Oven Baked Onion Rings with Dipping Sauce

>> Monday, November 14, 2011

While I love onion rings, I've never made them before. I try not to fry too many things for health reasons - and because I hate cleaning up the grease splatters all over my kitchen. When I stumbled upon this recipe, I knew I had to try it. I'm notorious for not completely, or carefully, reading through the recipe directions beforehand and I did it again. I had almost finished preparing the onion rings before I realized that the recipe was actually called Oven Fried Onion Rings and they were cooked in oil in the oven rather than stovetop. Hmmm...not quite as healthy as I wanted, so I fiddled with it and came up with something that actually is Oven Baked Onion Rings, no frying involved!

Every afternoon around 4 or 5, Finley has her "witching hour" complete with fussing, crying and needing lots of attention. Unfortunately this coincides perfectly with the time I am trying to get dinner going for the evening. I've learned that usually I can prepare Miss F a big snack/light supper and plop her in front of an episode of Special Agent Oso and that will keep her happy and occupied while I'm working in the kitchen. But this particular evening my go-to plan wasn't cutting it. While I was dredging the onions rings with eggs and cracker crumbs stuck to all my fingers, I had a very unhappy toddler clinging to my leg shrieking for me to read to her. Fin finally settled for holding the book herself and I read aloud while working on the onion rings. Multi-tasking at its best. In my head, I was cursing these stupid onion rings for taking so long to prepare and I swore that they had better be damn good since it was complete chaos in our house at the moment.

But when I sat down at dinner and took a bite, I knew they were worth it. All the crispy, crunchy goodness of an onion ring without any of the deep fried guilt! By this time, Finley's witching hour had passed and while she wasn't a big fan of eating the onion rings, she did enjoy using them for bracelets! A happy toddler + awesome onion rings = a happy, and very full, mama!

Oven Baked Onion Rings with Dipping Sauce
adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

for the onion rings
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 sleeve Saltine crackers
4 cups corn flakes
1-2 sweet onions
non-stick spray

for the sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon ketchup
1/2 - 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1/4 teaspoon paprika
a pinch or two of salt
a pinch or two of dried oregano
a pinch or two of pepper

For the onion rings, preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a shallow bowl (I used pie plates), sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour. Set aside.

In another shallow bowl, beat eggs and buttermilk together. Add remaining 1/4 cup flour, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt and pepper and mix well.

In a a food processor, pulse crackers and corn flakes together until they are fairly finely ground. Pour the crumbs into a third shallow bowl.

Peel and slice onions into 1/2-inch wide slices, separating the rings. Discard any rings that are not at least 2-inches in diameter.

Dredge each ring in the flour, then dip into the egg mixture completely coating the surface. Allow any excess to drip off and then place onion into the crumb mixture, gently pressing crumbs onto the onion. Place onion ring onto a greased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining onion rings.

Spray each onion rings lightly with non-stick spray and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned and onion is tender.

Serve with dipping sauce.

*Onion rings can be prepared and refrigerated for an hour. Let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking or else the cold onions will not get tender.

For the sauce, in a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Store sauce in refrigerator until ready to serve.


Erin F. November 15, 2011 at 3:44 PM  

I LOVE brown eyed baker! her recipes are always amazing. I had bookmarked this one but never got around to making them. You have me convinced to try them soon :)

You say our lives are busy...but we don't have rugrats. Moms are a special sort of busy that kidless folk like me can't even hold a candle to.

Erin November 17, 2011 at 11:05 AM  

I know, she has great recipes! My little rugrat is in school three mornings a week, so my sanity has pretty much returned. But I remember how busy I was while I was working full-time and going to school at night for my Master's - and that was when I was single. I can't imagine doing all of that plus being a wife!

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