Friday, May 9, 2008

May 9: Bacon, Scallion and Caramelized Onion Dip

Sunday is Mother's Day. My mother will be here for a short visit on the 23rd, and I anticipate eating well while she is here. My mother loves great, extravagant food, has a huge sweet tooth, and will eat anything. She is a lot of fun to cook for, because everything is the best thing she's ever had.

One of my favorite things that my mother makes is tuna noodle casserole, with canned cream of mushroom soup and frozen peas and buttered breadcrumbs on top. I am not going to bother with the recipe for that. It's ubiquitous and everybody's had it and either loved it or hated it, so I won't bother. Take my word, though, that my mother makes delicious tuna noodle casserole.

Instead, here is something that my mother would love. I inherited my love of dip from her. I would serve this with a variety of crackers, or maybe just eat it with a spoon alone in my living room.

Bacon, Scallion, and Caramelized Onion Dip

1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 pound onions, root end cut off, halved pole to pole, peeled, and sliced 1/4 inch thick across the grain
1/2 tablespoon water
Ground black pepper
3 slices bacon (about 3 ounces), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 scallions, minced
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
3/4 cup sour cream

1. Heat butter and oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat; when foam subsides, stir in salt and sugar. Add onions and stir to coat; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to soften and release some moisture, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are deeply browned and slightly sticky, about 40 minutes longer. (If onions are sizzling or scorching, reduce heat. If onions are not browning after 15 to 20 minutes, raise heat.) Off heat, stir in water; season to taste with pepper. (Can be refrigerated in airtight container for up to 7 days.)

2. Fry 3 slices (about 3 ounces) bacon, in small skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes; remove with slotted spoon to paper towel–lined plate and set aside.

3. Combine caramelized onions, cider vinegar, scallions, sour cream, and bacon in medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve. (Can be refrigerated in airtight container for up to 3 days.)

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