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Buttermilk gives tang to these fried onion rings. Use sweet onions for the best result. The onion rings are kept warm in the oven while you fry them in batches.

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 large sweet onions, such as Vidalia or VeriSweet (about 1-3/4 pounds)
  • 3 cups peanut oil

Preparation:

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, set a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet, place the baking sheet in the oven and heat the oven to 250 degrees F.

With a fork, combine the buttermilk, hot pepper sauce, and sugar in a medium bowl until the sugar dissolves. Using a clean fork, combine the flour, baking powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper in a shallow baking dish.

Peel and cut the sweet onions into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Separate the onion slices into rings. Dip the rings in the buttermilk and shake off the excess liquid. Dredge the rings in the flour mixture, shake off the excess, and gently place the rings on a second wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat until all the rings are coated. Overlap the rings if necessary.

Line a large plate with a double layer of paper towels. Meanwhile, heat the oil to 400 degrees over medium-high heat in a large, 8-quart, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven with a diameter of approximately 12 inches.

Add the onions to form a single layer on the oil's surface and cook until golden brown, no more than 3 minutes. (Oil temperature should not dip below 375 degrees.) Using tongs, transfer the onions to the paper towel-lined plate. Let stand 2 minutes to drain, then carefully transfer to the rack in the warm oven.

Replace the paper towels on the plate. Return the oil to 400 degrees and fry the remaining onions, transferring them to the paper towel-lined plate to drain, then to the wire rack in the oven for each batch. Serve onion rings hot from the oven.

Yield: 4 servings

Per serving: 455 calories; 28 g fat (5 g saturated fat; 55 percent calories from fat); 44 g carbohydrates; 2 mg cholesterol; 857 mg sodium; 7.5 g protein; 4 g fiber.

Recipe Source: The Best Recipe: American Classics edited by Cook's Illustrated Magazine (Boston Common Press)
Reprinted with permission.

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