Ina Garten is one of my favorite chefs (Barefoot Contessa on FoodTv). My sister in law through marriage, Heather Colburn, introduced me to this amazing appetizer. I'm making it again this weekend because we have friends coming through & it's a special request :)
It has become a household staple for informal social gatherings. I have to double the recipe because people stand around it and consume it at a rapid speed and then ask for more. It is usually the first thing to go off the table. Please excuse the bad picture.
I will not lie, there is NOTHING healthy about this dip. But, it's delicious & easy to make. Below is my "healthified" version (which is sort of a joke). But this is the original. Frying the onions gives them a caramel, sweet & nutty-like flavor. The dip is a bit spicy but you can adjust the heat to your liking.
PAN FRIED ONION DIP
2 large yellow onions
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup olive oil (I use a little less)
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (1/3 less fat)
1/4 cup sour cream (light)
1/4 cup plain, fat-free yogurt
1/2 cup good mayonnaise (light)--I like to use Vegennaise for the taste or Kraft's olive oil version
Cut the onions in half, and then slice them into 1/8-inch thick half-rounds (You will have about 3 cups of onions). If you don't like big chunks in your dip, dice the onion.
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the onions, cayenne, salt and pepper and sauté for 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 more minutes, until the onions are browned and caramelized. I like to add the cream cheese at this point if you don't have it at room temperature and let the heat of the onions melt the cheese and make it easier to stir together.
Mix the cream cheese and onion mixture with the sour cream, yogurt and mayonnaise gently until smooth. Add the onions and mix well. Taste for seasonings.
Serve at room temperature with crackers, chips, and/or vegetables.
Makes two cups
Note: I have noticed that if you use fat-free sour cream or mayonnaise, you have to use more salt. The fat free versions have more sugar in them.