Onion rings. The perfect beer snack.
If you’ve been driving around the Scenic Rim lately, there’s a fair chance you’ve seen, or smelt, that new season onions are ready!
The Stokes family are just one of the local families busy harvesting at this time of year. Troy and Vilma Stokes operate their family farm at Stokes Crossing, Mount Walker, with the help of Troy’s parents, Rob and Wendy. T
he Stokes are some of the most salt-of-the-earth people you’re likely to meet. Their primary crops are onions and lucerne. Most of the onions are sold through the Brisbane markets and to independent buyers, and their kids sell the seconds from their roadside stall out the front of the farm. While it has its challenges, the Stokes enjoy the farming lifestyle and believe it is a great way for the children to grow up — outside, in the fresh air.
And with the warmer weather, it’s the perfect time to enjoy a cold local brew accompanied by these incredible onion rings.
This recipe was created by Brenda Fawdon, and is from Eat Local: Food, Farming and Conversation in the Scenic Rim.
FRIED ONION RINGS
It’s best to make these at the beginning of the onion season in late spring because onions are sweeter at that time. If you make onion rings in cooler months, you might like to soak them in buttermilk or milk for 30 minutes to tame the strong onion flavour. Serve onion rings as a side dish with a good burger or enjoy as a treat on their own. Fried onion rings have that satisfying crunch factor by the bucket load, and they are not bad washed down with a Fortitude Brewing Company golden ale.
2–3 brown onions, peeled and cut into 1 cm thick discs widthwise
extra chickpea flour
300 ml grapeseed oilmayonnaise (p. 218) (quality store-bought okay) lime cheeks
100 g chickpea flour (besan flour) 75 g rice flour
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄4 teaspoon ground chilli
1⁄2 teaspoon bicarb
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
250 ml ice-cold water
4–6 small ice cubes
To make the chickpea batter, place the flour, spice, bicarb and salt in a mixing bowl, and whisk in the water and
ice cubes to make a smooth batter. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based skillet to 170°C. Break the onion discs into rings and coat with flour. Dip the rings in the batter and shake off the excess. Drop 4–5 rings into the oil at a time. Don’t overload the fryer. Fry until golden and crispy, for about 3 minutes. Drain on absorbent paper then serve with mayonnaise, lime cheeks and a sprinkle of sea salt.