For years one of the standby dips at our New Year’s Eve parties has been the comforting, old-fashioned onion dip made from sour cream and that readily available tried-and-true commercial dried onion soup mix. When we became a gluten-free household I began reading labels carefully. Some of the common gluten ingredients are easy to spot; however, some are less obvious. For example “autolyzed yeast extract” made from barley can contain small amounts of gluten, and it appears on some dried onion soup mixes. Others mixes may be manufactured in a plant that also manufactures wheat products, offering the possibility of cross-contamination.
So rather than worry about finding a perfectly gluten-free dried onion soup mix I decided to make my own. It turned out to be simple to mix, easy to store, and the finished dip tastes fresher and brighter than the ones I used to make with the packaged mix.
I use gluten-free, sodium-free powdered chicken bouillon, but you can also use the beef version. That allows me to control the amount of salt in the recipe. I also believe that the chicken bouillon has a livelier flavor. In addition, I often make two versions: one with sour cream and, for the lactose intolerant, one with nondairy sour cream, such as Tofutti.
It is important to mix the dip and refrigerate it, covered, for at least four hours and preferably overnight so the flavors develop fully. When you are ready to serve, don’t stop with just chips. Serve the dip with crudités, and use it to stuff celery. Here is an appetizer idea: Poach small Yukon Gold potatoes; peel them when cool, then hollow out the center with the small end of a melon baller. Fill the cavity with onion dip, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- ½ cup dried minced onion
- ¼ cup gluten-free sodium free instant beef or chicken bouillon powder, preferably Herb-Ox , equivalent to 8 (4-g) envelopes
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- In a 1-quart bowl combine all ingredients, mixing well. Transfer to a small airtight container with lid and store in a cool dark place.
- To make dip: Add 2 ½ tablespoons to 1 cup of sour cream or nondairy sour cream such as Tofutti . Mix very well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
- To serve: Transfer mix to a bowl, sprinkle top with chopped parsley (optional), surround with corn or potato chips.
Variations: Toast half of the dried onions in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the onions are golden brown. Transfer to a paper plate to cool. Then combine with untoasted onions and follow the recipe instructions. Substitute softened cream cheese for sour cream. Dip recipe can be doubled. Serve with vegetable crudities: celery, red Bell pepper strips, carrot sticks, jicama or cucumber slices. For appetizers, poached small Yukon gold potatoes until cooked through. When cool enough to handle, peel. Cut potatoes in half. Scoop out center with the small side of a melon baller and fill with onion dip. Sprinkle with minced chives or green onion. Refrigerate covered until ready to serve.
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