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Posted on Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 5:18 a.m.

Ditch the tub-o-dip. DIY onion dip is much better

By AnnArbor.com Staff

french_onion_dip_AP.jpg

This Nov. 8, 2011 photo shows creamy French onion dip in Concord, N.H. French onion dip isn’t difficult to make from scratch and is well worth the trouble.

AP Photo | Matthew Mead

ALISON LADMAN, For The Associated Press

French onion dip is a delicious and classic holiday party offering.

And yet most people don't bother to make it, instead opting for a tub of convenience. But convenience comes at a cost — a lackluster, totally forgettable dip.

The good news is that French onion dip isn't difficult to make from scratch. And the difference between it and purchased makes it well worth the trouble.

You start by sauteing onions, shallots and garlic until they are sweet and caramelized. Let them cool, then they go into the food processor with a few other ingredients. And that's it. Also, you can do the sauteing a day ahead, then refrigerate the onion mixture. The morning of your party, just process them with the other ingredients (this gives the flavors time to meld).

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CREAMY FRENCH ONION DIP

Start to finish: 30 minutes

Servings: 16

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large sweet onions, sliced

4 shallots, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

16 ounces low-fat cottage cheese

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

In a large skillet over medium, heat the olive oil. Add the onions, shallots, garlic, salt and pepper. Saute until the onions are browned and caramelized, about 15 to 18 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the garlic begins to brown too much, add a few tablespoons of water and continue cooking.

Allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a food processor and puree until smooth. Add the cottage cheese, thyme and marjoram. Puree again until smooth. Stir in the chopped chives. The dip can be served immediately, but benefits from being refrigerated for an hour or so to give the flavors time to combine.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 50 calories; 20 calories from fat (37 percent of total calories); 2 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 4 g carbohydrate; 4 g protein; 0 g fiber; 240 mg sodium.