You need a Tic Tac or something, ’cause your breath gonna STINK!

Traditions are a good thing, I would think.
My family has some traditions… gingerbread/graham cracker/hot glue houses for Christmas. Tapioca for Dad’s birthday. Pizza and a movie on Saturday nights.

Jonathan and I have our own tradition now. It all started when we were watching an episode of Food Hacker, and the host, Todd, was trying to figure out the recipe for Longhorn Steakhouse’s Bloomin’ Onion.

On the way up here (meaning Alaska), Jonathan and I ate a meal at Longhorn’s one night and ate a bloomin’ onion. So, with the knowledge of what Todd was trying to accomplish, our taste buds started screaming.

Before we knew it, we had googled bloomin’ onion recipes, gone to the grocery store to pick up the necessary supplies, and were in the kitchen trying out hand at it.

The first few tries were near-disasters. But then we slowly started to get better. And now, almost every weekend we make one.

It’s perfect, really, because we can work together on it. Jonathan has become an almost-expert at the blooming process, and I almost have the recipe for the coating memorized. So while Jonathan blooms, I mix. Then we both eat.

I promise I am not trying to make this into a food/cooking blog. I’m really not. But food is just so good, and since I seem to spend a lot of time in the kitchen producing either disasters or awesomeness, I might as well share, right?

So, here is how you make a bloomin’ onion!

It goes like this:

I start by making the sauce. I do this because we like it nice and cold, so I mix it then put it in the freezer while we make the onion.

To make the sauce, mix:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 T. ketchup
2 T. horseradish
1/3 t. paprika
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. oregano
1 pinch pepper
1/3 t. cayenne pepper

Now for the onion…

You start with an onion (a sweet onion is the best). You peel it. Then you cut the core of it out… but only from the top. Leave the bottom part (it kind of looks like a big, fuzzy button) on it. That’s the piece that holds everything together.

Then you carefully make 16 cuts around the onion… but again, don’t cut all the way through; only about 2/3 of the way through.

Carefully pull the pieces apart to separate them… but don’t be too harsh, or else the whole thing will fall apart.

The onion is bloomed! Now, here’s the trick: you soak it. First in hot water for about a minute, then in cold water for 3-5 minutes.

Now, for the coating. You start with two bowls. In one bowl, you put 1 cup of milk and one egg. Beat it.

Then, in a second bowl, you mix the dry ingredients:
1 cup flour
1-1/2 t. salt
1-1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1 t. paprika
1/2 t. black pepper
1/3 t. oregano
1/8 t. thyme
1/8 t. cumin
Mix it.

Once the onion is done soaking, you dip it first in the milk mixture, then in the dry mixture. Then you do it again.
After we dip it for the second time, Jonathan usually holds the onion over the sink while I pour the rest of the milk over it, then he puts it on wax paper and sprinkles the rest of the flour mixture all through it. You want to get it all in between the petals so it’s well coated.

Now, you should have a pot of oil on the stove. You don’t really need that much oil… just enough so it covers the top of the onion when it’s boiling. The oil is supposed to be 350 degrees, but we don’t have a thermometer, so we just follow our hearts.
The ideal temperature is when the onion can be in there for about 10 minutes or so and still be golden brown, not burnt.
It might take some crazy finesse to get the onion into the pot without it breaking…
…but once you get it in there, you’re golden! (and hopefully, so is your onion 😉
It helps it cook if you use a spoon or spatula and kind of pull the petals apart as it cooks.
Excuse the color of our oil… since we do this once a week, I try to keep the oil and re-use it two or three times. This was round two of this batch, so it was looking a bit gross.

After it looks nice and brown and golden, pull the onion out (using a huge spoon works well) and put it on a plate on a big pile of paper towel.

Pair it with that awesome sauce you made, and you’re good to go!

PS, that sauce is amazing. We keep a bowl of it in our fridge and use it for all kinds of stuff. We’ve put it on sandwiches, dipped fries in it, mixed it with pasta, and so on and so forth.

On another note, look at the lovely flowers my husband brought home for me the other day!
He’s just wonderful. =)


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