Ah, French onion dip. There’s something special about this ubiquitous dip. Whether you’re used to seeing it on a summer picnic table or served with chips while watching a game, few people haven’t had a taste of this not-so-traditional dip. Homemade, from a box or in a tub, everyone knows what French Onion Dip is.
Historically, there’s nothing even slightly French about the dip (though some have made a connection with the caramelized onions); it’s as American as apple pie and isn’t even remotely good for you. While it might not be someone’s first choice for a gourmet dip, there’s something to be said about the simplicity of the flavors and the memories it brings back. As part of our 2015 Healthier You resolution, we’ve chosen to kefir-ize this dish and make it as healthy for you as we can (without losing taste, of course).
Usually made with mayo and sour cream, some recipes call for Greek yogurt. We’re using strained kefir (our new favorite trick for thick kefir dip) as a crossover. It’s got the tang of mayo with the consistency of Greek yogurt – it’s the best of both worlds! While straining kefir does require a bit of planning, it’s definitely worth it. Plus, the reserved whey (liquid) can be used for so many things!
So next time you’re asked to bring a dish to a casual gathering, consider this one. You’ll get points for having a healthier dish that everyone is sure to enjoy
Strained Kefir French Onion Dip with Caramelized Onions
- 4 cups plain Lifeway Organic Whole Milk Plain Kefir
- Coffee filter/layered cheese cloth
- Mesh strainer
- Large bowl
- 4 cups yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1-2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- Pinch of salt, to taste
- Oil for sautéing
- Fresh thyme (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper
The night before, you plan to make your dip, prepare the strained kefir. Line a mesh strainer with a large coffee filter or a few layers of cheesecloth. Rest the strainer in a bowl, leaving 1 ½ – 2” of space between the bottom of the strainer and the bottom of the bowl. Pour the kefir on top of the filter/cloth, cover the top with plastic wrap and place into your fridge to strain. In the morning, you will have a thick kefir cream remaining in the strainer, while the whey is in the bowl. Discard the whey or put it in your fridge for use at a later time.
To make the caramelized onions, heat a sauté pan on medium heat with about a tablespoon or oil, or non-stick cooking spray. Add the onions and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions turn a deep, golden brown color (you might need to add more oil or water if the onions dry out/stick to the pan), 12-16 minutes.
When the onions are done to your liking, add the garlic and stir. Turn off the heat and add the Worcestershire sauce. Cool until safe to touch.
In a large bowl, combine the strained kefir and the onions. Add thyme to your taste (stems removed) as well as a fresh cracked pepper. Add additional salt, Worcestershire sauce, pepper or thyme to your taste. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy with crackers, chips or chopped veggies to your taste (celery is especially good).
- The top of this dip may turn brown in the fridge if not eaten within a few hours of making it. To prevent this, place plastic wrap on the surface of the dip when storing. Consume within one week.
- While we recommend whole milk kefir for flavor and texture, feel free to substitute with low-fat or non-fat (the texture will be more runny)