Sometimes there just isn’t enough time to do it all. I have a lovely, time-consuming recipe for a French onion dip made from scratch. But this one is for when you need a little something to go with the veggies and you’re short on time. I make my recipe with yogurt, but other people use sour cream and mayo, so feel free to use those if you wish. I prefer it to be a little healthier, hence the yogurt, plus think it tastes really good this way.
What you need:
- plain yogurt (homemade recipe here) I use 3.5% fat
- packaged dry onion soup mix
- a little red onion
- cheesecloth for straining (optional)
What you do:
- If you’re really in a hurry you can skip this first step; your dip will just be a bit more watery. In this case it might be good to use a little sour cream or mayonnaise to mix with the yogurt. Here’s what you do: Place a sieve above a bowl and line the sieve with cheesecloth. Put about 1 & 1/2 cups of yogurt into the cheesecloth. Place in the fridge and drain the yogurt for an hour, or longer if you have time. You may need to remove some liquid from the bowl during the draining process.
- Finely chop some red onion (a few tablespoons). Remove the yogurt from the cheesecloth and put it in a bowl; add some of the red onion, reserving a little for a garnish.
- Add some onion soup mix to taste, a little at a time.
- Garnish with some more red onion.
- Serve with veggies and/or chips.
Yogurt cheese is a great versatile spread, and it’s really easy to make. I usually use it as a spread for crackers or bread, as in the recipe below, and it can also be used as a substitute for cream cheese or sour cream in a lot of other recipes. I’ve never tried baking with it though – I’m not sure how it would react when heated. As a person who is lactose-intolerant but can eat yogurt, this recipe has been a god-send!
I like to sprinkle sumac on my yogurt cheese. I’ve never seen it in my local grocery store, but I found it at a Lebanese shop. It’s got a bit of a tartness to it that goes perfectly with yogurt, and it’s got a great deep red colour.
What you need:
plain yogurt, must not be no- or low-fat or thickened with corn starch!
What you do:
1. Line a sieve with cheesecloth, and place it in a bowl. Pour the yogurt into it, then tie up the cloth and place in the fridge. About half the liquid will drain out, so use about twice as much yogurt as you would like to have at the end.
2. Leave several hours, up to a day or two – I usually leave it draining for just less than a day. You may need to pour off some of the liquid that collects in the bowl.
3. Place yogurt cheese in a bowl and top with sumac and salt. Of course you can also substitute any of your favourite herbs – I’ve used garlic salt before, and a bit of oregano.
4. Serve with naan, flatbread, crackers or any bready substance of your choice. It can also be used as a vegetable dip.
I make my own yogurt – it’s easy to do, and really cheap… stay tuned for that posting.