Tag Archives: ideas for snacking

Recipe for Slow Roasted Onion Dip

recipe for roasted onion dip

This is the onion dip taste you’ve been looking for – seriously. You’re going to want to keep this one.

You go to a party and – there it is – your favorite onion dip that we all learned to make with sour cream and dried onion soup packets from the market. It worked for us in the beginning, savory, salty, with all that delicious onion flavoring (and with all those ‘lovely’ preservatives). But, what if you can say that yours was homemade and much more delicious? Made one from scratch? Now, wouldn’t that turn some heads?

The exciting thing is that roasted onion dip is actually very easy to make. I found a straightforward recipe from Bon Appetit that will have you and your guests craving this over and over. And, I guarantee that you will never look at the soup packets the same way again.

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  2. Peel and trim the ends of about 1.5 pounds of mixed (red, white, brown) onions and thinly slice – you can use a mandolin if you have one.
  3. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper, toss the onions and 4 unpeeled (you want them to basically steam in their skin) cloves of garlic with a ¼ cup of olive oil and 2 TBS water. Season with salt and toss again to make sure everything is coated evenly. Then pile them up into a nice tidy pile in the middle of the tray.  The goal here is to actually steam them into submission.
  4. In this recipe, as you might expect, you have to caramelize the onions. But this is the part that really got my attention. Instead of shepherding your onions over a hot pan on a stove top, we’ll let the power of convection (and steam) do the job for us. And they won’t be soggy, and they’ll reach a beautiful color, aroma, and flavor!
  5. The “convection” action happens within the tidy pile of thinly sliced onions and garlic. The steam from all that cooking radiates heat in all direction. When you think about it a bit, it all makes total sense.
  6. As you bake, toss and stir your pile of onions and garlic about every 10 minutes. Make sure you push it all back into a big pile before putting it back in the oven. Do this until everything is golden brown and soft. When I use this recipe—see my video here—it took about 40 to 50 minutes. Some of the onions will brown quicker than others, but that’s fine.
  7. If you find after 40-50 minutes that your onions are nice and soft but not quite as golden as you’d like – spread them out on the sheet tray and put back in the oven for a few minutes to add color.
  8. When it’s time, remove the onions from the oven and allow them to cool. They will cool quicker if you spread them around.
  9. Transfer the onions and garlic to a cutting board. Separate out the garlic and squeeze the cloves: basically, the garlic will squish out from the peelings. Smash the garlic with the side of a knife until it turns into a paste. Transfer the squished garlic to a medium bowl.
  10. Finely chop the browned onions and add them to the same bowl.
  11. Then, add 1 ½ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt that you’ve mixed with 2 tsp of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. I always recommend Kosher salt because it’s less salty and easier to control. Stir everything together until well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  12. Place in a serving bowl and sprinkle some cayenne pepper on the top for color.

Serve with fresh radishes, baby carrots, or potato chips. Note on the chips: use the unsalted ones because the dip will be salty enough. Now, look what you’ve done: an excellent game-day dip. Wait for the head-turning when your guests ask why this onion dip is SO much better than the one they usually get and you tell them it’s because you made it yourself!

How to Roast a Head of Garlic

home roasted garlic

A fabulous “quick” preparation for a favorite… wait a minute… what IS garlic anyhow?

Here’s a fun fact about garlic. While it’s probably easy to call it a vegetable it’s actually an allium like onions, shallots and leeks and is rarely, if ever, eaten on its own LIKE a vegetable. But, as a friend of mine likes to say, the discussion is merely academic.

Botanically speaking, garlic is actually part of the lily family and has been spicing up human food for thousands of years. Archeologists have found garlic among a list of favorite food flavorings and traditional medicine for Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Babylonians, and Greeks. These days, 80% of the world supply of garlic comes from China. I buy mine at my local Farmer’s Market.  It can grow almost anywhere it is dry and warm.

There used to be a little restaurant – I forget the name – on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street, right across the street from the famous “Hollyvine” office building where John Wayne once had his office. The restaurant served one of the best bowls of creamy roasted garlic soups I’ve ever had. And if that sounds delicious to you, you’ll want to know how to roast a head of garlic.

There’s nothing sweeter than roasted garlic – especially for spreading on crostini or if you’re making garlic bread, or as an ingredient in a creamy soup. You can serve it on your charcuterie board or on a separate board with some tasty sourdough. And the thing is, it’s so simple to do if you follow the recipe I found by TheKitchn.com. To emphasize the point (how easy it is), you can watch me make this on my own video.

  1. The first step, preheat your oven to 400°F and place a rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Peel off the loose papery layers of the head of garlic. Don’t worry about the skin – keep that part intact so that it holds the “head” together.
  3. Cut straight through, about one-quarter of an inch off from the top of the head – not the root end.
  4. Place the head on a piece of aluminum foil–cut side up. Include the small tops of the heads that you cut off.
  5. Drizzle about 2 tsp of olive oil on the cut ends. Don’t skimp on the olive oil. Flavor is important, see “How to pick olive oil.”
  6. Roll up the foil into a closed packet. Make sure that the foil will hold the oil and not let it drip out. Place the packets directly on the oven rack and roast until soft–about 40 minutes.
  7. If you’re worried about oil dripping in your oven, place a baking sheet UNDER the packets.

Serve warm and savor the taste of this most ancient of delicacies.

Football Season is HERE!

Ready for football season?

What a great time to entertain your friends and family—but don’t forget the most important ingredient!

It’s football season – a great time to entertain friends and family!

Football Sunday is an instant hit for most people. Even friends who don’t watch football, love to come to my gatherings just because it’s a great time to hang out and party a bit. And the great part?  Sundays are typically lazy days which make them perfect for casual get-togethers, right?

Keep it flexible.  These rules can work as easily on Saturdays if you’re a College ball fan as they do on Sundays if you like watching pro.  Keeping it flexible and casual means that entertaining areas don’t have to be limited to the kitchen or dining room. Your TV area/room is perfect for a football Saturday/Sunday you just have to spend a little time thinking and planning for a good place to set up the food and beverages. Keep everything in a space that is either in the same room where all the action is going on or a convenient location nearby. Make it easy for your guests to stay connected even when they’re hungry or thirsty.

Food on these lazy casual days should be easy to make and easy to handle on your lap. Here’s an opportunity to pull out all your mismatched small bowls, utensils and cups for a fun look. Have plenty of finger snacks already set out – chips, spiced nuts, pretzels, and so on.

One idea that’s always fun is a make-it-yourself taco bar. Or, maybe you have a famous chili recipe that cooks for hours and makes your house smell amazing. Place it in a colorful cast iron stock pot on a portable hot plate to keep it warm and surround it with all of the fixings (shredded cheddar, chopped onion, sour cream) in small bowls (they don’t need to match)

Another great idea for ‘serve yourself’ is a baked potato bar.  Get medium size potatoes. The classic is the Russet potato (of course), but you can use any. Wash and dry the potatoes, rub all over with olive oil, then rub all over with salt (make it Kosher) and bake in a 425°F oven for about 45 minutes or until they’re soft when pierced.  Keep them warm on a hot plate for service.  Set out the typical preparations like butter, chives (fresh), shredded cheddar, crumbled bacon, sour cream, or anything else that strikes your fancy!

Welcome your guests, keep them fed, hydrated, and engaged in conversation.  Use items in your entertaining spaces that you’ve picked up either during your travels or at the local flea market.  Your guests will remember your creativity and want to come back to see what you’re going to use at your next party. Most of all—have a blast and may the best team win.