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The Frying Game

The Gold Ring

August 29, 1996|LAURIE OCHOA

There are those among us who are always on the lookout for good onion ring recipes. This is a great one. The batter puffs up to a crisp, golden crust with just the right crunch. And you can still taste the onions. The recipe comes from the chefs at Campanile, who often use it for their lunch menu.

"The important thing is to keep the batter iced," says co-owner Nancy Silverton, "as if you were doing tempura." The batter's consistency is also a factor; you want it thick but not so thick that it will mask the flavor of the onion.

CAMPANILE'S ONION RINGS

3 or 4 red onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 cups flour

1 cup cornstarch

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 tablespoon salt plus extra for serving

1 (12-ounce) bottle dark beer, ice cold

Soda water, ice cold

Oil for frying

Marinate onions in balsamic vinegar 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prepare batter, mixing flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl placed on top of larger bowl filled with ice. Whisk in beer, then enough soda water to thin batter to point that it just coats spoon.

Heat oil for frying to 375 degrees. Keeping batter on ice, dredge onions in batter and fry until light brown, about 1 minute. Remove and drain on paper towels, salt lightly and serve immediately.

* Platter from Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Each serving contains about:

271 calories; 608 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 2 grams fat; 42 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams protein; 0.28 gram fiber.

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