I know there are quite a few steps to these yummy golden brown rings, but oh so worth the time and effort. You will get rave reviews from onion ring lovers both young and old. I just like making everything from scratch, it's just nice to sit back and see the labor of love enjoyed by family and friends.
Using a nice sharp knife cut onions half an inch thick. Remove all outer brown layers, than carefully separate the rings. (You can save the tiny center rings for your other dishes.) Put rings in a bowl and pour buttermilk over them, then cover and let sit in the fridge for an hour.
Mix together all 8 ingredients for the dipping sauce together in a bowl and stir till it's nice and creamy. Cover and put in the fridge till it's time to serve.
Now you will make your dredging station. First combine the 1 cup of flour and next 6 dry ingredients, down to the salt and pepper, and whisk them together. Using your whisk add beer to the mixture till it is the consistency of heavy cream. It will not need the entire can of beer. It's okay to have some lumps. Now add olive oil, and set aside while you prepare the rest of your dredging station.
Put the 1 1/2 cups of flour in a pie pan or large soup bowl. In another pie pan or large soup bowl combine Panko bread crumbs, garlic powder and salt and toss to combine with a fork. Now you are ready to start dredging your onion rings.
Now set up your dredging station, you need a wire cooling rack placed over a cookie sheet to put your onions once you have dredged them. First you want your dish of flour, next your beer batter, than your panko bread crumb mixture. Put your wire rack next to it. Set up your frying station so that your oil can start heating. You need it to come to 375 degrees before you put any of your onion rings in. You want to hold the heat at 375. It takes a little while to reach 375.
Take out the bowl with the onions in buttermilk, drop 2 or 3 onion rings into the flour and evenly dust them with flour, shake off excess. Than drop them in the beer batter and evenly coat them, shake off excess. Now drop them into the panko bread crumb mixture and evenly coat. Place on the rack to rest while you dredge more onions.
When your oil reaches 375 gently drop a few of your coated onions into the oil, being very careful not to splash any of the oil. DO NOT over fill your fryer or they will stick together. I turn them over every couple minutes, till they are a nice golden brown. You can continue to dredge your other onions while your first batch are frying. When they reach the desired doneness lift them from the oil and put on a paper towel lined plate, you can put them in the oven on keep warm setting, if you don't have that heat the oven then turn it off, you don't want it too hot.
Serve with dipping sauce and enjoy! You know you have a perfect onion ring if when you bite into it the onion does not pull out of the coating.
I know it sounds like a lot of work but really it goes together fairly easy, and darn they taste so good! Your family and friends will love them, now sit back and enjoy!