Onions are often the silent, under-appreciated ingredient that enhances the flavours of our creations, but the humble root vegetable takes centre stage in this easy yet eye-catching recipe. While tastefully named ‘blooming’ onions, these take next to no effort to make. Pair it with our cheesy tomato and horseradish sauce, and you’ll have yourself a crispy, spicy and undeniably piquant snack or side dish.
- 3 large red onions (900 g)
- 1 cup (250 ml) milk
- 1 egg
- 1 cup (150 g) plain flour
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
WARM CIDER CHEESE SAUCE
- 25 g butter
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- ¾ cup (180 ml) milk
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) apple cider
- 50 g cream cheese, at room temperature
- ½ cup (60 g) grated vegetarian cheddar
- ½ cup (50 g) grated vegetarian mozzarella
- 3 tsps wholegrain mustard
- CREAMY TOMATO & HORSERADISH SAUCE
- ⅓ cup (100 g) mayonnaise
- 2 tbsps sour cream
- 2 tbsps horseradish cream
- 1 tsp tomato sauce
- ¼ tsp sweet paprika
- ¼ tsp garlic salt
Whisk milk and egg in a medium bowl. Combine flour, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and oregano in a medium bowl; season. Dip onions in milk mixture, then coat well in flour mixture. Refrigerate.
Meanwhile, fill a large saucepan one-third full with oil; heat to 180 C(or until a cube of bread turns golden in 10 secs). Working in batches, deep-fry one onion at a time and turning once, for 8 mins or until golden. Drain on paper towel.
To make warm cider cheese sauce, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; cook, stirring, for 1 min. Gradually add milk, stirring continuously, for 3 mins or until mixture thickens. Add cider; cook for 1 min. Remove from heat; whisk in cheeses and mustard until smooth. Season to taste. For creamy tomato and horseradish sauce, whisk ingredients in a bowl until combined.
Serve blooming onions with sauces for dipping.
TIP The creamy tomato and horseradish sauce can be made 2 days ahead. Refrigerate in an airtight container until serving. Use white or brown onions instead of red onion, if you like, depending on what you have on hand.