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Whatever you call them - onion straws, onion strings or French fried onions, these are great. They're so good, it's hard to save them for anything except scarfing up by themselves, but they are delicious on steaks, with hamburgers, or topping vegetables, etc., just like Pioneer Woman says on her site. Try this recipe for the very best crispy, fried onions you'll ever taste, and I've tried every one I could find on Zaar and elsewhere. These will replace those store-bought ones on my Green Bean Casserole with Bacon & Wine! Pioneer Woman's recipe only calls for one onion, but if you read her instructions, you'll see the last few steps say to repeat with another onion, so I included both here. Prep time does not include the 1 hour soaking period which, along with the seasonings, makes these so good!
- With a mandolin, good slicer or a very sharp knife, slice the onions very thin. If you use a knife, you should be able to see it through the onion slice. Place in a baking dish and cover with buttermilk for at least one hour.
- Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Heat oil to 375 degrees F. in a deep fryer. If you don't have a deep fryer, use a Dutch oven or deep pot; add oil and heat to 375 using a candy thermometer to determine the temperature of the oil. Remove the thermometer when the temp reaches 375.
- When ready to cook, grab a handful of onions, cover well with the flour mixture, shake off the excess, and plunge the onions into the hot oil. Fry the onions in batches so the oil will stay hot. Fry for a few minutes and remove them when they turn golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
- Repeat until all the onions are cooked. Serve immediately or store in an air tight plastic container to add to other dishes when needed. Cooked onion straws can be kept at room temperature for up to a week.