Healthy, Crunchy Onion Rings [& Grilled Flank Steak.]

I don’t really know how I feel about onion rings.

I just… don’t know. Or at least, I didn’t know before I made these. Now I know. And you need to know.

 

Talk much?

 

I used to highly dislike onions. I was weird. And missing out. Onions are like… one of the best flavor enhancers in the universe. Not even joking. I thought I didn’t like them, but then my husband went through a phase where he ate caramelized onions everyday for 67 straight days. Looking back, that was lovely. It taught me to love onions. And air fresheners. And breath mints.

Turns out I wasn’t really utilizing them to the best of their ability. Now don’t even tell me that I’m not cooking broccoli slash cauliflower slash carrots slash zucchini incorrectly people. I don’t want to hear it.

 

FYI: I do not consider onions a vegetable. I mean, they are a vegetable, they grow in the ground (I think?) but whatever… they are not a real vegetable. They are not like spinach and broccoli that I should be consuming with regularity so I can chew vitamins and see more clearly and keep my skin soft and peachy creamy. They are just… there. For my taste buds. To make them happy.

 

So. Onion rings. I made these one weekend. I do really important things on weekends. Bake cupcakes for breakfast, avoid cleaning any and all bathrooms in my general surroundings, plow through the US Weekly that I strategically hid in shame from my husband, but that he found anyway because he loves trash as much as I do… you know. Things like that. And sometimes we watch TV. We once watched an entire marathon of America’s Next Top Model the first year we were dating. 12 hours. 12 hours of my life I will never get back. The only redeeming quality to come from watching trash TV marathons is that they occasionally involve food. And last week Ina made Jeffery some fried onion rings and juicy filet with creamy blue cheese sauce so rich that it could instantly induce a heart attack. I LOVE that!

We could not stop thinking about that meal. Seriously. It was all we talked about. We almost ate it on Memorial Day at 10 am. This is my life.

 

I figured I could bake the onion rings and make them super crispy and crunchy, much like the chicken fingers we love. Success! And a bonus? They don’t get soggy like deep fried onion rings do. Not.at.all. They stay super crunchy and sweet. Just how I like them. I like my onion rings like I like my… apples slash granola slash other inappropriate phrase that has no relevance to this recipe.

 

These are currently the best thing in my life. Ever.

Healthy Crunchy Onion Rings

serves 2-4

2 large vidalia onions

1 quart of buttermilk

4 egg whites

1 cup medium ground cornmeal

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

12-24 hours ahead of time, slice onions into 1/2-inch thick rings. Season the onion rings with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper each. Place in a baking dish and pour buttermilk over top. Let soak for 12-24 hours.

When ready to bake, heat oven to 450 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk egg whites. In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour and panko with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon paprika. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top. Spray the wire rack with non-stick spray.

Remove each onion ring from the buttermilk and dip in egg whites. Immediately dip in the breadcrumb mixture and press to coat. If bread crumbs won’t adhere, dip in egg whites and try again. Lay each ring on the wire rack. When all rings are ready, give each a quick spritz with olive oil or non-stick spray. Bake for 15 minutes, then gently flip with tongs and spray again with olive oil or non-stick spray. Bake for 10 minutes more.

 

Grilled Flank Steak

serves 2-4

1 pound flank steak, about 1 inch thick

1/3 cup soy sauce

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup sherry wine

2 tablespoons brown sugar

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

12-24 hours before grilling, combine olive oil, sherry, soy, ginger, garlic and sugar in a baking dish and whisk. Place steak in the dish and flip a few times to coat. Let marinate for 12-24 hours, turning every so often.

When ready to cook, preheat grill or grill pan. Grill steak about 6 minutes on each side for it to be medium/medium well. Remove from grill and let sit for 10 minutes. Slice against the grain to ensure tenderness. Serve with onion rings!

Oh, I made that steak too. It was fancy fancy and fabulous. You should try it.