Meatless Alsace Beer Battered Fried Onion Rings
Ingredients:(Yields: serves 6)
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon salt plus more for seasoning
• 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
• 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 2 large eggs, separated
• 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) amber beer
• 6 to 8 cups vegetable or sunflower oil for deep frying
• 3 large (8 to 10 ounces each) yellow onions, sliced about 1/4 inch thick and separated into rings
Directions:Reprinted with permission from Burger Bar Cookbook by Hubert Keller and published by John Wiley &Sons.
My grandmother in Alsace often fried foods in a beer batter. I remember best her fried apple slices. This kind of batter is a typical home-style dish in Alsace where we have a long tradition of beer making as well as fine cooking. You can use any beer for the batter but the amber beer adds a little sweetness that tastes good with the onions. Cut the onions as thinly or thickly as you prefer.In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, pepper, sugar, and paprika until evenly mixed. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks with the beer until well blended. Whisk the egg-beer mixture into the flour until smooth. Cover and let rest, refrigerated, at least 1 hour or as long as overnight.
When ready to cook, heat the oil in a deep pot to 360ºF. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold them into the beer batter. Dip the onion rings into the batter and then drop them, a few at a time into the oil. Fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season with salt while still hot. Keep the onions warm in a slow oven until all are cooked.