recipes barefoot contessa

Rib Eye Steaks with Cornmeal-Fried Onion Rings (4 to 6 servings)

Copyright 2006, Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved

Photo: Quentin Bacon

4 (1¼-inch thick) rib eye steaks, either boneless or bone-in
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Good olive oil
Cornmeal-Fried Onion Rings (recipe follows)

Thirty minutes before grilling the steaks, remove them from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature. Heat a grill with coals.

When the coals are hot, spread them out in the grill in one solid layer. Pat the steaks dry on both sides with paper towels and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Place the steaks on the hot grill and sear them on each side for 2 minutes, until browned. Brush each side lightly with olive oil. Place the lid on the grill and allow the steaks to cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, until they are cooked rare, or 120 degrees on a meat thermometer. (To test the steaks, insert the thermometer sideways to be sure you’re actually testing the middle of the steak.) Remove the steaks from the grill, place them in one layer on a platter, and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow the steaks to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve warm with the cornmeal-fried onion rings.

Serves 4 to 6

2 large Spanish onions (or 3 yellow onions)
2 cups buttermilk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup (medium) yellow cornmeal
1 quart vegetable oil

Peel the onions, slice them ½- to ¾-inch thick, and separate them into rings. Combine the buttermilk, 1½ teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Add the onion rings, toss well, and allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes. (The onion rings can sit in the buttermilk for a few hours.) In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

When you’re ready to fry the onion rings, preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.

Heat the oil to 350 degrees in a large pot or Dutch oven. (A candy thermometer attached to the side of the pot will help you maintain the proper temperature.) Working in batches, lift some onions out of the buttermilk and dredge them in the flour mixture. Drop into the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes, until golden brown, turning them once with tongs. Don’t crowd them! Place the finished onion rings on the baking sheet, sprinkle liberally with salt, and keep them warm in the oven while you fry the next batches. Continue frying the onion rings and placing them in the warm oven until all the onions are fried. They will remain crisp in the oven for up to 30 minutes. Serve hot.