Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Balsamic Onion Dip

 I admit - not the best photo in the world.
 For whatever reason, I got a hankering for onion dip something fierce the other day (I probably saw it on a menu somewhere).  Guess I really should go back to Phase I of South Beach to kick those cravings, but in the meantime, I decided to just try making my own, so it could be healthier.  How hard could it be right?  Well, version 1 turned out okay - yummy and definitely edible, just not as rich as I was hoping for.  I have some ideas for tweaks - onion powder, Worcestershire, etc.  I even did a little bit of reconnaissance after the fact to see if I had missed some key component that everyone else knew about and hadn't told me.  It doesn't appear so since Alton Brown's recipe looked even blander than mine (and mayo, ew).  However, I really liked the idea over here about adding tofu to the mix for more protein.  (Especially as I sit here making a meal out of baby carrots dunked in it.)  I still want to stick to the balsamic vinegar since that's a flavor profile I love, especially with onion, especially since I fell in love with these sea salt & balsamic vinegar chips in Australia (OMG SO GOOD).  I see that Kettle sells this flavor in the UK, and now I'm praying I can buy them online and have them shipped.
Maybe these ones by Boulder Canyon would be good. . . ANYWAY.  Dip.

I set my sweetie to work with the mandolin and got to caramelizing, but if you're going to chuck these in the food processor as I did, you may not need to worry about slicing quite so thinly.  Also, you can get creative with the base.  Try strained Greek Yogurt for a bit more tang, or maybe cream cheese for a cream cheese spread, or a combo of sour cream and mayo like a traditional dip.  Serve with your favorite dippables - when being healthy I go with veggies of course, but whole wheat baked pita crisps would be great as well.  If you're not a waistline watcher, just go with chips, yum!

Balsamic Onion Dip
2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt to taste (I used about 1 1/2 tsp)
freshly ground pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp)
1 16 oz container of lowfat (or non fat) sour cream

Heat up a tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium - high heat.  Caramelize the onions* in batches so you don't overcrowd your pan (I did four separate batches for this amount of onions in the pan size I had, though you could probably get away with three).  If you don't listen to me now and you chuck them all in at once you'll end up just sweating and steaming your onions and they'll go all flaccid and weird, and not caramelized at all.  We do not want this.
Once the onions are nicely caramelized, stir in the balsamic vinegar and turn off the heat.  Allow to cool, and put in the food processor for a smoother dip, with the onions more evenly dispersed, or leave whole if you want folks to hit a nice chunk of yummy onion.

As I mentioned, I think I'll tweak this a bit by adding more vinegar, and maybe some Worcestershire sauce and a bit of onion powder, maybe a kick more salt.

*It should probably be noted that I am not an official onion caramelizer.  It rarely takes me more than 10-12 minutes to "caramelize" my onions, so please don't feel like you have to let them cook for 20-40 minutes as suggested by some recipes.  If you do, they'll be incredible, of course, but I don't find it necessary to let them go that long for most of my impatient purposes.

1 comment:

Quinn said...

Yum, seems like a great snack to make for a friend on any given Wednesday in June.