Hunger: Baked Rosemary Onion Rings

Last Sunday I woke up in a fowl mood after a not so pleasant Saturday evening.  I didn’t get out of bed until nearly 1 PM and when I finally did arise I simply crawled back into my King-sized cave and watched My Sister’s Keeper silently sobbing to myself.  When I’m in a bad mood all I crave is comfort food that is easy, hot and fried and I contemplated ordering from a local diner, going out to McDonald’s and ordering an extra large french fry, or heading to the grocery store for frozen chicken tenders. I had no desire, however, to get dressed or move just about anywhere so I decided I would try my hand at a classic comfort food turned healthy: baked onion rings.

I’ll be the first to say it, the only reason I baked these was because I don’t own a deep fryer or enough olive oil or finesse to pan fry onion rings.  Nor did I  have panko bread crumbs or buttermilk.  I had basically given up hope until I came across Ellie Krieger’s oven baked onion ring recipe with only 205 cal and 3.5 grams of fat (a marvel for onion rings!).  She made hers coating them in buttermilk, flour, and crushed potato chips before baking.  Most who reviewed this recipe were strongly against the potato chip theory, but that was the only thing I had on hand.  I modified the recipe to my pantry.

Ingredients: 1 vadalia onion, 2-3 egg whites, 1/2 cup flour, 3-4 handfuls Deep River Rosemary and Olive Oil Kettle Cooked Potato Chips, 1 handful Stacy’s Pita Chips Simply Naked

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and begin slicing your onion, to create those nice thick rings.  Grease the baking pan ( I used a few spritzes of Pam).

2.  Take chips and place in a gallon-sized plastic bag.  Smash, crush, and break chips with hands/feet/glass/plate etc.  Continue to crush until the breading is evenly broken.  Chunks are fine, they make extra crunchy bites.

3.  Take each onion ring, one to three at a time, and dip into flour, egg whites, and breading, in that order.   I used my fingers to do this and kept a wet paper towel nearby, although many suggested you can avoid the mess with chopsticks.  I placed the onions in my chip breading bag and shook until all were evenly coated.  Place coated rings onto the baking sheet in a single layer.  Spray each ring with a bit more Pam, which will help the chip bake even crispier.

4.  Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until rings are golden brown, or if you like things extra crispy like me, a deep golden brown.

I could not believe the flavor bursting out of these onion rings!  Because the chips themselves are already extra crunchy and highly seasoned, the coating was crispy, fragrant, and not heavy.  They were best eaten piping hot out of the oven.  While there’s nothing quite like a deep fried extra crispy onion ring from the local diner, I have to say these were a welcome change.  My craving was definitely satisfied by the hot and crispy, but it felt practically gourmet to eat a rosemary flavored onion ring.  Sorry for the lack of pictures, they were gone before I even got the chance!  Here’s to never leaving a craving unsatisfied.

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