Jessica Flanigan decides to breathe new life into a classic French appetizer, and ends up with a delicious modern take on the retro dish.
Text And Photos By Jessica Flanigan
Many of my holidays growing up were spent at my grandparents house. Easter Sunday always included a ham spiked with cloves, and the very popular french onion dip appetizer. Everyone would stand around the coffee table until the bowl of dip was gone. A package of Lipton french onion soup mixed with sour cream along side a plate of celery and carrot sticks. A vivid food memory in my mind. Fast forward 20 years, and I still crave this appetizer. I have tried making it from scratch before, mixing sour cream, mayonnaise and sometimes chevre with onions to create something vaguely similar to what my childhood mind remembers. I never was able to get it just right however, until now.
I decided to skip the sour cream and mayonnaise component and instead opted for creme fraiche. I wanted a slighty sour taste that had a mostly creamy texture. Mayonnaise has a flat flavor note that I thought would cover the subtle taste of shallots and onion. I was right. Creme fraiche turned out to be the perfect blank canvas for caramelized onions and onion powder. This dip was incredibly easy too. A perfect throwback to the old days of my Easter dinner traditions. Serve with carrot sticks, celery or sourdough toast points.
- 7.5 ounces Creme Fraiche (213g)
- 1 heaping cup finely chopped onions (150g)
- 3 Tablespoons finely chopped shallots (1.5 oz)
- ½ teaspoon salt (1.5g)
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon onion powder (18g)
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (.5 oz)
- pinch salt
- Saute onions and shallots with olive oil and small pinch of salt over medium heat until caramelized, about 30 minutes.
- Stir occasionally.
- Cool in a bowl to room temperature after cooked.
- In a bowl, gently mix onion powder and salt into creme fraiche.
- Add the room temperature onion mixture to creme fraiche.
- Refrigerate overnight, covered.
- Bring to room temperature before serving.