Chiara loves her eggs and Isaiah sure loves his onion rings. Together they make one satisfying brunch or dinner. The secret to these super crispy onion rings (the only way we like them in my house) is in the batter. Leave it to my Italian grandfather, Nonno, to share the key to successful frying. Of course, at the time, he was frying zucchini blossoms and using Italian sparkling mineral water. Here, I use onions and good old seltzer. The carbonated water, which should be cold from the fridge, gives the batter a lift -a puffed airiness that leaves you wanting more. You can make these onion ring omelets as is or just fry up a side of onion rings to go with your next meal. Of course, substitute any of your favorite vegetables for the onions or even sliced bananas to make fritters (we like ours sprinkled with pumpkin spice sugar).
2 large onions, cut crosswise into ½-inch slices and separated into rings
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 large eggs, at room temperature
Ketchup, for serving
Preheat the oven to 200 ºF. In a large pot or deep fryer, heat the vegetable oil to 380 °F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the pancake mix, chili powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the cold seltzer and whisk until smooth.
Working in batches, coat the onion rings with the batter, letting any excess drip into the bowl; carefully add to the hot oil and fry, turning once, until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining onion rings and batter. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and swirl to coat; heat until hot but not smoking. Meanwhile, using an immersion blender and working 2 eggs at a time, beat for 1 minute; pour into the skillet, season with about ¼ teaspoon salt and cook until the edges are set, about 1 minute. Flip and cook for 30 seconds more. Transfer to a plate, top with some of the onion rings and fold in half. Repeat with the remaining olive oil, eggs and onion rings. Serve with ketchup.