Perfect for a quick side dish or snack. The secret to this recipe is the combination of powdered buttermilk, onion powder, garlic powder and other spices, boosting the overall flavor. Try using vidalia onions as they are sweeter and milder than white or yellow onions. Look for onions that are as fresh and young as possible. Older onions will have a more potent flavor. These keep for up to five days.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 36 minutes to 48 minutes
For the onion rings:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 (1-ounce) packet ranch dressing and seasoning powder (2 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided, plus more for seasoning
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 large Vidalia onions (12 to 16 ounces each)
For the dip (optional):
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon ranch powder
- 1/4 bunch fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Pinch kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 250ºF. Fit a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet.
- Place 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 (1-ounce) packet ranch powder (2 tablespoons), 1 tablespoon of the kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of the black pepper in a shallow bowl or small rimmed baking sheet and stir with a fork to combine.
- Place 4 large eggs and 1/4 cup water in a second shallow bowl or rimmed baking sheet and whisk until well combined.
- Place 4 cups panko breadcrumbs in a third shallow bowl or rimmed baking sheet. Using your hands, crush up the breadcrumbs slightly to create a slightly finer crumb, which will adhere to the onion rings more easily. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon kosher salt and remaining 1 teaspoon black pepper and stir to combine. Drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Again, using your hands, rub the oil into the breadcrumbs, breaking up any lumps with your fingers and making sure all breadcrumbs are coated evenly. (You might be tempted to use a fork for this step, but it won’t be as effective as using your hands.)
- Peel and slice 3 large Vidalia onions crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Carefully separate the rings, setting aside only the large and medium rings. Use the small inner pieces for another recipe or caramelized onions!
- Heat an air fryer to 375ºF. Dredge and fry the onion rings in batches (enough to form two layers in the air fryer basket): Dredge the onion rings in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess. Dip into egg mixture, thoroughly moistening the insides and outsides of the rings with your fingers. Return to the flour mixture, dredge again, and then back to the egg mixture. Transfer to the seasoned panko, and dredge, pressing the crumbs to the rings to properly adhere.
- Place the dredged rings in two layers in the air fryer basket, making sure the rings are not sitting within one another. Air fry until browned and crisp, 12 to 16 minutes, ignoring any potential prompts from your air fryer to shake its contents, which would only knock off breadcrumbs. Meanwhile, dredge the next batch of rings, stacking them on a plate so that they don’t stick together.
- Transfer the cooked onion rings to the wire rack, lightly sprinkle with more kosher salt, and keep in the oven to stay warm. In between batches, brush any loose crumbs out of the air fryer basket so they don’t burn. Repeat breading and air frying the remaining rings, being careful when placing the rings in the basket — the basket will be hot!
- Finely chop 1/4 bunch fresh dill until you have 2 tablespoons. Place the dill, 1 cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon ranch powder, 1 tablespoon water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, a pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine. Serve the onion rings warm with the dip.
Source: the Kitchn