Beer brings best friends together in the backyard! Serve these fried things up with beer batter and be the hit of the backyard party this National Beer Day.
Frying things is FUN.
Frying things and then eating those fried things with a cold, crisp brew is even more FUN!
If you want some real FUN, invite your pals to a backyard barbecue and fry things in a beer batter and then toast the pals with a chilled cold one.
You can use this batter for other things like shrimp, pickles, mushrooms and cauliflower.
Everything tastes better when it’s battered in beer and fried in hot oil.
In honor of National Beer Day, here’s my take on big, fat, puffy fried onion rings with a really yummy sauce.
Beer Battered Fried Onion Rings
With Spicy Dipping Sauce
These fried onion rings are a perfect pass around, backyard appy! The dipping sauce is reminiscent of that Aussie-style dish. (You know the one I’m talking about…) In early summer markets, you’ll find smaller, tender spring onions with white or purple bulbs. You can use the same technique described here to fry up these babies. They turn into crispy, golden strings which you can mound on top of your favorite burger. It’s all yummy!
30 – 45 minutes
2 large white sweet onions, cut into ¼-inch slices
2 cups buttermilk
For Dipping Sauce:
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon ground oregano
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
2 or more drops hot pepper sauce
For the batter:
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup rice flour
2 cups club soda
1 (12-ounce) bottle beer
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon chili powder
For big finish:
Vegetable oil for frying
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Flaky salt (like sea salt)
Separate the onion rings and place into a shallow bowl or baking dish. Cover with buttermilk pushing the rings down into the liquid while you get everything else ready to go.
Whisk together mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish, paprika and oregano. Season with some of the salt and pepper. Stir in as much hot sauce as you like. Pour the dipping sauce into a bowl.
Whisk together 1 cup all-purpose flour with 1 cup rice flour in a shallow bowl or baking dish. Stir in the club soda and beer.
Place the remaining 2 cups all-purpose flour into a shallow baking dish. Whisk in chili powder and season generously with salt and pepper.
Heat about 3-inches of vegetable oil in a deep, large pot over medium-high heat to 350°. The vegetable oil should come no higher than one third up the side of the pot. Once you add the onion rings, the oil will bubble up. The temperature of the oil will go down when you add battered onion rings and then come up again as they cook. I use a candy thermometer to make sure that the temperature is hot before I add more onion rings to the oil.
Lift an onion ring out of the buttermilk and shake off the extra liquid. Dredge into the seasoned flour and then dip into the beer batter, again shaking off the excess liquid. Place the battered onion ring into the hot oil. Continue this process to fry several rings at a time, being careful not to place too many into the oil at the same time. You want them to swim freely as they fry. Use a slotted spoon or spider strainer to turn the rings in the oil until golden brown on both sides, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the rings to a paper towel lined baking sheet.
Continue with the remaining rings until there are none left. Once you remove the onion rings from the oil, immediately sprinkle with parsley and flakey salt.
Serve with dipping sauce.
For a really FUN presentation at your next barbecue, serve these onion rings right out of the fryer and onto a foot-long wooden dowel mounted onto a wooden block. You won’t find this in the restaurant supply store. Instead, you’ll have to get your best DIY buddy to make them for you. Your friends will love plucking a puffy onion ring right off the stick.
Summer will be here before you know it, but why wait? Serve these steak kabobs with a fabulous sauce and enjoy something on a stick when the mood strikes!
The revival of kabobs has begun. At least for me, it has. I remember my mom threading beef and tomatoes on skewers and grilling them over a charcoal flame. The results were a bit charred but just FUN enough for everyone to giggle over.
Kabobs are terrific when you are hosting a crowd. You can prepare everything in advance and then grill them in minutes.
You can also vary the skewers so everyone can choose their own. What a FABULOUS solution for your picky eater or diet-restricted guest!
In my earlier catering days, I would thread bite-size nibbles onto short skewers for a terrific display of appys. I still do this with sweet tomatoes, marinated tortellini, and small balls of mozzarella. Yummm!
Here’s a recipe from my upcoming book for beef kabobs. That’s right, book #8 is WELL underway!
The secret to beef kabobs is to make sure that everything you thread onto the skewer is equal in bite-size and that the skewers are not over-stuffed. You want things tightly fitted together, but not squished! Give these a try!
National Something On a Stick Day: Tenderloin Steak Kabobs With Mushrooms, Peppers, and Onions
4 – 6
30 minutes ‘til it’s ready
1 bell pepper, three different colors 1 large red onion, peeled 12 baby portabella mushrooms 3 (4 to 6-ounce) tenderloin steaks 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil
Cut each pepper in half (from stem to bottom) and then in half again. Remove the stem and seeds. Cut each piece in half.
Cut the onion in half across the center, leaving the eds in place. Cut each half down into 6 wedges, trying to keep the pieces connected by the stem. Pull the stems from the mushrooms.
Cut the steaks into 1-inch pieces.
Thread the skewers starting with 2 pieces of pepper. Thread 1 chunk of beef, followed by a wedge of onion and a mushroom. Thread another chunk of beef and repeat with peppers, onion, and mushroom. End with another chunk of beef. Continue threading skewers until all the ingredients have been uses. You should have about 6 skewers.
Heat a grill pan over high heat. Season the skewers with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Lay the skewers (as many as will fit) onto the grill. Cook for 2 minutes. Turn a quarter of a turn and cook for 2 minutes more. Continue until all sides of the beef have been browned, about 6 to 8 minutes total. Test for doneness. Rare to medium rare works great for this steak.
Do you know what would be really FUN?
Serve these kabobs with a fabulous sauce like this one for cucumber tzatziki sauce.
Peel and slice a medium cucumber. Lay the slices onto paper towels and sprinkle with salt. After 5 minutes, wrap the cucumber in the paper towels and squeeze out the excess moisture.
Place the slices into the bowl of a food processor. Add 4 peeled and ⅓ cup fresh dill. Pulse to combine. Add 2 cups plain Greek yogurt, the juice from ½ lemon. Pulse again. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour the sauce into a bowl and serve with kabobs. Oh! Let’s add a couple of pitas to make things really authentic.
It’s “Read An eBook Week” and my recipes and read are available for immediate download! Host a Southern-style book club supper with “Almost Sisters” by Joshilyn Jackson and my “Sunday Best Dishes” menu.
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Last year I discovered authorJoshilyn Jackson and devoured every book she’s written in record time. For me, her characters, strong Southern women, strike a chord with so many attributes I aspire to. Her heroines face challenges that we can identify with, although hopefully in not such a dramatic manner!
For this book club, I’ve chosen the book “The Almost Sisters”. This is not her most recent book, but I find it to be very current given our present political climate. And although this book is in no way political, it does deal with issues in the headlines.
“With empathy, grace, humor, and piercing insight, the author of gods in Alabama pens a powerful, emotionally resonant novel of the South that confronts the truth about privilege, family, and the distinctions between perception and reality—the stories we tell ourselves about our origins and who we really are.
Superheroes have always been Leia Birch Briggs’ weakness. One tequila-soaked night at a comics convention, the usually level-headed graphic novelist is swept off her barstool by a handsome and anonymous Batman.
It turns out the caped crusader has left her with more than just a nice, fuzzy memory. She’s having a baby boy—an unexpected but not unhappy development in the thirty-eight-year-old’s life. But before Leia can break the news of her impending single-motherhood (including the fact that her baby is biracial) to her conventional, Southern family, her step-sister Rachel’s marriage implodes.
Worse, she learns her beloved ninety-year-old grandmother, Birchie, is losing her mind, and she’s been hiding her dementia with the help of Wattie, her best friend since girlhood.
Leia returns to Alabama to put her grandmother’s affairs in order, clean out the big Victorian that has been in the Birch family for generations, and tell her family that she’s pregnant. Yet just when Leia thinks she’s got it all under control, she learns that illness is not the only thing Birchie’s been hiding.
Tucked in the attic is a dangerous secret with roots that reach all the way back to the Civil War. Its exposure threatens the family’s freedom and future, and it will change everything about how Leia sees herself and her sister, her son and his missing father, and the world she thinks she knows.”
There’s a pivotal scene in the book that serves as the catalyst for bringing Leia home to Alabama and her grandmother. Birchie and her caretaker, Wattie attend a potluck supper after Sunday church. It’s Birchie’s out-of-character outburst in front of the parishioners that sends a distress call to Leia.
Here are a couple of book club discussion questions to get you started:
There are multiple relationships in the novel that fit the title The Almost Sisters description. How did the title take on new meaning to you as the story developed?
Despite her worsening dementia, Birchie is still a strong character throughout the book. How would you describe her lifelong friendship with Wattie? Did your impressions change throughout the novel? Why do you think Birchie chose to keep their true relationship a secret even as times changed?
Leia makes the decision to hide her pregnancy early on and keeps her secret throughout much of the story. Do you think Leia made the right decision? Were you surprised by the characters’ reactions when her pregnancy was revealed?
It’s Mother’s Day, and I have just the (fool-proof!) plan for your at-home celebrations. These dishes don’t skimp on thoughtful details but are quick and easy to prepare with all of the kiddos!
No matter what they call you (or how many times they shout your name), when they call for mom, they are calling out of need. “Mom, where’s this…” “Mom, can you believe she did that?” “Mom, tell him to stop touching me!!!” “Mom, I can’t find……………..” Well, on this one Sunday in May, we Moms don’t need to have all of the answers. In fact, it may be the only day of the year when you can reply, “Ask your father,” without ending your marriage in the process.
Let me help get your Mother’s Day morning (or noon or Saturday before!) inspired with a few of my favorite recipes that are easy enough to prepare, absolutely perfect to share, and will definitely show your care. Ask your family to whip these up or make it a group activity!
When life gives you lemons…..Make lemon curd! You can spread lemon curd on your English muffin, swirl it in the center of a pound cake, whip it into a mousse, transform it into ice cream or make lemon curd parfaits for a light, airy, and bright spring dessert.
This is the recipe for the famous Camp Greystoneopening day scones. The campers are greeted with these on the first day of camp. The parents are given some to take on the trip home and then hustled out the door. It’s a camp tradition that has met with success for generations, and one I am always excited to recreate with my granddaughter.
Say, “Hello” to DOUGHNUT Muffins! Get everyone into the act when making these delicious treats. My grandson Sammy LOVES donuts and has got in on the fun: Little ones can brush the warm butter and sprinkle the toppings and the older kids can stir the ingredients together and wash up the bowls!
There are so many savory breakfast classics, but this one is something special. In Spain, it’s just a tapa, but in my house, it can be breakfast, brunch, and even dinner! Try this potato torte and pair it with sangria for an authentic experience. 😉
The Kentucky Derby is this weekend and it’s time to prepare your party provisions! Share these on Saturday in a small backyard soiree or savor them television side with the hubby.
We all know and love the term, “Spring is in the air,” but imagine, too, the divine way it smells, beckoning us to our backyards with the promise of barbeque with the fixin’s….And with Kentucky Derby right around the corner, we can really pull out the Southern stops for a safe and delicious outdoor gathering. Whether you’re setting an elegant table or wearing a Kentucky Derby hat as you graze an outdoor buffet, consider these your go-to Kentucky Derby party plans:
The Kentucky Derby doesn’t have to be a marathon if you play host this weekend. A simple charcuterie board elevated with Southern-style taste and ingredients will come to the rescue! This board’s arranged with deviled eggs, spiced crackers, pimento spread, pickled okra, millionaire’s bacon, my special cilantro shrimp recipe, and an assortment of turkey and ham roll-ups. Serve with Kentucky Derby’s infamous Mint Juleps and you’ll have yourself a party: The Savoy Cocktail Book, Harry Craddock, 1930
4 sprigs fresh mint
½ tbls powdered sugar
1 glass bourbon, rye, or Canadian whisky
Use a long tumbler and crush mint leaves and dissolved sugar lightly together. Add spirits and fill glass with cracked ice. Stir gently until glass is frosted. Decorate on top with 3 sprigs of mint.
From family to family, here in the South, there is debate about how to make a traditional hand pie. But one thing is for sure: This recipe makes for a delicious peach pie! This recipe yields a pie that looks like a puffy, jelly doughnut and is over-the-top delicious. Top with confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon and serve with vanilla ice cream for a delicious Southern treat.
This Southern recipe was made from my Farmer’s Market opening day bounty and pulls together a few of my favorite farmer’s market finds: Tender collard greens, paired with rich pork belly. This dish is perfect if you’ve just had a stash of your greens in your drawer that you’ve been looking to work into a dish or perhaps bought a bushel too much from your local farmer’s market trip. This dish makes for a lovely first course or a wonderful side dish.
My chilled soup adds farm-fresh sweet strawberries for a cool and refreshing treat.This recipe features both ways of making a gazpacho – you have the option to seed the tomatoes or you don’t. Either way, you’ll still have a great batch of gazpacho!
Like pickles? You’ll love this recipe, and you’ll be delighted to discover that there are so many ways to create a delicious batter for your fried pickles. I personally like the combination of seasoned flour and buttermilk for a tangy topping. You can fry them whole or sliced, fried in vegetable or peanut oil – Whatever floats your boat! The comeback sauce featured in this recipe is definitely to die for.
I’ve always considered that my recipe for hush puppies is TOO GOOD…Try it and you be the judge. This recipe is my own version of that South Carolina fisherman’s special recipe. The great thing about it is that you don’t have to follow it precisely to get a tasty result. If you’re looking for a recipe that you can get creative with, this is it! Pick and choose your add-ins and sauces.