Chef Michael Lomonaco is one of New York City’s native fine-dining masters, and while his stately restaurant Porter House’s elaborate yet classic New American steak and seafood is at the top of the game, that doesn’t mean the simpler things are met with any less expertise.
Take onion rings, for instance, which are as good an accompaniment for steak as any roasted, creamed, mashed or sautéed side. The thing is, not everyone makes them as well as Lomonaco. A fluffy, crunchy outer crust made with buttermilk batter seals in the onion’s moisture and helps the rings steam in the coating while the outside fries up to a perfect golden brown.
Leave the egg wash and bread crumb station behind, fire up the fryer and try out Lomonaco’s recipe and techniques at home.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dredging
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons hot Hungarian paprika
- 4 sliced vidalia onions
- salt to taste
- oil for frying
For the onion rings
Preheat deep fat fryer, a stovetop fryer or high-sided pot with the manufacturer’s recommended amount of oil to 360°F.
Combine the flour, buttermilk and paprika evenly in a large bowl to make the batter.
Dredge the onion rings in plain flour.
Add the sliced onion rings to the batter and toss and shake well to coat the onions evenly in seasoned batter. Put the onions into a strainer and shake off any excess batter so that what remains is the thinnest coat possible.
Cooking in small batches, put the coated onions in a fryer basket and carefully submerge in the hot oil. Shake the basket to ensure even frying and remove from the fryer when the onions have cooked to a deep golden, but not dark brown, color. Continue in this manner until all the onions have been cooked.
Season each batch with salt as it’s removed from the fryer.
Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.