Author Notes: Crunchy and hot on the outside, sweet and a touch savory on the inside, these baked onion rings are truly yummy. I saw on a picture on Pinterest about a baked onion ring and thought about what I might do to twist up my ’80s version (flour, egg, bread crumbs, salt and pepper). Add some semolina (masa would work fine) plenty of ground dried peppers, and some crispy panko crumbs and you get a little bit of magic.
Nonstick olive oil spray
cups fine semolina flour
tablespoons ancho chili powder
teaspoons salt, divided
cups panko breadcrumbs
tablespoons chipotle chili powder
large sweet onions, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, peeled
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray two baking sheets with nonstick olive oil spray, line them with parchment paper, and spray with another coating of olive oil spray.
- Combine the semolina, ancho powder, and two teaspoons salt in a shallow, flat-bottomed bowl and stir gently to combine.
- In another shallow, flat-bottomed bowl, combine the eggs and ¼ cup water and beat lightly.
- In a third shallow, flat-bottomed bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs, chipotle powder, and the remaining two teaspoons salt, and stir gently to combine. Line up the bowls in a row and place them next to the baking sheets.
- Cut the onions into ⅓- to ½-inch slices. Do not break the rings apart. You’ll have about 8 slices per onion.
- Holding one slice of onion gently so that the rings do not break, place the slice flat in the semolina, and pat some of the mixture on the top to coat the entire slice very well.
- Still holding the onion slice together, transfer it to the egg mixture and coat it with egg.
- Transfer the onion slice to the panko mixture and coat well, patting panko liberally and thoroughly on top (but not between the rings).
- Place the onion on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining onion slices and place on the sheet about one inch apart from each other. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until crunchy. These are best served immediately.