I have never been a fan of the onion. I will take their flavor in mild doses, but I don’t want to eat a whole one. I surely don’t want to eat an onion ring. I just don’t enjoy the flavor. I prefer the milder flavor of the onion’s cousin – the leek. And guess what, you can make leek rings just like you make onion rings. In fact there is a huge advantage to leek rings. Leeks don’t contain as much moisture as onions. Have you ever had an onion ring and had the batter separate from the onion when you bite in? You won’t have that problem with leeks. Not to mention leeks rings are smaller so they cook faster.
I got the idea for making leek rings from Alton Brown. However I decided to use a batter from Ina Garten for onion rings with my leeks rings. This is a light batter that contains corn meal to give the rings a nice crunch. I cut her batter recipe in half as I didn’t need as much since the rings are smaller.
Cornmeal Fried Leek Rings
- 4 small to medium leeks cut into rings
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/8 stone ground corn meal any color
- 1 quart canola peanut, or vegetable oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Take off the dark green parts of the leeks, save them for your compost pile. Slice the leeks into rings. The rings don't need to be separated.
Soak the leeks rings in a bowl of water to remove dirt (it should sink to the bottom).
Soak the leeks in the buttermilk for 10 to 15 minutes.
Combine the flour, corn meal, and salt and pepper to taste in a mixing bowl.
Heat your oil to 350 degrees in an electric deep fryer or a Dutch Oven with a fry thermometer attached.
When the oil is to temperature, dredge the rings into the flour mixture and then add to the oil. Don't overcrowd them.
Fry the rings for 60-90 seconds or until golden brown. Remove to a cooling rack and add additional kosher salt if needed.