Saturday night was a dark and blustery night.
Ok. Not really. It actually was quite nice out...we had a tease of spring weather. Mr. Fabuful and Uncle He-Man were smoking a brisket. Uncle He-Man supplied the mulberry wood and the brisket. Mr. Fabuful prepared his special spice rub for said meat. Suffice it to say, it was heavenly.
We wanted to cook up a side to compliment the slab of beef. P-Dub's Onion Strings (p. 92) were the perfect fit.
Please listen up. Are you listening? Rather, reading? Make these. It is imperative. You'll thank us - correction: You'll thank Ree.
The beauty of this recipe is it's amazing flavor, despite having just a few basic ingredients.
Jo started by slicing two onions, which doubles Ree's recipe (we were entertaining a number of friends).
We poured a quart of canola oil in the hot tub (Dutch oven) to pre-heat for our onions. We have discovered the Dutch oven is possibly the most versatile piece of cookware known to man. We love it.
We then dunked the onions into a baking dish of buttermilk. Lou combined the flour, salt, ground black pepper, and, the kicker: cayenne pepper. Ooo-la. We're begging you. Don't leave out the cayenne pepper.
Ree mentions a test to check the heat of the oil in the Dutch oven. Since we did not have a thermometer available we used her flour test. You know the oil is hot enough for frying when you throw a dash of flour onto the oil and hear the oil sizzle. Our oil sizzled. And the peasants rejoiced.
Once the onions had sufficiently soaked in their skin-smoothing buttermilk bath, Lou doused them in the flour mixture then placed them in the hot tub.
Jo manned the hot tub and separated the onions in the oil to prevent them from sticking together. Each onion batch only took about one minute to fry to a golden brown crisp.
These were then placed on a plate covered with a paper towel.
We soon discovered why Ree only called for one onion in her Onion Strings recipe. After about one onion was fried, we noticed a funky smell. The oil was dark brown. Due to the intense heat of the Dutch oven and the oil, pieces of the flour mixture had naturally fallen to the bottom and started to burn. Not to fear: Mr. Fabuful helped us to dispose of the hot canola oil. We cleaned the pan and started all over. Disaster averted.
We also decided to prepare a salad to accompany the brisket and onion strings. We needed to throw some healthiness in there somewhere. Our friend, Jenny, prepared the salad. Mr. Fabuful made a fantastic lime-cilantro vinegarette. The tartness and fresh flavors of the dressing and salad were like a little ray of springtime sunshine amidst the harvest of smoked meat and greased vegetables. Believe us: if we Kansans can find a way to make vegetables unhealthy, we will while loving every minute.
The final result of our dinner.
Our next post will be showing how to make the teaser item on the right side of the above photo. It's called Chocolate Sheet Cake. Can't wait to share it with you!