Baked Paleo Onion Rings

2013-05-03
Sometimes, an idea just hits you in the kitchen, and it fails.  Other times, the stars align and you are rewarded with a dish that you just can’t wait to share and make again.  Luckily, in the midst of packing up and getting ready to move cross-county, a last minute idea turned into a moving-day miracle.  I had some extra onions that I wanted to use, and initially considered making a batch of caramelized onions to add to the random leftovers in our fridge.  Then I remembered the half-open bag of almond meal/flour in the fridge, and thought ‘baked onion rings’!  They were more delicious than I could have imagined!

The ratio of wet and dry breading ingredients are for one large onion.  This makes enough for four people or two people with leftovers.  Prepare to get a little messy with the breading, but it is worth it!  This would be a fun task for a kitchen helper or sous chef (as I sometimes call my husband).  :)  To create rings, peel the skin off the onion, turn it so that the “hairy” top and the nub of the onion are horizontal.  Make 1/4-1/2 inch slices that can be separated into individual rings and pieces.  Try to be consistent with the thickness, but don’t drive yourself crazy trying to be too meticulous!  Even in the short time that they bake (15-20 minutes), even slightly thicker slices will cook through!

I decided to put Annie’s Organic Yellow Mustard in the wet component of the dredging mixture because I wanted to use it up.  The result?  Onion rings that don’t even need a dipping sauce!  Of course, having a sauce is half the fun, so I did serve them with a side of hot sauce (but only used it for a few).  This recipe would pair very well with my Paleo Ranch Dressing as well.  The flavor ends up being similar to a bloomin’ onion from Outback Steakhouse (with their mayo/mustard dressing)- yes, I’ve eaten them!  I also happened to use a red onion, which is not typical for onion rings.  I was concerned that the onion would potentially be too strong, but the flavor held up nicely to the seasonings and added a nice tang!  You may also use a sweet or white onion.  I was simply trying to use the produce I had on hand.

With the amount of pieces from only one large onion, and using one baking pan, I had to make three separate batches.  I didn’t mind, given that I simply breaded the next batch while the first ones were cooking.  I cooked them on the top rack of my oven to get them brown, so unfortunately a roasting pan with handles wouldn’t fit.  However, you could use two baking pans side-by-side to cut down on the number of batches.  Just be careful about overcrowding the pan.  Each piece needs a little room so it gets crispy.  I did have fun placing small rings in large ones- that is a way to maximize the real estate.  

Ingredients

  • 1 large red, sweet, or white onion, sliced to create rings
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup Annie’s Organic Yellow Mustard
  • 1 tbs organic olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 dashes of tabasco
  • 2 cups almond meal/flour
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • 2. Line a baking pan (or two) with aluminum foil
  • 3. In a large bowl or plate mix egg, mustard, olive or coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and tabasco, whisk until emulsified
  • 4. In a separate plate or bowl, mix almond meal/flour, sea salt, white pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper with a fork until well-incorporated
  • 5. Place onion slices (1 at a time or a handful) in the egg mixture, coating each onion well, then place onions in dry mixture and coat completely
  • 6. Place coated onion rings on aluminum foil-covered pan, leaving a little space in between each onion ring
  • 7. Place baking pan on top rack of oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and onion is cooked through
  • 8. Enjoy!