It’s football time and we are thinking halftime, appetizers, and dips. One of our favorite dips is a caramelized onion and bacon dip. Caramelizing the onions gives them a sweeter flavor and also a depth of flavor and then there is bacon. We once heard someone say that bacon is food porn and hey, we cannot argue.
Be sure to use sweet onions when caramelizing. Preheat some oil, for this recipe we are using the bacon drippings, in a heavy skillet, cast iron if you have it. Stir in a bit of salt halfway through the cooking process to release the excess water from the onion. Cook until the onions are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Deglaze the pan with either balsamic vinegar or for this recipe wine.
Red or White Wine
It really does not matter if it is red or white when you are using it in cooking. Use what you have on hand. But here is a little secret about wine that I learnt at my favorite winery in Napa. Recorking or recapping white wine and refrigeration it is perfectly fine. Red wine, however, is fermented with the skin, seeds, and pulp and once you open a bottle of red you should drink it in full. There is no saving red wine for drinking later. However, leftover red wine can be placed in the refrigerator and used for cooking.
For this dish I used Ludwig Farmstead Creamery’s Jakes Wheel Havarti-style cheese from our market which I highly recommend. You can substitute cheese. In fact, I highly recommend it. Every cheese will play with the flavor of the dish giving it its own unique taste. However, I recommend you stick with a cheese that melts well. Cheeses to try Colby, Swiss, Fontina, Monterey Jack, Muenster, Provolone, or smoked Gouda.
Caramelized Onion & Bacon Dip
- 6 pieces thick-cut bacon
- 1 tablespoon bacon drippings
- 2 large sweet onions, sliced
- 2 tablespoons wine
- 7 ounces Havarti cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Fry the bacon to a crispy brown. Remove the bacon from the pan saving the drippings. Drain on paper towels. Set aside to cool.
- Add 1 tablespoons of bacon drippings to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add sweet onions and let cook stirring occasionally until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Add the wine to the pan to deglaze, about 2 minutes, scraping the pan as you work. Transfer the cooked onions to a medium bowl.
- Add the cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise. Crumble 2/3 of the bacon and 1/2 of the green onions into the mix. Mix well.
- Spread mixture into a medium cast iron or heavy skillet. Bake until the cheese is smooth and bubbly, about 20 minutes.
- Garnish with remaining bacon bits and green onions. Serve warm with chips or rustic bread.