Through her entire pregnancy, my sister craved onions with an intensity typically seen only during Discovery Channel’s Shark Week.

Once, Chili’s ran out of Awesome Blossoms just after she and my brother-in-law got there, and she tied the waitress to her back bumper and drove around the parking lot until she went into labor.

So, about three days before the baby came, I made this Pan-Fried Onion Dip for my sister. Caramelized onions folded into a mixture of cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise.

Since I didn’t want my niece to be born needing a stent, I used low-fat versions of everything, and no one could tell the difference. Really, it’s all background to that pronounced onion flavor. If you’ve ever inhaled an embarrassingly significant portion of Lipton® Onion Dip, you will love this stuff.

P.S. Laney Katheryn was born Thursday afternoon. Her breath is remarkably fresh for a human who must be at least one-third onion.


Pan-Fried Onion Dip

Adapted from Ina Garten’s “The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook”

  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  1. Cut the onions in half and then slice them into 1/8-inch thick half-rounds. (You will have about 3 cups of onions.)
  2. Heat the butter and oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions, cayenne, salt and pepper, and saute for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 more minutes until the onions are browned and caramelized. Let the onions cool.
  3. Place the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth. Add the onions and mix well. Taste for seasonings. Serve at room temperature.