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Culinary Class: Caramelized Onion Dip

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Super Bowl, Super Dip

Meet the new star of your game day spread

Written by Lia Grabowski | Photos by Jonathan Boncek

Forget store-bought dips and packets of powdered mix: Making homemade onion dip from scratch is a cinch. The key is perfectly caramelizing the onions, a skill any home cook can master with a little patience (and when you realize how easy they are to make, you’ll be whipping them up for everything from french onion soup to grilled cheese sandwiches). Start with the right tools: A wide pan is key—it gives the onions breathing room and allows the liquid they release to evaporate (steam is not your friend here).

Take your time; browned and caramelized are not the same thing. As with so many great Southern recipes, low and slow is the name of the game. You want to let the sugars in the onions break down and develop earthy sweetness, rather than a toasted or burnt flavor. And don’t be afraid to let them sit; constant stirring simply doesn’t make for better food. Keep a watchful eye and lower the heat if the onions are browning too quickly. Once they’ve softened and deepened in color to a rich golden brown, deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine or water to bring out even more flavor. The liquid helps release stuck-on onion bits and sugar residue from the bottom of the pan, which will then reincorporate with the rest of the onions. Now you’re in the home stretch. But don’t mix the dip with hot onions—melted sour cream and mayonnaise will mean a soupy end product. Instead, set the onions aside to cool to room temperature first. Make this dip the day before serving to let the flavors meld overnight, and watch it disappear by halftime.


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