I participated in my first March Madness bracket this year. I’m so unaware of what I’m doing I’m not even sure if the sentence I just typed means anything.
But basically, my small group decided to (lovingly, brotheringly, as we do) compete against each other this year. And so, I signed up for a bracket, clicked a bunch of buttons with college names on them and sent it in. Currently, I am in 8th place out of 10 (not surprising). But Elliott is in 9th. VICTORY FOR STEPH.
And again, if it’s any indication of how little I know about what goes on with this March Madness business, I just had to ask the husband when it is over. Apparently, the championship is this Monday. Which is why this recipe for a baked blooming onion comes at the perfect time.
You see, what I lack in knowledge about college men’s basketball I make up for in ideas for yummy game day food. That is my comfort zone. So while everyone else will be watching/yelling at/cheering at the TV screen when people run across a court and throw a ball into a hoop, I will be manning the snack table. And eating all the snacks. Naturally.
If you’ve never had a Bloomin’ Onion before (or as some call them, Awesome Blossom), clearly you’ve missed out on years of deep-fried, artery-clogging, food-baby-hangover goodness. But if you have had one and you know exactly what I mean about said food baby hangover, you will be pleased to know this version is baked, therefore healthier and Tex Mex flavored, therefore delicious.
The process of setting up this blooming onion situation is simple: Onion, panko breadcrumbs (Old El Paso taco seasoning and eggs. To assemble, you cut a half-inch off the top of the onion and peel it. Then you flip the onion over, cut-side down, and slice straight down. Then you flip it over again, root-side down, and carefully peel back the layers. Brush each layer with the eggs, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and taco seasoning, and bake. As my denim-clad gal pal Ina Garten would say, how easy is that?
Oh, and to up the ante on the deliciousness even more, I made two dipping sauces to go with the blooming onion: one with garlic and adobo sauce and the other with avocado and ranch. Both will make you want to dip your face in them. As I will be doing this weekend.
Happy March Madness, everyone! (NO ONE SAYS THAT, STEPH. See what I mean? I’ll stop talking about sports now.)
P.S. Visit Old El Paso for more yummy game day recipes.
- 1 large Vidalia onion
- ¾ cup plain Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon Old El Paso® original taco seasoning
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 small avocado, mashed
- ½ cup ranch dressing
- Heat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place onion on a cutting board. Cut a ½-inch off the top of the onion (stem side, not root side). Remove outermost layer, keeping root intact.
- Place onion cut-side down on cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice onion into quarters, cutting straight down starting about ¼-inch from the root. Continue slicing onion until you have 16 equal slices.
- Invert onion and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Carefully peel back layers into petals, keeping them attached to the root. Use a paring knife if necessary to cut any remaining petals apart.
- In a small bowl, whisk together Panko breadcrumbs and taco seasoning. Generously brush one or two petals at a time with beaten egg, then immediately sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture. Repeat until all petals are coated.
- Carefully dome aluminum foil over onion on baking sheet; bake 5 minutes covered. Uncover and bake another 10 to 15 minutes, or until onion is soft and slightly crispy at the edges. Remove from oven. Serve immediately with dipping sauces.
- To make the garlic-adobo dip: Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl. Serve with blooming onion.
- To make the creamy avocado-ranch dip: Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl. Serve with blooming onion.
Disclosure: I received compensation from Old El Paso for recipe development purposes. All opinions are my own.