Recipe: Real Onion Dip

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This REAL version of classic onion dip is made with caramelized pan-fried onions instead of salty, flavor-enhanced dried onion soup mix. Served with excellent potato chips, it is the ultimate cocktail party food.

You can scale this recipe up to make several times the amount of servings. Just use a bigger pan and allow more cooking time.

Makes about 1 ½ cups

    • 2 pounds yellow onions, peeled
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil
    • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
    • ½ teaspoon sugar
    • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Slice the onions in half through the stem. On a manual cutter or with a thin sharp knife, cut into thin (eighth of an inch) slices lengthwise through the stem. You should have about six cups.

In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter over moderately low heat. Add the onions, sprinkle with half a teaspoon of the salt and toss to coat. Cover and cook until the onions have released liquid, about 13 minutes.

Uncover, increase the heat to moderate, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the sugar and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the onions are golden brown and caramelized, about 10 minutes longer. Pepper generously and adjust the seasoning. Remove from the heat and keep warm if using right away. To store, refrigerate the onions covered up to one week.

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Sally Schneider writes The Improvised Life, a lifestyle blog about improvising as a daily practice. Her cookbook The Improvisational Cook is now out in paperback. More

Sally Schneider is the founder of The Improvised Life, a lifestyle blog that inspires you to devise, invent, create, make it up as you go along, from design and cooking to cultivating the creative spirit. It's been called a "zeitgeist-perfect website." She is a regular contributor to public radio's The Splendid Table and the author of the best-selling cookbooks The Improvisational Cook and A New Way to Cook, which was recently named one of the best books of the decade by The Guardian. She has won numerous awards, including four James Beard awards, for her books and magazine writing.

Sally has worked as a journalist, editor, stylist, lecturer, restaurant chef, teacher, and small-space consultant, and once wrangled 600 live snails for the photographer Irving Penn. Her varied work has been the laboratory for the themes she writes and lectures about: improvising as an essential operating principle; cultivating resourcefulness and your inner artist; design, style, and food; and anything that is cost-effective, resourceful, and outside the box.
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