Hey you! We're on the letter "O" or Day 15 of the A - Z Blogging Challenge, a little over the half way mark, yay!! The Crowd Pleasing Appetizer of the day is the Provocative Blooming Onion and Tantalizing Dipping Sauce.
Provocative Blooming Onion and Tantalizing Dipping Sauce
This blooming onion looks so irresistibly good but you must proceed with caution as one could potentially gain hundreds of calories just by gawking at it long enough... I will reveal three secrets in making the best blooming onion ever... take my hand... let's go!
All you need are as follows:
1 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp ground black pepper
⅓ tsp dried oregano
⅛ tsp dried thyme
⅛ tsp ground cumin
2 medium sized onions or 1 large sweet onion
vegetable oil for frying
½ cup sour cream
1 TB ketchup
2 TB cream-style horseradish sauce
⅓ tsp paprika
¼ tsp salt
⅛ tsp dried oregano
1 pinch ground black pepper
⅓ tsp cayenne pepper
Cut the top of the onion off and carefully trim the bottom just cutting at the roots (don't cut anything more than that since the onion and it's petals have to be intact.)
Place the onion head down so it's flat then make an incision in the onion around ½ inch away from the core. The secret to making a beautiful onion bloom is by keeping that distance away from the core when making the cuts, this will allow the petals to stay in tact. If you cut them too close, the petals will fall off.
Do that again two more times making it three equal parts.
Then cut and divide each third into three sections for a medium onion or four sections for a large one, again starting ½ inch away from the core.
All done, you should end up with 9 cuts (or sections) on a medium onion or 12 sections on a large one). Flip it and....
Ta da, beautiful bloom:
Now we need to prepare the batter. In a large bowl that's big enough to accommodate your onion, add eggs and milk:
mix to combine:
In another bowl, add all the dry ingredients for batter - flour, salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, ground black pepper, dried oregano, dried thyme and ground cumin:
Mix to combine. Mmmmmm, this actually smells surprisingly good!
Place the onion in the flour mixture, top side up like so:
Cover it with flour including the spaces in between the petals. Put as much flour as you can:
since you'll turn it upside down and let the excess fall off:
Then dip in into the egg/milk bath:
Make sure you moisten every square inch with this slippery slimy goodness:
even in between the petals:
Carefully turn it upside down, let the excess drip away and then place it gently back into the flour mixture:
Generously sprinkle the flavourful flour mixture again all over the bloom:
Carefully take it out and put it on a freezer safe platter. The secret to getting the batter to stay on the onion is by freezing this for at least one hour before frying it.
In the meantime, heat a pot of oil. You need enough oil to cover the whole bloom and at the same time, have enough space at the top of the pot so that the oil doesn't boil over and cause fire hazard. Heat oil to 400F.
One hour later - take the slightly frozen onion bloom from the freezer:
And gently, very carefully dunk it, cut side down, into a pot of oil heated at 400F. You're going to flash fry the onion for 15 seconds to make it really crispy and set. (note: there should be more oil in the photo below, there's less oil here since I wanted to capture frying the bloom cut side down.)
Then turn it, cut side up, and fry it until it's golden brown, around 4-8 minutes depending on the size of your onion and your stove. Keep a close eye on this as opposed to keep and lifting the onion up and out of the oil. The secret to making sure the bloom doesn't turn out soggy is by reframing from lifting the bloom up and down trying to check to see if it's done.
In the meantime, prepare the sauce. Add all the ingredients together: sour cream, ketchup, cream-style horseradish sauce (it has to be CREAM-STYLE), paprika, salt, dried oregano, black pepper, cayenne pepper and mix to combine.
All done! Place it on a plate full of paper towel to soak up the oil. After a few minutes...
it's ready to eat! mmmmmm crispy and soooo full of flavour.... (maybe it's looking a little too "golden" at the bottom? lol but you get the gist of how it should be like ; )
Here, take a bite..... mmmmmmmmmmmm taste as good as it looks....
'Till next time,