Onion Rings. Dear, sweet onion rings. How I love thee! How I simultaneously loathe you because I crave your greasy goodness often. So, when I stumbled across a couple of different baked onion rings, I was hopeful, yet skeptical. "A healthy-ish onion ring? No way!!!" I exclaimed. I had to give them a shot if for no other reason than to satisfy my curiosity.
These are actually really easy, though they seem like they are a bit complicated. I swear, however hard they may or may not be, they are delicious! VERY! You will not regret making them. I sure don't. The only word of warning is that they are a bit messy to make. And a bit messy to eat, but they are magnificent. I sort of combined a couple of recipes to make my own special onion ring flavor. It started with the recipe in Appetite For Reduction, and I expanded from there. The recipe that follows is kind of mine and kind of not. Anyway, I made about 30 rings, though you could easily make more. They go perfectly with the Chickpea Veggie Burger I made to accompany the rings.
The mix of breadcrumbs and spices as well as the liquid batter will have plenty leftover. It is a bummer to throw some out, but you need a lot to dip the rings in before you bake them. You will need to create an assembly line so you don't make a tremendous mess while dipping the rings. Trust me. I started without a real method, but after about 3 rings, I made the line. Less mess = more fun. Or whatever. Anywhooooo, on to the recipe!
- 2 average size sweet onions (you really won't want the end rings, just the middle ones, so save the rest of the onion leftovers and dice them up for another dish)
- 2 TB cornstarch
- 1 cup cold milk of your choice (I use almond)
- 1 cup plain bread crumbs
- 1/2 slightly-heaping half cup of all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 tsp garlic salt (not garlic powder)
- A few small shakes of cayenne (maybe 1/8 tsp. Just enough to give it a baby kick of flavor without burning your tongue
- Slice the onions into 1/2-inch thick rings, then separate the layers. As I said, you probably won't want the rings from the ends of the onions, so save them for later.
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Get a baking sheet and spray with cooking oil. Set aside for the assembly line.
- In a deep-ish bowl, combine the almond milk, flour and cornstarch. Mix until it makes a thick, yet runny batter. Then stir in the apple cider vinegar and set aside.
- In a wide bowl, mix the bread crumbs, garlic salt, and cayenne. Then, pour the olive oil over the bread crumbs and mix well. I used my hands, but you don't have to.
- Now comes the assembly line! I found it easiest to align my bowls like this: Left = wet, middle = crumbs, right = baking sheet. You'll definitely want to keep your hands separate, meaning you need a wet hand and a dry hand otherwise you will have a hell of a time making the rings come out nicely.
- Left hand dips the ring in the wet batter then drops it into the crumbs. Right hand covers the ring with crumbs and then gently lifts the ring out (shaking the excess crumbs) and then place it on the sprayed cooking sheet. Try not to let the rings touch. Depending on how many you decide to make, you may need another baking sheet. Spray a touch of cooking oil on the rings before putting them in the oven. This is what they should look like pre-oven:
- Bake 9-10 minutes. Then carefully flip the rings over with some tongs and cook another 6-8 minutes. They will be browned somewhat. I tasted one just to be sure they were done, so I advise you to do the same. There, you have vegan, baked healthy-ish onion rings that you can rave about. YUM!