Since having our daughter, we spend a whole lot more time at home. Friends and family, gratiously so, almost exclusively come to us and the days of “hmmm…let’s just go out to eat and see a movie” are not as simple as they used to be.
We’re lucky that we love to host and luckier that our friends and family don’t mind schlepping out here to come to us. When they do, we try to greet them with a good time and even better food. Homemade snacks and cocktails and a pile of good board games usually does it.
The snacks I tend towards for game nights are often a tip-of-the-hat to the chemically-based, boxed and powdered delicacies of my youth. Something about a bowl of gelatinous, gritty, sour-creamy french onion dip comforts me in a way only nostaligic food can. But as a home cook and someone very aware of that fact that real ingredients make far superior dishes, I know that we can do better than that box of sodium-laden soup mix to pump up a tangy, creamy base full of flavour. The secret lies in all those delicious sugars that come out when you caramelize a humble onion.
While not what I would call healthy per se, it is pure comfort and nostalgia while remaining simple enough to throw together at any given time. Whether you’re hosting game night or just looking for a smooth and creamy dip to serve with a bag of chips or crostini, give this updated Caramelized Onion Dip a whirl. I dare you to tell me it doesn’t take you back to the 80s/90s living room table with a bag of Ruffles.
Caramelized Onion Dip
serves 8-10 as a snack
-I opted to slice the onions thin as I like a big bite of onion in each bite. If you have little ones or someone that doesn’t LOVE onions, I would suggest dicing them small prior to caramelizing. It will create a more uniform dip consistency.
-You want a really creamy base for this dip so don’t skimp on the fat in the sour cream. I used Gay Lea’s 14%mf version because it’s got a great tanginess and creaminess to it.
2 tbsp olive oil
3 small (2 large) red onions, sliced thin or diced
1 1/2 cups Gay Lea Original sour cream
1 cup cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
kettle chips, to serve*
In a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, start to sweat the onions down with a few piches of salt and pepper. Stir every 5 minutes or so, giving them a few really good turns so the ones on top make it to the bottom. Don’t stir them too often, you want them to get lots of colour without burning. If you notice them starting to char or get too brown too quickly, turn the heat down. Cook the onions until they have significantly, almost 50%, reduced in volume and are deep golden brown and sweet, about 20-30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Reserve 1/4 of the onions for garnish if you like.
Fold together the cream cheese and sour cream in a large bowl until smooth. Add the garlic powder and 3/4 of the onion mixture and fold together. Spoon into a large serving dish and smooth out. Top with remaining onion mixture.
Serve with chips or baguette.
*I like to pour the bag of chips onto a baking sheet and cook at 300 for 5-6 minutes until they are warmed. It’s not a necessary step, it just takes things up a notch with the warmed chips.
Disclaimer: I am part of the #BornOnTheFarm Campaign sponsored by Gaylea Food Coop & PTPA Media and receive compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. Regardless, I only work with brands I use personally and enjoy.