In a deep-fryer or Dutch oven, heat 4 inches of peanut oil to 360 degrees F.
In a shallow dish, whisk together the buttermilk and egg until combined.
In a separate shallow dish, combine the crushed crackers, flour, salt, and chili pepper.
Dredge the onion slices into the buttermilk mixture, then in the cracker mixture. Fry, in batches, if necessary, for 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Remove from the oil, and drain on paper towels. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately with dipping sauce, if desired.
Chipotle Cream Dipping Sauce: (May/June 06, pg. 72)
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients; cover and refrigerate until using.
Yield: 1 1/4 cup