Spicy Buttermilk Onion Rings w/Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

in Appetizers

Onion rings remind me of George Clooney. Always. (Such a weird sentence, eh?! Well it’s true. They do.)

When I was in college in North Carolina, the film Leatherheads came to shoot in town and Mr. Clooney was the lead. I got a job as a production assistant, filling in only a few days here and there because I was still in school and hated being a production assistant with a very deep passion.

Anewayzzz, on this particular day I had the awesome duty of “watching the door so no one comes through it,” so I was there in this random corner of this old building all by myself doing yoga stretches or something. As I was mid-stretch I heard on the walkie that Clooney was about to come upstairs, past me and to his trailer, which was located across the street. I was ordered to stand outside. Why? No idea. I just did what I was told.

So, outcomes Clooney into the real, North Carolina world, being guided by a gigantic bodyguard. Just as he’s crossing the street, I spot a woman running full speed toward George! I mean she’s trekking it for him. Behind her is her car, which she left in DRIVE going slowly down the street and heading into the middle of the intersection.

I yell on the walkie that we need help…or something…and out comes another PA from a random building. He jumps in her car and slams on the brakes. Phew! He takes a peek behind him into her backseat and sees her 6-month old!! in the backseat. Of the car that she just abandoned.

Of course the bodyguard didn’t let her touch Clooney. And set came to a halt as everyone was consumed with the drama that came with a woman abounding her infant child for a chance at touching Clooney. Some people are crayyyy!

An hour or so later I was let off of my PA shift and went to go meet some friends. I guess deep down I was sort of distressed because I straight-up emotionally ate an entire plate of onion rings. So, that’s why onion rings always remind me of George Clooney. THE END!

When in Winston-Salem, the place to get onion rings is at the restaurant I used to work at, Foothills Brewery. And in the south everyone, I mean everyone eats everything with ranch dressing.

Chicken Wings? No blue cheese just ranch.

Pizza? Side of ranch dressing.

Ribs? Side of ranch dressing.

Onion rings? Never ketchup just ranch.

It’s just the way it works there, which is fine by me because I loooove ranch dressing.

These onion rings are spicy. They have a kick. The ranch dressing is a perfect fit since it cools things down nicely.

The onion rings start by being tossed in salt and hot sauce. My favorite, forever and always is Tapatio. But any of them will work great: Texas Pete, Tobasco, Cholulua and even Sriracha.

Pour in the buttermilk and let the onion rings soak for 15 minutes or so. This is a good time to heat up the oil and make the ranch dressing.

This ranch dressing is made with equal parts Greek yogurt and mayonnaise. There’s a good amount of fresh herbs in it too: fresh dill, chives and Italian parsley. A generous amount of salt and pepper and lemon juice.

At the very end, I add in the buttermilk. The recipe below will yield a thicker ranch dressing than what you’re probably used to. I did this because I think it’s better for dipping. Feel free to make it thinner if you like. No bigs!

Serve these as an appetizer for you and a few friends.

Make them for yourself and stress eat. Maybe even throw on a George Clooney movie and stare at him. Whatever!

P.S. He’s short in person.

Spicy Buttermilk Onion Rings with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Print this recipe!

Onion Rings:
1 medium sweet onion, cut into 1/4-inch rings
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons Tapatio (or another hot sauce)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Vegetable Oil

Ranch Dressing:
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, minced
Pinch salt
Pinch pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon dill, minced
1 teaspoon chives, minced
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, minced
3 tablespoons buttermilk

1. Place the onion slices in a medium bowl and toss with salt and hot sauce. Pour in the buttermilk, submerging the onions in the buttermilk/hot sauce mixture. Allow the onions to soak in the buttermilk for 15 minutes.

2. In another medium bowl, mix together the flour, salt, garlic powder and pepper.

3. Line a baking sheet or large plate with a bed of paper towels. To a cast-iron skillet, add oil until it reaches about 3-inches up the sides. Heat the oil until it reaches 360 degrees F.

4. While the oil is heating up, it’s a great time to make the ranch dressing. To a small bowl, add the yogurt, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, lemon juice and herbs. Mix until it’s thoroughly combined. Add the buttermilk and stir. Since I was using it as a dipping sauce, I favored a thicker consistency, but feel free to add a tablespoon or two more of buttermilk until you reach your desired consistency. Set aside.

5. When the oil is hot, remove the onions from the buttermilk and transfer them to the flour mixture bowl, dredging them on both sides until coated. Gently place in the hot oil until light brown on both sides, about 3 minutes, and turning them once. Transfer the onion rings to a bed of paper towels. Repeat until you’ve fried all of the onion rings.

Note: This recipe is great to double. If you’re doing a bigger batch, I suggest heating your oven to 200F and transferring the done fried onion rings to the oven to keep warm while you continue to fry up the rest of them.

Yields about 15 onion rings (I’d say that’s perfect for an appetizer for 4 people)

Inspiration from Homesick Texan

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Ameena July 20, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Came across your blog today via Lynn’s…you have a great writing style. Congrats on your book deal!

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Adrianna July 22, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Oh yay. Glad you found me!

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Bettina July 20, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Hahah, I love this story so funny how memorie are built. And I mean, George Clooney you were so lucky and that woman with the baby in the back seat is insane!

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Margherita July 21, 2012 at 12:57 am

This is a very interesting twist on the classic onion rings recipe.

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Lynna H. July 21, 2012 at 1:33 am

LOL. OMG. I cannot believe that happened!

& this is AWESOME. I loveee eatin onion rings!

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Joslin July 21, 2012 at 2:25 am

Wow Clooney is handsome, but I don’t think I’d risk the safety of my child for a chance to rush him. What a crazy experience!

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Littledessert - Recept & Webbshop July 21, 2012 at 2:35 am

Lovely!

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar July 21, 2012 at 4:12 am

These looks plain and simply fabulous! I love homemade junk food!

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Melissa {Being a Bear} July 21, 2012 at 4:34 am

That was the best onion-ring-related story I’ve ever heard. You win. And I agree – ranch on everything.

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this is lemonade July 21, 2012 at 8:57 am

What I can’t stand for are soggy onion rings. Yours look so crispy and yum! Gorgeous pics. And what a story to go with them! Crazy woman lol. The other one I mean, not you :P

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Zoe July 21, 2012 at 9:21 am

I’m from the south and the thing about ranch is sooo true…you can a side of it to go with anything: fries, sweet potato fries, chips, fried pickles, and of course onion rings :) thanks for the tip about Foothills too. I’m living in Winston-Salem so I’ll definitely have to check it out sometime!

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Adrianna July 22, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Oh wow! YAY! They were awesome 5 years ago, let’s hope they’re still awesome.

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Liz July 21, 2012 at 10:09 am

What a story! Now onion rings will always remind me of George Clooney…they are my guilty pleasure. Maybe George is, too? LOL. Yours look incredible~

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Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking July 21, 2012 at 11:26 am

Woah!! Crazy Clooney story. These onion rings look pretty crazy too… Crazy awesome!

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Lisa @Captured By The Cook July 21, 2012 at 12:25 pm

What a great idea to spice these up. After seeing your photos I’m off to make these today!

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Sue/the view from great island July 21, 2012 at 2:36 pm

I’ve been on a frying kick lately myself, but haven’t gotten around to onion rings, my fave! Yours have the perfect batter texture.

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Megan Q. July 21, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Wasn’t expecting a crazy story like that! Wild.
These onion rings look awesome. I’m also excited to try out the recipe for ranch dressing. I put it on everyyyyyyything!

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suzanne Perazzini July 21, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Fancy telling you to stand aside, as if you would physically block his progress. All that pomp and ceremony – how ridiculous. But it was George Clooney!

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Adrianna July 22, 2012 at 12:37 pm

To be fair, he kind of needed a bodyguard…even to cross the street. :)

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Susan July 21, 2012 at 5:23 pm

I’d like to dip George Clooney in some ranch dressing…

Love your blog. I started following it many years ago and it’s been such a pleasure watching it grow. I take great pride in having known it for so long.

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Christina @ The Beautiful Balance July 22, 2012 at 1:56 am

I absolutely love using this trick or coating items with hot sauce before they are fried. :)

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Robin G July 22, 2012 at 11:51 am

Crazy Story! I’m from NC, where did you go to school there? And yes, I do absolutely love ranch dressing on everything, I laughed out loud when you wrote that! Only the weirdos don’t like ranch!

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Adrianna July 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm

University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Ranch4Lyfe!

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Robin G July 26, 2012 at 12:03 am

My cousin’s husband went there! Small World! Very very cool…next time I’m back in Winston Salem I’ll have to check out Foothills Brewery. Ranchranchranch!

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Eileen July 22, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Ooh, these sound perfect! I almost never deep fry, but I may have to make an exception.

And speaking of filming…my parents live in Wilmington, so my little brothers have a few stories about Dawson’s Creek encounters, and I personally got cut off by Andy Griffith in the strip mall parking lot. It’s so counterintuitive to find the film industry in NC, but there it is. :)

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Adrianna July 22, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Yeah, a ton of films shoot in NC. It’s a pretty place with good tax incentives.

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Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen July 22, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Holy crap, what a crazy story!

These onion rings look great – and yes, ranch is amazing on everything!

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Rachel @ Baked by Rachel July 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm

I love a good onion ring and some added spice makes them even better!

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Michelle July 23, 2012 at 6:16 pm

I hated being a PA with a very deep passion also! Glad those days are behind me. And Tapitio is the absolute best, can’t believe I’ve never thought to do onion rings with it! What a great idea!

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gigi July 24, 2012 at 8:25 pm

these look like a fun saturday night project. I can’t wait to try this! thanks for the recipe. gigi. food and beauty blogger @ http://www.gigikkitchen.blogspot.com

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Mary Mazza Hendricks July 26, 2012 at 3:35 am

Like, how short?

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Javelin Warrior July 26, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Now all I can think about is onion rings! Must. Have. These! I’m featuring this post in today’s Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and I can’t wait to see what you create next…

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silla July 28, 2012 at 9:31 am

so yamyyy thank you

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Catherine R. August 20, 2012 at 12:04 am

I heard Texas Pete is good! It’s not like a real hot type of sauce but has more of a flavor to it so you can have it on ANYTHING. Is it true?!

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erica August 30, 2012 at 7:24 pm

OMG, These look insane!!
http://www.poolovesboo.com

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marla October 9, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Now that is a beautiful stack of onion rings!

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tanya1234 October 12, 2012 at 3:24 am

am gonna try it right now
thankx

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Beth December 28, 2012 at 7:44 pm

I don’t do much frying–almost never. But had to try these. They were light and crispy. Family LOVED them! I doubled the recipe and had plenty for a family of 6. SO much better than the frozen stuff.

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Adrianna December 28, 2012 at 11:12 pm

So good to hear, Beth!

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Gini January 7, 2013 at 8:45 am

THAT? is seriously the best food association stories I’ve ever heard. The End.

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Gini January 7, 2013 at 8:46 am

Ahem– *one of the best. Actually, THE best STORY, I didn’t proof before I hit Submit. :)

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Heather @ SugarDish(Me) January 7, 2013 at 10:17 am

I had no idea you used to live in NC! This is a great story, people are COMPLETELY crayzee and it’s true what you say about the south and ranch dressing. I’ve worked the restaurant scene here since I was in high school and the mayo consumption is obscene.

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Barb February 1, 2013 at 8:18 pm

I never comment until I’ve tried it, so I can give a worthwhile review. Tried these tonight, yummy! These, along with the ranch dressing included, are going into my permanent recipe collection. We did make some adjustments….so, so good! I recommend!

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Angie | Big Bear's Wife August 1, 2013 at 10:20 am

oh my sweet lord, who leaves a baby in the car and runs after George Clooney. haha on my, no funny, but funny. That’s a good story for the onion rings tho! haha

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Jarome August 7, 2013 at 6:34 am

What a delicious appetizer! A must try recipe, specially the ranch dip. thanks! XOXO

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rachael October 9, 2013 at 12:39 pm

I made this over the summer and they were delicious :) the only problem i had was the flour mixture clumping up and the onions not being fully covered some of them ended up not covered at all. any suggestions on how to fix this?

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