Party Recipe: Golden Onion Dip

The SpreadFor a recent big 5-0 birthday party, I made some food (read about it here).

I promised to share the recipes with you, and here’s an easy one: Golden Onion Dip. Its slightly sweet onion flavor is reminiscent of the onion dip in the plastic container served alongside potato chips at backyard barbecues, but it also has a jazzy, sophisticated taste and mouth-feel from the fresh yellow onions simmered to golden perfection and a dash of vermouth (which cooks off).

This texture of this dip is really more like a spread, because of the cream cheese.  It is fresh, creamy and easy to make, and is good with chips, crackers or fresh vegetables. It serves admirably as the requisite dip in an appetizer buffet. It makes a very nice spread for a turkey or roast beef sandwich – think holiday leftovers! My recipe is a riff on this one from Food & Wine magazine, which is also quite good (but slightly bland).

Make the Golden Onion Dip it the day before you plan to serve it, if possible, because the onion taste develops nicely overnight as the flavors “marry”. This recipe makes enough for a crowd and can easily be halved; the amount in the picture below is about a third of a recipe.

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 large yellow onions, thinly sliced (I use the slicing disk of the food processor)
  • 1/8 cup dry vermouth or vodka
  • pinch of white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 8 oz. log of cream cheese
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Cooking Instructions

Set out the sour cream and cream cheese so that they can get to room temperature.

Melt the butter over medium heat in a skillet large enough to sauté the onions, then add the onions and cook until they are golden and very soft, stirring to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking. This will take more than 20 minutes, and you may need to reduce the heat. When the onions are done, add the sugar and vermouth, turning the heat up slightly, and cook until the vermouth has evaporated. Set the pan aside and let the onions cool.

Once cool, coarsely chop the onions, either on a cutting board or in your food processor. (If you use the food processor, it will only take a couple of pulses; be sure not to puree the onions.) In a bowl large enough for all of the ingredients, add the onions, sour cream, cream cheese, parsley (reserving a little for the garnish), onion powder, garlic powder, salt and Worcestershire and stir to mix well. Add pepper and taste, adding more salt if necessary.  Garnish with the reserved parsley, cover and refrigerate until about a half hour before you are ready to serve; the dip tastes better if it isn’t refrigerator-cold.

Note: yellow onions are the perfect choice for this recipe; white onions are a bit too sharp and red ones would mess with the color.

Variation

This spread-like dip has a rich and heavy texture from the cream cheese, making it perfect for fresh veggie dippers; but beware, a potato chip would break in it. You can substitute 1 1/2 cups of sour cream (for a total of 3 cups) for a looser, smoother dip that’s more like the traditional onion dip in texture if you’re planning to serve it with chips.

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That’s the onion dip from the party on the bottom right (above); I didn’t get a good picture of it in the party spread before we started diving in! Next time…   or, if you make it, please send me your photo!

© 2018 Glover Gardens

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