I am nearly finished with the Big Ranch Farms cookbook. It was supposed to be called Fast Starters from the Farmstand until I stopped by one day and Teresa told me about a caramelized onion dip she’d made the night before.
At that time, there was a huge blanket of onions drying out next to the stand so I wasn’t surprised she was cooking a lot with onions, but I was surprised how absolutely delicious and effortless this dip is.
Everyone I’ve made it for so far has agreed.
It’s tasty with crinkled potato chips or whole grain pita chips if you are feeling virtuous. Although after a few bites everyone has suggested the same thing: it would also be great as a sandwich spread.
The only problem is once I decided to add this recipe to the book I had to change the name from Fast Starters to Fresh Starters because caramelizing onions takes a while. But this dip is worth every minute…and the name change.
Caramelized Onion Dip
2 extra large or 3 medium red onions
1 teaspoon raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup sour cream
4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1 tablespoon parmesan
Chopped chives (optional)
Cut the tops off the onions and set the flat side down on the cutting board and cut into quarters. Peel the outer layer away and discard. Holding on to the stem end, cut the onion quarters into thin slices.
Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add just enough oil to coat the bottom to prevent the onions from sticking initially. Add the onions and let cook for 5 minutes. Stir and let cook for 5 minutes. Continue to do this for 20 minutes total. At this point, the liquid from the onions should be entirely evaporated and the onions will begin to brown. Decrease the heat to medium-low and let cook for 10 minutes, stirring just enough to prevent the onions from burning. Sprinkle the sugar, salt and pepper over the top of the onions and add the wine. Stir, increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the liquid is evaporated almost entirely. Let cool slightly.
Put the cream cheese in a large bowl.
Add the onions to the cream cheese or transfer to a cutting board and chop for a smoother texture. Add to the bowl with the cream cheese. Stir until completely combined. Stir in the sour cream and parmesan. Sprinkle with chives and serve.
What to drink: Bubbly. I’ve always been a huge fan of Chardonnay-based sparkling wine with potato chip anything. Try Chandon Reserve Chardonnay Brut or etoile Brut.