It’s Spring in Alabama Y’all! That means the peonies are blooming, we ladies are wearing sundresses and sandals, and sweet Vidalia onions are in season!
My husband bought a 10 pound bag of Vidalia onions from Vidalia, Georgia as part of a Civitan fundraiser. I immediately started thinking of all the recipes I could make with Vidalia onions- Caramelized Onion Baked Dip, Fajitas, Onion Jam, Grilled Onion Salad, Onion Rings, Onion and Cucumber Salad, Sweet Heat Pickles and Onions, Heirloom Tomato, French Onion Soup, and Vidalia Onion Quiche/Pie.
The first night I made Vidalia Onion Rings to go along with our Venison Burgers on pretzel buns. (The sauce on the burgers is Sweet Baby Ray’s Secret Sauce dipping sauce- a mild blend of horseradish and spices.) The pretzel buns came from Aldi.
The onion rings are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Be sure to toss the separated rings in flour before dipping in the thin batter. Don’t skip this step. This prevents the batter from sliding off. It gives it something to cling to. I used plain, dry breadcrumbs. Tip: You can find this at the Dollar Tree. I could have also used Panko Japanese bread crumbs but I only had Italian Style in my pantry and I didn’t want the Italian seasoning in the onion rings. Another option for a little extra crunch and Southern flavor is to trade out 1/4 cup breadcrumbs for 1/4 cup cornmeal. Yum!
I used about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a 4-quart saucepan to fry the onion rings-3 or 4 at time. I think 360 degrees is the perfect temperature to deep-fry them. Watch them closely! Thirty seconds on each side may be enough. The golden color is what you are looking for. Drain them on a layer of paper towels between every other batch.
I prefer to cut them about 1/2 inch thick because I like a lot of onion in my onion rings. They just melt in your mouth when you make them with Vidalia onions!
My daughter was not home for dinner so believe it or not we had a few leftover onion rings. I just put them in a plastic container with a tight lid and put them in the fridge. They can be frozen this way, too. To reheat and keep that crispy outside crust, place in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 6 minutes from the fridge and 12 minutes from the freezer.
Check out VidaliaOnions.com for the best storage tips and the Southern history behind these super sweet onions.
Here’s my recipe for Vidalia Onion Rings. Let me know how you like them if you make them!
Spring is Vidalia onion season here in the South! These onions are sweet and only require about 30 seconds in the oil to make them crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
- 3 cups vegetable oil
- 2 Vidalia onions
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour divided
- 1 teaspoon salt divided
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs or Panko breadcrumbs
1. Heat vegetable oil in a 4-quart saucepan or pot over medium-high heat until temperature reaches 360 degrees.
Cut off the ends of the onions and remove the thin peel on the onions. Slice the onions into 1/2-inch thick slices and separate them into individual rings.
2. Combine 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt on a dinner plate.
3. Combine remaining 3/4 cup flour and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt in a medium size bowl. Whisk together the milk and egg in a measuring cup then add to the flour mixture in the bowl. Whisk together until smooth. The batter will be thin.
4. Place the breadcrumbs in a dinner plate. Toss each onion ring in the flour and salt mixture, pressing flour on to the rings. With the other hand, dip the ring in the batter. With the first hand, place it in the breadcrumbs and gently press them into the battered ring. Keep one hand for batter and one hand for flour and breadcrumb mixture. This will keep your fingers from clumping with balls of batter and flour/breadcrumbs.
Gently fry onion rings, 3 or 4 at a time in hot vegetable oil 30 to 45 seconds on each side or until golden brown. Drain rings on paper towels.
For a little Cajun kick, add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper to the breadcrumbs.