As Game Day draws near, our thoughts and appetites turn towards crowd-pleasing snacks that excited hands can grab with eyes still locked on the screen, foods that don't take much concentration to eat and don't require a circus-caliber balancing act to get the food from the plate to your mouth without a drip or a drop (we're looking at you, salsa).
This is, we assume, what catapulted the popularity of dips: a need for foods that you can enjoy without cutlery and that stay where you put them (on a chip). Bonus points for light-colored dips like this Caramelized Onion Dip that don't threaten to stain the carpet if (or really, when) a wayward bite gets punted during a momentary burst of red-zone excitement. (A reason to make your own potato chips: guests will guard each precious bite even more carefully, making fumbles unlikely.)
Note that patience pays dividends here. Take your time caramelizing the onions. First, the onions will give off a lakeful of liquid. Let it boil off slowly, and by the time the onions begin to caramelize -- it took ours an hour -- they'll be as soft as pudding and deeply concentrated in flavor. Their sweetness infuses the entire dip, and while the rest of the ingredients make up the classic onion dip foundation -- sour cream, cream cheese, and chives -- this one will be better than any you've had before, thanks to those tenderly cared for onions.
Brought to you by the spirited home cooks' community at Food52.