This is that side dish you see at some of the franchise steak houses around the country. They are usually loaded with salt and batter that is not paleo friendly. However with some careful knife skills you can make the same thing at home for pretty cheap.
When it comes to sourcing the onion the classic angle is to find a Vidalia onion the size of a softball. If you can’t get your hands on one of those the usual suggestion is to turn to a large yellow onion. Personally I like to use red onions over yellow. With a careful eye I can usually spot a couple of very large red onions at the farmers market for dirt cheap.
Cutting the onion is the biggest challenge. There are some kitchen supply places that sell a strange sort of French fry press looking thing that will cut it for you. If you’re someone who is absolutely addicted to these things you could spring the $20 to get one. However if you’re just going to be frying one up for a couple of special occasions each year, then I’d save the money and just practice up using a paring knife.
This recipe calls for using duck fat to handle the deep frying. You could just as easily turn to coconut oil if you preferred.
1 large Vidalia or red onion
1 large egg
½ cup of seltzer water
1 cup of coconut flour
½ teaspoon of cumin
2 cloves of minced garlic
½ teaspoon of smoked paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Dash of ground and dried thyme
½ teaspoon of salt
¼ teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper
3 to 4 cups of duck fat
Here is how to make Blooming Onion:
Step 1: Set up your enamel coated Dutch oven for deep frying by attaching a clip on fry thermometer. Then set the Dutch oven over medium heat. Your target temp is 375 degrees.
Step 2: Fill a medium sauce pot ¾ of the way with water. Place it over high heat and bring it to a boil.
Step 3: Prepare the onion by cutting off the top and removing the peel and trimming off any excess roots. Just make sure the main root nub is still in place as you will need it to help hold the onion together during frying.
Step 4: Flip the onion over so the cut side is facing down. Insert a paring knife into the onion a half inch or so below the root tip slide the knife in until it has roughly reached the core of the onion. Try not to go deeper than the middle of the onion. Rotate the onion roughly 25 degrees and continue making cuts the whole way around.
Step 5: Use a sturdy tongs to grasp the onion near the root end. Dip it in the boiling water of the medium sauce pot. Hold it in the boiling water for 45 to 60 seconds. Then dunk the onion in the medium work bowl with the ice to halt the cooking process.
Step 6: Turn the onion right side up and gently try to separate the petals. Turn the onion upside down on the cooling rack to let any excess water drip out.
Step 7: Mix the batter together by beating the egg smoothly with half of the seltzer water. Then add the coconut flour and whisk until full incorporated.
Step 8: Add the cumin, minced garlic, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, thyme, salt and black pepper, along with the other half of the seltzer water. Whisk to combine.
Step 9: Use the sturdy tongs to pinch the base of the onion’s root nub. Give it a little shake to keep the pedals open before dipping into the batter. The turn the onion over to let the pedals open up again. Sprinkle with a little additional coconut flour.
Step 10: Put the battered and floured onion directly into the frying oil, with the pedals face down.
Step 11: Allow it to fry for 7 to 10 minutes or until it turns a golden to medium brown.
Step 12: Remove the onion from the oil and place it face down on the cooling rack. Allow it to cool for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.
In most of the franchise steak houses they serve it with a thousand island dipping sauce that is more chemical goo than it is a nutritious sauce. Personally I like a the horseradish or romesco sauce recipes you’ll find in the sauces chapter and of course there is a lot of room for love with a scratch made aioli. I once tried this with a chimichurri sauce that I made on the thick side and loved it. Though it’s not the sort of thing that will have you leaning in for a kiss goodnight!