I'm a sucker for a good dip. I can almost never pass one up, regardless of the "dippers" that accompany it, especially if there is a copious amount of cheese. So, you can rest assured that the cheese quotient of this dip is . . . high. And that's putting it lightly!
I served a variation of this to a few pals at a Christmas party and they truly ate it ravenously. All that was left after about two minutes was a stained baking dish with nary a dollop of dip remaining. Conversely, I've also eaten this — by myself — for dinner. So it's truly a "choose your own ending" type deal. A large crowd, boisterously enjoying a dip whilst chitchatting and chortling, or a quiet night at home with nothing but your dip and a ton of chips and crudite.
I promise it's just as good no matter the company (or lack thereof).
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It should go without saying, but this dip is by no means light, so pair it with some raw veggies and that may help to offset the heavy dip. My go-to? Raw carrot sticks are unbeatable, but I know the siren song of tortilla chips is sometimes too much to resist.
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2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions (I used 1 red, 1 yellow), peeled and thinly sliced
1 large shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
8 oz. cream cheese (at room temperature)
1/2 cup sour cream or labneh
1 tablespoons sherry or balsamic vinegar
1 ½ cups cheese of your choosing (I opted for Parmesan, fontina, mozzarella and sharp cheddar, but you obviously do not need to use that many iterations), divided
3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, juiced and zested
Dippers of your choosing (pita bread, raw carrots, tortilla chips, crackers, baguette, celery, radish, cucumber, potato chips, etc.)
Preheat oven to 400. Heat oil over medium-low heat, add onions and shallots and cook, stirring often, until tender and translucent (you're not looking to caramelize them).
Add garlic, stir and cook 30 seconds until fragrant.
Deglaze with sherry vinegar, raise heat to medium-high and cook until vinegar has reduced by half (don't directly stand above pan when doing this; the vinegar is intensely pungent when it starts to reduce).
In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, sour cream, 3/4 of the cheese, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper.
Using a slotted spoon, add allium mixture (try to leave as much oil as possible in pan). Mix well.
Transfer to baking dish, top with remaining cheese and bake in oven for 25 minutes. Turn to broil and cook until top of dip is deeply browned (keep a close eye on it because it can go from "deeply browned" to "burnt" nearly instantaneously).
Garnish with parsley, let cool 10 minutes, serve with dippers and enjoy.
You can totally substitute some citrus juice or any other vinegar for the vinegar; I just like the sherry because it pairs so well with the sautéed alliums.
about dips, appetizers, starters and finger food: