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Bert Greene's Kitchen

Onion Loaf Cake: Golden, Savory and Definitely Worth a Few Tears

June 09, 1988|Bert Greene | Greene is a New-York based food writer

I am a guy who has been figuratively crying his eyes out for years. Onions are the reason for my unstemmed tears. Despite that fact, the onion has always been a close culinary ally--and more pertinently, a seasoning I could not do without in my kitchen labors.

One of my favorite dishes is a savory cake devised of layered French-fried onion rings. I rarely make it because I look red-eyed after the basic kitchen labors.


2 large Bermuda onions, about 2 pounds

Oil for frying

Beer Batter


1 1/4 cups shredded Jack cheese, regular or with jalapeno chiles


Freshly ground pepper

Cut onions into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place sliced onions in large bowl, cover with ice water and let stand 30 minutes.

Heat 2 inches oil in large, heavy saucepan until hot but not smoking. Drain onions, divide into rings and lightly pat dry with paper towels.

Dip onions into Beer Batter, shaking off any excess. Fry onions in hot oil, about 4 or 5 at time, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Generously butter 9- or 8-inch spring form pan. Line sides with onion rings. Place 1/3 remaining onion rings over bottom. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese. Add another layer of onion rings and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of cheese. Top with remaining onion rings and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake at 400 degrees 15 minutes.

To remove from pan, run knife around edges. Remove sides of pan, then gently flip over onto serving platter. Carefully remove bottom of pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Beer Batter

1 cup flour

2 teaspoons dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 eggs, separated

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 cup beer

Combine flour with dry mustard, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl.

Combine egg yolks with mustard and beer. Add to flour mixture. Beat until smooth. Refrigerate, covered, 8 hours.

Just before using batter, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into batter. Makes about 3 1/2 cups.

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