Give me a slushy in one hand, a burger in the other and a tray of onions rings in my lap and summer will be in full effect. Onion rings are one of those dangerously addictive and instantly gratifying snacks that magically disappear before you can even close the lid on the Traeger. Our recipe for Smoked Onion Rings from our Guilt Free - Love, Laugh, Grill cookbook, although not fried, will have you pulling the same magic trick out of your own Traeger.
SMOKED ONION RINGS
PREP TIME: 10 Min., plus 3-4 hours to smoke the bread crumbs
COOK TIME: 15 Min.
4 slices of day-old whole wheat bread (or about 2 cups plain bread crumbs)
3 tablespoons fresh basil – roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion – trimmed and peeled
2 large eggs
1-2 teaspoons Traeger Veggie Shake
Ketchup or Special Sauce - for serving
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
3-4 tablespoons ketchup
1-2 tablespoons horseradish
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
When ready to cook start the Traeger on Smoke with the lid open for 4 to 5 minutes or until the fire is established.
Spread the bread crumbs out (or pulse the dry bread to make crumbs) in a large oven-safe dish. Smoke the bread crumbs for 3 to 4 hours, stirring the crumbs every hour or so. If you want a more predominant smoky flavor, smoke it for longer.
Allow bread crumbs to cool. Put the bread crumbs in a food processor along with the basil, and olive oil and pulse for 20 seconds.
Slice onion into ¼ inch slices. Separate layers to create rings.
Beat eggs in a bowl large enough to submerge onion rings. Spread bread mixture into a dish. Add in a teaspoon or so of the Traeger Veggie Shake, to taste to both the bread crumbs and add a few shakes to the eggs as well. The Veggie Shake is such a perfect partner for these onion rings and for pretty much any vegetable, poultry or fish dish. It is savory with a slight sweet undertone and a whole lot of herbaceousness going on.
Time to lay out a "breading station" for the onion rings. Arrange the pans in this order: onions - eggs - breading - foil-covered cooking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray.
I suggest making one hand the "wet egg hand" and the other hand the "dry breading hand" to keep from getting everything too messy. Arrange the onion rings on the foil in one layer.
When ready to grill, preheat Traeger to High for 10 to 15 minutes. Bake the rings on the baking sheet for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile make that Special Sauce! This sweet 'n hot recipe is in our From Pulled Pork to Peach Pie cookbook in our Barbecued Bloomin' Good Onion recipe. Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, ketchup, horseradish and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl. Taste it and add in more ketchup if it needs sweetness or more horseradish if you want a bigger kick to it. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To really bring this snack-tastic, crunchy goodness home, you've got to serve these warm with that special sauce or ketchup on the side. If you do this, they'll disappear before your eyes.