Photograph by Isa Zapata
I am going to spare you a lot of trouble and say—definitively and on the record—that you do not need to fry your own onions for Thanksgiving this year. I am not talking about a blooming onion (which would be a pretty awesome appetizer if you are also rocking a deep-fryer for your turkey). I am talking about crispy, frizzly, tangly fried onions destined for the tops of casseroles and all sorts of side dishes.
Have I convinced you? No? Then let’s get into it.
Perhaps you see Thanksgiving as your culinary olympics and think doing everything from scratch will win you a trip to the podium. In this case, though, a store-bought shortcut doesn’t involve any flavor sacrifice. Much like potato chips or hot dogs, supermarket fried onions are perfect, full stop.
There are a few styles to be aware of and all are superb: French’s, the American original and the largest of them all, lightly dusted with some kind of starchy fairy sprinkle that makes them supremely crunchy. Lars brand: much denser, compact shreds with phenomenal allium flavor and a clean finish. And Maesri, often sold in Asian markets: These are technically shallots but work interchangeably, with piercing flavor and a meaty-chewy texture.
Keeping store-bought fried onions on hand means you can use them in all kinds of dishes on a moment’s notice. Beyond a green bean casserole, add them to fried rice mid-toss for a big boost, or throw them into a tadka at the very end to add dynamic texture as well as flavor. Associate food editor Rachel Gurjar’s Roasted Delicata Squash With Crispy Onions uses them in a genius way: The squash topping gets dusted liberally with seasonings like cumin, garlic powder, and paprika, then re-crisped for a full-on shattering texture and bonus savory depth.
BA’s Best Green Bean CasseroleChris Morocco
Roasted Delicata Squash With Crispy OnionsRachel Gurjar
Originally Appeared on Bon Appétit
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