Siphon-Battered Onion Rings, Step-by-Step
There are all sorts of tricks for making deep-fry batters both delicate and crisp. Sometimes, recipes call for beating in beer or club soda (the little air bubbles lighten the mixture), or adding vodka (alcohol boils off more quickly than water, enhancing a batter’s texture). For these onion rings, Richard Blais uses both strategies and amplifies their effect by aerating the batter in a siphon. The results are some of the laciest, crunchiest onion rings you’ll ever taste. This batter is equally good on all kinds of fried foods, like chicken, pork cutlets, fish and other vegetables.
Step 1: Dispense
With the siphon upside down, press the handle to dispense enough batter to coat the rings.
Step 2: Fry
Lift the onion rings from the batter, allowing any excess to drip off, then fry until crisp.
Step 3: Drain
Transfer the fried onion rings to paper towels and allow them to drain. Season with salt and eat hot.
The Quickest Pickles Ever
Even so-called quick pickles can take several hours or overnight to marinate. But fill a siphon with pickle ingredients and charge it with pressurized gas, and the brine penetrates deep into the vegetable in a matter of minutes. In addition to the cucumber in this bread-and-butter-pickle recipe, try the method with other thinly sliced vegetables, like red onion, radishes and okra.
Foams may seem passé, an overused chef trick. But their airy consistency can help make a good dish great. Consider the blue-cheese foam here, made by loading a homemade blue-cheese dressing into a siphon and charging it with gas. Whether you’re serving the blue-cheese foam with an iceberg-lettuce wedge that is all about cool crunch, or eating it with hot and crispy chicken wings, the light and frothy texture is a wonderful contrast.
Blais loves aerating all sorts of dressings and condiments in a siphon. This Sriracha-ranch (or “Sri-rancha,” as he calls it) foam makes the perfect topping for a fried chicken cutlet sandwich.
Ultra-Light Siphon Sabayon with Strawberries
Sabayon is a foamy dessert that typically has to be made just moments before serving—if left to stand for too long, it deflates. With the help of a siphon, you can make the sabayon hours in advance, and it will still be perfectly airy when it’s time for dessert.
Brown-Butter Sponge Cakes
Most cakes are leavened with baking soda or powder, but here, Blais uses a siphon to add air to batter. Then he squirts the batter into paper cups, microwaving each for just 45 seconds.