them! Place the finished onion rings on the rack over the baking sheet sprinkle liberally with salt (I use smoked sea salt), once salted, moved to the paper towel lined pan and keep them warm in the oven while you fry the next batch. Continue frying the onion rings and placing them in the warm oven until all the onions are fried. They will remain crisp in the oven for up to 30 minutes. Serve hot. These are very good with chipotle mayonnaise (3-4 chipotles and 1 cup of good quality mayo purred in blender or food processor.)

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