Jake Cohen’s Just-Add-Sour-Cream Caramelized Onion Dip

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We’ve never been too proud to turn packet French onion soup into the simplest dip of all time. But what if we told you that there’s a recipe that’s just as simple, only a million times more delicious? Presenting just-add-sour-cream caramelized onion dip from Jake Cohen’s new cookbook Jew-ish, a collection of modern Jewish recipes for every occasion.

“The tang! The sweetness! The punch of umami! There’s a reason people use [packet French onion dip] to season just about anything,” says Cohen. “The concentrated flavor of caramelized onions is simply perfect.”

Luckily, this recipe strikes that iconic balance you know and love, but with real produce. “In my version, a mélange of alliums including sweet Vidalia onions, leeks and garlic is cooked down with thyme until jammy and golden, only to be fortified with chives for more oniony goodness when cooled.” Once the onion concentrate is combined with cool, tangy sour cream, it’s ready to demolish.

There are two ways to prep this appetizer ahead: Either make it to completion and refrigerate in an airtight container for one day before serving, or just prepare the onions and refrigerate them for up to three days before stirring in the sour cream.

Excerpted from Jew-ish: A Cookbook: Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch © 2021 by Jake Cohen. Photography © 2021 by Matt Taylor-Gross. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter

1 pound sweet onions (about 2 medium), thinly sliced

1 pound leeks (about 2 medium), white and light green parts only, halved, rinsed well and thinly sliced

8 sprigs thyme, tied together with butcher’s twine

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ cup minced fresh chives

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

2 cups full-fat sour cream

Potato chips and crudités, for serving


1. In a large braiser or high-sided skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, leeks, thyme, garlic and a heavy pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until caramelized and jammy, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely, then stir in the chives and lemon zest.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together the onion mixture and the sour cream until well incorporated. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, then serve with potato chips and crudités.

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