Thursday, December 5, 2013

homemade bloomin' onion

Ed talks about these things all the time. We really don't go out to eat all that often- maybe twice a month and when we do, we almost never go to those chain restaurants. Savannah has so many amazing places to eat that we don't go to places like Applebee's, Ruby Tuesdays or Outback Steakhouse. We used to, though, when we still lived in small-town Pennsylvania. Even though we are completely happy frequenting local establishments, every time an Outback Steakhouse commercial comes on, he talks about bloomin' onions. Every. Single. Time.
It's relatively easy to do, but require some finagling of the onion. Start with the root side up, and slice it just a little off- just enough to remove the roots themselves.
Then on the other side, slice off the top and remove the skins.
Here's how the slicing will go... quarters first, but be sure that you don't slice all the way through.
Leave about a quarter inch of space from the bottom when you're slicing so it doesn't fall apart.
Then keep slicing into eights...
Then once more into sixteenths. If you could go into thirtyseconds, then go for it. But I'm not that brave.
I can almost guarantee that your onion will not look as perfect as the ones they make at Outback. I just take those little baby bits of onion out from the middle, then pop the onion into the fridge for about 45 minutes to let it loosen up the flower a bit.
During this 45 minutes, you can marvel at the extents your puppies will go to to be comfortable. Silly boy, Radar. He is the Pillow King.
The flour mixture for the onion is my favorite go-to flavors. Flour, all seasons salt, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Super yummy.
They key to breading the onion is to get the flour between all the little petals.
Then drop the onion into the egg and milk mixture before going back into the flour again.
This time, really make the extra effort to make sure there is flour between all the petals. You'll regret it later if you don't.
Here we go! Shake off the excess and then...
Into the hot oil it goes! This is going to fry for about 10 minutes, and I turn the onion over once in the middle to make sure one side doesn't get too brown.
I don't make the traditional bloomin' onion sauce with mine, even though it's delicious. Instead, I make a super rich and slightly spicy ranch sauce instead. It's just ranch dressing, mayonnaise and some sauce from the chipotles in adobo, or my new favorite thing in the world, chipotle salsa.
By now, the onion should be all yummy and perfect. Sprinkle with some salt as soon as it comes out of the oil, and that'll give you some time to look at the strange shape of this onion. Not quite a flower, but eh. It's still super yummy. The whole point is to have those little petals you can pull off easily and dip in the sauce, and this ugly flower does the trick!
Homemade Bloomin' Onion
1 large onion
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon all seasons salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1 Tablespoon chipotle salsa or liquid from chipotles in adobo
1 quart oil, for frying
Kosher salt

Slice about 1/4 inch off the root side of the onion, flip and slice about 1/2 inch from the opposite side. Remove the skins of the onion and place it root side down. Slice the onion into quarters, leaving about a 1/4 inch left unsliced from the bottom. Slice again to eights, and again into sixteenths. Wiggle apart the petals a bit, then leave the onion in the fridge for about 45 minutes to loose up more. Meanwhile, heat oil over medium heat in a large stock pot to 350 degrees. Whisk together the flour, all seasons salt, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper and salt in a large bowl. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the milk and egg. Dredge the onion into the flour mixture, then into the egg, being sure to get flour and milk between all the petals. Dredge the onion once more into the flour, being especially careful to get flour between all the petals. Drop the breaded onion into the hot oil and fry for 10 minutes, turning once in the middle. Meanwhile, whisk together the mayonnaise, ranch dressing and chipotle salsa. Drain the onion a paper towel and sprinkle with kosher salt. Let sit for 5 minutes then serve with the prepare sauce. Enjoy!