College football is almost a religion in the South, and just like we do our best not to miss church, faithful fans rarely miss the hallowed gatherings of game time. From late September through November, on Saturdays you’re probably going to a football game or watching a football game on TV, maybe at a friend’s house or maybe at a full-fledged football party.
Whether or not you care about the actual play on the field is irrelevant. Both the pigskin passionate and those a bit passion-less know that the snacks served during pre-game and during the game (at a tailgate on campus or in your neighbor’s kitchen) are as appealing as the gridiron action.
How about a creamy dip with deep onion flavor that’s way better that the store-bought version? Or a sweet-hot sauce with some mustardy zip for grilled sausage dunking?
Both are pretty simple to throw together and pair perfectly with fall and football.
CARAMELIZED ONION DIP
(Modified from a Bon Appetit recipe)
2 pounds sweet onions, thinly sliced (about two big onions or three medium ones)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix onions, rosemary sprigs and olive oil in a large roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper.
Roast the onion mixture, stirring every 10 minutes, until it starts to break down and turn golden brown, about 40–45 minutes.
Pull out the rosemary. Add the broth and vinegar; stir to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan.
Return onion mixture to oven. Continue roasting, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown, about 10–15 minutes longer. Let the mixture cool completely.
Once cool, put the onion mixture on a cutting board and chop fine. In a bowl, add the onions, sour cream, worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with chips or sliced veggies and enjoy!
Note: When slicing your onions, try to get all of the pieces about the same size. If you don’t, the smaller bits will burn before the others are done roasting. If you do end up with some blackened pieces, use tongs to pick them out before adding the broth and vinegar. Otherwise, they’ll lend a burnt flavor to your finished dip.
SWEET-HOT SAUSAGE DIP
With its multiple layers of bold flavors all enrobed in porky goodness, it’s hard to beat smoked sausage when your taste buds are craving something with wow factor. Kick it up even more with this savory dipping sauce. It just doesn’t get any easier—or tastier.
Open a package of Alabama-made Conecuh sausage and grill over medium-high heat until warmed through and browned (about 10–12 minutes).
Slice into bite-sized pieces and skewer on a toothpick.
For the sauce: Mix 1.5 parts blackberry or blueberry preserves (or jelly) with one part whole-grain or Dijon mustard.
If you want a little peppery heat in addition to the mustard’s bite, add a dash or two of hot sauce as well.