Homemade Onion Rings

You may have noticed that I am a big fan of onions. They’re an ingredient in just about every savory recipe I’ve shared here, and in fact in just about every savory recipe I make, shared or not. I love their taste, I love their texture, and I especially love their versatility. They work with just about every flavor profile and cooking method.

Every once in a while, I get a craving for FRIED onions. Specifically, onions shaped like rings and covered with crust. A lot of people would just dash out to the nearest fast “food” place and pick some up, or maybe get some premade ones from the freezer case at the supermarket. But I’m sure you know me well enough by now to know that that’s not how I roll. And I’m here to tell you that homemade onion rings are SUPER easy.

You will need:
– onions. I generally use one small-t0-medium onion.
– two forks, a medium bowl, a sharp knife and a cutting board
– a cooling rig – paper towels are fine, a rack on top of the paper towels would be better.
– batter, see below
– oil – an inch or so deep in your cast iron skillet – put it on the burner first so it can get hot while you prep the rings

Here’s your batter.
3/4 cup flour, 2/3 cup milk, 1 egg, 1 tbsp oil, 1/4 tsp salt.
Mix these together in a bowl. Stir until smooth and unlumpy. Feel free to adjust the texture as you like. More flour will give a thicker batter, more milk will thin it (obviously). You can leave out this salt if you are concerned about sodium, but seriously this is not health food. Just leave it in – it tastes much better.

Slice the onion(s) into a big ol’ pile of rings. Separate them gently with your fingers. The center of the onion will be too small to make decent rings with; just put that part in a container and use in your next meal. If the outer layers have green veins (like the one on the left side of this photo), they won’t taste very good, so discard them.

Dip the rings into the batter and swirl them around to coat them. This particular batch has extra milk and is a little thin. Lift them with one of your forks and let the excess drip off. If your oil is ready (I think 350 degrees is the temperature, but I never actually use the thermometer for this. I actually take a drop of the batter and put it in the oil – if it immediately starts to sizzle, it’s ready), drop in the rings, one at a time.

Sorry for the fuzzy photo, lol. Make sure not to crowd your pan or add too many at one time (so that the oil temperature doesn’t fall too much). If your rings are not bubbling like mad from the second you put them into the oil, they’ll absorb the fat and be horrible and gross. Take them out if this happens, and crank the heat.
Watch the edges of the rings for the telltale color of Golden Brown and Delicious. It usually takes around a minute for each ring, but it’ll depend on the thickness of your batter and of your individual onion. Use your second fork (or a frying spider) to flip them over.

When they’re done, evacuate them to your cooling/draining rig. If your oil is hot and you don’t let them overcook, and you allow them to drain properly, your onions will retain very little oil. They’ll not be healthy, but they also won’t be balls of grease.
If you get drips of batter in the oil as you fry, try to remember to get them out, or else they’ll burn and then stick to the rings, which is why you see those black dots on these rings. :/
Salt them while warm (if you want) and serve. I like ketchup with mine, but just about any dipping sauce will work here. Onions are versatile, I told you. 😉

I don’t have a pretty staged food photo for you this time. I was too busy devouring my onion rings. What are you still doing reading? Go make some.

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Cornbread

Quick breads are one of the easiest things to make. And if they’re made well, they’re impressive and delicious. They only require a few pantry-staple ingredients, and take only a few moments to throw together. If you’re from or have visited the American South, you’re definitely familiar with cornbread. If you’ve never encountered this delicious beast, I pity you.

I make this recipe following the one in my BHG cookbook. I don’t always love their recipes but this one is pretty hard to get wrong. 😉

Now, if you’re a fan of Alton Brown or are a knowledgeable baker, you’re familiar with the Muffin Method. You have a group of dry ingredients, a group of wet ingredients, and you stir them together. That’s what we’re gonna do.

Here’s your dry goods:
flour – 1 cup
cornmeal – 3/4 cup
sugar – 2 to 3 tbsp
baking powder – 2 1/2 tsp
salt – 3/4 tsp


And here’s your wet goods:
eggs – 2
milk – 1 cup
oil – 1/4 cup
You’ll also need a tablespoon of butter.

In your cast iron pan (that’s important), melt the butter. It’ll only take a few moments. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Combine your ingredients into two bowls. Mix both thoroughly.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and stir gently. You do not want to produce a perfectly smooth batter – it should be a bit lumpy. (This picture is NOT stirred – it does need to be stirred more than this.)

Pour the batter right into the cast iron pan. The butter on the bottom may travel up and lay around the edges – that’s okay. Slide the whole pan into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Perform a standard toothpick test to make sure it’s done. (Just poke a toothpick in near the center. It should come out dry.) If it’s not, put it back in for a few more minutes.

Cut it and lift out a wedge. The bottom of your cornbread will be a glorious golden brown and delicious color.


When you open it up, it’ll have a lovely spongelike texture. Can you see the steam rising? Does it make your mouth water? I like mine with a bit of butter, preferably next to a bowl of slow-cooked beans.