Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recipe Review: Healthier Onion Rings from Rachael Ray

On one of those recent "snowed in" days, Regina and I watched Rachael Ray "together." (Meaning she was at her house, and I was at mine, and we were chatting.)  Rocco DiSpirito was on, and he did this recipe for Faux Onion Rings with Smoky Mayonnaise.

I love me some good onion rings, but I don't love the calories and fat that go with them. So, I knew I had to give this recipe a try, and I knew I had to let you all know how they turned out.

I make a few modifications to the original recipe. Partly because I could not find whole wheat panko breadcrumbs (anyone have advice as to where these might be found?), partly because I see no need to only use the big rings (???) and partly because I just generally don't like following directions. Also, I didn't try the sauce recipe, because I prefer ranch dressing (and I'm just that much of a redneck).

I think they were fabulous, and so did R.  I think you will love them too, and not miss the grease involved with "real" onion rings.  So, without further delay, here is the recipe as I ended up making it:

Healthier Version of Onion Rings

1 large sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
2 cups skim milk
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups breadcrumbs
4 large egg whites
Salt and ground black pepper
Canola oil cooking spray

Separate the onions into individual rings. Put onions in a medium bowl.  Pour the milk over the rings and allow them to soak for about 20 minutes, turning them periodically so that all surfaces of the onion rings have been exposed to the milk.

Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Place wire baking racks on each of two baking sheets (I think it would work okay to just spray the baking sheet and put the rings directly on that, but the wire rack did seem to help them get evenly crispy.), and set them aside.

Put the flour in a shallow dish. Put the bread crumbs in a small dish.  In a bowl, whip the egg whites with a whisk.  (Rocco says until they are, "extremely foamy but not quite holding peaks."  I found that it actually worked better as the egg whites started calming down and not being quite so foamy.  So, I wouldn't whip them so much next time.)

Working in batches, remove the onion rings from the milk and dredge them in the flour, shaking off any excess. Add the rings to the egg whites and toss to coat completely. Add the rings, a few pieces at a time, to the bread crumbs and coat completely.

Spread the onion rings out on the wire racks. Season the rings generously with salt and pepper, and spray them generously (Rocco says "lightly."  I found that the parts sprayed more heavily came out better.) with cooking spray. Bake until the coating is golden brown and crispy and the onions are tender, about 20 minutes.


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Anonymous said...

Mmm, these look like they could be a good SuperBowl party treat! Thanks for sharing.

Deanna said...

Those sound wonderful. I'm like you - recipes are just a guideline to modify :)

I am an onion ring freak and miss them. I'll definitely be trying this recipe.

Karen said...

Partly because I could not find whole wheat panko breadcrumbs (anyone have advice as to where these might be found?)

Los Angeles.

Those sound great! I'm going to try them one of these days.

simplysandi said...

I cannot wait to try them.