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French onion dip is a sour cream-based potato chip dip that is flavored with onion and other seasonings. Originally designed to mimic the taste of French onion soup, French onion dip is a popular party addition. It can be purchased premade, made with sour cream and dried soup mix, or created with fresh ingredients.
The simplest versions of French onion dip combine sour cream with dried French onion soup mix. Immediately prior to serving, the soup mix is thoroughly stirred into the sour cream. Then, the dip can be served in the sour cream container or transferred to a fancier dish.
When French onion dip is made with fresh ingredients, sweet onions or yellow onions, often combined with white or brown sugar, are normally used. In addition, Worcestershire sauce, sour cream, and mayonnaise or plain yogurt are usual ingredients. Shallots or onion powder may be added to increase the onion flavor, and beef or mushroom broth is sometimes included to increase the French onion soup taste. Some versions may also add lemon juice or vinegar, and salt and pepper is usually included. Occasionally, Parmesan cheese might be mixed into the dip as well.
To make French onion dip, the onions are normally caramelized or sauteed in a mixture of butter and olive oil. If sugar is included, it is heated with the onions. The other ingredients are mixed together separately before the cooked onions are added. Some versions may deglaze the pan with water or simmer the onions and seasonings with vinegar before adding the heated mixture to the sour cream mix.
The exact taste of this dip varies depending on the specific ingredients used. If sweet onions or sugar is used, the dip will be sweet, but if multiple types of onion flavoring are used, the dip will have more of a bite. Consistency will also vary. Completed French onion dip can be pureed for a smoother, creamier consistency or left with chunks of onion. If the dip becomes too thick, milk can be added to thin the mixture.
The dip should be chilled before use. When served, it may be garnished with chopped chives or green onions. Although usually used for potato chips, this dip can also be used for fresh vegetables or as a tangier sour cream topping on baked potatoes. When not in use, it should be stored in a refrigerator. Homemade French onion dip keeps for several days when properly stored.
Even though there's nothing much French about this dip, it's still tasty stuff, and most people really like it, unless they just don't like onions at all.
It's also pretty easy to make. It's mostly just onions, sour cream and seasonings, with a little mayonnaise thrown in. I would also recommend garlic, black pepper and a little hot sauce for some kick.
You do have to be careful though, or the dip will have a bitter tang that isn't very appetizing. This can usually be alleviated by using a little sugar or very caramelized onions. Bitter dip is not, as Alton Brown would say, “good eats.”
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