Bringing chips and dip to a food-centric gathering might seem like a bit of a cop-out — but, if you make the dip yourself, you just may be crowned unofficial snack monarch of the event.
Photos by Claire Lower
For some reason, onion dip is one of those things that most people just don't consider making from scratch (see also: Whipped cream). Maybe it's because it's so firmly associated with powdery mixes all strewn with dehydrated onion bits, or maybe it's because the jars and tubs of the pre-made stuff are so convenient, but I am here to tell you that it can — and definitely, without a doubt, should — be done.
For your basic — as in "easy" — dip, you really only need six things:
- An onion
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 240mL of FULL-fat sour cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat and dice your onion. Scrape all of the onion bits into the pan and give them a healthy sprinkling of salt. Stir it all up to make sure everyone gets coated with butter, and leave it alone for a while. Once the onions are translucent, reduce the heat a bit and let them caramelise, resisting the temptation to stir more than every 10 minutes or so.
Once you have them as dark as you like them, dump the onions and the rest of your ingredients into a bowl and stir, stir, stir. Ideally, store your dip in the fridge overnight to let the flavours meld, but you can also get to dipping immediately.
Once you're comfortable with that, you can begin to experiment, adding in all sorts of fun. A few of my favourite variations are:
- Horseradish onion dip: A tablespoon of the prepared stuff adds a nice kick.
- Garlic onion dip: Caramelise a couple of cloves along with the onions.
- Instant noodle onion dip: I wouldn't do a whole packet of noodle seasoning, lest you overwhelm the onion-y goodness, but if you need MSG in your dip, this is a cheap and easy way to get it.
You could also add in bacon, if you are so inclined. I've never done it, but I bet it would be good. (I mean, obviously.)