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The Foodie Report
Ruminations on food, cooking in and eating out in our area.


It's entirely possible to be a vegetarian in Porkopolis. Pop culture reporter Lauren Bishop blogs about products, recipes and restaurants she's tried for others who eat meat-free. E-mail her at lbishop@enquirer.com.


Nicci King is an unabashed foodie and the Lifestyle/Food editor in The Enquirer's features department. She loves to discover new food faves, and she's on a daily quest to answer one burning question: What's for dinner? E-mail her at nking@enquirer.com.


Enquirer Weekend editor Julie Gaw tends to order the same dish every time she eats at a restaurant, but periodically ventures out to discover something new and fabulous. After living in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand for more than 8 years, she craves tasty Asian food. E-mail her at jgaw@enquirer.com.


Food/dining writer Polly Campbell loves every quirk and secret of Cincinnati's food personality, and is on a constant lookout for something good to eat. Keep an eye out for her restaurant picks, or see how she's progressing toward becoming famous for her apple pie. E-mail her at pcampbell@enquirer.com.


Communities reporter Rachel Richardson is on a mission to prove vegetarians eat more than lettuce. She shares both her graduate work on American food culture and food-related news.. E-mail her at rrichardson@enquirer.com.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

1st anniversary = paper, 20th = peanut oil



Outback is celebrating 20 years of deep-fried onion-ness. Want to make a knock-off Bloomin Onion at home? I'll post the recipe in the comment section. Just don't eat it the day before you get your cholesterol checked. The recipe is from Todd Wilbur's “Top Secret Restaurant Recipes: Creating Kitchen Clones from America’s Favorite Restaurant Chains” (Plume, $14).


Do you make a "kitchen clone" of anything served at a restaurant?







Photo: Gannett News Service, Pam Spaulding/The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal


18 Comments:

at 2:35 PM Blogger Nicci King said...

ONION
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1 giant Spanish onion (3/4 pound or more)
Vegetable oil for frying

DIPPING SAUCE
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons ketchup
2 tablespoons cream-style horseradish
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
Dash ground black pepper
Dash cayenne pepper

Prepare the dipping sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Keep the sauce covered in your refrigerator until needed. Beat the egg and combine it with the milk in a medium bowl big enough to hold the onion. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, peppers, oregano, thyme and cumin. Now it’s time to slice the onion – this is the trickiest step. First slice 6 3/4 inch to 1 inch off the top and bottom of the onion. Remove the papery skin. Use a thin knife to cut a 1-inch diameter core out of the middle of the onion. Now use a very sharp, large knife to slice the onion several times down the center to create the "petals" of the completed onion. First slice through the center of the onion to about 3/4 of the way down. Turn the onion 90 degrees and slice it again in an “x” across the first slice. Keep slicing the sections in half, very carefully, until you’ve cut the onion 16 times. Do not cut down to the bottom. The last 8 slices are a little hairy, just use a steady hand and don’t worry if your onion doesn’t look like a perfect flower. It’ll still taste good. Spread the “petals” of the onion apart. The onion sections tend to stick together, so you’ll want to separate them to make coating easier. Dip the onion in the milk mixture, and then coat it liberally with the dry ingredients. Again separate the "petals" and sprinkle the dry coating between them. Once you’re sure the onion is well-coated, dip it back into the wet mixture and into the dry coating again. This double dipping makes sure you have a well- coated onion because some of the coating tends to wash off when you fry. Let the onion rest in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes while you get the oil ready. Heat oil in a deep fryer or deep pot to 350 degrees. Make sure you use enough oil to completely cover the onion when it fries. Fry the onion right side up in the oil for 10 minutes or until it turns brown. When the onion has browned, remove it from the oil and let it drain on a rack or paper towels. Open the onion wider from the center so that you can put a small dish of the dipping sauce in the center. You may also use plain ketchup. Serves 2 to 4 as an appetizer or snack.

 
at 2:50 PM Anonymous Vunonymous said...

What a gross, fat filled vomitous piece of trash. That thing should be illegal.

What's next, a feature on the Big Mac?

 
at 2:59 PM Blogger JKNEPFLE said...

A feature on big macs would be fine! I for one would welcome it! Just 'cause something isn't particularly healthy doesn't mean it doesn't have merit as something interesting, unique, and/or tasty!

Sure, it might not be your bag, but it's not gonna kill you, and some people (even very "healthy" people!) may even have one every now and then.

 
at 3:03 PM Blogger Nicci King said...

Anonymous: "Vomitous" and "illegal," eh? What an interesting choice of words/non-words.

You know what? A feature on the Big Mac might be just what the cardiologist ordered. I just checked McDonald's corporate Web site and the Big Mac was "introduced systemwide in 1968." So, they're also hitting a milestone anniversary...

You could be in luck.

 
at 3:18 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

These things are yummy, but soooooo very bad. MSNBC just had a "worst foods ever" list on their site and the blooming onion was on there. Eat at your own (cardiac) risk.

 
at 3:55 PM Anonymous Vunonymous said...

Vomitous about sums up the Stinking Onion. A single Blooming Onion with dressing contains 2210 calories and 134 grams of fat and 44 grams of transfat. Eat your heart out. Literally. why not just go for it, and drink a big cup of lard while you are at it. The lard is probably healthier.

Nicci, you are one of the reasons that this blog has become a big joke. 'Foodie' indeed. Do you even know what that word is supposed to mean?

Go ahead and feature the Big Crap. Why not add the Whopper, and an in depth special on Long John Silvers while you are at it.

You are driving any real 'foodies' away. In. Droves.

 
at 4:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, you are not driving me away! I love the variety of posts on this blog; from restaurant openings to recipes to junk food features.
Nope, how boring would this blog be if it were just "foodies" posting esoteric entries.
I love this blog just the way it is!!

 
at 4:46 PM Anonymous FoodieToo said...

How rude. Foodies come in all varieties. I for one love this blog and the wide range of food related posts. None of us have to like all the foods blogged about. Vunonymous go away if you are not happy.

Missing you already...

 
at 8:15 PM Anonymous John in the LAT41015 said...

i love it...and miss nicci!

i recently brewed a guinness knock-off (very tasty) and made honeybaked crunchy glaze for our ham on sunday. used a blow torch. what fun!

i have also cured my own country ham, grow red jalapenos (try buying those somewhere!)for jelly, heirloom tomatoes and hops. i'd love to plant a vinyard and hunt a wild turkey.

i love white castles, taco bell, the anchor grill, nada and pigalls.

it's called being "well rounded". but i'm afraid all this eating is making me very well rounded indeed!

 
at 8:17 PM Anonymous Mary D said...

While I think that Vunonymous' post is quite rude, I find myself agreeing with their basic premise. This blog seems to have devolved into an paid advertising forum at times. Merriam Webster describes a Foodie as "A person who has an ardent or refined interest in food; a gourmet".

Ok then, what is a Gourmet? "a person with a sensitive and discriminating palate, and who is knowledgeable in appreciation of the culinary arts of fine food and drink, or haute cuisine."
 
A Gourmet is different than a Gourmand, which is defined as "one who enjoys food in great quantities." Gourmand comes from the French word for glutton.

Is a foodie a glutton? I certainly do not think so. Yet the posts here are often directed at gluttons, not gourmets. There is nothing refined about a blooming onion, a big mac, lean cuisine or the olive garden. If you are a fan of the aforementioned items, you are clearly not a gourmet, and certainly not a foodie.  

Perhaps the best option is to simply rename this blog 'The Food Blog' and drop the foodie tag. We real foodies can stick to Cincinnati Locavore, Wine Me, Dine Me and elsewhere.

 
at 8:21 PM Anonymous Mary D said...

While I think that Vunonymous' post is quite rude, I find myself agreeing with their basic premise. This blog seems to have devolved into an paid advertising forum at times. Merriam Webster describes a Foodie as "A person who has an ardent or refined interest in food; a gourmet".

Ok then, what is a Gourmet? "a person with a sensitive and discriminating palate, and who is knowledgeable in appreciation of the culinary arts of fine food and drink, or haute cuisine."
 
A Gourmet is different than a Gourmand, which is defined as "one who enjoys food in great quantities." Gourmand comes from the French word for glutton.

Is a foodie a glutton? I certainly do not think so. Yet the posts here are often directed at gluttons, not gourmets. There is nothing refined about a blooming onion, a big mac, lean cuisine or the olive garden. If you are a fan of the aforementioned items, you are clearly not a gourmet, and certainly not a foodie.  

Perhaps the best option is to simply rename this blog 'The Food Blog' and drop the foodie tag. We real foodies can stick to Cincinnati Locavore, Wine Me, Dine Me and elsewhere.

 
at 12:21 AM Anonymous TJ Jackson said...

I think you all are missing the point.

Nicci essentially set the definition as it applies to this blog. I'd guess it isn't hers alone, but rather one that the editorial staff as a whole decided upon __for_the_purposes_of_defining_this blog__ only. As such, it isn't likely to change. I suppose you're welcome to debate the point, but it'd kinda like trying to talk Darwin into supporting Intelligent Design - the definition is set for what they want the blog to be about. I can see some merit in getting the title changed from "Foodie" to "Food" but then again, it's their blog, and they could call it Rumplestiltskin if they wanted.

.....so.....

I'm all for having more content than less....I can pick and choose what entries I want to read, skipping the others. You all can too - if you can get beyond the name of the blog and instead accept it's mission.

 
at 7:21 AM Anonymous Robert Jones said...

Nicci and others, don't listen to Vunonymous.

I consider myself a "foodie" but I like all sorts of food. I enjoy the fancy stuff just as much as the "crap" sometimes. I like food.

You remind me of the people on chowhound that debate others on what pizza "is". That's not being a "foodie", that's being a snob.

 
at 10:02 AM Blogger vudutu said...

WOW Nicci, your really having fun throwing gas on the fire! Is it ratings week for the paper? Are you sure your on a diet?

I too enjoy KFC chicken or a Big Boy lathered in tarter sauce occasionally but I have no desire to go here. Like John in the LAT41015, I am well rounded, (some one else I would like to meet) and Vunonymous lard probably is better for you. I do think there is one thing to note here, this dish really is intended to be shared, it is really not intended as a meal, at least I hope not. What it does point out if the gluttony of the American diet. We have an epidemic of obesity and diets are not working, why because the data is flawed and the issue very complex, most likely the culprit is heavily refined/processed carbs and sugar, read "Good carbs bad carbs" boring but most likely as close to the truth as we have. This is really hard to sort out but this link does a pretty good job.

http://www.annecollins.com/carbs-diet-information.htm

FYI if you are eating right or dieting and still not loosing weight make sure you get tested for insulin resistance. If you want a layman's view of food read Michael Pollens books, he has as good a handle on it as anyone. Eat better quality food and less of it. That's my problem, eating less of it, I am surrounded with fabulous cooks!

 
at 10:23 AM Blogger Cin Twin1 said...

There must be a competition at the Enquirer on who can generate the most comments! Ha! Hey if you are going to fry something, at least make it a veggie and not a candy bar, right?

I tried to make a knock off version of those pizzas at Palomino's one night for dinner using flour tortillas. Not so good. It is worth it to go to Palomino's during happy hour and pay the $5.

 
at 1:09 PM Blogger Stepf said...

ha! it seems like that these days, doesn't it?!
Nicci wins!

 
at 3:13 PM Anonymous Sch03 said...

You guys rock....you post plenty of food news from all over the spectrum....keep up the good work.

Food should be accessible and not pretentious, and I'm glad the blog's tone reflects that.

 
at 8:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

the one screaming the loudest is generally the one who is in a dark corner partaking in whatever they are bit#hing about....so i suspect you could find vunonymous in a dark room blooming onion in one hand and big mac in the other....

 
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