I'm sitting here at my kitchen island with a pot of vegetable chowder simmering on the stove, rain pinging the skylights and an almost December chill in the air. Every year after Thanksgiving I feel as though someone fired off the Holiday Cannon and we're off to the races. Around our house we're dealing with Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, New Years Eve, Alans' birthday, and our anniversary. That's a lot. Add to that, a new house and all the other medical stuff this year has brought, I've got a full plate and I haven't even made my way to the chocolate fountain at the end of the buffet.
This is the time of year of tempting treats, forbidden foods. The time when we go big or go home. One of the big requests around here once the weather gets chilly are onion rings. Onion Rings always make me think of Dinah's Restaurant in LA. Dinah's is one of our favorite places and we've spent many happy late night hours there. Even if you've never been to Dinahs, chances are you've seen it plenty, as it's been in a million films.
Here Lingonberry Pancakes are being ordered among the many mistakes this crew made, the least of which is not ordering Dinah's famous onion rings.
Now, onion rings are a pretty straightforward thing to make, no trick there, but if you're gluten free, there's the rub. What do you coat them in if you can't eat gluten, and then there's the frying guilt. Yes, fried tastes great but if you truly want a guilt-free experience, try oven frying. Done right it works great! Since I have a lot of friends who can't eat gluten, I do a lot of gluten free cooking and I'm always looking for things to use that most people haven't heard of. To do that, it's always good to go to cuisines that have a lot of naturally gluten-free dishes. Indian cuisine is one of the best for this purpose and one item works great for gluten free breading and that is Poha aka Flattened Rice.
Think of it as the Eastern version of bread crumbs. It's available in most Asian and Indian Markets and is one of my kitchen staples. Frying, breading whatever... I grab the poha. It just made sense when I was making onion rings the other day to bread them with poha even though no one at lunch was gluten free, I wanted to show an alternative.
These oven fried onion rings are easy to make but do take a bit of planning. They taste better of the onions are tenderized by soaking them in buttermilk for a few hours before cooking. Overnight is even better. So if you have onions and buttermilk give this a whirl, and if you're gluten free, break out the poha!
Oven Fried Onion RingsHere's What You Need:
2 large onions cut into thick rings
1 qt. buttermilk
4 egg whites
2/3 cup gluten free sorghum flour
2/3 cup of gluten free corn meal
1 cup of poha
3/4 tsp salt
any other seasonings you wish to taste, I used Kashmiri chili
Here's What To Do:
Slice onions evenly and thickly and put them into a baking dish filled with buttermilk.
Put them into the fridge to chill for a few hours or overnight.
When you're ready to make your rings, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Line a couple of cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
Separate 4 egg whites.
Put them into a small bowl and lightly beat. set them aside.
In another bowl mix together the sorghum flour...
...and the corn meal.
Take 1 cup of poha.
Pour it in a bit of warm water and let it soak for five minutes. This softens it up.
After 5 minutes drain the poha.
Gently press the excess water out of it.
...and seasonings to the flour poha mixture.
Mix the flours and poha all together.
Dip your buttermilk soaked onion rings into the eggwhite.
Then dip them into the flour poha mixture.
Lay them on the cookie sheets.
When the rings are all ready, brush them with a bit of vegetable oil and pop them into the oven.
Let them bake for about 15 minutes, them take them out and flip them over and brush the other side with a bit of oil. Put them back into the oven.
Give them another 15 minutes.
When they're brown and crispy, they're done!
Serve them up and enjoy!
Gluten free and guilt free!
Coming up next, visions of mawa cakes dance in my head and I gotta have 'em!
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