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Outback Steakhouse calls it a "Bloomin' Onion", others have their own cute names by any name it's a colossal, hot, grease-dripping, artery-choking wonder. After every time I eat one, I am heard to exclaim "that was wonderful, but never again!" And then, next time I see one on the menu well, you know what happens. In the middle of a profusion of over seasoning (why will they ruin a perfectly good onion or French fry with some dopey "cajun seasoning" mix?) I prefer my onion blossom plain and simple. Cutters as seen at right are widely available, but any cook worthy of the name should be able to manage one with a good knife.

 

4 very large yellow onions, preferably Vidalia or Texas Sweet

Batter:
1/3 Cup Cornstarch
1 Cup Flour
2 teaspoons Paprika
1 teaspoon Salt
teaspoon Pepper
24 ounces Beer

Seasoned Flour:
2 Cups Flour
teaspoon Salt
teaspoon Pepper
teaspoon Cayenne pepper (optional)

Mix cornstarch, flour, and seasonings until well blended. Add beer, mix well. Cut about " off top of onion and peel. Cut onion into 12 to 16 vertical wedges, but do not cut through bottom root end. Remove about 1" of petals from center of onion. Dip onion in ice cold water and it will open up into "petals." Shake dry, then dip it into seasoned flour and remove excess by shaking. Dip in batter to coat thoroughly. Gently place in fryer basket and deep-fry at 375 to 400 1 minutes. Turn over, and fry an additional 1 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Place onion upright in shallow bowl and remove center core with circular cutter or apple corer, or with knife. Serve hot with Creamy Chili Sauce or other dip. 

Creamy Chili Sauce

1 pint Mayonnaise
1 pint Sour cream
cup Chili sauce
teaspoon Cayenne pepper

EXTRA HOT AND SPICY ONION BLOSSOM DIP

Combine cup Catalina dressing and cup salsa in blender. Blend on high speed about 10 seconds just until smooth.

 

CHUNKY ONION BLOSSOM DIP

Stir together cup salsa, 1/3 cup 1000 Island dressing, 2 tb sweet pickle relish (with some of the relish juice) and a dash of Tabasco.

 

BLUE CHEESE DIP

Combine c crumbled blue cheese, 1 8oz bottle ranch dressing and teaspoon garlic powder. Stir in 2 tablespoons mayonnaise.

My favorite dip: Indonesian sweet-hot chili sauce.

   

Reprinted here with permission of Wayne Keyser From the CDRom "On the Midway"

 


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