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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Outback Steakhouse -restaurant series-

We went to outback this month for my mother in laws birthday.  Having been there prior to this I knew to ask for a manager.  The reason you have to talk to the manager is even though they do offer an extensive gluten free menu.  They have no real accommodations for those with Celiac.  This means they use different cooking styles, gloves, and the salad has to be made in a different location.  This can only be assured of by the manager.  Make sure that you let the manager know that this is not a lifestyle choice but that you really do have an issue with gluten.  This will ensure that there is a lot more care taken with your food.  

One of the issues with outback steakhouse is that they do not update the gluten free menu.  So even if something new is offered that is gluten free, it may not be available on the GF menu.  In fact I do not think that menu has changed once since I was diagnosed.  However, I do have to say that it is a larger menu than most people have.  

The food is really good; I was able to have a salad, baked potato, steak, and desert all without having to worry about getting sick.  Also, it is one of the only restaurants that have some appetizers that are gluten free.  While they only offer two choices on the gluten free menu, they still at least have those two choices.  

Be very careful with the sauces, most every sauce offered by outback contains gluten of some sort.  So while I was able to eat the Ahi Tuna, I was not able to have any of the sauces that came with it.  And while the blooming onion is not gluten free.  The blooming onion sauce is.  I will often use that as a topper for my steak.  Make sure that whatever sauce or dressing you want is on the gluten free menu. 

If you have severe celiac I would not recommend this restaurant.  The reason for this is that they bake bread on the premises.  However, Mild Celiac, Gluten Sensitive, or Gluten intolerant should be fine as long as they let the management know what is going on.  And really, who doesn't love a good steak.  

In honor of Outback steakhouse and their famous blooming onion, I have found a gluten free version of this recipe for you to try.  This recipe was found on Celiac.com.  Personally, I can’t wait to try it.

Outback Bloomin' Onion

Dipping sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons ketchup
2 tablespoons cream style horse radish
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
dash of ground black pepper
dash cayenne pepper

1 egg
1 cup milk
1 cup gluten free all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1 jumbo sweet yellow or white onion(3/4 pound or more)

Vegetable oil for frying

1.Prepare the dipping sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Keep covered in refrigerator until needed

2. Beat the egg and combine it with the milk in a medium bowl big enough to hold an onion

3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, peppers, paprika, oregano, thyme, and cumin

4. Now it's time to slice the onion(the trickiest step)
First slice off 3/4 of an inch to an 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 tricky, just use a steady hand and don't worry if it doesn't look like a perfect flower..it will still taste good.

5. 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. To help separate the petals put the onion into boiling water for a minute and then into cold water

6. Dip the onion into the milk mixture and then coat it liberally with the dry ingredients. Again, separate the petals and sprinkle the dry coating between them. Once your sure the onion is well coated, dip it back into the wet mixture and into the dry mixture. This double dipping makes sure you have a well coated onion because some of the coating tends to wash off when you fry it. Put the onion in the fridge for at least 15 minutes while you prepare the oil

7. Heat oil in a deep fryer or deep pot to 350 degrees. Make sure you use enough oil to completely cover the onion.

8. Fry the onion right side up in the oil for 10 minutes or until it turns brown

9. When the onion has browned , remove it from the oil and let it drain on a rack or paper towels

10. Open the onion wider from the center so that you can put the dipping sauce in the center. 

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