It’s Arizona State Fair days! Time for your deep-fried-everything fix,
This year you’ll find the usual fan favorites like corn dogs, deep-fried butter, cotton candy and cheese fries. But they’ve added more of the zing factor the year with things like a jumbo hollowed out pickle stuffed with melted cheddar cheese, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and jalapenos and the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos crusted turkey leg.
Also new this year, bacon and Cheetos cotton candy that will feel a bit like pop rocks in your mouth! To get you into the state fair spirit, I’m sharing my recipe for deep fried onion rings. They are super easy to make and really fun for a side, snacks or game day munching. They’re as delicious as you’ll find on the midway.
Tip about frying oil: It’s all about the smoke point. The smoke point is essentially the temperature that an oil can get to before it starts to smoke and break down. Any oil used for deep frying needs to have a smoke point of at least 350°F. Some good oils for deep frying are avocado oil, canola oil, peanut oil and corn oil.
Do you smell the onion at the store? Onions should have absolutely no smell whatsoever. If they do, they are probably bruised somewhere under the skin and are on their way out.
2 large sweet yellow onions, peeled
3 cups flour, divided
1 cup cornmeal
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ cup baking powder
2 tablespoons seasoning salt, such as Lawry’s
1 bottle vegetable oil
2 cups buttermilk
Cut onions crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices and separate into rings. Place rings in a large bowl of buttermilk and soak for at least 30 minutes. Reserve buttermilk.
To make dry batter, mix together 1 ½ cups of flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, baking powder, and seasoning salt in a large bowl. Pour into dredging container.
For the wet batter, mix remaining 1 1/2 cups flour in a bowl with 1 cup of the buttermilk that the onions were soaking in. Stir well to combine. (If too thick, add more buttermilk. Consistency should be like pancake batter.) Pour into second dredging container.
Pour enough oil into a heavy skillet or pot to come to a depth of about 2 inches. Heat to about 350 degrees on a candy thermometer. (Or, alternately, make sure when you test an onion that it bubbles up and fries immediately.)
Drain onions and pat dry. Working in batches, about 3–5 rings at a time, dredge onions in dry mixture and then dip in buttermilk mixture. Immediately fry onions in hot oil until crisp and golden on each side. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove onion rings from oil; drain well on paper towels and immediately sprinkle with salt or seasonings.
Serve immediately with ranch dressing or any favorite condiment.