Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cranberry, Caramelized Onion, and Goat Cheese Dip

I am currently finalizing my Thanksgiving menu. I have approximately 50 different recipes I'd like to make. Most of them are appetizers and desserts. The problem with this is that I only have about 8 people coming to dinner so I must cut back. This recipe is a simple appetizer that I have made the past couple of Thanksgivings. I've also brought it to football games and holiday parties. There are rarely any leftovers! I think this recipe pairs best with buttery Ritz crackers. If you're also currently hoarding seasonal recipes, I highly recommend you add this to the list. I first discovered this recipe on Beantown Baker.

You will need:
*8oz. cream cheese, softened
*4 oz. goat cheese, room temperature
*1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, room temperature
     (I often forget the room temp step on the cheddar and it still works)
*2 teaspoons vegetable oil
*1 medium sweet onion, diced
*1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
*1/4 cup and 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
*1/4 cup water
*1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
*1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans (optional-I've made with and without)

1. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and goat cheese together until smooth; add the cheddar cheese and mix until well incorporated. Use a flat spatula to spread into the bottom of a baking dish. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.

2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the diced onions and saute until softened. Add teaspoon of sugar and mix well. Continue cooking to caramelize the onions. Lower the heat slightly and stir every few minutes. This process should take about 10 minutes. Once the onions are caramelized remove them from the skillet and set aside.

3. Add the cranberries, sugar, and water into the warm skillet. Stir to dissolve sugar. Turn heat up to medium and cook until cranberries pop open and are softened. (about 5 minutes) Once mixture thickens, add the balsamic vinegar and return the onions to the skillet. Stir well, then cool.

4. Just prior to serving dip, spoon the cranberry mixture on top of the cheese mixture. Sprinkle with pecans if desired.

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