Clubhouse Eats: It’s easy to crave the Colossal Onion Rings at Innisbrook Golf Resort

March 19, 2020
A mouth-watering look at the Colossal Onion Rings at Innisbrook Golf Resort.

Welcome to Clubhouse Eats and Drinks, where we’ll introduce you to our favorite food and drink at some of the best golf courses, golf resorts and golfy locations around. Cheers!

With the Valspar Championship no longer on tap this week at the Innisbrook Golf Resort in Tampa, we’re hankering more than ever for live PGA Tour action. We’re also hungering for our favorite Tour-stop grub.

In particular, we’re thinking of the Colossal Onion Rings at Innisbrook’s warm and welcoming Market Salamander Grille & Bar. True to their name, these crowd-pleasing snackables put a plus-size spin on a comforting staple.

They’re big, no doubt, packed with flavor, and crunchy in the way that onion rings should be, but without the all-too-common excess grease. Credit for this all goes to painstaking preparation. Two-plus days to make onion rings? You got that right.

Executive chef Thomas McKinney-Stehr starts by cutting off the ends of onions, slicing them in thick rings and plopping them in ice water to plump up over night. The next day, he removes the membrane from the inside of each ring, then leaves them for another overnighter — this time so the onions have time to dry.

If you think Bryson DeChambeau is deliberate, consider the steps Chef McKinney-Stehr takes next. Mixing tonic and tempura, he whips up a robust batter. Then he makes the breading: a medley of panko, cilantro and parmesan. Out come the onions, still un-battered and unseasoned. The chef dusts each ring with onion powder before dipping them in the tempura-tonic batter and coating them, inside and out, with breading. Every batch gets fried to order and served with a plucky red chili dipping sauce.

Crisp and golden on the outside, sweet in the middle, with a just-so spicy finishing kick, the result is pure finger-licking satisfaction. For those of us who only get to Innisbrook once a year, the 2021 Valspar can’t come soon enough.

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