Wednesday, September 19, 2007

O is for Onion


I cannot be trusted to have a deep fat fryer. And as we arrived at O for Onions I knew we would want to try out fried onion rings. I suspect the reason that I have an uneasy relationship with the chip pan lies deep in my childhood. My Dad is a great cook who loves food. On the nights when my Mum was working at the local library, my Dad would make our evening meal. Long before the Lucky Chinese restaurant opened in town, he had learnt how to make sweet and sour pork balls in batter. He also made delicious chips and fried courgette sticks. But all this had to be carried out under strict conditions of secrecy. Mum wanted us to eat a healthy diet. The chip pan, full of oil, hid in an outhouse. When the coast was clear it was brought into the kitchen. One of us would cut up the potatoes. As the oil heated up, the scent of our last forbidden meal would fill the kitchen. We would eat up quickly and greedily. A cover-up operation followed. The chip pan was returned to the outhouse, plates washed up and the door out of the kitchen opened wide. One of us would stand outside like a punka-wallah, flapping the door open and shut to waft away the scent of fried food. Somewhere along the line, all this excitement over deep fried food took hold and it has become my forbidden fruit. So when I needed a deep fat fryer to make our first O for Onions recipe, I walked down the road to my neighbour Catherine and borrowed hers. The onion rings were, not surprisingly, a success. Nine out of Ten was awarded and I dutifully walked back down the street to return the deep fat fryer.

Deep-fried Onion Rings

2 large onions, sliced into rings
A cup of flour
Pinch of cayenne pepper or paprika (optional)
Cup of coarse breadcrumbs
2 beaten eggs

Simply cut the onions into wide 1cm rings. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or paprika to the flour and sieve into a plate. Have a plate of breadcrumbs ready and a wide rimmed bowl with the beaten egg.
Dip the onion rings into the seasoned flour, then into the egg and finally the breadcrumbs, making sure they are well coated.
When they are ready, fry them in small batches in hot oil for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown.
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How do you like to do your onion rings?


  1. I love onion rings but homemade ones will be even better. Can't wait to try these. Thanks for sharing this. I like to dunk mine in a garlic dip or sweet chilli sauce.
    Sara from farmingfriends

  2. It dosen't matter as long as they are deep fried, I like them :)

    I so want some of yours and 9 out of 10, you must be feeling pretty happy with yourself :)

  3. LOVE the story! I can imagine a little 10 year old standing by the open door flapping for all they're worth listening for the sound of Mum's return!!

  4. I banished the deep fat fryer for similar reasons when Cerys was born! I love onion rings, however, never done them like this. I just use batter. Superb.

    Now, a good old onion soup done the proper French way is SURELY on the cards?

    David x

  5. You are right - and that is our next destination David

  6. Now that you're on to onions maybe someone can give you a recipe for Zwiebelkuche (German for onion cake). I have very fond memories of really liking this but only a hazy memory of what it's like - sort of spongy/quichy with lots of onions I think but I was young and in love so that may have been affecting my judgement!

  7. Those onion rings do look so tempting - but it's deep-fat-fryer-free zone here too!
    Many years ago I was part of a town twinning exchange with a Czech town (pre velvet revolution days) when the Czech visitors arrived word got round that the local Argos was the place to buy deep fat fryers and they bought every one the store could get hold of!

    Looking forward to the French onion soup.
    Then P is for Parsnips, Potatoes, Peppers, Pumpkin (just the right time of year!) and PEAS!!


  8. Ursula L4:08 PM

    You might like this recipe for sweet and sour eggs. Lots of onions, and well caramalized, so they get as sweet as candy. An old family favorite. Serve with lots of boiled potatoes or rice, ths sauce has an intense flavor.

  9. Anonymous4:03 PM

    Another onion possibility: Chinese green onion pancakes.

    Sadly, I don't have a recipe myself (I'm allergic to eggs, and these pancakes feature a lot of eggs), but everyone I know that has tried them thinks they are fabulous.

  10. Thank you for these ideas.
    I am investing in goggles to combat the tear-inducing onion fumes that are filling our home this week.

  11. Oh I can't cook if I don't have an onion in the house!!! I really do go into a panic. I just love them!! And this recipe looks delicious!!! Hmmmm May have to give it a try after I do a bit of exercising first!!

  12. So funny! What a great picture that conjured up... I just love it that it you all busied yourselves covering up and the fryer was hidden in the outhouse. Brilliant!

  13. I love it! If the fryer doesn't actually stay on the premises, it doesn't count. And I love the covert operation image of some small, grease - coated child flapping the smell out the kitchen door.
    The breadcrumbs are a great touch here!


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