You know when you have that dream about eating cheese?
Hmm, just me?
We’re heading to the beach for a week and I need to get a menu together of flexible food. Like, maybe there will be 15 people maybe there will be 4. Maybe, I will be alone and everyone will be out of the house and I can eat cheese in peace.
This usually brings me to a lot of appetizer, finger and snack-style food as beach people tend to graze. You look up and a sandy herd wanders through the kitchen. You look back and poof they’re gone and replaced by stinky fish smelling people. It’s just the tide of feeding beach people.
As I have begun putting together my menu list I keep remembering this hot onion cheese dip we served at Thanksgiving a few years ago. It was creamy and delicious and reheated really well. I think it will be a good one to set out for the kitchen passer-througers or for a late night card game.
Plus, it’s warm so after a day at the beach, all of the slightly sunburned will be cold in our 80 degrees, 100% humidity fall beach weather. This will warm them from the inside out.
The name? I could say it’s a true marriage of onions and cheese. This is what you would get if onions and cheese had a baby. But, that’s not true. When you eat this you will eat so much you will have to unbutton your pants. I won’t lie. It’s a gateway food to losing all your inhibitions. Expect all of your food self-control to jump out the window. Please pass the cookies – yes, all of them. And, who knows what else?!
This recipe is adapted from Woman’s Day. It is perfect and super easy.
I like to serve it with kettle chips fried in olive, avocado, or coconut oil – you know, to keep it healthy.
Hot Onion-Cheese Baby Making Dip
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced from root to end
- 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar (optional)
- 1 8-oz. pkg cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 c. sour cream
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Dash hot sauce
- 6 oz. Gruyère Cheese, chopped into 1/2″-1″ pieces
- 2 scallions, finely chopped, plus extra for serving
- salt and pepper, to taste
First, you will caramelize the onions. Use a pan with high sides and a nice wide base and melt the butter over medium heat.
You should have a lot of onions. If you add them all at once it will be a giant pain in the stirring butt so add a few handfuls at a time. Stir for 1-2 minutes, until they start cooking down a bit and turning translucent. Repeat until you’ve added all the onions. Season with salt and pepper.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. After 15-20 minutes they should be a beautiful blonde color. For future reference, if you want to make French Onion soup this is how done the onions should be.
Check your pan, if you have some dry spots it is time to throw in a dash of water. The onions will reabsorb this. Continue cooking and stirring for another 15-20 minutes. They will be a beautiful golden color. You could use them at this point but I prefer them to be slightly crisp and dark around the edges. To achieve this you need to stay put and stir them for another 10-15 minutes to make sure they crisp and don’t burn. Just before doneness add the thyme and balsamic vinegar. Cook for at least one minute. Use it to deglaze the pan if need be.
In between caramelizing your onions preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In an oven safe dish that will hold 3 cups, one that is about 7″x5″x3,” mix the cream cheese, sour cream, zest, and hot sauce until fully incorporated. Fold in the Gruyère, scallions, and onions.
Place the dish on a lined cookie sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes. About half way through check to make sure the Gruyère is melted in, if desired, give it a quick mix and continue baking. When it is done you will see bubbles and browning.
Top with extra scallions and serve warm.