When I first encountered mesquite flour, its smoky nutty scent gave me the idea for these onion rings. My husband and I are working on starting a pub, so I'd been looking for a way to make a unique deep-fried menu item. Mesquite flour is made from the ground pods of the Mesquite tree and has a strong nutty flavor and beautiful deep orange color. It's also naturally gluten-free.
When choosing your gluten-free beer, go for either Estrella Damm Daura or Lakefront Brewery's New Grist Sorghum Beer. Daura will lend the most beer flavor, while the sorghum in New Grist highlights the sweetness in the mesquite flour. I like sweet Walla Walla onions best in this recipe, but regular yellow onions work quite well. Make sure you choose a round and uniformly-shaped onion for the most aesthetically pleasing results. If they're around long enough to be admired, that is. —beyondcelery
yellow onion, preferably Walla Walla
grams (1/2 cup) sweet rice flour
grams (1/2 cup) mesquite flour
grams (1/4 cup) tapioca starch
grams (1/4 cup) amaranth or sorghum flour, plus more as needed
sea salt, plus more for dusting
dash black pepper (about 4-5 turns of a grinder)
Peel onion and chop off both ends. Slice it crosswise into 4-5 sections, depending on how thick you want the rings. Separate rings and set aside, discarding the onion center. Heat canola oil in a deep pot to medium-high heat. You'll need about 3 inches of oil.
(Note that you're heating the oil while you prepare the batter. This keeps the batter from sitting around, losing its beery oomph. You can hold the batter in the fridge for 1 hour if needed, but the rings won't be quite as good.)
In a medium bowl, combine all flours with sugar and salt. Gradually whisk in beer a little at a time until the batter is the consistency of pancake batter. The last inch or so of the beer is for the cook; you probably won’t quite use it all. Add more amaranth flour if your batter gets too thin.
When oil is fully heated, dip onion rings in batter to coat and fry about 2 at a time, depending on the size of your pot. You don't want them to touch and stick together. Turn over once halfway through frying. Fry about 3 minutes total, or until rings are a deep golden brown.
Lift rings out of the oil, shake off excess, and arrange on a plate covered in 1-2 paper towels. Dust with sea salt. Serve hot and crispy.