I actually don’t think I’ve ever been to Outback Steakhouse — in spite of my father’s ringing endorsement. Seriously, he loves that joint. Probably because the rise of the Outback on the corner coincided with my move to New York, so I missed the Australian revolution. But when my husband and I were discussing fun things to make gluten-free last night, I said, “How about a Bloomin’ Onion?!” in a really crazy accent. Thus, this situation. I made a gluten-free bloomin’ onion.
So the hard part about making a bloomin’ onion is cutting it up properly and making it bloom. The batter is your basic flour and spice mix, and I used that amazing Better Batter seasoned gluten-free flour and just added a smidge of spices on top to make it freaking delicious. The dipping sauce apparently is crucial in this treat and it was also very WT — what with the mayo and ketchup combo. Yet, I found myself digging it. And it was super easy to whip up.
Before you start following the instructions from the recipe below, I want to show you some examples of onion cutting. Here’s the slicing it 3/4 part:
I did not turn it 90 degrees, but if your math skillz are more badass than my own, please follow the instructions to a t. Otherwise, cut 1/2 to 1 inch off each end, remove the papery outside, remove the core, then slice downward about 3/4 of the way, and then spread those onion wings like so:
But I don’t regret frying the crap out of this thing and serving it up. My husband actually said, “This is the best thing you have made — ever.” But you should keep in mind that this is a guy who thinks salad is a meal and tries to be healthy and stuff. If you give him fried food, he’ll do anything for you. ANYTHING. Needless to say, I won’t be picking dog poop up out of the backyard this week.
But yeah, it was rad. You can do it too:
Gluten-Free Bloomin’ Onion
adapted from All Recipes
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 tablespoons cream-style horseradish sauce
1/3 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pinch ground black pepper
1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour, or for deliciousness use Better Batter Seasoned gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large sweet onion
Vegetable oil for frying
1. To make sauce: In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish, 1/3 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon oregano, a dash ground black pepper and cayenne pepper; mix well. Keep sauce covered in refrigerator until needed.
2. Onto the batter: In a medium bowl, beat egg and add milk. In a separate bowl, combine gf flour, salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, ground black pepper, oregano, thyme and cumin; mix.
3. To slice onion: slice 1 inch off of the top and bottom of the onion and remove the papery skin. Use a thin knife to cut a 1 inch diameter core out of the middle of the onion. Now use a very sharp, large knife to slice the onion several times down the center to create ‘petals': First slice through the center of the onion to about three-fourths of the way down. Turn the onion 90 degrees and slice it again in an X across the first slice. Keep slicing the sections in half, very carefully until the onion has been cut 16 times. Do not cut down to the bottom of the onion. (The last 8 slices will be difficult, be careful).
4. Spread the ‘petals’ of the onion apart. To help keep them separate you could plunge the onion into boiling water for 1 minute and then into cold water.
5. Dip the onion into the milk mixture and then coat it liberally with the flour mixture. Again separate the petals and sprinkle the dry coating between them. Once you’re sure the onion is well-coated, dip it back into the wet mixture and into the dry coating again. This double-dipping ensures you have a well-coated onion because some of the coating will wash off when you fry the onion.
6. Heat oil in a deep fryer or deep pot to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Make sure you use enough oil to completely cover the onion when it fries.
7. Fry the onion right side up in the oil for 10 minutes or until it turns brown. When the onion has browned, remove it from the oil and let it drain on a rack or paper towels. Open the onion wider from the center so that you can put a small dish of the dipping sauce in the center.
Makes: 4 servings