It's become a bit of a running joke in my circle of friends that I hate onion dip. I'm sure you know the one I'm talking about - onion soup mix, stirred into sour cream? Everyone else seems to love it, and it's always a staple at parties, tailgates, and get-togethers. However, I'm just not crazy about it, and it does nothing for me. But to use caramelized onions as the base? I can get behind that! I first made this dip for my birthday party this year, and I was immediately smitten. So when I planned my Trashy to Classy Cocktail Party last month, I knew it was the perfect dish to include. Obviously just serving it as a dip wasn't classy enough though, so I turned it into a canape of sorts by piping the dip onto a homemade potato chip, and garnishing with a fresh parsley leaf. These looked so cute, and were a great addition to my menu - the dip is familiar to everyone, but it was just classed up. I actually only assembled enough to fit on my serving tray, so I put out the rest in the kitchen as chips and dip - and both were gone in no time.
The dip is really easy to make, and can be made ahead - actually I think it tastes best on the second or third day. So it is a great choice for entertaining. When I've made this in the pat, I just serve it with kettle chips or a good-quality store bought brand, but making your own chips definitely takes them to the next level. It's certainly not necessary, but it sure was tasty.
Since it's summer and I'm in Georgia, I couldn't help but to use Vidalia onions in my dip, and it made it even more special. I also have decreased the butter, as it can seem kind of greasy otherwise. Finally, I'm not noting this in the recipe, but I've subbed out part of the mayo for Greek yogurt in the past as well - it's just a personal preference for me because I'm not a huge mayo fan, and can find the flavor overpowering.
If you're looking for an appetizer to take to a Fourth of July cookout this weekend, this makes a great option - and I may just be coming around to onion dip after all :-)
Caramelized Onion Dip
adapted from The Barefoot Contessa, by Ina Garten
- 2 large yellow or Vidalia onions
- 3 Tbs unsalted butter
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
Heat the butter and oil in a large saute pan on medium heat. Add the onions, cayenne, salt, and pepper and saute for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 more minutes, until the onions are browned and caramelized. Allow to cool slightly.
Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat until smooth, add the onions, and mix until well-combined. Taste for seasonings. Serve immediately, or chill to serve later. Bring to room temperature before serving.
*When I made this dip for the party, I actually diced the onions to make for easier piping. Both work fine, but if you dice them, they will caramelize a little faster, so just keep an eye on them.