Where have I been? It has been a long time. But to answer the question I have been in many places over the past several weeks. Time really does have a way of marching on.
In April we had the grand-girls for a week during their spring break. Awesome! Nothing beats being a Grandma!! We took them home, spent the night and headed to Orlando, FL. Our long time friends, Spence and Carol, meet us. Actually we drove from Atlanta to Orlando Airport, picked them up and drove to Clermont and to our condo for the week. Yes, we went to Disney World.
This was our third year to spend time and money at Disney World. Disney is a gluten free haven. They can and do make almost anything on their menus gluten free. The exceptions were meatloaf at the Plaza Restaurant in Magic Kingdom. The 50’s Prime Time Cafe in Hollywood Studios told me that it would be an hour wait for gluten free fried chicken but somehow managed to get it out in less than half that time. The chicken was a little pale in color but crunchy. A couple of times I got lunch for free. One time because the dedicated fryer at a fast food place in Hollywood Studios was down and then there was a problem with my order at a hamburger place in Magic Kingdom.
Disney goes all out with meeting the needs of people with food allergies. Not only did I get free lunches twice, they also gave me free desserts and drinks. Raglan Road Irish Pub in Downtown Disney offers the absolute best gluten free onion rings and fish and chips. When cooking with alternative flours it is sometime hard to get the crunch factor. Raglan Road nailed it! Our server told me that it was the chickpea and champagne factor. Turns out that the batter is made with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Mix, which contains chickpeas, and champagne.
Determined to duplicate the crunch of the batter I purchased a deep fryer with my Mother’s Day Amazon Gift Card and was successful after my second attempt at onion rings. That was awesome based on some of my early year disasters. Commitment, perseverance and laughing at yourself pays off. Last night we had the most amazing onion rings. Not greasy, crunchy and highly addictive with no 12-step program available for support.
Not having Bob’s Red Mill or champagne on hand I used my favorite, King Arthur Gluten Free Baking Mix, cornstarch and sparkling seltzer water. Hope you enjoy!
Onion Rings (Gluten Free with Crunch)
- 2 sweet yellow onions, (Vidalia are in season.)
- White rice flour for dusting sliced onions
- 1 cup King Arthur Gluten Free Baking Mix
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika (The paprika is essential for the proper color.)
- 1 cup Sparkling Seltzer Water
- oil for deep frying (I used canola oil)
Peel and slice onions about 3/8″ thick. I used my trusty mandolin to get uniform slices. Once sliced, separate into rings. Place the rings into a large container with tight fitting lid, sprinkle lightly with white rice flour and shake to lightly coat. Set aside.
Preheat conventional oven to 250°. Place a cooling rack on a cookie sheet and set aside.
Add oil as directed by your deep fryer and preheat to 350°. While the oil is heating mix together in a large mixing bowl the baking mix, cornstarch and spices. Whisk together with wire whisk to thoroughly combine. Add the Sparkling Seltzer Water and mix well with a fork. Batter should be thick and pourable. If the batter is to thick add additional seltzer water, a small amount at a time. As the batter sits it may thicken and require thinning. If the batter is to thick it will not have the pleasing crunch you are looking for. I used the cap to the seltzer bottle to add additional water as needed.
Using a fork dip the rings in the batter one at a time, shaking off any excess batter. Drop into hot oil and cook until golden. As the rings cook place on prepared cookie sheet and put into preheated oven. Take care not to overcrowd the fryer. I have a small Cuisinart Compact Fryer and could easily cook about 5 to 6 rings at a time. Serve with ketchup and enjoy!