The original Bloomin' Onion weighs in at a total of 1948 calories and 160 grams of fat according to the Outback Steakhouse website. By breading the onion with whole wheat flour and crispy whole wheat panko bread crumbs and baking it, and also tweaking the dipping sauce formula, we can reduce the fat and calories significantly. The total fat and calories in this new Oz-ified version come in at 520 calories and 30 grams of fat, but this dish is meant to be shared with at least one other person which brings the actual total calories per serving to 260 calories and 15 grams of fat!
1/4 cup light sour cream
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup low-fat (1% fat) milk
1 tbsp cream style horseradish
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp Crystal Louisiana hot sauce
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp dried oregano
pinch ground black pepper
pinch white pepper
pinch cayenne pepper
pinch ground savory
1 jumbo yellow onion (4 to 4 ½ inches across)
1 6-oz tomato paste can (for coring onion)
10 oz (2 cups) whole-wheat flour
4 tsp salt
2 tbsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp ground savory
2 cups whole wheat panko bread crumbs
2 cup low-fat (1% fat) milk
olive oil cooking spray
1. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Cover and chill for several hours or overnight. Uncover and stir occasionally.
2. Slice the onion by cutting approximately 1/4 off of the stem end. Peel the skin from the onion, then place the onion on a cutting board with the cut side down.
3. To slice, use your thumb as a guide by placing it at the root of the onion, then slice straight down from your thumb to the bottom. Spin the onion around, and make another cut on the opposite side. Next, make a slice between each of the first two slices on both sides so now you have 4 large petals. Make a slice down the middle of each of the 4 petals, so that you now have 8 petals. For the final slicing step, rotate the onion and make TWO slices between each of the 8 cuts. You will now have an onion with 24 total petals, which is exactly the same number as the machine-sliced real thing. Turn the onion over and it will have bloomed. If you are having trouble separating the "petals" submerge the onion in cold water for several minutes to help it open.
4. Open both ends of the tomato paste can and empty the contents. This is your onion coring tool.
5. When you are ready to make your onion, combine the breading ingredients in a very large bowl. Pour the panko bread crumbs into another large bowl. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl, then add the milk.
6. Put the onion into the breading and coat it with the breading, being sure to get the breading down between each petal.
7. Shake off the excess breading, then gently lower the onion into the egg and milk mixture until it is completely moistened. Lift the onion out of the liquid and let the excess drip off. Place the onion back into the breading and thoroughly coat the onion. Let it sit in the breading for a few minutes so that the breading sticks.
8. Dip the onion once more into the milk and egg, then place it into the bowl of panko and cover with the breadcrumbs. Let onion sit in the panko as you preheat your oven to 375˙F.
9. Place the onion onto a rack on a baking sheet and spray it with the olive oil spray coating the entire surface. You can spray for a total of 10 seconds, which adds 2 teaspoons of oil to the onion. Bake for 45 minutes or until brown and crispy.
10. Allow the onion to cool for a minute or so after it comes out of the onion and then place it onto your serving plate. Press the tomato paste can down into the middle of the onion and give it several twists so that the core can be pulled out of the center.
11. Pour the dipping sauce into a small sauce cup, place it into the center of the onion and serve.