Cook’s Recipe: Onion Dip


Bertram Grimm found Special Agent Moore at his desk, reclining back in his chair watching a taped newscast. Papers and files strewn about his desk, Moore didn’t notice him approach. He was too busy digging one chip after another into a bowl, drowning each in dip before shoveling it mercilessly into his mouth. Grimm sighed and flicked open his pocket watch, noted the time, then spoke. “Ethan, just because we often need to track down vicious animals doesn’t mean you need to constantly eat like one.”

He reached down, plucked a chip from the bag and with a deft flick of his wrist wove it gently through the dip then devoured it, savoring the punch that accompanied the creamy texture. “Still…in this case I can appreciate your vigor.”

I have always loved onion dip. Paired with the perfect potato chip it remains a snack that I could eat for hours on end; afterward being dismayed, not because I had consumed entirely too much dairy and sodium, but because there were no more chips. I distinctly remember one New Year’s Eve in my youth that was spent on a couch consuming nothing but chips and onion dip for the whole evening. I don’t remember the ball dropping that year, or even what year it was, but I remember the dip.

Like most people, my experience with onion dip centers around those little pre-mixed packages or onion soup mixes, folded together with sour cream and left to chill in the fridge for awhile. When last the craving hit me and I found that we were out of those glorious little packets, I improvised, developing this creamy scratch made dip which requires a bit more effort,  but like most things, the effort was worth it. The flavor is a bit more mellow than your garden variety onion dips. If you prefer a stronger bite, add in more onion powder, use white onions which are less sweet than Vidalias, and consider adding in a teaspoon or two of horseradish.

Onion Dip
Makes about 3 cups of dip
Prep time: 10-20 minutes
Cook time: 15-30 minutes along with 1-8 hours of wait time.

Ingredients: (ingredient color guide)
1 16oz container of sour cream
1/4 cup white wine
1 large Vidalia Onion
1 small white onion
1 red onion
1/3 cup chopped leaks
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste*

Frying pan
Blender or food processor

Roughly dice the onions and saute with the leaks, in the olive oil, over medium heat, with a pinch of salt and pepper. After about 5 minutes, add in the white wine. Cook until they become translucent and very soft. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool.

Transfer 3/4 of the onions to a blender, along with the Greek yogurt. A similar binder like mayonnaise can be used as a replacement. Process the mixture until it evens out and becomes smooth. If it remains too thick, add in a bit more white wine or olive oil.

Place in a bowl and fold in the sour cream along with the remaining onions. If you prefer your dip not to have larger bits of onion in it, ignore this step and transfer all the onions to the blender instead. Mix in half of the garlic and onion powder. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or as long as overnight. Prior to service mix the dip again, add in the remaining onion and garlic powders. Then add in salt and pepper as desired. Serve chilled with chips or veggies.

*I intentionally have left the amount of salt a little vague, though in my recipe it came out to around 2 1/2 teaspoons. This is one of those recipes that really requires several tastings before you reach the desired flavor profile. In my case I actually leave the dip with slightly less salt than normal, preferring to have the salt from the chips balance it out.