This quasi-refined onion dip is a far cry from Latin food, but I’ve noticed and embraced a shift in my cooking. Beyond Cuban and Latin fusion, I’ve spent a good portion of the last 3-4 years exploring a lot of other foods and cuisines in their purest form. Most times, I’ll take a pinch of what I’ve found and loved and incorporate it into my core techniques and default ingredients. Part of being a good cook or chef is being able to think outside the box and play around with things not natural to your repertoire. It’s worked out quite nicely for me. So many delicious dishes have been in my cocinando that way.
There’s nothing wildly special about onion dips other than I have a special affection for them. Do you remember the Lipton boxes to make onion soup or onion dip out of powder? I used to swear by those little packets early on in my entertaining days. It all started in college. I was so fond of the ease in which I could wow friends with. As my cooking developed in my early 20s, I still used that same little packet to make some amazing roasted potatoes.
And then of course, as growth and development happens, and you realize that you can and should make anything and everything possible from scratch, and that’s what you should be doing, I never saw a Lipton pocket again.
But I still wanted onions in everything. And since it’s 1/3 of our Cuban cooking holy trinity –our sofrito — there is no escaping onions. They are so glorious. So I got to thinking; how can I use onions beyond sautéing, frying, or as a great seasoning in a lot of my food? French onion dip is ubiquitous particularly as a dipping snack for potato chips but I wanted something even more simple. Something extremely easy to make with a short list of ingredients.
This was it. It was mostly inspired by a garlic dip I had a few years ago at a food show which I fell in love with but haven’t tried making. It was nothing but garlic. Imagine that. My heart was happy.
That’s what this is. Nothing but onions and butter. I loved it but ultimately was missing a little something else, so I added good ol’ American worcestershire sauce. That did the trick. It was the umami element.
But it was still dull-looking so I had to spice it up. Caramelized onions was the obvious route. I browned some in raw sugar, but just a slither so as to no make them too sweet. Divineness. It added a bit of texture and a bolder flavor. Oh, and cumin, because you know I’m obsessed with that spice, gave it a slightly detectable smokey air.
Goodness. Pure goodness.
This is a perfectly creamy dip with a hint of salt and twang. It’s so buttery smooth that it makes for a good spread on hamburgers or sandwiches. No need in relegating it only a dipping sauce for potato chips. That’s so boring!
Four ingredients, 15 minutes, and you’re done. This is what I’m talking about. Simple, quick, delicious food. Keep this recipe around for your summer shindigs. An inventory of easy recipes like this will keep you entertaining all season long!
I’ve already started.
- 2 medium white onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup white onion, julienne
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 3 tsp. worcestershire sauce
- 3 tsp. raw sugar, divided
- pinch of cumin, about 1/2 tsp.
- salt/pepper to taste
In medium skillet, sauté chopped onions in butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook down for 6-8 minutes or until softened. Transfer to food processor. Add 1 teaspoon of raw sugar. Pulse and purée until completely smooth. Transfer to serving bowl using rubber spatula. Stir in worcestershire sauce. Cover and chill for one hour. Before serving, cook remaining onions. In same skillet, brown onions in remaining brown sugar. When cooked, stir in to onion dip.
Serve at room temperature.
Yields 2 cups.