Friday, February 4, 2011

Homemade Caramelized Onion Dip

 Onion dip mix use to be one of the prepackaged guilty pleasures that my family indulged in once a year.  Add a pint of sour cream and you have heaven on a potato chip.  Having one dipped chip is not an option.

This packaged dip has ingredients that I normally do not like to eat or serve.  Nomenclature of ingredients that defies pronunciation.  Ingredients that have chemical names that I once upon a time understood from college chemistry.  I heard someone make a statement (probably someone like Michael Pollan)  about food saying "that if you can't pronounce it, don't eat it".   OK, so a couple of years ago I searched the internet and cookbooks that I own, got some ideas and came up with this recipe for onion dip.  This is now my all time favorite onion dip.  I hope you think so too.

 The most important thing is the onions. First, chop them and then throw them in a pan.

Saute them over medium heat in a little olive oil for 25 to 30 minutes until they are brown.
Those browned bits called fond are total flavor so you want them. The best way to get them is by deglazing the pan with a liquid like vinegar or wine.  I used balsamic vinegar.  You can use water but it is not as tasty.
Take a spoon or even better a flat edged spatula or wooden spoon and stir the balsamic vinegar around and scrape the bottom of the pan.  The brown bits will easily come off.
Besides being seriously delicious, it also cleans your pan. Nice.

After making the onions it is a cinch to finish because you mix, wait a little for the flavors to meld and serve.


Homemade Caramelized Onion Dip
makes about 1 pint

2 large or  3 medium onions, diced (any combination of red, yellow or white part of a leek)
2 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar (vermouth or white wine can be used instead)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 1/2 cups of sour cream
1/2 cup of mayo
1/4 teaspoon of thyme
2 teaspoons of onion powder
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste

Chop the onions (if you use leeks, rinse well and white and light green parts only).  Add olive oil in a saute pan and add the onions.  Saute over medium heat until the onions have browned and there are browned bits on the bottom of the pan.  This will take about 30 minutes.  Add the balsamic vinegar and deglaze the pan by scraping the bottom of the pan for a minute or two until the vinegar has been absorbed. Turn off the heat and allow the onions to cool.

In a food processor:  Add sour cream, mayo, onion and garlic powders, thyme, salt, pepper and caramelized onions.  Pulse until mixed.  Taste for seasoning after it has sat for a few minutes because the flavors will intensify.  Enjoy with your favorite potato chips or roast your own potato slices (thinly sliced with salt, pepper, brushed with olive oil at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes)

Notes:   The balsamic vinegar gives the best flavor but I have used dry vermouth before with excellent results.  You can mix all the ingredients by hand instead of using the food processor.  The reason I use the processor is to break up the onions into the sour cream and mayo base because I think the onion flavor is a bit better.  You can use whatever kind of sour cream or mayo you like, lite or full fat.   Also, if you use leeks, be careful to wash them well and don't include the dark green part because they can make your dip bitter. 

Print Recipe


  1. Very nice. I guess this would go very well with pasta, grilled chicken, fish etc.

  2. Yummmmmm I love onions, caramelized onions and onion dip... I'm seeing this with delicious pita bread or pita chips!

  3. How long do you think I could have your dip in the fridge before serving? Well unless it ends up eaten. Just thinking I could make up today and serve on Sunday.

  4. Coupons - mine is made and waiting! I made mine yesterday. Sour cream and mayo have good shelf life in the frig so I am sure you are good. I am trying hard not to nibble on mine.


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