This past weekend I tried my hand at a hot dip I had been jonesing for over a year. A longtime friend and co-worker, that would be YOU, Sharon!, had stopped by my little sister’s and dropped off a super terrific hot onion dip for the family and it’s been on my mind more than constantly. The onions were a complete taste tease and, although the dip wasn’t heavy, it was substantial enough to satisfy on a cool winter’s day. I guess I could have asked her for the recipe but that would have been too easy, wouldn’t it? It was savory with a hint of sweetness owing to the onions. And I was aching to taste it again. With my boys’ team, the Patriots, playing on Sunday; I thought I’d see if I could rustle up a facsimile. Some hot onion dips call for frozen chopped onions but Sharon’s dip pleased both eye and palate featuring pearl onions and plenty of them. My initial attempt was a triumph in mediocrity. I had inadvertently grabbed pearl onions in some sorry excuse for a cream sauce which steeped the end result with a sour tang. I shudder to think. Despite the copious amount of cheese I was tempted to pull a Tom Hanks from the movie “Big” and scrape the vile, white jumble from my tongue. More work was needed. Not only did I need to lose that unpleasant, vinegary aftertaste but I also wanted a smoother and more gooey texture. Back at the grocery store I picked up the correct onions and a small bag of shredded mozzarella and returned home to refine and perfect. I had also decided to significantly amp the spices I had used. My thighs and I are thrilled to report that the state of nirvana was achieved. Oh, and I also swapped water crackers for good ol’ Frito corn chips…the scoop shaped ones. This was the final touch needed. The salty, crunchy corn rounded out the appetizer making it a whole, complete flavor adventure.
Hot Onion Dip
This dish has become a favorite of mine for several reasons. It travels extremely well and is loved by all therefore I come home with an empty dish and no leftovers to tempt me. Also, I don’t have to really measure the ingredients; you can eyeball it with confidence and finish with a great hor’s d’oeuvre.
- nonstick cooking spray
- 2 -14 ounce bags frozen pearl onions, thawed and drained
- 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature, I used reduced fat
- 2 cups parmesan cheese, shredded
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided and shredded, both bagged and reduced fat are fine
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise, I use Duke’s Light
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- Cover a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Combine all ingredients EXCEPT 1 cup of mozzarella in a large bowl, mixing well until all ingredients are combined.
- Transfer mixture to baking dish, smooth top and scatter remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese evenly.
- Bake 35-40 minutes or until golden and bubbly on top.
- Allow to cool at least 10-15 minutes prior to serving. This stuff is like molten lava straight out of the oven. You don’t want anyone to burn their mouths.
- Serve with corn chips.