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Caramelized Onion Dip

August 17, 2011

by Elizabeth

Caramelized onions are just not pretty (nor do they photograph well). But oh man are they delicious. Since I discovered how easy they are to make several years ago, I’m now tempted to throw them in every dish imaginable. Paninis, Quesadillas, Mac & Cheese, Brisket Tacos, Tarts of all kinds, Pasta, Pizza, Burgers, Crostini, the list goes on and on. It’s kind of like husband’s strange obsession with jalapenos…which led me to buy a 5 lb jar of them at Costco last week, but that’s another story.

The great thing about caramelized onions is that they are really so simple to make, and you can make a big batch and use them for various dishes. (I love multi-purpose cooking.) I also learned a few weeks ago that you can FREEZE them which has kind of changed my life. Just make the biggest batch your pot can handle, keeping the heat at medium-low and patiently letting them caramelize – this could take 45 minutes, don’t stress. Then divide among ice cube trays (for tarts and burger toppings) and small baggies (for dips, pastas, etc) and freeze until needed.

Caramelized Onion Dip, adapted from Ina Garten

2 large yellow onions
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper1 teaspoon kosher salt1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream1/2 cup mayonnaise

Thinly slice the onions, you should have about 3 cups. Heat the butter and oil in a heavy skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, salt and peppers, and sauté for ten minutes, stirring regularly. Reduce heat to medium-low and keep stirring the onions for 20 to 30 more minutes. When the onions are very soft and a deep golden brown, remove from the heat and let them cool.

When onions are cool, mix the cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise and onions in a food processor until just smooth. You might want to reserve a few tablespoons of onions for garnish. Season to taste, and serve at room temperature with vegetables, baguette slices, or crackers.

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