Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Better batters for onion ring lovers

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Today's recipes are for onion ring fans and each batter has its own distinctive flavour.

Ray Dubois had requested a batter recipe that was like A & W onion rings. Thanks to Sherron Litkowich of Oakbank, who sent in a recipe given to her by a former A & W employee, and to Gloria Bednar who sent in a version that she had found. Sybil Finnson of St. Andrews and Marilyn Taylor had both requested a recipe for a restaurant-style onion ring loaf appetizer, and thanks go out to Rae Little for providing one.

This week there are requests again from readers hoping to find Eaton's recipes. Sharon Ma is a former Winnipegger now living in Calgary who would like the recipe for the mini apple tart that her mom used to buy from Eaton's bakery. Cherun Murray of Kenora would like the recipe for their plain cheesecake that was sold with a cherry topping that came in a separate container. Patti Shroeder asks for a recipe to duplicate Eaton's snowballs rolled in coconut. Cecile Vandekerkhove of Grande Pointe seeks recipes for Eaton's pot pie, their pie crust and their gravy.

Lastly, Ingrid Nickel is looking for a recipe for the salmon provencal that used to be served at Earl's. It consisted of grilled salmon and a vinaigrette with vegetables that included green beans, sweet potatoes, artichokes and fried onions, as well as goat cheese and other ingredients.

If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an e-mail to, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Darlene Henderson, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number. Recipes may not appear right away due to limited space.

Like A & W onion rings (version 1)

4 onions, sliced into rings

190 ml (3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp) flour

250 ml (1 cup) club soda

1 litre (4 cups) bread crumbs

125 ml (1/2 cup) seasoned salt

Combine flour and club soda and mix well. The consistency should be thick enough to coat an onion ring without it dripping off too much. Combine the bread crumbs and seasoned salt and mix well. Dip the onion rings in the flour mixture first then in the bread crumbs. Deep fry or freeze in layers for later use.

Taste Tester Notes: These have lots of seasoning and are good, with the bread crumbs giving them an extra bit of crunchiness. Add more club soda as needed to get flour mixture to the right consistency. I had quite a bit of crumb mixture left over, so would make half the amount to start and mix up more if needed, or if you make the full amount you can freeze any excess for another time or use. Deep fry rings at 375 F until browned, then place on paper-towel lined baking sheet to drain and serve immediately.

Like A & W onion rings (version 2)

250 ml (1 cup) McCormick Golden Dipt Tempura batter mix

1 ml (1/4 tsp) onion powder

0.5 ml (1/8 tsp) ground black pepper

125 ml (1/2 cup) water

60 ml (1/4 cup) beer

1 extra large white onion

1.5 litres (6 cups) vegetable oil in deep fryer

Preheat deep fryer to 375 F. Combine the tempura mix with the spices and liquid to make a batter using a fork. There will be some small lumps; don't worry about those. Slice the onion into 3/8-inch slices and separate into rings. Dip the individual rings in the batter and drop into preheated oil. Deep fry until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate, salt lightly and serve hot.

Taste Tester Notes: My batter was very thick, so I added some extra beer to thin it out somewhat and these onion rings had a nice beer flavour. I couldn't find the McCormick brand and just used another tempura mix.

Onion ring loaf

4 to 6 white onions

250 ml (1 cup) milk

3 eggs, beaten

2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

Approx. 500 ml (2 cups) pancake mix

Slice the onions crosswise and separate into rings. Combine milk, eggs and salt in mixing bowl. Soak the onions in the mixture about 30 minutes. Place pancake mix in a shallow bowl. Heat oil for frying in skillet to 375 F. Remove the onion rings from milk mixture, dip in pancake mix and place in hot oil. Fry rings until golden brown and drain on paper towels. Pack fried onion rings solidly, but loosely, without pressing, so they do not become soggy, into an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan. Bake at 400 F for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn out onto serving plate.

Taste Tester Notes: This makes good onion rings, with a hint of sweetness from the pancake mix. You can eat them as is or make into a loaf. It did, however, take me a couple of tries before I made a loaf that turned out crispy, and not soggy from packing too firmly. I stirred the onions several times while soaking in the egg mixture to help coat them.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 23, 2008

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