I enjoy blogging, but it’s a solitary activity and really can be a slog (especially in winter when faced with nothing but root vegetables in your CSA). I do my thing, hit “publish” and that’s it for the most part. Since I haven’t quite hit on a formula to make this more of a give-and-take affair, I’ve been intrigued by the Food52 community for some time. Members can post recipes to the site with an intro about its creation, then the community is off and running, commenting and making suggestions for improvement.
The site also hosts weekly recipe contests based on a theme, and the winners of each contest go into a cookbook at the end of the 52 weeks (hence the name). When they posted a contest for your best short ribs a few weeks ago, I entered my latest version of ragu for kicks and couldn’t have been more surprised when it was chosen as a finalist, then actually won! (Also, Jen got a wildcard spot in the cookbook for her Hunter’s-Style Chicken that same day, so it was doubly exciting.) The upshot is, after five+ years of this site, I’ll actually be in two cookbooks later this year (Food52, plus the book I styled and shot photos for over the holidays)!
Last week’s recipe contest got into the spirit of the playoffs by looking for your best dip. Encouraged by the positive response my previous two recipes got, I worked up a new one. No way this one will rise to the top (seriously, there are some incredible recipes entered in this contest), but I’m pretty happy with it just the same. What’s not to love about a caramelized onion & mushroom dip, especially when paired with crispy, salty kettle chips?
Caramelized Onion & Mushroom Dip also posted at Food52
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 small yellow onions, finely chopped
1/2 pound button mushrooms, minced
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted in 1 cup hot water, drained & minced
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon dry vermouth
1 tablespoon demi-glace, optional
1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Melt half of the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sauté onions with large pinch of salt until just golden brown, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, until deeply browned and caramelized. Remove onions from pan.
In the same pan, melt remaining butter and sauté mushrooms with a large pinch of salt until they stop releasing water. Add sugar and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until mushrooms are deeply browned and caramelized. Add onions back to pan and stir in dry vermouth and demi-glace, if using. Cook until all liquid is absorbed. Taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Set aside one tablespoon of onion-mushroom mixture to use as garnish.
Add yogurt and sherry vinegar to the rest of the onions and mushrooms, mixing well. Taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary. Add as much black pepper as your heart desires. This dip has a real affinity for it. Garnish with reserved onion-mushroom mixture.