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Every year during my grandparents' seasonal migration from New Jersey to Florida, they make a pitstop at an Outback Steakhouse in South Carolina to redeem a coupon for a free Bloomin' Onion. Yes, indeed, there are Outback Steakhouses all over the Northeast at which they could certainly claim their free fried onion bomb, but this is one of their favorite traditions — so who are we question it?!
Since I won't be joining my grandparents on their annual Bloomin' Onion pilgrimage, this recipe for the most perfect, bite-sized ones from Macheesemo will have to suffice (until I can get my hands on a free coupon for the big daddy kind).
Now, can we all just take a moment to appreciate how cute these yellow cipollini onions are? The recipe author specifically notes that you cannot use frozen onions or pearl onions becuase they're too small. If your grocery store doesn't carry these in the onion aisle, here's a pro tip! You can order these in 8-ounce bags on Amazon.
To prep these bites, trim off the very edge of the root, but be careful to leave the tip end intact so the onions can "bloom." Then peel the onion and slice it into sections without slicing all the way through. Press them down with the flat blade of your knife to separate the layers a bit.
Coat the sliced onions in a mixture of egg and buttermilk and while you let them soak for a few minutes, make a spicy flour mixture by adding paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne to two cups of all-purpose flour. From there, dip the coated onions into the spicy flour and make sure to get it in all the little crevices. Pop these in the deep fryer (if you have one!) or a pot of frying oil heated to 350° for four minutes. For the full effect, you'll want to dip these in spicy mayo which you can make with mayo, sour cream, ketchup, and paprika.
There you have it... a bowl filled with tiny fried onion bombs. And you didn't even have to drive down the entire East coast to get them.
→ Get the Recipe: Bite-Sized Blooming Onions from Macheesmo