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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Leaning Tower of Onion Rings

Love Inn Pizza Owner's look- alike Joe Namath!

This recipe is for my Mom. When I was a young child growing up in Charleston in the early 1970's we used to go out to eat every payday like clock work. One of our favorite restaurants was Love Inn Pizza in West Ashley, SC. It was owned by an alleged New York Mobster who looked like New York Jet's Joe Namath who happened to be my childhood crush- must of been those blue eyes and that cute little chin dimple. Oh but I digress.....anyway, he used to come to our table and make funny noises with his mouth kind of like that guy from the Police Academy movies and then he would do a few magic tricks and end by pulling a shiny coin from behind his ear and he always handed it to me not any of my three sisters : ) On their menu they had these Leaning Tower of  Onion Rings served with marinara sauce, these were my Mom's favorite. She said not only were they the lightest, crispiest, onion rings ever but they would actually come to the table stacked like the Leaning Tower of Pisa! We enjoyed eating there for many years and my Mom especially enjoyed seeing all the very glamorous women dressed to the nines with their fancy jewelry, wigs, and fur coats and one in particular had a striking resemblance to Liza Minelli. Then my Dad burst her bubble upon informing her that they would come here for dinner before heading to the  Drag Queen Bar down the street........ we immediately stopped eating there. So Mom, these are for you!
Ingredients (2 huge or 4 medium towers)
2 large or 4 small/medium onions
oil for frying
all purpose flour
4 eggs
Marinara sauce for serving
Note: I have found that this double dipping process makes a crispy & light onion ring!
Peel the onions and then slice into 3/4-  inch slices, for the tower you need large rings, the separate into rings.
Heat up your oil to 375
Place the eggs and a bit of water in a pie plate and beat together.
Place some flour in the 2 other pie plates, use a a lot so that you don't have to get more with sticky hands in the middle of the process.
Now set up your plates next to the hot oil so you have an assembly line in this order: flour-egg-flour-frying oil.
Now dip each individual onion slice in the flour shake off excess
Then dip into the egg dripping off excess
Lastly the flour shaking off excess
Now fry a few until golden. I usually do about 2-3 at a time.
Place on cookie sheet and salt immediately then place back in oven to stay warm and crisp.
Once you have finished frying you can keep the rack in the lowest heated oven for up to an hour to stay warm and crisp.
Assembling the Tower: All you do is stack staring with the largest working your way up to the smallest, if you want the whole "leaning tower of Pisa" effect then start to place the rings un-evenly just slightly here and there. They seem to stack better if given a chance to harden up a few minutes on the cookie sheet.

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