Thursday, August 14, 2014

Umami Onion Rings and Spicy Sriracha Mushroom Dipping Sauce

Who’d have thought this challenge would be so…well…challenging? The fabulous, creative Ms. Donna sent to me some ingredients from her home state. When I say “some” I mean four. There was a bag of Fanciful Fruit Blend Pappardelle’s from Pappardelle's Pasta, a jar of “Cherriyaki” sauce from Gilberto's Gourmet Goodness, a bag of NederCheddar popcorn from Tungsten Toffee, and a jar of Hazel Dell Mushroom Seasoning Rub from Hazel Dell Mushrooms. All of these products/companies are in Colorado, the state where you will also find Ms. Donna.

Let me start by thanking Donna for the all of the fabulous ingredients! As soon as I unpacked the box my boys (the big one and the little one) were on the popcorn like they hadn't seen food in a week. So, with the popcorn gone, I moved on to the fruit flavored pasta and the Cherriyaki Sauce. I made a beautiful fruit flavored pasta salad with fresh tomatoes, fire roasted corn, and a really nice citrus vinaigrette. But you won’t see that recipe here because we ate it all so fast I didn't get to take a photograph. Moving on to the Cherriyaki sauce, I marinated and then grilled a beautiful skirt steak and made a nice Cherriyaki dipping sauce for it, but again, it was gobbled up before I could take the darned picture for the recipe!

All that was left was the Hazel Dell Mushroom Seasoning Rub. What to do? I decided to make onion rings. I set up a barrier between the boys and the kitchen and started cooking. They say mushrooms are one of those umami flavors that enhance the taste of your food, like soy sauce, or tomatoes, or even sweet potatoes. I made mushroom-seasoned onion rings and then threw together a Sriracha/Mushroom Seasoning Rub dipping sauce with the leftover seasoning salt. If only I had some of that Cherriyaki glazed skirt steak to eat with the onion rings! Doh!

Umami Onion Rings
by Maryjo
Adapted from this YouTube video: "Steve Cooks Fish & Chips"

1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup beer (any beer will do, but I’d stay away from the super dark, bitter beers)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Peanut oil
1 large sweet yellow onion (cut in 1/2-inch thick rings)
1/2 cup all purpose flour (for dredging)
4 teaspoons Hazel Dell Mushroom Seasoning Rub
1 teaspoon salt

Pour the water and beer into a large bowl. Add the yeast and whisk together. Gradually add 3/4 cup all-purpose flour. Whisk in the turmeric and let it stand in a warm location for about 30 to 45 minutes, until the yeast has a chance to bloom and the batter has a frothy, foamy top. 

Heat 1 gallon of peanut oil in a deep fryer (or about 1/2 gallon in a Dutch oven) to 375°F. Dredge 4 or 5 of the sliced onions really well in 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and then dip them in the batter, coating them completely. Let the excess batter drip off and then carefully drop them into the hot oil, one at a time. Fry them for two minutes (flipping the onion rings over after one minute.) Remove them from the fryer when they are golden brown and drain on paper towels to soak up the excess oil. Depending on the size of your fryer or Dutch oven, you’ll need to cook these in several batches. The important thing to remember is to not crowd your fryer. 

Next, combine 4 teaspoons of the Hazel Dell Mushroom Seasoning Rub and 1 teaspoon of salt in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grind into a fine powder. Sprinkle the hot, fried onion rings with the Mushroom Seasoning Salt right after you take them out of the fryer and serve with the dipping sauce.

Spicy Sriracha Mushroom Dipping Sauce
by Maryjo

3 Tablespoons prepared mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon Hazel Dell Mushroom Seasoning Rub

Combine the mayo, Sriracha, and mushroom seasoning rub. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Serve.

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