15 November 2010

food and fun for Friendsgiving

What is Friendsgiving? It's Thanksgiving, but with friends! No family drama, no kids, just you, your friends, and the huge Thanksgiving meal that brings you all together. It's usually celebrated a couple weeks before actual Thanksgiving to avoid the hectic holiday season. I'd love to say I came up with the idea, but nope, I was fortunate enough to be invited to one a few years back, and the tradition lives on. Basically it's a huge potluck where the host makes the bird and everyone brings traditional Turkey Day sides. Well, not necessarily traditional - one year we did an Alternathanksgiving, where we all made a twisted recipe of a traditional meal - i.e. I made mashed cauliflower instead of taters, mmm. If you've never been to a Friendsgiving, I highly recommend starting that tradition with your friends!

Over the next few days/weeks I'll start posting the recipe from this year's Friendsgiving, which will, of course, work perfectly well for offiicial Thanksgiving! I kinda started with my Friendsgiving recipes yesterday when I posted about the meringues, but instead of dessert this time, how about an appetizer recipe for caramelized onion dip:
I made this the day before and let it sit in the fridge. That really allowed the flavors to marry, and it made actual Friendsgiving Day a breeze! This is a snazzy version of a typical sour cream and onion dip - the caramelized onions are so sweet, but it's balanced out by the kick of the cayenne pepper. Serve it with some kettle chips and enjoy an easy make ahead app good for pretty much any party!

Caramelized Onion Dip
adapted from Ina Garten

2 large yellow sweet onions
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 bar (4 oz) cream cheese
1/2 C mayo
1/2 C sour cream\

Quarter onions then slice into thin pieces. Heat butter and oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add onions and stir until soft. Add salt and peppers. Continue to cook on just a bit lower heat than medium, stirring once in a while for 25 or more minutes until it caramelizes - you want them to get to this color.
Try not to eat them right out of the pan :-) Allow to cool.

Use a blender to mix the cream cheese (room temp so it's easier to blend), mayo, and sour cream. Once the onions are cool, mix them in. Add salt or pepper to taste, but keep in mind the heat of the cayenne will get a little stronger as it sits. Refrigerate a few hours or overnight so the flavors have time to marry.

Serve at room temp. Makes about 2 cups.

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