I have always associated crispy fried onions with holiday casseroles, adding a delightful crunch and texture. While we may think that fried onions date back to the 1960s when French’s first launched their canned connection with recipes for homemakers, the history of fried onions/onion rings in America goes back further.
John Molland’s 1802 cookbook, “The Art of Cookery Made Easy and Refined” contained a recipe for Fried Onions with Parmesan Cheese. It suggests cutting onions into thin slices, dipping them into a batter made of flour, cream, salt and pepper and Parmesan Cheese. Then deep frying them in “boiling” lard.
Another recipe for its close cousin, the French Fried Onion Ring, appeared in 13 Jan. 1910 “Middletown, New Daily Times”. A recipe for onion rings also appeared in 1933 in an advertisement for Crisco in “The New York Times Magazine”.
Use your messy onion rings to serve as a comforting layer of crunchy goodness on a number of meat dishes or as a snack on the go.