493: Onion Rings
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:04
and I'm Molly.
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:06
And this is Spilled Milk The show where we cook something delicious. Eat it all and you can't have any. Today
we are talking about onion rings,
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:14
and I am so excited for this episode.
It's 941 in the morning, I had a bowl of cereal about two hours ago.
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:22
I had a bowl of onion rings two hours.
I wish I really want onion rings right now.
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:28
I have some in my freezer like frozen from the grocery store. Yes.
Ah, cool. I've never we'll talk about that. We'll get to this. Okay, okay, great. So let's let's go down your memory lane Matthew.
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:40
Okay, I have a lot of onion ring memory lane. This was absolutely one of my favorite treats as a kid and it felt like a treat because like most fast food places don't have them. Burger King is the only major burger chain that's that has onion rings and I love Oh,
yeah, I was not aware of that. I mean, yeah, I do think of onion rings as like a special thing. You know, french fries are everywhere. onion rings are not yet I didn't realize Burger King was the only major chain.
Matthew Amster-Burton 1:09
Yeah, and Burger Kings onion rings are kind of weird. We'll probably talk about that more later. But they're made with like, onion paste, which is controversial, but I still like,
okay, okay, I'm eager to hear more about this. And onion paste. Just
Matthew Amster-Burton 1:22
Oh, yeah. Also also at Burger King. There's a secret menu item if you order Frings That's an order of half fries. Half rings.
Did you try this out before the episode?
Matthew Amster-Burton 1:31
No, I read about it on online and and like next time I go to Burger King. I'm for sure gonna order Frings okay, but it's just like Do we ever go to most burger? In Japan? No. Okay, because at most burger, which is a very good burger chain in Japan. They have the only potain which is onion potato, which is how onion rings have fries.
I wish you could order it that way at Burger King in the you know, would there be great?
Matthew Amster-Burton 1:56
Yeah. Like what is wrong with this guy?
What about like, you know, what about the next what do you call the tier of restaurants? That's like Chili's? fast casual Applebee's. fast casual. Okay, I think we'll get to my memory lane in a minute. But I think of onion rings as emblematic of the fast casual restaurant
Matthew Amster-Burton 2:17
way. Yeah, like, I like I said they've only been to Applebee's once but I bet they've got onion rings on the menu at Applebee's. The one that I remember as a kid being absolutely like knocked on my ass by how cool it was, was the onion ring loaf at Tony Roma's and Tony Robbins like a rib chain that I think just kind of got its lunch eaten by Chili's, because it almost doesn't exist anymore. There's like seven us locations remaining.
It's a rib chain cut, I would have figured that it was like an Italian.
Matthew Amster-Burton 2:47
I know it sounds like right. I mean, it was it was founded by an Italian American guy Tony Roma. But both Lori's family and my family separately. We didn't get together as children because we didn't know each other yet. But it was like a celebration restaurant for both of our families. Okay, and I would get I would get ribs and then we'd always get the onion ring loaf, which I think was like a precursor to the chilies awesome blossom. Or the onion. bloomin onion. Yeah.
Okay, so you posted into or you you pasted into the agenda photo. This This photo is of the Tony Roma onion loaf. Yeah. How big is this? I can't quite tell.
Matthew Amster-Burton 3:29
It's like 10 feet in diameter. No, it's like, honestly, I don't remember like, I I have a child. And so I remember it being enormous, like bigger than my head. It's probably no longer bigger than my head.
And how does it work? Like it what what's going on here? What am I seeing on this plate? Can you describe it for our listeners?
Matthew Amster-Burton 3:50
Okay, have you ever seen a Texas donut, which is like just a big ass like glazed ring donut donut now, okay, well imagine a glazed doughnut only, like, you know, eight inches in diameter with a big hole in the middle. Okay, okay, and now imagine that that is made of a bunch of onion rings, like pressed together and then fried all at once. So they stick together enough to form a loaf, but can still be separated by by pulling on an individual ring. And then there's some dipping sauce in the middle.
I'm curious about how they made this because it seems like like Tony Roma's had like eight inch diameter two pans, you know? Yeah, like you'd bake an angel food cake in like you take these onion rings or onion slices somehow and and like batter them or something so they stick together, mold them into this thing and then unmold them into a fryer.
Matthew Amster-Burton 4:49
I think you're giving this chain restaurant a lot of credit. I think it probably came into the restaurant as a frozen ring and was put into the deep fryer. Okay. But I think we employees were painstakingly dipping each, you know, lovingly dipping each ring of onion and then like pressing it into this guy, angel food cake pan. You have to cool it upside down. You don't lose its loft,
and you have to use a special did your family ever have like an angel food cake cutter looks like a like a comb with a long handle like a couple times. And then it's on like a long handle.
Matthew Amster-Burton 5:21
I'm sure my mom made angel food cake when I was a kid, but I don't remember a special cutter but I think we probably had the pan.
Okay, but hold on back to this Tony Romo thing. So you remember when we did the chicken nugget episode, we talked about how, you know, the chicken nuggets for McDonald's were like specially engineered by some company and they're made, you know, of course, especially for McDonald's, etc. Right. So do we think that there's some company out there that Tony Roma's hired to develop the onion loaf and they supply the onion loaf to Tony Roma's?
Matthew Amster-Burton 5:54
Well, I think yes, and that raises a really interesting question, which is, okay, so Tony Roma's has the onion loaf that we talked about how Chili's has the awesome blossom and Outback has the blooming onion, which may or may not be considered onion rings, but close enough, right?
Oh, at the bloomin onion is onion rings.
Matthew Amster-Burton 6:12
Okay, great. Thank you. So fried.
It's a fried onion. thing.
Matthew Amster-Burton 6:17
Yeah. So if you and I wanted to develop our own signature fried onion appetizer, could we go to this company and say like, create the spilled milk? Like, you know, onion, fuck boy or whatever. Like,
yeah, that's what that's what that hole in the middle is for?
Matthew Amster-Burton 6:35
That's right. Oh, yeah. You know, you know, some? like Brad guys stuck his dick in the villa the Tony Robbins. Love. Probably without letting it cool.
You I can't believe you took it that far. I was just leaving it to like let the reader or the listener as they write. Fill it in.
Matthew Amster-Burton 6:55
Oh, yeah. I gotta fill it in. I don't know. I guess you know, it. The pandemic is waning in in our part of the world and like everybody's looking forward to you know that horny summer where we're all going to go like stick something in an onion low.
Well, happy June, everybody. Oh, we are it's it's June. What are you doing this month? Or like, have
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:21
something stuck in our onion ring low? like whatever?
Yeah, I mean, we are equal. We're switches.
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:27
Yeah. All right, we go we go blooming and awesome blossom.
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:34
All right. How about you? What's your what's your onion ring memory lane.
So I don't remember eating many onion rings as a kid. I do remember to I did go to a lot of fast casual restaurants as a kid because we drove a lot of places in the summer, like driving to Colorado or driving to Albuquerque or like that kind of thing. And I have no sense of how far those places are from Oklahoma feels
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:59
Well, so Albuquerque is an eight hour drive from Oklahoma City. Denver is a 12 hour drive from Oklahoma City. We would also drive to various places in Texas. We drink places. It's weird to think about because you know, on the East Coast, everything is like relatively close together.
Matthew Amster-Burton 8:17
you know what I mean? Oh, yeah.
Matthew Amster-Burton 8:20
I was just having this conversation with with family. Because Because teenager, the show December brought this up that there's so many states crammed in there. And we were like, yeah, people, people in New England just like accidentally wander into Vermont sometimes.
Yeah. I mean, like, I was just reading I think I've mentioned on the show that I was just reading Donald Hall's extremely wrenching memoir about his life with Jane Kenyon and her death. I always love to talk about this
Matthew Amster-Burton 8:49
is our new segment. It's
it's how obsessed is Molly with Jane Kenyon this week?
Matthew Amster-Burton 8:55
Well, I think it's gonna be like that. That'll be like, what the like, what kicks it off, but it's going to be a general purpose segment about dealing with our own mortality through poetry.
Oh, god, this is gonna be so funny. I can't wait.
Matthew Amster-Burton 9:08
Yeah, you're going to share some of your favorite poets. I'm going to share some some, like NAS lyrics. And we'll just take it from there.
Have you heard of this guy? lil NAS x. Hi. I just wanted to remind you in case you forgot the last time I wrote my
Matthew Amster-Burton 9:26
original NAS collaborated on a track is like, like double more noise than you can handle probably. Oh,
that's great. Anyway, let's get let's get back to reflecting on geography.
Matthew Amster-Burton 9:37
Okay, right. So yesterday so New England everything smooshed together.
Yeah. So for some reason, even though things are not smooshed together in like the, the Great Plains where I grew up there, like train service is like a non existent thing. And so if you're weren't gonna fly somewhere, if you wanted to have a car when you got there and you didn't want to pay for a rental car, you would drive there. Even though it was gonna take like a minimum of eight hours,
Matthew Amster-Burton 10:03
yeah, but I mean, like, that's the great American road trip, right? That's true. Yeah, I don't know, we would we would go to like Bend Oregon.
Wow, that was so far away from Portland.
Matthew Amster-Burton 10:14
It felt really far. But it was again, it was probably four hours when
I was a kid. When I was a kid, my parents decided that like the big family vacation was going to be that they were going to rent a house, like in the San Diego area, and then kind of invite like all other family members to come see them there. You
Matthew Amster-Burton 10:33
know, this sounds great,
right? Yeah, I was like six years old. And I remember we just we drove from Oklahoma to Southern California. All right. I mean, I remember this so vividly. Because we drove through a lot of like, summertime thunderstorms, like on the plains. Tying like, all of a sudden, all of a sudden, it's like, it's so dark outside in the middle of the day. And it's terrifying. And there was so much listening to Diana Ross, because that was what my parents enjoyed. There was also a lot of that album where Placido Domingo was singing with like john Denver. We've talked about
Matthew Amster-Burton 11:12
we talked about this before. I'd never heard of it until you brought it up last time. Yeah, there
was so much of this on on our never ending journey West. You know,
Matthew Amster-Burton 11:21
what that rides you? Because I've ever talked about last time how like, like, you know, objectively Placido Domingo is is like a different class of like singing than john john. JOHN Denver is bad. They're just kind of playing different games. And, you know, it'd be like, you know, I've mentioned that I have a co worker who won a Grammy for, like jazz vocal,
oh my god, we should link to him to Sean.
Matthew Amster-Burton 11:44
We absolutely should link to a dish on performance. If he and I collaborated on a song which could happen. Oh, my God would be kinda like placid and God, john Denver, except that one of us is not as good as john Denver.
I think that you guys should totally do one out of the Placido Domingo john Denver repertoire.
Matthew Amster-Burton 12:05
This is a I've been thinking about this because like he said, he was open to the idea. I don't know if this will actually happen. Not not specifically to the placer to mega john dam, right. Yeah. Just like collaborating on something. But of course, I'm very intimidated by this prospect. Yeah. But if if we could do it as kind of like a joke where where like, I mean, the problem is, he's he's a bass baritone. So we'd have to, like transpose
your song. You're gonna sound terrible on on this.
Matthew Amster-Burton 12:32
This is gonna be amazing. Okay. Okay. What What if there was like a particular song that you've mentioned? Like, Love is Something right, perhaps love? Perhaps? That's the name of the album, right?
I think so. But there's also a song. Yeah. All right. Okay, yeah, go look it up on the episode. I am
Matthew Amster-Burton 12:49
definitely going to propose this shot. We'll see what happens. Okay. All right. But
hold on back to onion rings. Because the reason I got into all of this was because, you know, when you're driving to these various destinations, you can always count on like Chili's or Applebee's.
Matthew Amster-Burton 13:08
Or, you know, in addition to movie Tuesdays, I don't know that existed yet when we were kids.
Yeah. But if you want to, you know, like maybe let's say you pick up lunch, on the road, TGI Fridays. Yes. Yeah. But with for dinnertime, I think of us, like, stopping somewhere and getting out of the car and eating dinner. Anyway. This was probably the first time I ever encountered onion rings other than on television with the Outback Steakhouse bloomin onion. Right. ads, right. Anyway, that said, I think that I was like, I was a very timid eater as a kid and I don't think I wanted to eat onion rings. So I don't think I did.
Matthew Amster-Burton 13:43
Okay, well, do you remember the first time you ate one as an adult?
No. That said, I have a spouse. And this is what this is why people get married
Matthew Amster-Burton 13:53
at night and
borrow your spouse's memory lane. Okay. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. My spouse has very fond memories of the onion rings from Carl's Jr. and Oh, yeah. And again, like, you know, I didn't I didn't ask them this because I hadn't thought about it hadn't really occurred to me. Yeah, how difficult or how rare it was to find a fast food establishment with onion rings, right. So ash when they were talking about their love for Carl's Jr, as a kid they described it as being like that was what they always wanted at Carl's Jr. But like as though they like didn't always get it. So I'm not clear on this. Maybe it will treat for them to like you said it was for you.
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:32
Or maybe like when was sometimes with sides, like even in a fast food context. When you're a kid, you're going to share the sides and so you might not be able to like select your own and have to negotiate with the family. Totally.
Yeah, God, sibling.
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:50
Yeah. But then we were in Carl's Jr. in downtown Portland when I was in high school, but I never went there. I think because there was a McDonald's nearby. That was cheaper.
Yeah. I don't remember there being a Carl's Jr. in Oklahoma City growing up and we were a real Wendy's family. So anyway, I think that when I I never think to order onion rings, but when I am with someone else who orders on your rings, I'm always like, Oh yeah, those things and then I'm really excited about them. You know what I mean?
Matthew Amster-Burton 15:22
Yeah, I mean, like, even I like as a real onion rings, Stan. Nice. Wow, wow, you are hip. I don't have them very often, because I don't make them at home hardly ever, and most places don't serve them. So.
Yeah. Okay. Well, well, you know, we'll get back to eating onion rings. But first, let's just talk about onion rings as a concept and in their history, perhaps.
Matthew Amster-Burton 15:47
Okay, this was pretty interesting. So a couple of things. So onion rings have been around for quite a while because you just like slice and onion and batter and fry it. So I kept running across this recipe from a cookbook that may have been published in 1801 or 1802. Accounts very john mallards, the art of cookery made easy and refined.
I am surprised that there isn't a recipe that shows up earlier given that like when we did mozzarella sticks, which are basically like, yes, the mozzarella version of onion rings. True those like date back to like, like the 14th century or something. Yeah, but I
Matthew Amster-Burton 16:28
didn't know like, if they really would have been recognizable is the same kind of thing.
Yeah, I mean, Friday is a big category mozzarella stick is skied on,
Matthew Amster-Burton 16:38
I just had a realization that I will share in a moment so so there's this recipe from from this 1802 cookbook for fried onions with Parmesan cheese that reads just like a modern onion ring recipe. And in fact, the more I looked at it and looked at like this, like all the English typography that it was set in that looked like it was done with like, pagemaker it seemed kind of too perfect. Like that. I don't know if this recipe Did you get yanked? I think I might have gotten punked by by the ghost of john mollard. But you know what I realized just now, so tempura has been has been, you know, part of Japanese food since like, the 18th century. So it It came from from the Portuguese. You know, as long as there's been tempura, presumably there's been onions involved and like usually when you get onion temporary, it's like it's more like a small wedge of onion. That's that's been fried. Not necessarily a ring, but a that seems close enough if we're considering an awesome blossom and onion ring, like a little wedge of battered and fried onion is an onion ring. And presumably like, you know, if people were doing onion wedges, sometimes they do on your rings also, right? Sure. So I'm gonna say onion rings originated in Japan in the 18th century.
Oh, good. I'm glad we got to the bottom of that. All right. Um, okay.
Matthew Amster-Burton 18:00
And then when did they get big though? Okay, so in America, they got big in like the 30s and 40s. And they were closely associated with this now almost defunct chain called Kirby's pig stand, which was founded in Dallas in 1921 and expanded throughout Texas and to lots of other states. And like it was biggest in the 40s and 50s and went out of business in the 2000s. Although there is one single holdout location in San Antonio that's called a San Antonio pigs stand. And onion rings were like, it seemed like from the accounts that I read, like onion rings were as big as fries at this place. Wow. Like a signature item.
You know, we should consider having a corporate retreat in San Antonio.
Matthew Amster-Burton 18:44
Yeah, we could go to the Riverwalk. We could
go to the San Antonio pig stand.
Matthew Amster-Burton 18:49
We go to the San Antonio pigs stand. Those are the main things.
Yeah. I've been to San Antonio, but not for a long time.
Matthew Amster-Burton 18:55
Did you go to the pig stand?
No, but we did drive there.
Matthew Amster-Burton 18:58
Did you do a keg stand?
No. I think I was a child.
Matthew Amster-Burton 19:02
Yeah, I still don't really know what a keg stand.
Me neither. I've never done one.
Matthew Amster-Burton 19:07
Okay, neither, but I'd probably be very good at it.
Oh, yes. I mean, especially all that yoga you did in 2020 and injured your back.
Matthew Amster-Burton 19:15
I mean, my yoga mat. Yeah, it's still curled up. It still rolled up behind the chair in the living room. I could probably use that like to brace myself for the kickstand. Okay, whatever it is.
Oh, man, I can't there's so many things we're going to try when we start taping together in person again.
Matthew Amster-Burton 19:31
Oh, we're gonna do like all we're gonna do keg stands. We're going to get one of those novelty beer hats. Oh, yeah,
we're also we're also going to be taping calzones together. That's going to be first episode.
Matthew Amster-Burton 19:44
We're gonna take two calzones we're gonna save them. So
before or after the kickstand.
Matthew Amster-Burton 19:56
I'm gonna say after cuz otherwise, I think they're just Gonna like come back up, right?
Matthew Amster-Burton 20:03
So now do you stand on your head? I don't know.
I don't I don't really understand. Maybe some listeners can write in and tell us. I mean, I've always thought of it as a handstand. But people are not good at handstands.
Matthew Amster-Burton 20:17
No, there was just timing. When I was trying to learn to do a handstand, and I never succeeded.
Well, you've done one like against a wall though, right? Where you like, Yeah, because
Matthew Amster-Burton 20:26
that does not count. That's, that's cheating. Okay. And I could do to where I could hold it for like a second. But then yeah,
okay. Well, okay, so, Matthew, you have mentioned a couple times like making onion rings at home, which is something I would never think of doing. So tell me more about this.
Matthew Amster-Burton 20:47
Okay, I haven't done it in a while. But there are two onion ring recipes that I've made at home. Okay. And first I want to I want to share something that I learned from Wikipedia about why onion rings are so tasty. Oh, okay. It's because the cooking process decomposes propane file thau oxide in the onion into the sweet smelling and tasting bisp propane Neil dye sulfide responsible for the slightly sweet taste of onion rings.
So does it like does it is that also part of what is that also like a flavor compounding caramelized onions?
Matthew Amster-Burton 21:21
I think so. I think it's exactly the same thing that happens when you saute onions.
Okay, when you
Matthew Amster-Burton 21:28
when you cook onions or when you cook onions in general? Yeah, I made some I made some homemade pizza sauce this morning. That's like sitting and cooling on the stove and like just threw a couple of quartered onions in there smells real good.
Wait a minute. Matthew. Wait, I have a quick question. Yes. Okay, so I made chicken stock in the Instant Pot yesterday.
Matthew Amster-Burton 21:48
I'm so glad this question isn't about propane dioxide. Yeah,
I made chicken stock in the incident pot yesterday. And most recently before that we had made like shrimp scampi and before that it was like it was like doll from that wonderful Indian. The wonderful Indian instant pot. Yeah. Anyway, all this to say the gasket on my Instant Pot smells like the most unholy combination of foods. What do I do?
Matthew Amster-Burton 22:19
I don't think like
smell is like even after we've washed it with soap and it's been like this for a while but we just kind of put the lid back on the instant pot and ignore it. But like even just leaving the gasket out on the dish drainer long enough for it to dry. like the smell was disgusting. What do we do?
Matthew Amster-Burton 22:36
I think you have to get a new gasket. I mean,
like if you spill milk in the car and you have to just get
Matthew Amster-Burton 22:42
like if you spilled milk in the car except much cheaper.
Matthew Amster-Burton 22:46
cuz Okay, like Alright, I'm gonna I'm gonna look this up right now. Okay, because I've tried to like talk like the internet and podcasts at the same time. I just got on Amazon and searched for Amazon
guess what Matthew you already have it
Matthew Amster-Burton 23:03
all right, it looks like you can get a an instant pot sealing ring for like $11
Oh, okay, maybe I'll just get a new one or what have you done? Like Surely you've made a lot of weird stinky
Matthew Amster-Burton 23:15
scampi but but yeah, like I think I just don't care.
Oh my god, but like seriously, it was making like half of our kitchen smell weird. Like the half where that gasket was?
Matthew Amster-Burton 23:27
I don't know like is it dishwasher safe? Would that make a difference?
Look it up what you Google it for me? Yeah, yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 23:33
okay, well let's This is so good. Everybody's favorite
circle and enter Google
Matthew Amster-Burton 23:38
people viewer like what's a segment that would be more entertaining than the one where they watch a cute animal video but we can't see what they're seeing. It's the one where Matthew Google stuff at Molly's request because there's no other way to make this happen. Whatever okay. It can't imagine pie gasket in the dishwasher safe. Oh, the inst Okay, listen to this. Okay, how to clean your smelly instant pots sealing ring. Yeah, it's two pots rubber sealing ring takes on smell like a school issued soccer jersey. Not a breathable fabric. Thank Yes, it's dishwasher safe and most of the time that gets the sent out. Okay, dig it in the silent partner, quiet partner and get the lead out.
Okay. Okay. All right. Let's keep going on onion rings make them at home. Matthew, tell me about it.
Matthew Amster-Burton 24:25
All right. So can you cook onion rings in the dishwasher? We're gonna find out a state soon tuned.
My favorite recipe for a bunch of oil in the
Unknown Speaker 24:37
Matthew Amster-Burton 24:38
There's a special compartment where you unscrew the little thing and you pour oil in.
There weird Should I oil in?
Matthew Amster-Burton 24:46
It depends what you're cooking. Go on. Go on. Putting oil in the dishwasher is so disgusting. They're just be like, Can you imagine like it would be like, you know, a brainstorm where we're like, you know, like little tiny like, like misty rain, but it's oil.
Cloudy with a Chance of hot fat.
Matthew Amster-Burton 25:18
Yeah. Um, so my favorite uninvent recipe that we've made at home several times is from Lauren a ye. Can we call Lauren? Her friend of the show?
Yeah, prior to the show? Sure. Okay.
Matthew Amster-Burton 25:28
From her book, The newlywed kitchen, and I have not made it recently, but I've made it many times. And it is it's it's a pretty basic onion ring recipe, you, you you dredge you don't dread Gee, you batter the onions. And, and fry them in a relatively shallow amount of oil, which is nice, because I don't like disposing of a large amount of oil. I mean, of course what I do I just pour it in the dishwasher and see what happens. We've talked about this before. Did you ever see I think we actually shared this on the on the, in the show notes. At one time in the past, there was this dishwasher commercial where a person puts a cake in the top rack of the dishwasher and then runs it at the end it's vanished.
But I don't think we've ever talked about it on the show.
Matthew Amster-Burton 26:15
Or if it works with oil, it probably doesn't even work with K. Also, like wouldn't you just eat the cake. Anyway,
why not just eat the cake? I mean, what a waste.
Matthew Amster-Burton 26:25
Is it Lorna's cookbook is great. It also has our favorite biscuit recipe I checked, and it's still in print. And so I will I will link to that book. Great other one that recipe that I could not find, like freely available online, but it's behind the cooks illustrated paywall is this baked onion ring recipe or they call it oven fried onion rings, which sounds like not promising, right? But you can sort of make a paste of crushed kettle chips and saltines and use that to bread the onion rings and cook them in a fairly large amount of oil in a pan in the oven. And it's not really any easier than making onion rings on the stovetop and it's still messy, but you can do they are very tasty. And you can do a bunch of them at once more so than if you're deep frying on your stove. Wow.
Okay, I'm glad that you added this last bit at the end because it helped me understand why I would want to do this like, I can't.
Matthew Amster-Burton 27:25
You don't have to make anyone brings it home. It's optional. Well, no, but I like years ago they rolled that amendment. I
liked the idea of baking them because I don't have a I don't have a hood over my stove. And anything that I cook on the stove that has a strong odor. Like it just lingers. It's like everywhere.
Matthew Amster-Burton 27:48
Oh yeah, yeah.
So the oven like produces slightly less odor, like slightly. So that's the only reason that I could think of until you at the end said you could do like a lot of onion rings this way. Because
Matthew Amster-Burton 28:00
it's a fun recipe and you can like tell your guests like you'll never guess what's in the coding. It's crushed kettle chips and saltines.
So I love playing that game with my guests. You'll never guess what's in the coding.
Matthew Amster-Burton 28:11
I know. Like they you think they would get tired of it? Eventually, but no, it's the best party game than monopoly. Okay, no one's ever gotten tired.
What about what about beer batter? Why so you know, I know that like beer battering things is a thing. But why is it a thing?
Matthew Amster-Burton 28:31
I found an article about this in Scientific American. Yes. So happy well, like. So according to Scientific American beer batters are great for many reasons. So there's the presence of co2, which which lightens the battery. This is often used when making tempura batter just using seltzer, or club soda for the batter just to like, you know, introduce bubbles and keep it light. There's foaming agents that help keep the co2 in solution. And so I didn't really understand the explanation there. But something about the fact that there are foaming agents in beer like, you know, makes the makes the gas escape more slowly. And so more of it like gets gets retained as bubbles in the in the breading. And there's like a surfactant. It's like a surfactant. Yes. I love us. Kudos. It's got alcohol, which boils at a lower temperature than water. So like fluffs up faster, and it has the flavor. So beer bearing good idea.
So Matthew, you've written on the agenda here, the onion pull out problem?
Matthew Amster-Burton 29:46
Yes. I never heard it called that until yesterday, or Saturday teenager the show December and I were eating onion rings at the pearl. I get it went and they said when it pulls out, they said are you gonna talk about the onion, pull out problem and I've like I've never heard a call that before and I didn't like it when you said it but yeah, yes. Yeah.
Is there another term we could use for it like the like the when the batter separates from the onion
Matthew Amster-Burton 30:15
but it's not just because sometimes the batter kind of falls off which is really bad
that's what so bad or falling off is what happened last night when ash and I had some onion rings from Red Mill.
Matthew Amster-Burton 30:24
Yeah, that that is a characteristic of those onion rings I think Okay, is there more of a ladder for really better but this this is like when when you take a bite and all the onion comes out of the ring on the first byte. A friend of the show Kenji Lopez all calls it the worm, but that's also a nickname for Dennis Rodman.
That's also a dance.
Matthew Amster-Burton 30:45
That's also Yeah, it's also a dance with Okay, so yeah, so what we need to come up with with like the official name for this,
Matthew Amster-Burton 30:51
the canonical name.
So what does Kenji Lopez alt say about you know, how this could be avoided or what causes it?
Matthew Amster-Burton 31:01
Okay, so, in the book, The Food Lab, he talks about the four Deadly Sins of onion rings and I want to go through all of them because one of them I did I still don't don't totally understand. there's too little batter so the onion burns. Okay, too much batter so it's thick and soggy. Okay, the split shell which is when there's enough batter but oil gets in and burns the onion and the batter kind of splits open.
Okay, okay, I'm
Matthew Amster-Burton 31:28
listening and the worm aka the pullout. So he attributes that to under cooking the onion so it's not tender enough to bite through. I get that okay, and Okay, what he recommends to avoid this is to freeze the onions to tenderize them so some of the cells split open when the water inside them expands. And it makes for an onion texture texture that you would not enjoy like like in you know a salad but but works really well for onion rings.
And then freezing also makes it easier to remove that like thin little membrane between the liner about right
Matthew Amster-Burton 32:03
yes that apparently it does make better onion rings if you remove the Remove of the membrane because like it it like it tends to separate like as the as it's cooking and that can like cause the shell to split open.
Oh, this makes sense that there'd be a little bit of air or water or something between the membrane and yeah, the the onion meat.
Matthew Amster-Burton 32:26
Yeah, I love onions. Onions are such a cool vegetable.
Onions are amazing
Matthew Amster-Burton 32:30
when I mean and and friend.
Shout out to alliums everywhere.
Matthew Amster-Burton 32:35
Yeah, no, no, just onions. The rest of them can bite me.
Oh, fine. I know you love shallots, though.
Matthew Amster-Burton 32:41
Don't even starve shallots. But, you know, we shallots are just kind of like, like onions, like hourglass shaped onions. That's not really what they're shaped like, at all. It's exactly the opposite. What's the opposite of an hourglass?
Um, they are a pear shaped.
No, that implies that they're like, you know, more plump at one end, and then they come to sort of a tip. Yeah. Which sometimes they do they do. That's true. I don't know. Whatever. Who
Matthew Amster-Burton 33:11
cares. Okay, um, what about this onion onion episode got a shout out.
Screw it. So what about commercial like, like frozen onion rings that you could buy at the grocery store?
Matthew Amster-Burton 33:24
Okay, I got some of these. I went to Safeway. And I was like, What onion rings Do they have and they had one that looked appealing, which was the Nathan's famous brand thick sliced frozen onion rings
Matthew Amster-Burton 33:36
Yes, the hot dog company. Okay. And so I got them I brought them home and I cooked them in the oven as you do and they stuck to the pan like crazy. I don't know why next time I would use parchment I guess. feels really weird to pull out parchment for making president earrings. But they were very good. They were like I expected them to be kind of like mushy and fraseri but they were not
you know somehow I'm so I've never bought like a frozen fried food like like French fries or whatever.
Matthew Amster-Burton 34:05
About frozen not even frozen nuggets.
No, I've never bought frozen nuggets. you've ever bought frozen eggs. I've never bought frozen eggs. So I'm confused about like, so do you not fry these things?
Matthew Amster-Burton 34:17
No, they already have like a they probably get sprayed with oil before freezing would be my guess. And so there's already a little oil on them. Okay, and you just put them on a baking pan and bake them until they're done.
And this is the case with like Tater frozen with frozen fries as well.
Matthew Amster-Burton 34:35
Yes. Oh, you bought tater tots right?
I've never bought tater tots.
Matthew Amster-Burton 34:41
Oh wow. Every time I think this well is gonna run dries day like the well of of like things ever done. Like we're gonna keep sending you. How can we like really make this well metaphor break. Like, you're gonna like dip the bucket down in the well and like pull up like the next experience that you need. Have
Yeah. Okay. Um, what about when you eat onion rings? Do you like to have them on their own? I know that, you know there there are some like, I think we should say I think we should acknowledge that fried onions show up on top of a lot of things like yeah, like French's fried onions like in a in a kale thing, right? So, I mean, I do think that like fried shallots or fried onions can show up on top of a salad or things like that. But that's not an onion ring. Do you want your onion ring just on its own breaded? Or do you want it like with something? Do you want it with a burger? Well,
Matthew Amster-Burton 35:39
I love onion rings as a burger side dish. I will happily onion rings as a snack, which I did yesterday and Mike do again today. I love an onion ring on a burger. It's not every time I have a burger, certainly but like as a special treat like I did this on Saturday because we went to little Woody's in Seattle and God cheeseburgers and onion rings and I put an onion ring on my burger. And they even sell a burger, the Pendleton that comes with an onion ring as a standard topping.
So what did you have on your burger there the other day you have an onion ring and what I
Matthew Amster-Burton 36:11
had tell them a chatter mama Lil's peppers and barbecue sauce.
That sounds pretty good. It was Tang a lot of Tang there and
Matthew Amster-Burton 36:20
it's similar to this like monstrosity of a burger that I used to get when it was a specialty like as like a limited edition item at Burger King for a while. I know we've talked about this before. It was the bull's eye barbecue. Like the barbecue double can it was it was a long been like the size of like a like a sandwich roll. Okay, and it had two burger patties side by side. Okay. And barbecue sauce, bacon, onion rings, and cheese.
Well, how Okay, and so to be clear, you could have had all the same stuff on a single like hamburger bun. Right? But
Matthew Amster-Burton 37:01
this was law. Oh,
I get it because size matters.
Matthew Amster-Burton 37:05
Only length. Oh,
okay. Okay. All right. Well, you heard it here first. Okay, Matthew, I have to say so you know, you did the research on this episode, as I think our listeners understand, but you did not put dipping sauces on the agenda. And when I got around to looking at your agenda, I was like, what kind of BS? is this? Like, no dipping sauces?
Matthew Amster-Burton 37:29
I have no. Should I should I resign from the show?
Yes. I'm going to everybody. Right? This is my show now.
Matthew Amster-Burton 37:36
Are you gonna wholesale reality show competition to replace me? No, I would watch
that. I'm just gonna do it by myself. Because as we've established, I'm so good at vamping. It's gonna be a whole show where I just vamp like waiting for you to come back into the room.
Matthew Amster-Burton 37:51
spilled vamp. Oh, yeah, but you'll be waiting a long time because you fired okay. This reality show that it's gonna periodically like cut to me like sadly sitting at home alone watching the show, like wishing I could, like participate. I'll do it. I'll do do interview segments with me like what do I think? Yeah, right. Okay. Okay. Okay. So listen, if you want to be if you want to be in the running, if you want to audition for the for the reality show to replace me as host because I got fired for not putting dipping sauces on the onion ring agenda, email contact at spelled Bell podcast.
Should we should we ask people to send us like an audition? Like an audition tape?
Matthew Amster-Burton 38:31
Yes. And it's like your sizzle reel. T shirt like throwing a bunch of spilled milk in jokes.
And Bonus points if you do a dance routine.
Matthew Amster-Burton 38:40
Yeah, like the worm or the pullout.
Okay, wait a minute. I'm just gonna talk about taking the hint. Okay, so,
Matthew Amster-Burton 38:53
so I ever taken the hands
sometimes I just keep holding out hope that you will. Alright. Anyway, um, so last night ash and I got onion rings from Red Mill. Ash got some they're like Red Mill secret sauce, which to me is kind of well, it's like light peachy colored mayonnaise with like, barbecue sauce kind of slopped in it. Okay, I don't know if it's like 1000 Island dressing mixed with barbecue sauce or I don't know what the heck is going on there but it's really tasty. Ash also got some ranch dressing. And then of course we had ketchup at home so we could try all of these different things. I personally didn't even want to get my onion ring near ketchup. Okay, I did enjoy the ranch dressing but somehow I didn't need it. I enjoyed the barbecue sauce situation more than I expected. I would have thought that like the sweetness of onion ring and the sweet and tangy as a barbecue sauce was too much. But it was not.
Matthew Amster-Burton 39:51
Yeah, that is my like I love barbecue sauce. As you know. That's definitely my favorite thing to dip into onion ring and I did that yesterday and I think that that's what the onion Lofa Tony Roma's, came with because it was a barbecue restaurant and they had a lot of barbecue sauce around weird.
Well, I looked up, like dipping sauces for onion rings to see if people have strong opinions about these things. And time and again, what happened was, I got various versions of people's recipe for the, the Tony Roma's, or the outback steak head
Unknown Speaker 40:30
Matthew Amster-Burton 40:33
sit down like some serious news to share with you. We've diagnosed you with Outback steak head.
Anyway, it seems like people really love whatever the sauces that comes with the Outback Steakhouse bloomin onion. So there are a lot of recipes out there for people trying to duplicate it. So anyway, the the gist of it is like mayonnaise, ketchup, creamed horseradish, okay. paprika, salt, oregano, and some cayenne. And I can't quite picture what this tastes like, but it seems it's all
Matthew Amster-Burton 41:07
classic Australian seasonings. Yeah, like, that's the kind of thing that I wish I liked. I shouldn't I should probably like, like, you know, make a self improvement project to like, learn to like, like burger sauce type of sauces, because they come on everything. Oh, that's true. don't like them very much.
You've probably never had the secret sauce at Red Mill.
Matthew Amster-Burton 41:26
I have. I've had the mill sauce. Like sometimes they're just like, I'm gonna go for it. And like, it's always like, you know, fine, and I do that. Yeah, I mean, it's I never experienced like, you know, pangs of regret. I would I like the burger better without it.
Ha so you would you wouldn't go like no condiment.
Matthew Amster-Burton 41:45
I like I am happy with a with a burger without sauce or with barbecue sauce. Or a one sauce. I don't know if I've ever had a one sauce. We didn't do a steak sauce episode.
I don't know if we didn't. We've been doing this show for 11 years. I know. How am I supposed to remember all this stuff?
Matthew Amster-Burton 42:04
You're not I mean, we've we've probably this is
the internet is for?
Matthew Amster-Burton 42:08
Yeah, exactly. Probably. We did an episode where you bought tater tots and you forgot.
I've got Outback steak kid.
Matthew Amster-Burton 42:16
You got a very serious case of steak.
Well, this seems like a good reason to go on into segments Matthew gray spilled mail this week.
Matthew Amster-Burton 42:32
We do it's from listener Liz who says longtime listener from Newcastle Australia.
Oh my god.
Matthew Amster-Burton 42:38
First time emailer
I wonder I wonder if listener LED.
Matthew Amster-Burton 42:44
listener Liz has Outback steak.
Matthew Amster-Burton 42:50
Everybody in Australia does. I think there are actually Outback steak houses in Australia. Like as like a novelty thing. Go on. Okay, just finished listening to the chicky nugs episode up there with your loosest episode ever. Thanks for the compliment. I understandably you've talked a lot about life in the before through this and other recent episodes. Given there's hope on the horizon. I've got a two questions spectacular for you both. Number one, what will be your ideal first Brave New World meal can be completely wild and overseas or a local achievable option. Oh,
Matthew Amster-Burton 43:28
And should we answer that and then go on to number two?
Yeah. Okay. Matthew, you go first. Well, I
Matthew Amster-Burton 43:33
mean, first of all, you and I recently had a meal together. We did outside a restaurant, which was really wonderful.
It was delightful. The weather was perfect. We we went to Macau Thai street food. Yeah. And we had like pork belly with Golan or something. We had pod tie. Me they didn't know each other. And we had each other. And I had a lime Lacroix. And and we had moments of awkward silence water, but we got through it. And that was pretty ideal for me. Um,
Matthew Amster-Burton 44:14
yeah, we're swiftly approaching the first in studio recorded episode in over a year.
I can't remember why we've set the date for when we have for when school is over.
Matthew Amster-Burton 44:25
Oh, that's right. So we don't so we don't interfere with pedagogy and it's gonna be a weird episode. We're gonna take two calzones together.
And then we're gonna do a kickstand. Okay, anyway, that felt like a bit of a cop out of an answer,
Matthew Amster-Burton 44:44
but I haven't answered. I've like a more big picture answer which is like, all I've been able to think about for like months is when will I next be able to eat a glazed pondering at Mr. Dona? Like, that's how I will know like, like, I feel There was a time there when I felt like this might not ever happen again. Yeah. And now I'm feeling optimistic that it will I don't know when but like, just imagining myself like, like sitting in the mister donut in Nakano, like breaking off a piece of pondering, which is a chewy glazed doughnut. That's, that's the thing that fills me with more hope than anything else.
So ash, and I didn't, didn't go on a honeymoon, after we got married. And so our big plan is to go to Greece at some point where we can, which is actually where we place we ever traveled together out of the country. And it's where we got engaged in 2018. And anyway, we, when we were there, we had sort of this daily routine of like, kind of sleeping in a bed and eating breakfast at in our hotel room, just like yogurt and coffee and writing in our in our journals, what we had done the day before. And which I only ever do journals like that on vacations.
Matthew Amster-Burton 46:00
Oh, same here. Yeah. And then
we would get in this like, tin can of a rental car we had, and we would drive to our favorite beach. And on the way we would stop at the bakery, and we would get what they called pizza. And it was like a hacia with some sort of like vegetables on top, or spanakopita if they hadn't sold out yet. And we would get this like plastic wrapped piece of just what they called chocolate cake. But it was almost closer to a brownie. And I would get like this big tall bottle of this sweetened iced tea. And we would take this and we would go to the beach and we would be there all day eating our like plastic wrapped chocolate cake and our weird pizza thing and drinking this ice tea and I can't wait
Matthew Amster-Burton 46:49
to do any ouzo keg stands.
No, I've never even tasted as though I don't think I have either. And if it disappointment there, okay, wait, what's, what's listener? Liz's other question.
Matthew Amster-Burton 47:01
Yeah. What has most notably changed with the way you consume food at home during the COVID seasons, season of your lives? And what will you keep doing and or stop doing once we're all backstop? Hmm,
gosh, you go ahead, you go ahead.
Matthew Amster-Burton 47:14
So for my family to kind of related things like we, we often talk about the, the concept of eating kingly, which means just like, eating, like, whatever the fuck you want, because, like the best stuff, because like, if we're stuck at home, we're just gonna eat the best stuff. And we've done a pretty good job of that of like, you know, like, since we're doing grocery orders, which has been the other biggest change, because like, I used to go to the grocery store every day. And so like, we put in a grocery order, like, we're not really so much driven by what's on sale in the same way we were before. Just like, you know, this is what we want to eat. We're gonna order that. And so like, we've been making a lot of pizza, I guess.
You know, I feel like I I felt that way about cooking maybe early on. So I never really stopped going to the grocery store. I do sometimes get like curbside pickup, but But yeah, I've never I haven't stopped going to the grocery store. And early on, I was spending a lot on groceries because it just felt like what else can we do for ourselves? Like, we're like stuck. So I do have to say that I one thing that I have noticed that I feel differently about like since since I got vaccinated is Wow, my like the energy that I'm interested in putting into cooking is like at an all time low. Oh, sure. Yeah. Which is probably why it felt so notable that I made this chicken stock yesterday in the instant pot.
Matthew Amster-Burton 48:45
Oh, yeah, I was gonna remark on that.
Yeah, I was like, Wow, that was I mean, that was very easy, but still, you know, like, I just I'm tired of cooking. I'm sorry. I know. I said no, I said it many times on the on the show, but I'm, I'm like hitting a new low.
Matthew Amster-Burton 49:00
No, you're entitled to be to be tired of cooking. Yeah, call up Tony Romo. He'll bring you up bring you over an onion love.
Oh my god, that sounds great. Well, I
Matthew Amster-Burton 49:08
think this one is it kind of Well, yeah. Okay. I think the closest Tony Robbins is probably in like Southern California.
Okay, all right. Well, we're gonna trip.
Matthew Amster-Burton 49:20
Yep. Love trip.
Hold on. There's a little bit more from listener Liz.
Matthew Amster-Burton 49:25
Oh, love your work. Even though this Australian is sometimes weirded out by some of the classic USA foods that come up. Bit rich coming from the Vegemite nation though I realized it didn't give any examples of USA foods that are weird, but we've got many
Yeah. You know what we've also got, we have cute animals.
Alright, so I chose the cute animal this week. And I auditioned a lot of animals for this role, in fact,
Matthew Amster-Burton 49:55
oh, wait a minute, is this cute animal gonna replace me as host?
Okay, so Matthew, this first video. These are Scottish Highland cattle calves. And look at them. It's like if a teddy bear became a cow, and calf. Are you looking at this? Yes, yes.
Matthew Amster-Burton 50:15
And they're looking back at me. Oh, I lovely.
Why is this not everyone's favorite cute animal
Matthew Amster-Burton 50:23
this week it is.
Oh my god, I mean look at it.
Matthew Amster-Burton 50:26
And these are in Finland and it says fluffy cows everywhere. He lamanai karya vaci koi.
And the thing that's with Scottish Highland cows is that they're native to the Scottish Highlands. And they are they're mostly used for meat. They're not dairy cows. And they are. They're known for these Fluffy fluffy coats, which help them with the pretty rough weather they encounter on the Scottish Highlands.
Matthew Amster-Burton 50:55
They look so like alpacas like I think if I met one of these yet, like I might mistake it for an alpaca because I don't know anything about animals.
Is it just me or do you not think they look a little bit like my dog too?
Matthew Amster-Burton 51:09
They do. Yeah, they do look a little bit. This one looks like an Ewok.
Okay, but now look at the second video. The second video there's a really? Yeah, second video. So they're also known for their long and really graceful horns. These are adults. And would you just look at these is this is almost like the equivalent of fat bear week for me in terms of soothing this.
Matthew Amster-Burton 51:31
Oh, this is great. You're you're literally just like chomping on grass.
Like just grazing on a hillside.
Matthew Amster-Burton 51:37
Let's talk about ruminating. Because like, do you
mean thinking a lot? excessively about okay. No, I
Matthew Amster-Burton 51:44
mean, I'm what I had. But let's talk about eating grass, specifically, because like, there's something so primal about just like you're surrounded by grass, and then you just lean down and eat some like we never have any variance like that, right? Oh, god, look at Can you think of anything equivalent that humans do? That's like eating grass?
Well, in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when they went into that room where everything was edible, that was kind of the human equivalent of just eating grass.
Matthew Amster-Burton 52:12
That's true. And that was a nonfiction book. Right? Yes. When I used to volunteer at the at the elementary school library, two of my favorite questions that I would get our is this book fiction or nonfiction and like a kid would be holding up, like, a book. Like with like, a track? down? Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And so so that that was that was it. And then the other one was, like, teachers would tell kids that, like, if you're if you're writing a story, like you can't, you can't like write a story based on copyrighted characters. Because that would be, you know, copyright infringement. I don't know why this mattered for, like, where these these kids gonna publish their stories in the New Yorker. I don't know. Um, so So kids would come up to me and like, and like hold up a book that they found in the library and said, Is this copyrighted?
adorable? Oh, that's adorable.
Matthew Amster-Burton 53:13
All right. So these cows are copyrighted.
Yeah, you can't use them as a character in your fictional or non fictional story.
Matthew Amster-Burton 53:21
Right. And you can't use them as a segment in your podcast. Oh, okay. Do you have it now? But Wow,
I do have a now but wow.
I have been reading a lot about so you know, the film director Barry Jenkins who directed moonlight. Okay. So by the time this episode comes out, it will have been about a month I think at least since I first started reading about his adaptation of the Colson Whitehead novel, Underground Railroad. Yeah, he has adapted for amazon prime video. Yeah. And anyway, I'm trying to figure out when I'm going to watch this it. We, my spouse, and I watched the trailer last night because I've, as I said, I've read many articles about notably how he made this without like, traumatizing his cast, which I think is really interesting and impossible to read about this discussion to have, right? Because this is a really intensely painful story about slavery. So anyway, we watched the trailer last night It looks fantastic tastic and every bit as gorgeous as I was expect as someone who's read the novel, and I think we should probably all rush out and watch it.
Matthew Amster-Burton 54:41
So anyway, I'm afraid of How upsetting it's going to be but I agree that I think it's important to watch and will be a great piece of art.
Yes, yeah. And have you seen moonlight by Barry Jenkins?
Matthew Amster-Burton 54:51
I haven't seen it.
Oh god that talk about a gorgeous
Matthew Amster-Burton 54:57
I've seen like when when like the New York Times like did like you know Inside a scene from moonlight I watched a scene.
Oh, that that's really helpful.
Matthew Amster-Burton 55:05
I mean, it was a beautiful scene.
Was it this one Ursula Ali is in the water? Yes, boy. Oh my god. Yes. God. Gorgeous, gorgeous.
Matthew Amster-Burton 55:16
I just don't see a lot of movies. Okay, well, I should.
The good news for you is
Matthew Amster-Burton 55:20
a lot of non Fast and Furious.
Well, underground railroad is technically a show. I believe it's in quotes. And if you've got amazon prime, I actually I'm not sure if it's fully included. I think you might have to pay a small fee if you want HD or something.
Matthew Amster-Burton 55:35
Okay, well, I have my parents amazon prime password and so they can they will be charged to them.
Oh, good. Well, they're gonna want to watch it
Matthew Amster-Burton 55:45
All right, underground railroad as directed by Barry Jenkins.
Matthew Amster-Burton 55:51
Alright, our producer is Abby sercotel app, please rate and review us wherever you get your podcasts. You can chat with other firstname.lastname@example.org slash are slash everything spilled milk. And until next time, thank you for listening to spilled milk. The show that has two hosts you can taped together. Eisenberg and i Matthew Amster-Burton.
Well, so when I said set you up for things this is it. We work together. We're co hosts on the show. You don't have to set up your own sex.
Okay, okay. Um,