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2 large yellow onions, peeled and cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices
2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup yellow cornmeal
4 tablespoons canola oil
These crispy rings will warm up any winter evening. They are baked, rather than deep-fried, and are fun for kids to make. Sweet onions are preferred for a tears-free experience, but you can use other varieties as well. Larger onions are easier to work with. Dipping the onions in the batter is a bit messy, so set up your workspace with a tablecloth or other covering that is easy to clean.
Kids Can: Oil the baking sheets; separate the onion slices into rings; measure and mix the ingredients for the batter; dip the onions in batter and coat them with the cornmeal mixture.
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Separate the onion slices into rings. In a large bowl, stir together the buttermilk, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper. Immerse the onion rings in the buttermilk mixture.
3. In another large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper. Pour the cornmeal mixture onto a large platter.
4. Coat 2 baking sheets with the canola oil, using 2 tablespoons for each. Place the sheets in the oven and heat for 5 to 7 minutes. The heated oil will help give the onion rings a crispy texture.
5. With tongs or fingers, remove the onion rings from the buttermilk mixture and put them in the cornmeal mixture. Turn the rings in the cornmeal mixture to coat them evenly. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and arrange the rings on the heated sheets in a single layer. Bake until the undersides of the rings have started to brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the sheets from the oven and turn over the rings. Return to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes or until the bottoms are browned. Serve hot.