Ah, the warm weather is back, and you know what that means—picnics. I prefer the backyard barbecue, mostly because I like the convenience and necessities (private bathroom) of a home. Also, the one time I tried to eat breakfast at the beach, pigeons attacked me, and Emeril wasn’t there to protect me from the birdies.
Every self-respecting picnic includes potato chips—because how you can eat a burger and drink beer without chips? You can’t. So naturally you need a proper dip. Sure, you could use one of those ready-made dips (and if you do–the caramelized onion dip from Trader Joes is a-mah-zing!), but it doesn’t take long to whip up your own version at home. This dip features both leeks and onions that are caramelized in bacon fat.
Yup. I said bacon fat.
Bacon fat makes everything taste better. This is a scientific fact.
It’s delicious with potato chips. Or veggies for those who want to feel less guilty eating this dip. And to die for with my roasted fingerling potatoes with onion and fennel. I bet it would also be excellent with a baked potato too. I love a versatile dip. This will be a welcome addition at any picnic. Just don’t let the pigeons take it.
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Caramelized Leek and Onion Dip
Adapted from Anita via Allrecipes
- 2 leeks, roughly chopped*
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 6 slices bacon
- 1-2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- Fry bacon until completely cooked. Remove bacon from skillet and drain on paper towels.
- Add leeks and onions to skillet and cook in bacon fat* until softened, 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add garlic and cayenne pepper and cook for another minute.
- While the onions caramelize, combine cream cheese, mayo and sour cream in a medium bowl. Stir in sugar and white wine vinegar.
- Once onions and leeks have softened and slightly caramelized, remove from heat and set aside until room temperature.
- Add crumbled bacon and onions to cream cheese mixture and carefully combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving.
Makes approximately 2 cups of dip.
*Be sure to clean the leeks carefully as dirt often gets stuck in between the layers. After slicing the leeks, put them in a bowl and run cold water over them to remove any lingering dirt.
*If you have a lot of bacon fat, drain some of it off. You only need a tablespoon or two to cook the onions and leeks.