Bacon and Caramelized Leek Dip

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If you’re looking for an appetizer recipe for holiday gatherings, I have to recommend Martha Stewart’s Bacon and Caramelized Leek Dip.  I’m far from opposed to the old sour cream and onion soup mix combo; in fact, it’s probably my favorite onion dip.  Alas, onion soup mix is often not gluten-free, and I now am.  So, I’ve been looking for easy alternatives.  With only five ingredients (I didn’t include bacon in the…and, if you’re really a stickler, it’s six when you count the salt) this is an excellent upgrade.

Sure, it takes more time than rip, pour, and stir…but, not a lot.  Once you get a taste, I think you’ll agree that the extra effort pays off.  It’s still a fantastic pairing with rippled potato chips, my favorite onion dipper, but also delicious on veggies and, as Martha suggests, veggie chips.

After slicing the leeks lengthwise and rinsing them, I used my hand-held mandolin for a super thin (and speedy!) slice.  I figured that I would prefer small slices in the finished product rather than larger chunks and it was a good choice.

There was a moment as they cooked down when I questioned my slicing technique. The little strips clumps together like wet fur for awhile. Ick! However, they managed to separate again once browned. I kept my stovetop between 4 and 5 and the total cooking time was a little over 20 minutes, rather than the suggested 35.  So, perhaps I cooked them a bit too fast.  I did get a lot of caramelization on the bottom of the pan, but I scraped that at one point to give the leeks more room to brown.

The next step is where I cheated a little bit.  I cannot tell a lie, but I didn’t cook my own bacon. I know, the horrors!! We joined a Friendsgiving celebration this year and dinner wasn’t scheduled until later in the afternoon. So, we ordered breakfast from our local spot…and added a large side of bacon, extra crispy. Best cooking shortcut ever. Seriously.

After the leeks caramelize, they need to sit for awhile to cool.  Of course, during this time I let myself get so distracted by housework and travel prep that I had to rush to mix everything at together at the last minute. It wasn’t hard…I just didn’t remember to take pictures until we were about to walk out the door!

Suffice it to say, it was as easy as using my trusty pastry blender to work the goat cheese into the sour cream. I gave the already cooked bacon a rough chop and tossed it in the bowl. Then, quickly stirred in the cooled leeks. You’ll probably be surprised to learn that I actually took the time to cut up veggies. It’s likely that most women who order pre-cooked bacon also buy pre-chopped veggies, but hey, I do the work…sometimes!  No matter which shortcuts you take or extra effort you put in, so yummy in the end.

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Martha Stewart’s Bacon and Caramelized Leek Dip

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 medium leeks, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced crosswise and rinsed well (about 3 cups)
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 6 ounces soft goat cheese
  • 6 strips bacon, cooked until crisp and coarsely chopped
  • Coarse salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook leeks, stirring often, until caramelized, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.

  2. Stir in sour cream, goat cheese, bacon, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.

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