Did you just fall off your chair? You should've, because these deserve such an extreme reaction. The last time I made onion rings was about 10 years ago when I was working in Shallots, NY and was put to the task of slicing about 80 pounds of red onions for onion rings. Buckets of soap would not take the smell out of my hands for days and I swore off making onion rings FOREVER. Well, forever has passed and I decided to make them again. Onion rings have always been my favorite accompaniment- I would forsake french fries any day for a big pile of crispy onion rings- but I'm trying to stay away from fried foods for a while (thanks Gallby) so I came up with these beautiful, crunchy rings of semi-low-fat goodness. Soaking them in buttermilk gives them a delicious tang and the thickness of the mixtures helps to create a great crispy ring. On a whim I decided to add Parmesan to the breading and HOLY KAMOLY they were elevated to another level of onion ring heaven. The method I used for baking them is one I use when I don't want to fry but I do want to achieve deep-fry like crunch. It requires heating a little oil on a baking sheet and placing the rings in the hot oil and then baking them. This is a great tip for anything that you want to taste and look fried without all the oil.
3 large onions, thickly sliced and separated into rings
1 1/2 cups butter milk (Rivyon in Israel, it comes out to one small 500ml container)-if you don't have buttermilk you can use regular milk mixed with a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp hot paprika or hot sauce
1/4 tsp coarse ground pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup cornflake crumbs ( I processed fresh cornflakes in the food processor)
1 cup Panko bread crumbs (gives unbelievable crunch, but any bread crumbs will do)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
4 Tbl oil
Preheat the oven to 400. In a shallow dish combine the buttermilk, eggs, and seasonings. Mix well. Add the onions and let them soak for about half an hour. Combine the cornflake crumbs, Panko and Parmesan and season with some pepper and garlic powder. Remove each ring from the buttermilk mixture and coat with the crumbs. Place the oil on a baking sheet and heat in the oven for 5 minutes. Place the rings onto the tray (they should sizzle when placed down) and put back in the oven. Bake for about 5 minutes, turn them over and bake for another 5 minutes. Enjoy!