Crispy Onion Straws

Here we are, almost mid-July…  We can finally say that our market is well-stocked with all of the fresh and local staples of summer– field grown tomatoes, just-picked sweet corn, crisp cucumbers, and shiny, pungent onions.  Kitchens are well-stocked with vegetables too, so well-stocked that we sometimes skip the meat that makes the meals in cooler months.  Instead our dinners look like: sweet corn and this salsa, sweet corn and these refrigerator pickles, sweet corn and this barley salad.  These are pretty healthy meals, even if they are impromptu and snacky.  However, sometimes (this weekend), we go a little less healthy and roll boiled sweet corn in salted butter to eat with these Crispy Onion Straws.

Hot. Thin. Just a little spicy and salty. Better than any fair food you will ever eat.  I will not lie to you and tell you that there is anything healthy about this choice, but I will tell you that sometimes there is nothing tastier. Plus, Crispy Onion Straws are easy and fun to make.

Here’s what you need:

A small bunch of our sweet onions
1 pint buttermilk
3 C. flour
Seasonings to taste: I used 2 T. of kosher salt, ½ t. of cayenne pepper, and 5 or 6 cranks of freshly ground black pepper

Here’s what you do:

Slice the onion as thin as you can.  The sharper knife you can use for this, the better.  Remember, these onions are NOT chunky rings.  They are stringy Crispy Onion Straws.

Put the onions in a 9×11 glass dish and cover them in buttermilk.  Refrigerate for at least an hour, but maybe all day.  DO not skip this step.

When you are ready to make your straws, heat a quart of oil over medium high heat until it reaches a temperature of 375.  I always do this outside on the side burner of my gas grill. It keeps my kitchen from smelling like fried food and makes for easy clean up.

Take a handful of buttermilk-soaked onions and dredge in the flour mixture. Drop into the heated oil and deep-fry for a few minutes.  Pull them from the oil and drain of a tray covered with paper towels.  Repeat until all of your onions are done.  Adjust seasonings. These Crispy Onion Straws disappear as quickly as you make them, so be sure to sneak a few as you fry.

Have fun.

See You at the Market.

pretty onions
the magic ingredient