Cooking On A Budget: The Bloomin' Onion

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Bloomin' Onion

Yum


I saw a commercial the other night for Outback Steakhouse and it triggered a memory - the Bloomin' Onion appetizer they serve. And I thought, hey I have one of those gadgets to make them! It's been eons of years since my first attempt and as I recall it was okay but not great. Since I am not one to give in easily to failure, I'll take a stab at making them again. Luckily while cleaning out a drawer I also found the original booklet and instructions, otherwise this gal would be lost.
The recipe is exactly from the booklet and all of the how to's. After making another attempt following their instructions I have some ideas on what I would do differently. Those notes are at the end.
  •  very large sweet onions - vidalia, Texas - whatever you can purchase
  • Dry Onion Mix (recipe follows)
  • Wet Batter (recipe follows)
  • Oil for frying (enough to cover the onions)
Preparing your onion(s):
  • Have at the ready a big bowl of ice cold water.
  1. Clean off the skin of the onion - DO NOT CUT THE ENDS.
  2. Keeping the root end in tact (the end with the grass-like strings), place the onion on its side and cut off the top quarter of the onion.
  3. Using the corer provided with the onion maker, core 90% of the way down, keeping the root end in tact.
  4. Once that is done, rock the corer side to side to remove it and remove the core of the onion. Use the piece with the set to pop out the core. Continue this process until you have done all the onions you want to make.
Next, use the machine -
  1. Place the onion on the base with the ROOT SIDE DOWN.
  2. Align the top frame (the one with the blades) and swiftly press down until it completely slices through the onion and meets the base.
  3. At this point the onion should be cut into 20 petals held together at the root.
  4. Remove the top blade frame from the base by cupping the onion petals and lifting the blade frame straight up.
  5. Do this for each onion you are making.
Now here's where the cold ice water comes in. Place the onion in upside down (root end up). Let this soak for one hour. The soaking is necessary to allow the petals to get larger and stronger. DO NOT SHORTCUT THIS.

  1. Once the onion has soaked for one hour, remove from the ice water and shake off any excess water.
  2. Place the onion root side down on a larger platter, or on waxed paper.
Dry Onion Mix Rub
  • 1 1/4 cups wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 1/4 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  1. In a bowl combine all of the above spices and whisk well.


The Wet Batter Mix*
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups milk
  1. Lightly beat the eggs and milk to create the batter mixture.
In a deep fat fryer or a 5 quart or larger sauce pot heat your oil to around 375 degrees.


  1. While the oil is heating sprinkle the dry rub all over each onion, making sure to coat all the petals.
  2. With the root side down, place the onion in the wet batter and gently push the petals down into the mixture so all the petals get coated. Let it remain in the batter for 15 seconds.
  3. Take the onion and turn it root side up to allow extra batter to drip off.
  4. Again, sprinkle each onion with the dry rub mixture.
  5. You are now ready to fry them.
  6. Right before frying, spread the petals once again.
  7. Place the onion in the oil ROOT SIDE UP.
  8. Using a long utensil like a spider, press the onion into the oil for about 3-5 seconds. The onion petals should expand like a flower.
  9. Cook the onion for about 3 minutes (adjust heat as necessary to avoid burning) and turn the onion over and cook for about 3 minutes more.
  10. Remove with a large slotted spoon or a spider and allow the oil to drip off.
  11. Drain on a wire rack that has been placed over a cookie sheet lined with paper towels, or aluminum foil for easier clean up.
As you can tell by this photograph, one onion came out correctly, the other one - I did the no no and went in too deep with the corer.


Serve with a dipping sauce of your choice. Some recipes follow below for sauces.


* For a different wet batter:

  • 1 cup beer
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • eggs
  1. Combine together in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
Dipping Sauce Recipes:

Creamy Dill Dipping Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. fresh dill minced
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  1. Combine all of the above ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix well and keep refrigerated until use.
Russian Dipping Sauce:
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tbsp. finely minced green bell pepper or red bell pepper
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  1. Combine all of the above ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix well and keep refrigerated until use.
Ranch Dressing Dipping Sauce:
  • 1 pkg. ranch dressing mix
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbs. fresh chopped parsley - finely minced
  1. Combine all of the above ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix well and keep refrigerated until use.
 Hot and Spicy Dipping Sauce:
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Louisiana style hot sauce - as many shakes as you like.
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  1. Combine all of the above ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix well and keep refrigerated until use.
What I may try the next time:
 After you soak the onion(s) in cold water and then sprinkle with the mix, put in the batter then sprinkle again did not for me give enough of a coating. Next time I would take part of the dry mix and combine that in with some of the batter (in a separate bowl) to make a coating that is almost a pancake consistency.
  1. So, soak in cold water.
  2. Sprinkle with dry mix.
  3. Add to loose batter, let excess drip off.
  4. Final coat in the combination batter.
  5. Deep fry.
This just might be a better coating and crunchy consistency. Be sure to cook a minute or so longer on each side.

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