Crispy Sweet Onion Rings in Buttermilk Batter

Father’s Day is coming and Memorial weekend is around the corner. It is time to break out my awesome fryer from Fox restaurant supply. A GREAT gift for those that love crispy French fries, zucchini sticks and buttermilk dipped onion rings.


1 1/2 quarts vegetable oil

1 cup Wonder Flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon paprika

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground Black pepper

2 cups buttermilk

4 -5 Vidalia onions (or other sweet onion, such as Maui), cut into 1/4-inch thick slices and separated into rings

Fire-roasted red pepper ketchup:

1 large onion, cut into small dice

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 1/2 pounds red peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped

2 cups vegetable stock

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 tablespoon minced hot red chiles

3/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup dry red wine

freshly ground black pepper

Kosher salt


In a 3-quart pot, preheat 4-inches oil to 375 degrees F.

In a shallow bowl, combine flours, cayenne, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Pour the buttermilk into another shallow dish.

Toss the onion rings in the flour mixture and shake off excess flour. Add to buttermilk mixture and make sure the rings are thoroughly coated. With a clean hand, add rings to flour mix again and shake off any excess flour.

Begin to fry in preheated oil in small batches, 1/4 of total amount at a time. Cook onion rings for about 3 to 5 minutes, turning occasionally with metal tongs or slotted spoon, until crispy and browned. Drain on paper towels and keep in warm place (low oven, about 200 degrees F) until ready to serve. Sprinkle with extra salt, if needed.

Fire-roasted red pepper ketchup:

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, sweat onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add peppers and vegetable stock and stew until 1/2 of stock has evaporated. Add spices and chiles. Cover with vinegar and wine. Allow to cook, uncovered, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Let cool, then puree in a food processor, and season with pepper and salt, to taste.

Culinary Director

As the Culinary Director for ABC 7, I whip up cooking segments on ABC 7 News at Noon, along with recipes, cooking tips, reviews and great food finds on MySuncoast Dining at