Monday, March 5, 2012

Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program: Alexia Beer Battered Onion Rings and Speedy Spicy Dipping Sauce

Happy Monday…it appears that spring has sprung here in Central Texas! The weather this weekend was absolutely gorgeous, and we saw the first bluebonnets blooming along I-35 during a quick drive up to Austin yesterday afternoon. The long, hot summer will be here again soon enough…but not just yet! Warmer weather means lots of things to me: walks in the neighborhood, opening the windows to let the cool breezes in, and eating lighter food. As you know by now, we love burgers and fun sides at Casa Garcia. One of my favorite burger partners is onion rings, but I rarely make them at home: all that slicing, dipping, and frying is a lot of work...and it's messy. 

Luckily, I've found a great at-home onion ring option thanks to Alexia foods. As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemakers Program, I received a coupon for a free Alexia product…and I decided to try their Beer Battered Onion Rings. I’m a huge fan of Alexia’s healthy and tasty frozen oven fries and baguettes, so I knew these onion rings would taste great. We absolutely loved them! They cook up crisp in the oven in about 15 minutes. The beer batter is light and crispy…and oven baking means less fat AND less mess in my kitchen! Each serving of six onion rings contains 180 calories and 8 grams of fat. The onion rings come out of the oven golden and crispy, and the onion inside is tender and sweet.  These onion rings were fantastic served with grilled turkey burgers!

To make it even more fun and yummy, I made a reduced-fat dipping sauce that was also a great spread for my turkey burgers. When we go out, we sometimes order onion petals for an appetizer…and I love the spicy dipping sauce that comes with then! It reminds me a bit of New Orleans remoulade sauce.  I wanted to create something similar – but lower in fat – to pair with my Alexia onion rings. I played around with a few ingredients in my kitchen and came up with a delicious, spicy sauce that's simple to whip up while the onion rings are baking.  To make my Speedy Spicy Dipping Sauce, combine the following ingredients in a small bowl:
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat mayo
  • 1 tbs. spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tbs. ketchup
  • juice of half a large lime
  • 1 tsp. Crystal hot sauce
  • one sliced green onion
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper

To serve, place the baked onion rings on a colorful serving platter and place the dipping sauce in a colorful ramekin. This sauce is wonderful with the crispy onion rings, but it would also be great with boiled shrimp or french fries! I love that it's made with ingredients that I have on hand in my kitchen all the time.

Alexia is having a contest to Reinvent a Classic on its Facebook page! You can help decide their next gourmet french fry flavor by clicking here to vote for one of the four finalists. All of the finalists are food bloggers, so make sure to go give them some love! The winner of last year's contest is Parmesan Lemon Waffle Fries, which will be available in stores very soon.

Disclosure: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemakers Program, I received a coupon for a free Alexia product. All opinions expressed are my own.

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