Onion rings tend to be a treat relegated to burger shacks. This oven-fried version is easy to make, and since these rings are lower in fat than the deep-fried option, you can enjoy them any time. Use sweet onions like Vidalias or, if you like your onions to have a little more bite, use white onions instead. These are best when they’re baked on a silicone baking sheet (sometimes called a Silpat), but if you prefer, you can bake them on parchment-lined baking sheets instead. Serves 4.
2 large onions, cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick rings
1 quart buttermilk
1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon pepper
Pan spray, or oil in a spray bottle
Place the onions in large bowl and cover with the buttermilk. Cover bowl and refrigerate. Let the onions rest in the buttermilk for at least 4 hours, or as long as overnight.
Heat oven to 425°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with silicone baking mats (or parchment, if using).
Set up a breading station: Beat the eggs in a medium bowl. In another bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, panko, salt, and pepper.
Remove the onions from the refrigerator. Working a few at a time, lift the onions out of the buttermilk and dip into the egg. Then dip each into the flour mixture, tossing gently to cover with breading. Lay each ring onto a baking sheet. Repeat until all the onions are breaded. Spray the rings liberally with pan spray or oil.
Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and flip the rings over. Spray the rings with more pan spray and bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until onions are golden and crisp.