Mini Blooming Onions
Blooming, or bloomin’, these onions are going to knock your socks off. If you have never had a blooming onion, you will want to give these a shot. We were introduced to this appetizer years ago while eating at a restaurant called the Outback Steakhouse. I am certain many of you have heard of this restaurant, or have been there to enjoy their appetizers or entrees. Their food is pretty good, a place to go for a decent steak, shrimp, or chicken dinner, but there is one item that has always made it to our table, and that is the blooming onion.
The blooming onion is a thing of beauty. In a nutshell, a deep fried onion served with a spicy mayonnaise sauce. This thing is pretty much a huge onion when served at the restaurant, and as my wife, and heck, even myself, love the blooming onion, I thought I would make an attempt at making these delicious onions, however taking down a bit in size, and a bit more reasonable.
The end result was a spot on taste, just like the ones served at the Outback Steakhouse, smaller in size (which helps on calories and fat), and a bit less blooming, but it was all about the texture and flavor and it was right on track.
Ingredients for the Dipping Sauce:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp horseradish
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- generous pinch of salt
- pinch of black pepper
- small pinch of dried oregano
- Dash of hot sauce
Combine all of this together in a small bowl and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to use for the blooming onion.
Blooming Onion Ingredients:
- 2 smaller yellow onions
- 1 egg, beaten
- 12 oz of dark, or amber beer
- 1 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
- generous pinch of salt
- 1 tsp of garlic powder
- generous pinch of pepper
- pinch of dried oregano
- pinch of dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
- Vegetable or Canola oil, enough for covering the onion
The challenge of making these (please do not get discouraged by the word challenge), is to take your time, using a sharp knife, and make precise cuts into your onion. Your goal is to start by running your knife through the onion, but not all of the way down. You want to keep the base in tact for frying. So start by going through half of the onion, going about 90% of the way down, rotate, and do the same, continue this process about every quarter of an inch until you have an onion that resembles a flower. Repeat with the second onion.
Now that your onions are ready, the next step is to make the batter. This is where you can have fun and get a bit dirty with your hands. Get two bowls ready. One for the wet, and one for the dry. Mix the egg and beer together. To your other bowl, add in the spices and flour and mix well. Soak one onion in the wet mix, coating well. Transfer to the flour mixture and make sure you gently coat the inside of the onion, as well as the outside. Shake off any access flour, and bring it back into the beer and egg mixture. Quickly give it a dunk, then back into the dry mix. Use your hand to sprinkle the dry mixture all over the onion, making sure you get a nice coat on the onion petals. Shake a bit and place on a place until you are ready to fry. Repeat this process with the second onion.
Heat your oil on medium-high heat until you reach a temperature of about 350 degrees. Add in one onion at a time, slowly, base side up (petals down), and cook for a couple of minutes. Gently flip over and cook another couple of minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, or a spider if you have one, and let this drain any excess oil on a paper towel. Lightly season with salt.
Plate and serve with your spicy mayonnaise sauce.