I’ve talked before about how sometimes what you serve on the side of your dinner plate is the star of the meal, and this is another one of those times. Think onion rings: thin, light, crisp, with a good kick of spice, these are a far cry from those overly breaded, greasy rings served in so many restaurants, and they’re easy to make at home. The two things to remember here are to have everything ready to go before you start, and to make them just before you’ll be serving them so they stay perfectly crisp.

For two good sized servings, you’ll need:

a big bowl
1 medium red onion
flaky sea salt (I used Maldon)
Sriracha or other hot chile sauce
a zip-top bag
about 1/2 cup of unbleached white flour
vegetable oil
a pot with high sides
a spider
a tray or plate lined with paper towels

Peel the onion and slice it into thin rings. Separate the rings and place them into your bowl, then give them a healthy sprinkling of salt and as much Sriracha as you like. Toss until the onions are well coated, and set aside for 20 minutes or so, until the onions are soft and have given up much of their liquid.

Pour oil an inch or two deep into the pot and heat until shimmering. Add flour to the zip-top bag. Remove the softened onions in batches, gently squeezing out the moisture with your hands, and add them to the flour a few at a time, tossing to coat. Shake off the excess flour and CAREFULLY lower the onions into the hot oil, frying them in batches until they are crisp and golden. Using your spider, remove the rings to the paper towel-lined plate to drain, sprinkling a bit of flaky salt on top of each batch you remove.

Dinner:  May 14, 2008

Serve hot alongside your favorite steak, burger, or barbecue, with a frosty beverage alongside. Feel the love.

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