Chipotle Fried Onion Rings

Ingredients

  • 1 medium white onion
  • corn oil for deep-frying
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons recado dry rub :
  • 1/4 cup dried Mexican oregano*
  • 1/4 cup corn oil
  • 5 dried chipotle chiles*, stemmed, seeded, and deveined (wear rubber gloves)
  • 5 ancho chiles*, seeded and deveined (wear rubber gloves)
  • 25 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups coarse salt

Directions

The rub gives a burst of flavor to almost any meat or vegetable but is particularly wonderful on beef and corn.

* available at Mexican markets and some specialty produce markets

To make the onion rings: Preheat oven to 250F. and line a large baking sheet with paper towels.
With a mandoline or other manual slicer, slice onion paper-thin and separate into rings.
In a deep kettle or deep fryer heat 2 inches oil to 375F.
While oil is heating, in a large bowl stir together flour and chipotle rub. Add onion rings and toss well to coat. Transfer onion rings to a large sieve and shake gently to remove excess flour mixture.
Add a handful of onion rings to hot oil and fry, stirring, until crisp, about 30 seconds, transferring with a slotted spoon to baking sheet to drain. Fry remaining onion rings in same manner. (Onion rings may be made 15 minutes ahead and kept warm in a 250'F. oven).

To make the chipotle rub: In a small heavy skillet dry-roast oregano over moderate heat, shaking skillet occasionally, until fragrant and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes, and transfer to a small bowl. Cool oregano completely and in an electric coffee/spice grinder grind fine.
In a heavy skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and, using tongs, fry chiles, 1 or 2 at a time, turning them, until puffed and just beginning to brown, about 10 seconds. (Do not let chiles burn or rub will be bitter.) Transfer chiles as fried to paper towels to drain and cool until crisp.
Wearing rubber gloves, break chiles into pieces and in coffee/spice grinder grind fine in batches. In a food processor grind oregano and chiles with garlic and salt until mixture is a shaggy, saltlike consistency. If mixture seems moist, on a large baking sheet spread it into a thin even layer and dry in middle of an oven set at lowest temperature until no longer moist, about 1 hour. Wearing rubber gloves, break up any lumps with your fingers. (Chipotle rub keeps in an airtight container, chilled 6 months. Regrind rub before using.)
Makes about 3 1/4 cups.


Serves 2 to 4.