Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fried Onion Dip

Fried Onion Dip

I don't watch too many Food Network shows. At one point, it was practically all I watched. I was taping everyone and then realized that I fast forwarded through 90% of the shows. So I stopped taping them. I still tape Ina cause I still love her simple, easy style of entertaining and the woman has some truly fantastic recipes (now if I could only handle her laugh). I love her, but that laugh irritates me. Sorry Ina.

About a month ago my Mom told me about a new show that she said she knew I would love called Heartland Table. I have to admit, I did not pay close attention and I never went to look for it on TV. A week later I was laying on the couch with a stuffy nose, freely pretty crappy, drinking my tea and channel surfing when I saw her. Amy Thielen. Rustic house, big garden, simple and easy cooking methods. I immediately clicked with her. If I had a TV show, this is what mine would be like. There is no giddy laughter, no pretentious house, no exotic ingredients, no fancy dishes. She is pure and simple and everything that should be revered about cooking.

I love this show.

I ordered her book from Amazon, The New Midwestern Table. I want to make so many of her recipes.  I haven't been this excited about a cookbook in a very long time.

My friend Jenny started a Facebook page called Cooking from the New Midwestern Table. We'll be cooking and sharing Amy's recipes. If you like to join us, please head on over to the Facebook page and pick up a copy of Amy's book. It's a hefty hardcover. The kind of book you just can't wait to get dogged eared and food stained, at least that's how I like my cookbooks. Those are always the books with the best recipes in them.

Fried Onion Dip1

The first episode I watched was called Bologna Days and featured a fantastic looking peppered pork lion, friend round bologna rings, homemade flat bread (that recipe will be coming up soon!) and this phenomenal Fried Onion Dip.

Most of you know I am an onion freak. My Maui Onion Dip is one of my most favorite dips of all time. Now I have a second.

This dip comes together so quickly. It has the deep rich flavor that you would expect from caramelizing onions for a very long time. The clarified butter and vermouth send it over the top. Don't skip those steps! Trust me!

I made this for a little get together with friends. I was thrilled that I had a smidge left the next day. I smeared it on some crusty bread and topped with some roasted chicken. Oh my. I am in love with this dip.

I'm going to make it for my son's birthday party this weekend.

I will need to double the recipe!

Fried Onion Dip2

Fried Onion Dip
recipe from Amy Thielen - Heartland Table
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter
1 medium sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon honey
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup (2 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
Dash of cayenne pepper

First, clarify the butter so that you can fry the onions at high heat and put a very dark, almost burnt crust on them. Please don't skip this step. It does something magical to those onions and it's very easy to do.

Heat the butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat until it foams and browns. Keep an eye on it. It can go from brown to burnt in a matter of seconds. Remove from the heat. Tilt the skillet and carefully spoon off the foam, saving it in a small bowl. Pour the clear butter into another bowl, and pour the dark dregs at the bottom of the skillet into the bowl with the foam. Add the clear butter to a larger heavy skillet. I used a cast iron pan. (Discard the butter foam and dregs.)

Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Fry the onions, flipping them now and then, until they're dark on the edges, even black and crispy in spots, about 10 minutes. Add the honey and garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the vermouth, bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid thickens, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Put the sour cream and cream cheese in a mixing bowl and mix with a rubber spatula until smooth. Finely chop the fried onions on a cutting board and add them, along with their pan juices, to the cream cheese mixture. Stir in the chives. Add the cayenne and season with salt.

Transfer to a small bowl and garnish with more chives. (This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.)

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