Whiskey-Onion Cheese Dip

We are half-way to St. Patrick’s Day! And we should definitely celebrate! I’m not really up for a mug of green beer (I can’t really do that more than once a year, hah!), but I could definitely go for a little get-together with some friends and a big bowl of this caramelized onion cheese dip. On second thought, I think I’d rather stay home alone and eat the whole bowl myself. That’s how good it is!

This dip started out pretty innocently. I love the fake onion dip at the store, but I knew it could be made better at home, from scratch. When we have fresh onions from the dirt, how can that flavor pale in comparison to powdered onion mix? It can’t.

This recipe makes a medium-sized bowl of dip. I’d say it’s enough for 4-6 at a party with other appetizers. But the thing is, you might find the bowl is empty before anyone tastes the other appetizers.

It starts out with two big onions, sliced in half and then thinly sliced into half-moons. We’re going to pulse the dip in a food processor before serving, so the size of the onions doesn’t really matter too much, but try to keep them uniform.
It takes 45 minutes for onions to caramelize. I’m sorry to break it to you, but it’s true. The good news is that you can do other things in the kitchen, like empty the dishwasher, clean the grime from the stove top, and reorganize your pot holders. All it takes is a gentle stir every 5 minutes or so. Don’t tie yourself to the stove.
Once the onions are done, you deglaze the pan with Irish whiskey (it’s half-way to St. Patrick’s day afterall!), and then it’s just a dump, stir and puree deal. At first bite, you’ll realize every minute of the 45 minutes was worth it. So very worth it!

You can definitely substitute other Kerrygold cheeses, but I’m partial to Dubliner in this mix. It’s a drier semi-hard cheese that keeps the dip from being too gooey.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons Kerrygold salted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large onions
2 tablespoons Irish whiskey
6 ounces cream cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Kerrygold Dubliner cheese
Pumpernickel toasts, for serving

Directions:

In a large skillet with a heavy bottom (I use a heavy copper skillet), add the butter and olive oil. Turn the heat to medium, and let the butter melt.
Meanwhile, peel, halve, and slice the onions into half-moon shapes.
Add all of the onions to the skillet, and cook over medium-low heat for 45 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
The onions are done when they are a light golden brown.
Pour in the whiskey, and stir to scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the whiskey cook until its reduced by half.
In a serving bowl, add the cream cheese. Pour the hot caramelized onions on top, and stir until it melts completely.
Finally, stir in the mayo, salt, pepper, and Dubliner cheese.
You can serve it as-is, but I like to pulse it in a food processor to make it even creamier.
Serve with pumpernickel toasts.