Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Caramelized Onion Dip

One hot, gooey mess for mankind...

   So I was at the local grocer today, wandering about the produce section, when I came upon the onions.  Now QVC isn't my thing, but if you throw me into the produce section with some deals, I become more impulsive than a kid in a candy store.  Last week I left with 20 lbs. of sweet potatoes after spotting they were 10¢ per pound - I could have left with a cart-full if it wouldn't offer She credit to my delusions.  Needless to say, yesterday I spotted yellow onions for 29¢ a pound - seemed like enough reason to tote out a couple armfuls!

   I promptly came home and thought about the best way to hide the evidence, so to say.  Since She can't say no to caramelized or melted onions, I went to town peeling and slicing.  Typically, I like to take as much time as possible while making my onions lovely - 3.5 hours to be exact for these guys.

   For caramelized onions, I slowly melted butter and oil together - 1 T. of each in this situation - to lightly coat the bottom of my rondeau.  I then thinly sliced 6 of the onions and tossed them to coat.  From this point on, I leave the heat at almost the lowest possible level and turn the onions about every ten minutes or so.  As far as salt, I don't salt until later in the show as I find enough moisture is exuded at the first with such gentle heating.  For some reason I decided to roast and slice a pair of red bells to throw into the mix; perhaps just to get rid of them so I can buy some more!

   Anyways, so now I had a sweet mass of oniony goodness - off to the internet.  I was thinking a dip of sorts as I had some cream cheese sitting around and a couple of family functions on the horizon.  A quick search brought up - wait for it... Hot Caramelized Onion Dip over at Closet Cooking.  His recipe is as follows:

 - 4 large sweet onions (sliced)
 - 1 4 ounce package of cream cheese (softened)
 - 1/2 cup mayonnaise
 - 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano (grated)
 - pepper to taste

   I quickly whipped up some mayonnaise and went to town, mixing all of the ingredients together and baking at 350F for 45 minutes.  I also banged out some quick breadcrumbs from some old focaccia and dried herbs and toasted them in a friendly portion of browned butter to make a topping for the dip.  Finishing the topping off in the oven for another 10 minutes made for a decent textural difference.

   All in all, it turned out to be nice, rich dip that wasn't work intensive - I'm sure you could quickly sautee the onions with a touch of brown sugar and deglaze with just a touch of wooster for some faux caramelized onions in a hurry.  I'm probably going to take this one to the fam next week, but I plan on throwing a rough dice on the onions - makes for some messy eating when they are sliced.  Hell, I could throw just about anything savory into this dip and it would come out just fine...

   ...Now to get rid of more of those 10¢ sweet potatoes...

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