Friday, May 23, 2008

Bloomin' Onion

or Part two of how to use up 20 pounds of vidalia onions. When my cousin Jennifer saw I had 20 pounds of vidalias, the first thing she said was "I want to see a bloomin' onion on that blawg of yours". Of course she really knows it's blog, but we are from the south and sometimes we try to out southern ourselves. I think either is correct, because after all we say dawg instead of dog.

She was right, with all those onions I had to fry a couple. Once up on a time when the blooming onions were all the rage, I bought a cutter for the onions. I think I used it once or twice and then it got tossed on one of our many moves. We saw the kits in one of the stores, but I figured my knife skills have improves and I didn't need no stinking special cutter. Besides, I've reached max capacity for kitchen gadgets for a while (or until something new and shiny catches my eye)

I have Todd Wilbur's Top Secret Restaurant Recipes: Creating Kitchen Clones from America's Favorite Restaurant Chains book which has the recipe for the Outback Bloomin' Onion. I've tried many of Todd Wilbur's other recipes and they never disappoint, so I knew this would be just the thing to try.

Serves 2 to 4 as an appetizer or snack

* Dipping Sauce
* 1/2 cup mayonnaise
* 2 teaspoons ketchup
* 2 tablespoons cream-style horseradish
* 1/4 teaspoon paprika
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
* Dash ground black pepper
* Dash cayenne pepper

* The Onion
* 1 egg
* 1 cup milk
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 11/2 teaspoons salt
* 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black
* 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1/8 teaspoon cumin
* 1 giant Spanish onion (3/4 pound or more)
* Vegetable oil for frying pepper

1. Prepare the dipping sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Keep the sauce covered in your refrigerator until needed.

2. Beat the egg and combine it with the milk in a medium bowl big enough to hold the onion.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, peppers, oregano, thyme, and cumin.

4. Now it's time to slice the onion-this is the trickiest step. First slice 3/4 inch to 1 inch off the top and bottom of the onion. Remove the papery skin. Use a thin knife to cut a 1-inch diameter core out of the middle of the onion. Now use a very sharp, large knife to slice the onion several times down the center to create the "petals" of the completed onion. First slice through the center of the onion to about three-fourths of the way down. Turn the onion 90 degrees and slice it again in an "x" across the first slice. Keep slicing the sections in half, very carefully, until you've cut the onion 16 times. Do not cut down to the bottom. The last 8 slices are a little hairy, just use a steady hand and don't worry if your onion doesn't look like a perfect flower. It'll still taste good. (I only made 8 slices because I can't count to sixteen. No really I can, I just made the 8 and got too excited to get the onion in the oil. )

5. Spread the "petals" of the onion apart. The onion sections tend to stick together, so you'll want to separate them to make coating easier.

6. Dip the onion in the milk mixture, and then coat it liberally with the dry ingredients. Again separate the "petals" and sprinkle the dry coating between them. Once you're sure the onion is well-coated, dip it back into the wet mixture and into the dry coating again. This double dipping makes sure you have a well- coated onion because some of the coating tends to wash off when you fry. Let the onion rest in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes while you get the oil ready.

7. Heat oil in a deep fryer or deep pot to 350 degrees. Make sure you use enough oil to completely cover the onion when it fries.

8. Fry the onion right side up in the oil for 10 minutes or until it turns brown.

9. When the onion has browned, remove it from the oil and let it drain on a rack or paper towels.

10. Open the onion wider from the center so that you can put a small dish of the dipping sauce in the center. You may also use plain ketchup.

Eat and enjoy. Now someone explain to me how we ate this onion and we decided it was enough for dinner but when we go to Outback Steakhouse we end up eating the onion, salad, steak, potato and lots of bread.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Oh, Cousin Jennifer sounds like such a cool, funny girl! :) This is definitely something we will try; seems like it would be good w/ an afternoon of football!

PS--We made the grits this week with Pioneer Woman's Marlboro Man Sandwichs and it was so good!