Real Food French-Fried Onions
- 1 large onion, sliced very thinly
- 2 cups milk or buttermilk
- 1½ cups flour (any variety, including gluten-free varieties)
- 1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
- Black pepper, to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper or smoked paprika
- 2–3 cups palm shortening, lard, tallow, or your favorite deep-frying oil (enough to have about 2″ of heated oil in your pot)
- Separate all the onion strands and layer them in a wide bowl or shallow baking dish. Pour the milk over and let them sit for 20–30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, sift the spices into the flour in a large bowl and heat the oil over medium-high heat until it’s hot. (If you slip one onion strand in, it should bubble vigorously without splattering. On a thermometer it’s about 375°F.)
- Working in small batches, grab a handful of onion strands from the bowl, shake off the excess milk, dredge them in the flour, shake off the excess flour, and then drop them into the hot oil. Stir lightly to keep them from sticking. Remove when they’re golden brown, 2–3 minutes.
- Drain on paper towels and use immediately. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- If you need to be grain-free, feel free to skip the breading altogether, as these will still crisp up quite nicely. Be sure to rinse and drain the onion strands thoroughly after soaking them in the milk if you skip the dredging.