Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Quest for the Perfect Onion Ring

I am a big fan of onion rings and I have had a craving for some greasy, beer battered onion rings for weeks. Now that I have my own kitchen and some free time, I have tried my best to make them just like they do in restaurants. It turned out to be much harder than I imagined.

When I went to site, Peace Corps issued all of the volunteers an "official" Peace Corps cookbook. It has a bunch of recipes and lists ingredients that you can expect to find in Botswana. It is a fantastic resource and I find myself using it for almost every meal. One of the best pages in the whole thing lists conversions from American to metric (very useful when your oven shows temperature in Celsius).

I was flipping through my cookbook the other day and saw a recipe for onion rings. It listed the ingredients needed as flour, milk, onions, egg, beer (optional), and oil for frying. It just so happened that I had all of those ingredients and so I set out to make them. I cut the rings, dipped them in the egg and then battered them. It seemed so easy. I fried them until they were brown and then sat down to enjoy. They were good, but not quite the taste I was looking for. The batter was just too light.

The next week, I was wandering around the grocery store and found breadcrumbs. I had hopes of finding cornmeal to batter them in but breadcrumbs could be just as good. I took them home and tried out the same recipe but with bread crumbs. They looked like real onion rings when battered. I was pretty excited. I fried them and sat down to eat. The texture and look were perfect (see the picture above), but there was still something missing in the taste.

I will keep trying and hopefully have a perfected recipe soon. I am considering using buttermilk in the batter along with some kind of spice (Maybe onion salt or onion power as well).

Until then,the quest continues....