Monday, August 30, 2010


Mine is a household that takes appetizers seriously.  As we've discussed before, the husband is a sucker for chips and salsa, and I would be happy to have cheese and crackers for dinner any day of the week. In fact, dinner of appetizers is one of my favorite dinners, hands down.  However, our cheese spreads have been getting old, and aren't the healthiest option, and the brutal heat is back, meaning lighter and more refreshing fare was in order to accompany our Sunday evening barbecue sesh.  I thought a bounty of fresh veggies would be just the thing, but lest we be too virtuous, they'd need a dip to make them special. When I am in the mood for perfection, I always turn to Ina, who never lets me down.  

The Pan-Fried Onion Dip in the original Barefoot Contessa Cookbook is a play on the French onion dip we all grew up eating (packet of French onion soup + container of sour cream = 80s party staple), but this version of that classic is so much more complex and flavorful than the original.  Why?  Because instead of using dried, sodium-crusted onions, you caramelize fresh onions into ooey, gooey perfection, and blend them with a melange of creamy items until the whole thing is ridiculously smooth and dreamy.  Honestly, how can you even compare this:
To this:
You can't. 
There's nothing like keeping it fresh.  Try this while all the harvest veggies are at their finest.  YUM.
The Barefoot Contessa's Pan-Fried Onion Dip
2 large yellow onions
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup good mayonnaise

1) Cut the onions in half and then slice them into 1/8-inch thick half-rounds. (You will have about 3 cups of onions.) 
2) Heat the butter and oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions, cayenne, salt, and pepper and saute for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 more minutes until the onions are browned and caramelized. Allow the onions to cool.
3) Place the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth. Add the onions and mix well. Taste for seasonings. Serve at room temperature.

No comments:

Post a Comment