Beer-Battered Onion Rings
The buttermilk-beer batter, seasoned with cayenne, yields a golden coating on the fried rings that gets even better when spritzed with lemon juice.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- Cayenne pepper
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup beer, preferably lager or pilsner
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- Vegetable oil, for frying (about 4 cups)
- 2 large white onions, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices, separated into rings
- Sea salt, preferably Maldon
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving
Combine flour, salt, and a pinch of cayenne in a medium bowl. Whisk in buttermilk, beer, egg, and lemon zest, and let stand for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place a baking sheet on middle rack of oven. Heat oil to 380 degrees in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Dip a few slices of onion in batter, turning to coat. Gently drop slices into oil. Cook, turning once with a wire-mesh skimmer, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer rings to paper towels, season with salt immediately, then transfer onions to the baking sheet to keep warm. Repeat with remaining onions. (Adjust heat as necessary to keep oil at a steady temperature.) Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing.