I have tried several different ways of making onion rings and concluded that the battered ones are hopeless. The batter is never crisp and despite my best efforts, seems to slide off the onion after it’s been fried. I also don’t like deep frying and my final perfected recipe is inspired by Ina Garten’s Cornmeal-Fried Onion Rings recipe, where I can get away with frying in a shallow pan.
Polenta Fried Onion Rings
After some trial and error, I have amended Ina Garten's original recipe, in particular letting the onions to soak in the yoghurt solution for a longer time. This makes them more subtle and rounds the flavour.
Peel the onions and slice them thickly, ideally about 2 cm thick, and then carefully separate them into rings.
Mix together the yoghurt/buttermilk, with salt, black pepper and the smoked paprika. Marinate the onion rings in the yoghurt mixture for a minimum of 30 min, but ideally 6-8 hours.
When you are ready to fry them, heat about 2 cm oil in a frying pan. Mix together the flour, polenta and some seasoning in a small bowl.
Using tongs lift a few slices of onion from the marinade, and dredge with the flour mixture and drop carefully into the hot oil. Don’t overcrowd and let cook for about 2 minutes, turning them halfway through.
Keep the rings warm in a low oven (100C) whilst you finish frying the rest. They will remain crisp. Sprinkle on some sea salt flakes, if you have them, just before serving.