Baby Bloomin' Onions
Baby Bloomin Onions PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

It’s no secret. We patronize certain steak houses just to indulge in one specific, absolutely glorious appetizer. During a recent visit, as we broke off piece after piece and dipped them into that tangy, spicy sauce, we couldn’t help but wonder if we could make it at home. The answer is yes. And all you need is this recipe for baby bloomin’ onions.

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Makes 6 to 8 appetizer servings
Start to Finish: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

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

 

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

Directions

1. Make the 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.

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