Of all of the recipes I tried fromPaleo Happy Hour, The lightly floured (well, sort of floured but not the usual kind) and baked Onion Rings are my favorite. They were a little fussy to make but oh so worth it for the mix of sweet, salty, savory, crunchy goodness. I absolutely love onions (baked, roasted, grilled, sautéed until caramelized and sweet, or raw, in some dishes) and eat them almost daily in some form.
Fried onion rings?
But breaded onion rings? I had not eaten them in more than about 20 years, since I made tempura (fried) onion rings with my ex back when I lived in Seattle, WA. I remember these kinds of things (events marked by the cooking and eating of specific foods at various times in my life;-)).
Baked onion rings
But these would be baked onion rings, something I’d been pining over off and on for the past year. I’d saved links to recipes for gluten-free baked onion rings but hadn’t ventured to make them until I saw the yummy looking picture in Kelly’s book. (What did we do before cookbooks had so many food pictures and thumbnail versions up front?)
First I needed to get my fingers on a healthier version of chicarrones (fried pork rinds). I wanted a brand without partially hydrogenated oil, canola oil, caramel color, FD&C dyes, sugar, MSG, or other unsavory ingredients. When I contacted Kelly Milton, the author of Paleo Happy Hour, she recommended this artisan brand, minimally processed, made in small batches without artificial ingredients and without canola or hydrogenated oils, or chemical ingredients. I looked up the company to learn more about it and was sufficiently impressed. These were clean enough for me to eat and recommend! You can read my review of the product here (from earlier this week) and you can buy them here.
My package arrived!
Once they arrived and I tasted them (Oh, my! I had to stop myself so I’d have enough for the recipe), I powdered some of them in my spice-dedicated coffee grinder. Note to self (and to you!): use a food processor, it works better, is faster, and easier to clean up. Then I mixed it with the other ingredients (see list below) and followed Kelly’s instructions for flouring the onion slices in coconut flour, dipping in beaten egg, then coating with here high-protein, low-carb, chicharron-laced coating, then baking.
I did have some difficulty getting some of the onion rings coated with breading. It started to clump up, just as Kelly had warned in the recipe. I didn’t want to leave any clump of goodness behind (waste nothing!) nor did I want to leave any onions uncoated, so I pressed the rest of the coating onto the onion rings. I had to wash and dry my hands repeatedly to keep the coating from sticking. I wanted it on the onion rings not my hands!
My onions rings didn’t look as pretty as I would have liked…but they were still delicious! Not exactly like their fried counterparts, but that’s okay. I still enjoyed them! I will probably do an even better job the next time I make these.
I ate many of the onion rings the night I made them. The lighting was too dim to get any good shots. I had more for the next day’s photo shoot and my shots still didn’t come out great. I’ll have to make them earlier in the day next time and buy some photo lights and a light box or foam boards to amp up the lighting when I don’t have the ideal amount of natural light pouring through the kitchen window. I’ll make this recipe again and re-shoot. In the meantime, the author and publisher gave me permission to use their photo.
I was cooking for one, so I divvied the onion rings into three portions and crisped the leftovers up on a baking tray in my Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven one day and ate them cold another day. Like many coconut flour recipes (yes, the recipe has a little bit of this in it), they tasted even better (and sweeter!) the second day. The third day, they still tasted good. They were yummy as a starter, over a green salad with a grassfed beef burger, and also with hard boiled egg slices rolled in lettuce leaves with wasabi mayo! Mmmm!
To me, the quality of what I eat is of the utmost importance, even when I’m indulging in treats. I want ingredients with the simplest and fewest ingredients, as close to the way god and mother nature made them as possible. Pork Clouds fit that bill. Sun dried, mineral rich sea salt and organic or pasture raised pork rinds would be even better and I know that would raise the price even more. Still, in the pork rind department, I think this product is probably one of the best.
Btw: Kelly says that fried plantain chips also work as a
stand in for pork skins (pork rinds) or you could use extra blanched
almond flour but the coating probably won’t come out as crunchy.
PREP TIME: 20 MIN. COOK TIME: 15 MIN. SERVES: 3-4
Crispy, crunchy, sweet, and salty, these baked Onion Rings are a scrumptious substitute for their deep-fried, gluten-covered counterparts. Persevere through this messy preparation process, and you’ll agree that they’re worth the trouble.
Special Tools: FOOD PROCESSOR
1 large white onion
1 teaspoon coconut flour
1/4 cup pork rinds
1/4 cup blanched almond flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Dash cayenne pepper
Avocado oil in an oil mister