Buttermilk onion rings are sweet and delicious when made with giant Vidalia or Texas 1015 onions. Buttermilk is used as the batter component instead of eggs, so you need really thick buttermilk. Serves 4.
1 large Vidalia or other onion (about 1 lb)
all purpose flour
1/2 c buttermilk
cornmeal or polenta
oil for deep frying (I prefer peanut)
Method: Peel onion carefully, to preserve as much of the exterior as possible. Cut crosswise into slices about 3/4 inch thick. Separate into rings; save the smaller ones for another use and soak the larger rings in buttermilk, mixing occasionally with your hands to be sure all pieces are equally exposed to the liquid. While onions are marinating preheat frying oil (2″ deep if using a kitchen pot) to 375 degrees. Remove the onion rings to a dry plate. Mix 1/2 c flour and 1/2 t salt in a shallow bowl; mix 1/4 c flour and 1/4 c polenta in another shallow bowl. Place the buttermilk between them on your work counter.
Thoroughly coat each ring in the flour/salt mixture; dip in buttermilk, dredge in flour/polenta; lower into hot oil (carefully, so you don’t splash oil on yourself). Fry a few rings at a time until golden brown (like in the photo). Repeat until all onions are fried, replenishing the dredging ingredients as needed. Hold in a warm (300 degree) oven on paper towels until ready to serve.