Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

In honour of St. Patrick’s Day, the Food network Canada website ran a poll for their March Cooking Club Challenge with three beer containing recipes. Ricardo Larivee’s Beer Batter Onion Rings won and I’m excited as this will be my first time joining the challenge.

I already have a favourite onion ring recipe though it contains milk and egg, so I am up for a change, and I knew my husband would be more than happy to be a co-taste tester!

Riccardo's Beer-Battered Onion Rings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


Onion Rings

  • 1 large Spanish onion, sliced into 1-cm (1/2-inch) rounds and separated into rings (if desired, set aside the small centre rings for another use)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch


  • 1 cup pastry flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup pale ale
  • Oil for frying


Onion Rings

  1. Preheat the deep fryer to 190°C (375°F). Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet or line a baking sheet with paper towels.
  2. In a paper bag or large bowl, toss the onion rings in the cornstarch to coat well. Set aside.


  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Whisk in the beer.
  2. Using your fingertips or a wooden chopstick, dip the rings in the batter, 4 or 5 at a time. Shake off excess batter and deep-fry for about 3 minutes, turning half way through cooking. Drain on the baking sheet. Season lightly with salt. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

1 Oil bottle

I used a light canola oil, a plus is that at high temperatures needed for frying such as this, it doesn’t smoke

2 pan of oil

I used a large heavy pan, and put about an inch of oil, enough that the rings would not touch the bottom when dropped in

3 Whole Onion

4 Onion Sliced

I then sliced a large onion we had leftover from the turkey meatballs. It really is okay if some of the rings are broken as you see here, it still tastes great and no one minds that its not a perfect O!

5 Onion cornstarched

Rings all coated in cornstarch and ready for dipping

6 Dry Ingredients

Mix all dry ingredients together. I used some of the cornstarch leftover from coating the onions. I do not usually have pastry flour in the house so I used all purpose flour instead.

7 Beer bottle

Although the recipe calls for a pale ale, I used one of my husband’s favourite beers. I would try the pale ale next time for sure, as the beer gives the batter its flavour I think it needs to be stronger than the honey can give.

8 batter too thick

1 cup of beer as you see was not enough. I ended up using almost the entire bottle save for a bit at the bottom. This may have something to do with the fact that I used all purpose flour instead of pastry flour.

9 Batter perfect

Here is the batter at the right consistency, slightly thinner than a pancake batter (it should hold onto the onion without all sliding off)

10 Onion over oil

Drop in the hot oil, it should bubble instantly

11 Onion rings in oil

Here the ring to the front left has already been turned over, it turns a nice pale brown. The ring to the right has been coated in bread crumbs like my other recipe calls for, I was interested in if this would prove to be a big difference.

12 Onion Rings Finished

Crispy brown and ready for eating! The ones to the right are the ones that I coated in dried bread crumbs. My husband and I both prefered the texture and crunch they give, although even without they do have a nice crunch, and were not extremely greasy as I thought they might be.

I felt that I still prefered my original recipe, which I will have to post (soon!) but as I am not a beer drinker I could be biased. My husband (who loves beer) thoroughly enjoyed them, and he might have me adding beer to my other onion rings(maybe because he gets to drink the leftovers? For someone with allergies to milk and eggs, this is definitely a fantastic alternative to the normal battered variety.

Actually I must say here I detest beer, but you don’t end up feeling like you’re eating onions dunked in it, and I did steal a couple before handing the rest over. My husband agreed it would be improved with a stronger beer such as Guiness or as the original recipe calls for, a pale ale.

Happy St. Patrick’s day and happy frying!


  1. I haven't made onion rings in ages. Those look so yummy!

  2. love your blog...
    I know what I'm making for snacks this weekend.... yummmmmmmmmmmmm
    and the pie a few post bACK LOOKS EVEN BETTER..
    have a great day
    mona & the girls

  3. Beer-battered onion rings are the best! I have to look for the honey lager.

  4. Mike: You should give it a go...they have to be better for you than the take out ones, and taste even better (just find someone else to do the dishes!)

    gafftergirls.com: Thank you Mona!

    Maggie: As someone who doesn't like beer, I was surprised how much I liked these. We got the honey lager at our beer store here, they've become more popular so it hopefully wouldn't be too difficult to find. If not something strong would be really good in it too. Thank you!