French Onion Dip
by Sue Lau |Palatable Pastime
One of my favorite things I like to do in the kitchen is to make my own dip. I can be quite creative and make them out of almost anything, but at the end of the day there are still the “classic” dips, which we all have loved our whole lives. French onion dip is one of these, having withstood the test of time, it still holds a place close to our hearts.
Of course, you can buy French Onion dip in tubs in the stores, and save yourself maybe 5 minutes. But there is something not quite right about those, isn’t there? With an almost gelatinous or pudding-like texture, they certainly don’t please me.
With a good food processor, which is the workhorse of my dip making endeavors, I can count on throwing together some simple wholesome ingredients and having something I can trust, with flavor that far outshines anything factory made.
I know there are a number of different views out there on the subject of French Onion dip. Some insist that it comes from French Onion soup, and therefore has to have beef flavor in it.
I respectfully disagree, and can’t recall any beef bouillon in the dips I’ve had, homemade, store bought, or otherwise. What I do agree with is that the name for French Onion dip comes from the “technique” of preparing onions, as you would for French Onion soup, in such a way so that they caramelize beautifully. One thing about onions, is that if you look at them, they have a series of natural longitudinal lines across their flesh, which make excellent marking points for where to sliver them from top to bottom. Cutting onions in this way is called “Frenching” them, and what I believe to be the name source of our lovely dip. When you French onions, cutting them in slivers, they have a perfect width for caramelizing in the pan without being either too wide or too narrow. It is how onions should be made for the soup.
Despite the fact that Frenching is a good way to cut the onions for this dip, I like to cut them one step further, and that is to chop them after they have been Frenched, so that the slivers become the perfect size dice. At that point we can caramelize them to cause them to give up any heat or bitterness and become buttery sweet.
When they cook, the enormous volume of onion will shrink dramatically, and be perfect for adding to the dip without too much heat or onion flavor.
This is great with either pretzels or chips. I know you will love it way more than anything from a plastic tub.
French Onion Dip
- 1-1/2 cups chopped red onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 8 ounces softened cream cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon snipped chives
- Peel the onions leaving ends intact, and cut in half. Cut into slivers along the natural top to bottom lines you see on the onion. Then cut them further into a chopped state.
- Saute onions in the butter and oil mixture until they caramelize.
- Place cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, onion powder, garlic, white pepper, salt and Worcestershire sauce in a food processor and run until smooth.
- Stir in the caramelized onions and snipped chives, stirring well.
- Refrigerate before serving.
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