We Can Do It Better: Disco Rings (or Cheesy French Onion Soup Rings)
A few weeks ago, this picture popped up on my Facebook newsfeed courtesy of Ted Allen (host of Chopped)’s fan page.
The caption indicated that they were cheesy French onion soup rings. I immediately Googled this concoction and discovered that they’re a menu item at the New York City restaurant Alder. I immediately sent the picture to Erik saying something along the lines of “Holy shit these look amazing, we need to make them immediately. They’re pretty much just disco fries with onion rings.” He agreed and thus our version, which we’ve been calling disco rings, was born.
Another picture on Yelp informed me that the originals are made with beef gravy and gruyere cheese. We don’t eat beef, so beef gravy was going to be out. And while gruyere is okay, and has its culinary place, I’m not its biggest fan, so some changes were going to be made. Yet another Yelp review informed me that this dish contains 5 onion rings and costs $13. Considering all these factors we were certain we could do it better. Some may argue we can’t know for certain that they’re better than the original since we haven’t actually eaten them (and likely never will…as our name indicates, we don’t have the cash to lay down $13 for 5 onion rings, or eat at restaurants with 3 dollar signs on Yelp in general). I argue that the fact that we made about 3 times as much food for about half the price makes it better.
- 15-20 onion rings (store bought or homemade)
- ½ cup chicken or turkey gravy (okay, okay, you can use beef if you really want to)
- Thinly sliced mozzarella cheese (amount will vary depending on the size of your slices) (you could also use gruyere if you want to stick more closely to the original)
Basic procedure is essentially the same as for disco fries. If you’re using frozen onion rings you’ll need to reheat them in the oven first; if you’re using fresh homemade you can skip ahead to putting on the cheese.
We made the mistake the first time of using shredded mozzarella because that was what we had on hand, and also the standard for making disco fries. However, because onion rings have you know, a giant hole in the center of them, we found that it was very difficult to get the shredded cheese to stay on the onion rings themselves, and not just fall down to the bottom of the baking sheet. So you’re going to want to use slices that you can just lay on top of the whole thing. Place under the broiler until the cheese gets nice and melty. Then add the gravy and put back under the broiler for about a minute just to make sure the gravy is nice and warm. All that’s left after that is to eat and enjoy!
They really are as wonderful as they sound. Oniony, meaty, cheesy…all in one bite. In fact, I may even prefer these to disco fries, just because disco fries can sometimes get a bit too heavy from all the starch. But onion rings are lighter than French fries, and also bring a bit more flavor to the party. You’re probably going to want to eat them all time. I know I do.