Caramelised Onion and Thyme Dip

Dips are so useful to whip up in a hurry and this one is a brilliant standby recipe. There are usually a few onions knocking about in most kitchens and if you don't have sour cream either substitute with plain yoghurt (Greek or natural) or add a little lemon juice to double cream. Check out the great method below for crispy fried shallots - no mess and no smelly kitchen.

Ingredients

2 large onions

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

3 tbsp olive oil

2 sprigs of thyme

2 tsp brown sugar

120ml sour cream

Seasoning


To finish:

1 shallot

1 tbsp vegetable oil

Chives


Pitta

Olive oil


Method

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the sliced onions, garlic and thyme. Cook with a lid on for 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. The onions need to be browning and soft enough to break up with a wooden spoon.


Add the brown sugar at the end and stir to dissolve into the onions.


Cool and mash (or purée if you prefer a smoother texture), removing any twiggy bits of thyme.


Stir in the sour cream and season to taste.


To serve: sprinkle with fried shallots and chopped chives and pitta crisps to dip.


To quickly fry the shallot: finely slice the shallot and mix around in the vegetable oil until they are completely covered. Put on a plate and cook in the microwave for 2 or 3 minutes on full power. Keep a close eye on this as it burns very quickly. When most of the shallot is golden tip out on to kitchen towel to blot. Sprinkle with a little salt.


Before serving scatter the fried shallot rings and chopped chives over the dip and serve with pitta crisps or raw vegetables .

Pitta crisps

These make great little snacks on their own as well. A sprinkle of chilli powder or sesame seeds are tasty additions if they are served alone.


Ingredients

I pack plain folded flatbreads (or regular pitta)

Olive oil

Seasoning


Method

Heat oven to 190°c.


Brush the flatbreads on both sides with olive oil and season.

Cut flatbreads into small rough triangle shapes.


Bake on a baking sheet for approximately 6 minutes until light gold in colour.


Cool on a cake rack and then store in an airtight tin.



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