The perfect onion rings have been double dipped in a batter that is seasoned to perfection. …the outside is crisp…while the onion itself is tender and sweet….accompanied by your favorite condiment—such as mayo, fry sauce, ranch or ketchup.
2 large Vidalia onions, sliced into 1/2″ rings
Oil for frying
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp white vinegar
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 c. fine cornmeal
- 3/4 c. cornstarch
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 Tbsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
Fill your Dutch oven pan with 1″ oil. Heat, over medium heat, until 375°. Line a large plate or baking sheet with paper towels.
Whisk together your dry ingredients—such as your flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, baking powder, and spices.
Whisk together your wet ingredients—such as your egg, buttermilk, and seltzer.
Slice and separate the onion rings.
Dip each ring first in your dry inredients and then in your wet ingredients…as we’ve already learned in this previous post about breading.
Repeat the dipping process.
Place the finished onion rings on a cooling rack until ready to fry..
First make sure that your oil is hot enough.
If so, place the battered onion rings into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd your onion rings. This will keep them from cooking correctly.
Do not add salt while you are cooking your onion rings. This will help keep the batter on the onion instead of falling apart in your frying pot. Wait and salt your onion rings after they have cooked.
Cook for about four minutes…until they turn a light golden brown color.
After they’ve finished cooking, take them out of the oil and set them out on paper towels to cool and drain. Sprinkle with salt.
Serve hot with ketchup and mayonnaise, if desired.
The first breading that we are going to look at is for…
Baking Soda Batter…
Because most of us have had it sitting in our pantry or fridge for how long without knowing what to do with it?
There is sits, day after day, week after week…sad and lonely.
Yet this big yellow box contains hidden secrets lurking beyond its cardboard…
- Beauty uses—such as cleaning your face…
- Health uses—such as calming indigestion, treating heartburn, soothing canker sores, and whitening your teeth.
- Household uses—such as neutralizing odors, cleaning, and removing tough stains,
And of course the obvious…Baking.
But baking soda can also make a great batter for frying seafood, chicken, meat and vegetables.
Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder
Both baking soda and baking powder are leavening agents primarily used in baking. This means that whenever they reacts with an acidic compound—such as molasses, cream of tartar, lemon juice, yogurt, buttermilk, cocoa, and vinegar—.carbon dioxide is released.
This carbon dioxide being released serves many purposes, such as…
- causes the batter to expand
- adding a lightness to the final fried product
- enhancing crispness
- allowing passages for steam to escape
- keeping the breading from being blown off during cooking.
But what IS the difference between the two…and which should you be using?
Baking powder is actually baking soda…but combined with cream of tartar and about one-third as strong as baking soda.
At this point we have already learned about two bsasic cooking methods—sauteeing and pan-frying.
The next dry-heat cooking method is deep frying.
And living in Texas one of the highlights of each year is going to the State Fair to see just what new fried concoctions have been created this yrar.
For example, here is a list of the top ten finalists for the State Fair of Texas’ 2018 Big Tex Choice Awards, the annual contest celebrating fried foods. Note that each year, five finalists are chosen in two categories—savory and sweet.
The savory finalists this last year were…
- Deep Fried Shepherd’s Pie
- Deep Fried Skillet Potato Melt in a Boat
- Fernie’s Hoppin’ John Cake with Jackpot Sauce
- Texas Fried Hill Country
- Texas Twang-kie
The sweet finalists this last year were…
- Arroz con Leche
- Cotton Candy Taco
- Fernie’s Orange You Glad We Fried It?!
- State Fair Fun-L Cake Ice Cream
- Sweet Bakin’ Bacon
Can’t wait to see what these creative people come up with this year.
I honestly have always been too scared to deep fry anything at home, especially when you can easily find deep-fried foods at nearly every gas station and restaurant in America…
But deep-frying is still a cooking method…and my goal is cover each of the cooking methods in detail…
So let’s dive in deep…
My goal in this section is to learn how to make deep-fried foods that have the same crunchy golden brown surface and the same tender interior of any of these prize-winning foods.
Deep-frying differs from any of the previous methods because you are completely submerging your food into oil that has been heated to a much highter temperature typically around 375 degrees.
Instead of breading your food, your food will be completely covered in batter..more on this later….
So what are the benefits of this method of cooking…especially considering that I am writing this blog primarily for people who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes…
- Crispiness…Deep-fried foods typically have a crispy crust because of the high temperatures remove any surface moisture and dry out the exterior. If you have successfully deep-fried your foods, the crust will be properly formed, the food should be less greasy, and item being fried will retain its shape.
- Faster…Bexause the entire food is completely submerged and cooked in the oil, deep-frying is a relatively faster way of cooking.
- Flavor…Cooking your food at such a high temp improves the flavor of food by caramelizing it and producing the Maillard reaction…more on this later too…
- Nutrition…yeah even deep-fried food can be nutritious…When you deep-fry food, only a small amount of oil will stay on the crust.
- Tenderness…If you have succrssfully deep-fried your food, the batter will seal in any moisture that the food contains and keep extra oil from being absorbed.
Even though the term “deep frying” and many of the foods that we deep-fry these days were not invented until the 19th century, people have basically been deep-frying for thousands of years
Even though the term “deep frying” and many of the foods that we most commonly deep-fry today were not invented until around the early 1900s, people have been using this cooking methods for thousands of years.
The first recorded recipe using this method appeared around the year AD400. This recipe was for a chicken dish called Pullum Frontonianum.
- 2Tbsp olive oil
- 3# chicken
- 1/2C olive oil
- 1 chopped leek
- 2Tbsp ground coriander
- 2tap salt
- 1/2tsp pepper
- 1/4C chopped fresh dill weed
- 2Tbsp ground coriander seed
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan.
- Fry whole chicken over medium heat.
- Make the seasoning…olive oil,, dill, leek, fresh coriander, salt, rose petals, pepper, and coriander.
- Add about half of the seasoning mixture to the chicken in the skillet.
- Continue to fry until chicken just starts to change color.
- Bake at 425 for 1 hour, occasionally basting with the seasoning mixture.
After the breading material are set up and you have finish3d breading your food you can finally start cooking.
When choosing which oil to use whenever you are frying, you need to think about the smoke point of that partcular oil.
It is important that you use an oil with a high smoke point.
But first, I guess you need to know what a smoke point is, if you’re gonna pick your oil wisely.
The smoke point is the temperature at which the oil can be heated to before it begins to smoke and burn…makes sense huh>!
Once your oil has reached this point, the oil will start to break down into its fundamental components—glycerol and fatty acids—and no longer be good for frying.
The oil will also start losing its flavor and nutritional value.
Once it has passed the smoke point, the oil can also be very dangerous, because it is much more likely to ignite when exposed to an open heat source.
Usually whenever you are frying, you want the oil to be somewhere between 350°F and 375°F, so your must have a smoke point that is high enough to survive this amouint of heat.
So which oils shoul you NOT be using?
Butter…has too low of a smoking point to be used for frying.
Lard...has a low smoke point
Olive oil...Sure, you could use oil for frying, but I’d stick to using olive oil for sauteeing your foods since that olive oil usually costs more.
Shortening…also has too low of a smoking point to be used for frying.
Sunflower oil…This oil tends to burn more quickly than most other oils.
Unrefined oils of any kind…These have too low a smoke point and can also be very expensive. Note that many of the oil that we will be learning later on that are good fort frying are sold in both refined and unrefined versions, so check the label before you use it.
Your fanciest or priciest oils…Frying reuires a whole lot of oil…using these here would simply be a waste of money. Also, thhe frying process can dim the flavor of, making it no more flavorful than any other given oil.
And which oils should you be using?
Whenever you are choosing which oil to fry in, there are several things to consider. In addition to the smoke point, which should be slightly higher than the temperature at which you will be cooking, your oil should have a neutral flavor that won’t impart iany flavor on whatever you are cooking.
Also it is important that youu hoose a good quality oil.
Each of the following oils can be a smart choice for frying because they all have a neutral flavor, perform well at high temperatures, and have a smoke point somewhere between 440° and 450°F….which is definitely above the typical temp required for frying, which tends to be around 350°F.
(Note that there are obviously more oils that are commonly used for fryiung—such as vegetable and peanut, but I have limited my list to those oils that we have already talked about being best for type-2 diabetics.)
Benefits...Canola oil helps reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in the body, reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and stabilize blood pressure levels, The FDA agrees that 1-1/2Tbsp canola oil each day could reduce the risk of coronary heart disease when used instead of saturated fat.
Nutrition…Canola oil is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, such as the alpha-linolenic acid, as well as monounsaturated fat, a type of fat that is considered healthy for diabetics. At the same time, canola oil is low in the unhealthy saturated fat that mostly come from animal products like meat and dairy.
Uses…Canola oil can be used safely at high temperatures because it has a higher smoke point than most other oils, but doesn’t have as much flavor as some other oils that are available and is not your best choice for certain things such as making your own salad dressing
2. Grape Seed Oil
Nutrition…this is a rich source of both polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, and is very low in saturated fat
Use…nutty but mild flavor that can be used for all sorts of cooking and grilling and also works well in salad dressings or drizzled over roasted veggies
3. Rice Bran Oil
Benefits….Rice bran oil will reduce your levels of bad cholesterol, and so is great for diabetics and those wanting to keep heart disease at bay.
Nutrition…Rice bran oil is rich in both monounsaturated as well as polyunsaturated fats.
You can either reuse your oil or dispose of it after you finish frying.
To reuse the oil…
- Let the oil cool down to room temperature.
- Filter through a cheesecloth…whatever the heck that is…
- Return to its original container.
- Add a small amount of fresh oil to have extend the life of the oil that you have just used.
- Store it in a cool, dark place.
You will not want to use the same oil more than two or three times in a row because each use will release more andf more fatty acids into theoil, reducing the smoke point and making it less and less appropriate to use at the high temperatures required for frying.
If your oil starts to look thick or brown, throw it out.
Never pour oil down the drain…lesson learned the hard way…never pour hot candle wax down the drain either…another lesson learned the hard way…