My body is revolting against me. After a week-long vacation full of indulgences and little sleep, it was like..okay, I'm done. The resulting past week has been a blur of over-the-counter drugs, wads of tissue, and dinners out of soup cans. Blah.
Luckily, somewhere in between the telltale tickle-in-your-throat stage and the please-cut-off-my-nose-and-be-done-with-it stage, I managed to squeeze in a little time to head over to Chicago for a long-overdue family reunion. It's been 15 years since my mom's siblings all got together, and even longer since I've seen some of them. They're all scattered across the country living very different lives...it's completely insane, but it does make the time spent together seem pretty special.
After reliving old memories and catching up on all the current family news, we did what every well-respected family does - we stuffed our faces. Smoked hams, fresh summer salads, authentic Mexican guacamole....I even made a pretty cake (first one in a looong time).
The next day my parents, siblings, niece, and nephew made the hour and a half drive out to the country to come stay with us and do what we do best again - eat. This French onion dip has been making several appearances around here lately, and at least now I have my family's stamp of approval (arguably the toughest one to get). I love this dip's depth of flavor from the caramelized onions with a just a hint of heat from the cayenne. I swapped the usual sour cream for Greek yogurt, which lightens it up a bit and takes the edge off the potato chip guilt. I'm partial to potato chips for this, but you can also serve it with pita chips or fresh summer veggies like cukes, carrots, bell peppers, etc.
As my family headed back to down to Tennessee, I couldn't help but feel a little sad we don't live a little closer. There would be more birthdays celebrated together, more late-night discussions over dessert and coffee, and of course more cooking together. Perhaps this just makes those times together more memorable. For now, I am thankful for direct flights out of Chicago and a much shorter drive home than the one from Oregon.
French Onion Yogurt Dip
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma French Onion Dip recipe
Yield: about 1 1/2 cups of dip
1 large yellow or sweet onion, finely diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 cups plain Greek yogurt (full fat if you can find it, but nonfat will work as well)
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
- Melt butter over medium high heat in saute pan.
- Add onions and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until brown and caramelized, about 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on it, and lower the heat if you start to see any black around the edges of the onions.
- Add garlic during last few minutes of sauteing and cook through, but do not let burn.
- Turn off heat, and pour in Worcestershire sauce to deglaze pan. Scrape up brown bits from pan.
- In small bowl, mix together Greek yogurt, mayo, black and cayenne pepper.
- Add caramelized onions and garlic, and stir to combine.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour and preferably several hours to let flavors develop.
- Serve with potato chips (my fave), pita chips, or summer veggies like cukes, carrots, or bell peppers.
- If you have the time, make this the night before. The flavor is even better the second day.
- This dip will keep in the fridge for up to one week.
- The trick to caramelizing the onions without burning is to really keep an eye on them as they are cooking and adjust the heat as necessary. I usually start with medium high heat and gradually lower it to low by the time they are finished.