I will admit that when it comes to cooking I have a penchant for the challenging and difficult. I welcome long ingredient lists, techniques that push me outside of my comfort zone and marathon bouts of preparation. But then occasionally there are recipes that remind me that food doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious.
Enter Easy Caramelized Onion & Blue Cheese Dip. With only seven ingredients (five if you exclude pantry staples) and a couple of steps it gives you unbelievable flavor with minimal effort.
You simply caramelize onions in olive oil before combining with blue cheese and a base of low fat mayonaise and sour cream. Add salt and pepper to taste and chill for a couple of hours to let the flavors meld. I also found this dip to be even better the second day so it’s perfect to make ahead.
While this dip is incredibly easy, there are a few tips to making it extra special:
- Start with the best quality ingredients you can get. This is a good rule to follow whenever you’re making a recipe with just a few ingredients or simple techniques. When you have a long ingredient list one or two subpar ingredients can often get enhanced by the rest, but in this case you only have a few to do the heavy lifting. For this recipe I used a good quality low fat mayo (think something that tastes great on its own) and a high quality blue cheese. My blue cheese of choice was Rogue Creamery’s Smokey Blue (which I review in more detail here). I chose it because I thought its smokiness and slight sweetness would pair well with the onions. Bayley Hazen Blue, Grevenbroecker, and Gorgonzola Dolce are also great choices. However, feel free to go with whatever variety you like best. Yes, good blue cheese can be expensive. However, you only need a little so it’s worth the extra expense for the extra flavor.
- Don’t rush the onions. Caramelizing the onions is the most time consuming step of this recipe, but well worth it. You may get impatient and tempted to pull them off the heat early. Don’t! Letting them fully caramelize is what lends most of the flavor to this dish. Never caramelized onions before? Simply Recipes has a fantastic tutorial with lots of pictures. If the time needed to caramelize onions seems like a lot, you try this great recipe for slow cooker caramelized onions. You could also consider making a double batch so you have extra to use in future recipes. I’ve found that they keep well in the freezer.
- Let it rest. Yes, you could make this last minute and skip refrigerating it before serving. It would still be good, but letting it rest is what really makes it amazing. The onions and cheese infuse the rest of the dip with their sweet and piquant flavors
Adapted from Epicurious.com
-1 tablespoon vegetable oil
-1 cup thinly sliced sweet onion
-1/2 cup low fat mayonnaise
-1/2 cup low fat sour cream
-1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese, room temperature
In a medium saucepan or skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions. Cover and cook until the onions are golden brown and caramelized, stirring occasional, about 30 minutes. Cool.
Whisk the mayonnaise and sour cream together in a bowl. Add blue cheese. Using rubber spatula, mash mixture until smooth. Stir in the caramelized shallots. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cover dip and refrigerate for at least two hours or up to two days for flavors to blend. Serve dip chilled or at room temperature.