I’m just going to throw this out there in the hopes I don’t scare off any potential future dating opportunities- but I love foods and ingredients that smell pretty strong. Garlic? Can’t get enough of it. Feta cheese? 100% yes. Onions? Pile them on anything and everything and I’ll eat them with no questions asked. I keep an extra toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss in my car as backup and I always have gum and/or mints in my bag because of my penchant for ordering or cooking up the most potent of dishes. They’re just such a guilty-but-not-guilty pleasure for me.
In regards to onions- the only thing I think I love more than raw onions on my burgers, sandwiches or sliced into my salads is any variation of fried onions. Onion rings, onion strings- and blooming onions, especially- are one of my favorite appetizers to pick at. When I spotted this recipe for homemade blooming onions, courtesy of PureWow– I knew I had to give them a try (and then probably eat all of them in one sitting.)
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
FOR THE ONIONS:
- 2 pounds cipollini onions, peeled
- 1½ cups buttermilk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- Vegetable oil, as needed for frying
FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE:
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:
1. MAKE THE DIPPING SAUCE: In a medium bowl, whisk the sour cream with the mayonnaise, horseradish, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper to combine. Set aside.
2. SCORE THE ONIONS: Slice an onion in half vertically, but don’t cut all the way through to the base. The idea is to keep the bottom intact. Turn the onion 45 degrees, slice vertically again and repeat until you end up with what looks like little rectangles of onion, still attached at the base. Repeat with the remaining onions.
3. Loosen the onions a little by wiggling them around to separate the pieces slightly and create space between them. Place the buttermilk in a shallow dish and then add the onions to it. Toss well and massage the onions to get the buttermilk into the score marks.
4. MAKE THE SEASONING: In a medium-size shallow dish, whisk the flour with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne and baking powder to combine.
5. Heat 3 inches of oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat until it reads 350°F on a thermometer.
6. DREDGE THE ONIONS: Working one at a time, remove an onion from the buttermilk and dredge fully in the flour mixture, working again to make sure the breading gets into the score marks.
7. COOK THE ONIONS: Working in batches, fry the onions until they’re golden and crisp, flipping them over halfway through cooking, about 8 to 10 minutes. Set the cooked onions on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
8. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.
Despite coating and frying these up in vegetable oil, these onions didn’t come out overly greasy at all. They were perfectly crisped all the way through- with just the right amount of tenderness at the center to keep them flavorful (without tasting too much like the seasoning) and not too dry. The dipping sauce was also fantastic. A little tangy- but it complimented the onions perfectly.
I’m really looking forward to whipping these up again the next time I have a group of people over, since I know they’ll be a big hit!