Caramelized Onion Dip with Thick-Cut Potato Chips

Photographs: Simon Wheeler

One of the first things I heard upon receiving my copy of Michael's Genuine Food was that I needed to try Michael Schwartz's Caramelized Onion Dip with Thick-Cut Potato Chips. It was, of course, a no-brainer since I'm a huge onion dip fan (even the dehydrated soup packet kind).

Schwartz's version has a delicious simplicity. He begins with slowly caramelizing onions to the point of soft, sugariness and whips them with a mix of sour cream, mayo, and cream cheese. The dip is over-the-top rich and oniony sweet, with a bit of tang from the sour cream. It's uncomplicated, but onion dip doesn't really need to be complicated, just really good and very scoopable.

This brings us to Schwartz's chips.

Sure this dip is fantastic when served with a bag of Ruffles, but if you take the extra time to fry up a batch of his Thick-Cut Potato chips, things get even better. They're crisp in a way that only homemade chips can be, dark and crunchy in some areas and pleasantly pliant in others. Making chips at home also affords you the ability to customize your chip size—in this case, the big, long chips are best for optimal dip scoopage.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Michael's Genuine Food to give away this week.

Adapted from Michael's Genuine Food by Michael Schwartz. Copyright © 2011. Published by Clarkson Potter. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

Recipe Facts

Active: 45 mins
Total: 30 mins
Makes: 2 cups

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  • For the Caramelized Onion Dip:
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 large onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup quality store-bought mayo
  • Chopped fresh chives
  • For the Thick-Cut Potato Chips:
  • 2 large russet (baking) potatoes (about 1 pound), scrubbed
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • Kosher salt


  1. To make the Caramelized Onion Dip: Put a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil and butter. When the butter has melted, add the onions and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are a deep golden brown and caramelized, roughly 20 minutes. Watch carefully—you don’t want the onions to burn. Set aside and let cool.

  2. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute just until smooth and free of lumps. Mix in the sour cream and mayo. Fold in the onions with all their juices; season again with salt and pepper if needed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving, garnished with chives, with a bowl of chips.

  3. To make the Thick-Cut Potato Chips: Using a mandoline, slice the potatoes about the thickness of a nickel. You
    should get about 50 slices per potato. Put the slices in a large bowl and fill with cool water to cover. Swish the potatoes around to remove the excess starch; this will make the chips really crispy. Change the water 2 or 3 times until the water is no longer cloudy. Drain the potatoes well in a colander, then spread them out on a pan and pat dry with paper towels. This will prevent the oil from spattering from excess moisture.

  4. Heat 3 inches of oil to 350°F in a countertop electric fryer or deep pot. If
    you don’t have a deep-fry thermometer, a good way to test if the oil is hot
    enough is to stick the end of a wooden spoon or chopstick in it. If bubbles
    circle around the end, then you’re good to go.

  5. Put the potato slices in a fryer basket or spider strainer and carefully lower into the hot oil; do this in batches to avoid overcrowding and to keep the oil temperature constant. Give the potatoes a stir to keep them from sticking together. Fry the chips for 7 to 8 minutes, until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove the chips with the spider, allowing some of the excess oil to drain off, and set on a paper towel–lined platter. Season lightly with salt while the potato chips are still hot.