One of the things my husband really does not care for is caramelized onions; so, when he sent me this recipe for a hot caramelized onion dip he’d found on the web at Sweet Paul Magazine, I was a bit surprised, but game to try it.
I did (of course) make a few changes to suit my pantry and preferences.
Instead of thinly slicing two onions, I used a bag of thawed and well-drained frozen pearl onions, and instead of the called for Gruyère, I used good Wisconsin Swiss from one of our favorite cheese makers.
I also forewent the whole “make and serve in one cast iron skillet thing” because I have my trusty Copper Chef pan that I use for just about everything and finished the dip in a gratin pan – though, really, any oven safe low casserole will do.
•4 strips of bacon
•2 onions, thinly sliced
•1/8 tsp sugar
•1/8 tsp coarse sea salt
•1 tbsp sherry
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1 tsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce – or your favorite hot sauce, to taste
•1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
•1/2 cup crème fraîche
•1/2 cup mayonnaise
•Black pepper, to taste
•1/2 tsp dried thyme
*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit more of the sherry and your hot sauce of choice.
Heat your oven to 400º.
Cook the bacon until it is crispy (I have a kindofa cool new method that I will share tomorrow), then set aside to drain on a paper towel lined plate.
Add the onions, sea salt, and sugar to the bacon fat in the pan and cook, stirring every now and then, until they are nicely browned and, well, caramelized.
Remove from heat and stir in the sherry, Sherry Peppers, and hot sauce, stirring to get any of those tasty dark bits from the bottom of the pan up and worked into the onions and sherry liquid.
Crumble the bacon over the onion mixture, then add the grated cheese, crème fraîche, mayonnaise, pepper, and dried thyme, stirring to mix well and melt the cheese.
Note: Sweet Paul called for using fresh thyme as a garnish over the top of the dip after it has been baked, but, my market had no fresh thyme on offer, so I went with adding just a bit of dried thyme along with the cheese and stuff.
Worked a treat.
If your pan or skillet is oven proof, by all means go ahead and pop it into the oven. I, however, still had plans for the Copper Chef, so I transferred the dip to a low baking dish.
Whatever you choose to do, pop the dip into the hot oven and bake for 20 minutes, until it is nicely heated through, browned a bit on top, and cheesily bubbly.
Remove from the oven and let rest for five minutes or so before serving.
This was a hoooge hit with friends gathered for a bit of holiday wine and schmoozing.
Sweet Paul suggests serving with pita chips and/or crusty bread; but many of the folk gathered around our table don’t eat wheat products, so I went with pita chips and endive leaves – which worked great to scoop up the dip.
SO. At the end of the day. Sliced or pearl onions. Fresh or dried thyme. One pan or two. Sherry Peppers Sauce or no.
You need to make this dip.