onion rings and mustard

2021 Superbowl Snacking continues

In my last post, I shared a great recipe for Superbowl snacking. My super simple Surprise Sandwiches filled with local pork in a mustard marinade are a great way to Pass the Pigskin on this or any other game day.

It’s been a pleasure to share one of my favorite NC products with you in the course of these two back to back posts. Lusty Monk Mustard is locally made in Candler, NC, just outside of Asheville, NC. Lusty Monk comes in a trio of flavors you will love as much as I do. Temptation, the company’s sweet and sassy honey mustard; Original Sin, the better than Dijon-style whole grain mustard; and then there is Burn in Hell. You guessed it, this last flavor quite nicely brings the heat with the addition of chipotle to the mix.

Superbowl Snacking with Lusty Monk Mustard

I love everything about Lusty Monk. The company is family owned and the mustards are made in small batches, from scratch in North Carolina. The flavor is bright and spicy and a smear across the bread on your next sandwichis the dollop that will make all the difference.

But, I also love to cook with Lusty Monk. Adding mustard to any recipe, from braised beef to roasted chicken, marinades, to salad dressings, sauces and soups adds a ton of flavor without adding any artificial ingredients.

I am ahppy to report that Lusty Monk is readily available in and around Charlotte. Look for it in the refrigerated section of grocery stores and specialty markets like The Loyalist Market in Matthews, Orrman’s Cheese Shop at 7th Street Market in Uptown Charlotte, newly reopened EarthFare stores ( yay!) and all locations of Pasta & Provisions. If you are looking for large quantities, Inland Seafood, sells this local favorite to chefs, restaurants and wholesale accounts.

You can also order it direct from Lusty Monk, online for home delivery if you would like.

In fact, if you have a mustard-lover among your friends and family, look at this fun gift pack . You get the trio of mustards, a “Spread the Lust” bumper sticker and pretzels for dipping!

While you are online, check out the fun swag in their online shop – you know you’re going to want a signature, “Indulge, Repent, Repeat” apron, and there is more! #TellThemHeidiSentYou

Let the Game Day Snack Prep Begin

The way we can all keep social distancing tolerable is to make it fun. So, even if its just the two of you, or you and the kiddos, make game day, or any annual sporting event a theme party. Buy a length of astroturf to use a tablecloth. Use real sporting gear as centerpieces and have fun with it. Have fun with the food as well.

There is nothing like a great onion ring. The key for me is whole onions and a crisp crunchy crust. The choice of mustard dipping sauces you’ll find in this post both make the sweet onion flavor pop.

The process for making great onion rings, is really easy with several secrets to share to insure your Superbowl Snacking, success.

Easy Onion Rings on the Fry

Tip one is to use a sweet white or yellow onion, the natural sugars in the onion help get more carmelization on the actual onions, not just on the crust.

onions and mustard

How to slice is the important second step. Peel your onions and slice into thick slices. When you separate the rings, keep 2-3 together to insure a fat onion ring, that will hold up to dipping and, in the end, will be easy to pick up with your fingers.

onion slices

Be sure to follow the standard breading procedure as outlined below. Its important to allow time for the rings to set on the wire rack before they go for a dip in the pool of hot oil.

coated onion rings

Finally, use chopsticks to help turn the rings over in the oil. Or, if you are not so adept at chopsticks then use thin tongs. A fork or a spatula IS NOT the right tool for the job here. The frying won’t take long, just a minute or two on each side.

onions rings in chopsticks

Superbowl Snacking: Crispy Onion Rings with Lusty Monk Mustard Dipping Sauce

2-3 sweet white onions, peeled and cut into thick slices, then separated into thick rings,

Organic All Purpose Flour ( gluten free works well too)

2-3 local eggs

dry seasoned bread crumbs ( gluten free works well, too) or do what I did for these photos and use a coarse stone ground cornmeal.

Canola oil, vegetable oil or your favorite blended oil for frying

The 411 on Standard Breading Procedure

onion ring in flour

Dip each ring of onion first into the flour, then eggs, then bread crumbs. The secret is to allow the battered and breaded onion rings to rest on a wire rack, for at least a minute or two before you fry.  This time allows the egg, flour and bread crumbs to firm up around each ring. It creates a bond that will not come off in the hot oil.

To fry the onion rings traditionally, you don’t have to deep fry, You will enjoy great success if your heat about ½ inch of oil in a sauté pan or frying pan using my infamous wooden spoon test

Testing the Oil

To test to see if the oil is hot enough for frying, place a wooden spoon in the pan of oil.

oils bubbles around a wooden spoon

As the oil heats, little bubbles will form around the edge of the spoon just as they would if a piece of food were in the pan frying – when you see the little bubbles, the oil is hot enough to fry.

onion rings in the oil

When the oil is hot, carefully put the coated onion rings in, taking care not to over crowd the pan, cooking the rings just until brown. Use chopsticks or thin tongs to carefully flip them over halfway to brown the other side.

Once brown, lift them from oil and drain on several thicknesses of paper towels or back on the wire rack. Let them cool just a bit then enjoy, kicking up the experience with a Lusty Monk mustard sauce on the side for dipping.

Sauce it Up for Superbowl Snacking

Use the same easy blend of sour cream and your favorite Lusty Monk for your onion rings that we served with the Pass the Pigskin Surprise Sandwiches; or make the warm and creamy version below with milk, butter and flour.

onion rings with dipping sauce

The cream sauce in this post is a bechamel sauce, really, but we are taking the flavors up a notch with the addition of mustard and finishing it all with a sprinkle of fresh minced parsley.

Looking for more ways to use a bechamel? Check out the mushroom recipes in this post. And, while we’re here, the galette in this post ( made with a combo of thin sliced potatoes would be great for your Superbowl Snacking as well!

This Lusty Monk Mustard sauce is also a perfect finish for my butter poached root vegetables. A wonderful Superbowl Snacking alternative to a platter of raw veggies.

carrots with cream sauce
Butter Poached New Town Farm Carrots with Lusty Monk Cream Sauce

Lusty Monk Mustard Cream Sauce

2-3 Tbsp. butter

3 Tbsp. all purpose flour

1 cup whole milk ( I like going local and using Hickory Hills Milk for all my bechamels and for my biscuits, too. Hickory Hills Milk is available in Charlotte at EarthFare)

1/4 cup Original or spicy Burn In Hell Lusty Monk Mustard

carrot dipped in sauce
Dip your butter poached root veggies and those crispy onion rings in this warm and cream Lusty Monk Mustard sauce for satisfied arm chair quarterbacks every time.

Melt butter in a saucepan or saute pan over medium high to high heat When the butter is hot and bubbly, add the flour all at one time and stir cook until the flour dissolves into the butter to make a paste. Continuing over medium high heat, add the milk all at one time; stir cook with a pan whisk or your favorite wooden spoon, to blend the roux into the milk. The mixture will immediately start to thicken. Once its thick, add the Lusty Monk and blend well. Remove from the heat, season with a bit of salt and finish with a sprinkling of fresh minced cilantro or parsley.

Butter Poached Root Vegetables

1-2 lbs. pounds local root veggies, Use your choice of Easter egg or French breakfast radishes, carrots, or Hakuri turnips

Salt and pepper

3/4 stick butter

2-3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro or parsley, freshly chopped

Trim the tops from each root veggie, leaving 1/4 inch of green stem. Cut off the roots at the base of each veggie and cut each one in half from top to bottom.

carrots in a pan

Place veggies in a wide skillet and season well with salt and pepper. Add butter and 1 cup of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to a brisk simmer. Cook  until tender when pierced but no further, about 5 minutes.

Remove lid, raise heat and boil to evaporate most of the liquid. For your Superbowl Snacking, serve strained from in buttery juices with sprinkling of fresh chopped parsley or cilantro and Your choice of my two Lusty Monk Mustard sauces for dipping.

Save those buttery juices for after game day…

Let your game day goodies, lead to another delicious meal after Superbowl has come and gone.

Reheat those buttery pan juices in an oven proof skillet. Cast iron works great here. As the liquid starts to heat, add a couple of tablespoons of Lusty Monk Temptation Mustard to the pan. This is Lusty Monks’ Honey Mustard and it’s just the right balance of sweet and sassy.

Once the liquid comes to a soft boil, add your choice of fresh shrimp or your favorite fresh fish fillet. Turn down the heat and cover the pan to cook 2-3 minutes. Remove the lid and place the pan under the broiler to crisp up the top of the fish. Enjoy over rice or make one of these rice cakes, stuffed with crabmeat instead of cheese, to serve alongside your mustardy butter poached seafood and use the pan sauces over all.

I predict you will melt into the deliciousness of it all. Enjoy!

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