Today was a pretty blah day. I had inservice classes at work all day, then I couldn't leave because there were tornado warnings and they made everyone stay in safe places. After I was finally allowed to leave, I had to drive with all the crazies who can't drive in the rain the whole way home. It was storming and hailing and thundering and lightning. Stoplights were not working. After I finally made it home, I decided that it would be a perfect day to try and make a bloomin' onion and some deep dish pizza. It was indeed. I've been wanting to try and make a bloomin' onion for quite some time, but either did not want to mess with the frying, or didn't want to try and figure out how to cut the thing. Well today I felt like it.
It came out awesome-looking and uber delicious and crispy. If you have never heard of a "bloomin' onion", I'm sorry. It is an appetizer at many a restaurants, probably most famously known at Outback Steakhouse. We have not been to said restaurant in a very long time, but I can always recall the deliciousness of this ginormous fried onion, and often crave it.
The other part of dinner was Chicago style deep dish pizza. Chicago style = upside down. Upside down as in cheese and toppings on the bottom and the sauce on the top, with a very thick crust. I attempted to make this once before, a long time ago, and failed miserably with the crust. It ended up crusty on the outside edges, but was no where near done baking and doughy in the middle. This time I fixed it. And it was awesome.
I know these pictures may not look all that appetizing. The pizza was indeed very messy (as you can clearly tell from the above picture), but the crust was amazing and the fillings were so good. I apologize for all of the pictures in this post...it was dark and stormy out, so I had no natural light, and my crappy little camera does not do well with artificial light.
Ok so for this blooming onion. Step by step.
Take a very large Vidalia onion. Chop off about 1/2 inch from the stem like so...
Then peel the onion of all its skin. Turn it root side up (what you see in the picture above will be set down). Then cut straight down, all the way through, starting from about 1/2 inch out from the root.
Make a cut like this in 4 equal spots around the onion. (try to make them as even as possible, I didn't do the best job of that).
Continue to make cuts in between each of the cuts, until you have made 16 cuts total. Then turn it over and it will look like this!
Then I made a batter that consisted of flour and a bunch of spices. Dipped it in that, than dipped it into an egg/milk/water wash, then back into the flour batter.
It makes a huge mess. ALL over the kitchen. After you make the mess, leave it there, and throw this huge thing into some very hot oil.
And it will come out like this!
I might have eaten 3/4 of the whole thing. By myself. Well, me and Judah and Foxx that is. Afterwards they were kicking like crazy, so I think they liked it too.
So for the pizza. Start with cheese...
Then add sausage and tomato sauce...
And then some more cheese, if you want to.
Yum. Nice and messy.
1 very large vidalia onion
2 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1 gallon oil
Slice the onion as described above. Mix together the flour and all the spices. Put the sliced up onion in a bowl. Pour the flour mixture all over the onion. Put a plate over the top of the bowl and shake gently to distribute the mixture evenly. Whish together the eggs, water and milk in a bowl. Remove the onion with a large slotted spoon/spatula and dip it into the egg mixture. Then put it back into the flour bowl and shake it around some more.
Heat oil in a large pot to 400 degrees. Carefully, drop the onion into the hot oil using the slotted spoon/spatula. Adjust the heat to keep the degrees about 350. Fry for about 3 or 4 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.
Drain on a paper towel and eat immediately!! We make a quick sauce with ranch, pepper and tabasco sauce for dipping.
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
for the dough:
1 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 1/8 tsp yeast (I used rapid rise)
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp water, at room temperature
1 1/2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter, softened
for the sauce:
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
pinch of sugar
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
*Use whatever toppings and cheese you'd like. I used sausage and mozzarella cheese.
To make the dough:
Whish together the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar and yeast. Mix in the water and melted butter with a dough hook, or with your hands, for 1-2 mins. Continue to knead (a little faster) for 3-4 minutes until the dough is shiny and smooth. Coat a large bowl with oil, and place the kneaded dough in it. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel, and set in a warm place. Let rise for 45-60 mins.
After dough has risen, roll it out to a 8 x 6 rectangle. Spread with the 2 Tbsp of softened butter, leaving 1/2 inch on all sides. Starting with the short end, roll into a tight roll. With the seem side down, flatten into a 9 x 2 rectangle. Fold into thirds. Roll into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise again (in the fridge this time) for another 40-50 mins.
While dough is rising, make the sauce. Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion, oregano and salt. Saute until onions are translucent and soft. Add garlic and saute for about 30 secs more. Stir in the tomatoes and sugar. Turn up heat to med-high. Bring just to a boil, and then turn to med-low and simmer until 1/2 of the liquid has evaporated (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in oil and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Coat a 9-inch round cake/pie pan with oil or butter. Roll out the risen dough into a large circle. Fit into pan and press up against all the sides. Pile on the cheese, toppings and sauce. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until crust edges are just lightly browned. Let cool, slice and eat!
Whew. That was quite a long post. Congratulations if you stuck with me!