I can't remember when I made this one, but it was near the end and my brain was absolutely fried. My mom already helped me out with one recipe (which I'll post later) and she also helped me add up the times for everything, which was almost worse than making up the recipes!
So we kind of were all sitting around and someone decided to "brain storm" by throwing out a bunch of stupid ideas. Along the way my dad said something about a dip in bread bowls, though the exact wording sounded dumber (yes, it did, and I wish I could remember it because I first gave him sort of a Spock stare minus the Dramatic Spock Eyebrow Raise before laughing), though for a split second it all made sense and I realized that having your own dip in an edible bowl would make the perfect party appetizer. If you whip up a pot of chili, after eating the dip with crackers you can fill the bread bowls up with chili and you've got a meal!
My concern for this was that I didn't have mini bread bowls, and I most definitely did not feel like waiting around to bake bread for 2 hours. After a quick Google search I found a recipe for hamburger buns from All Recipes. The dough comes together and kneads very quickly, and the only rise is after you form the balls of dough, so really quick and perfect for my time crunch.
With that out of the way, I proceeded to make the dip. Bacon, for sure. What else? Caramelized onion. It gives it a bit of sophistication while lending a really delicious flavor to the bacon. A combination of spices, Worcestershire sauce, and liquid smoke makes the flavor a unique and very hard to resist. For the creaminess, I used fat free cream cheese and plain yogurt. The yogurt sort of thins the mixture out while maintaining the tangy flavor. A sprinkle of sliced scallions at the end and your party, or movie night, or game night, is all set!
Recipe after jump.
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Caramelized Onion, Bacon, and Spinach Dip in Mini Bread Bowls
recipe by Christina Provo
A festive, flavorful onion dip served in individual bread bowls.
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Yield: 12 servings
1/2 pound bacon
2 cups diced onion
1 1/4 cup chopped fresh baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
8 ounces fat free cream cheese, cubed and at room temperature
1/4 cup plain yogurt, at room temperature
12 small dinner rolls, tops removed and reserved, the inside of the bottoms scooped out to create a 1/2-inch deep hole
1/4 cup sliced scallions
Crackers for serving
- In a large skillet, cook bacon on medium heat until browned and crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and crumble; set aside. Remove all but 3 tablespoons bacon grease from skillet. Add diced onion, salt, and black pepper and cook for 10 minutes or until reduced and caramelized (the onions will look brown because of the bacon bits, but they shouldn't look charred or browned around the edges; adjust heat accordingly).
- To onions, stir in chili powder, celery salt, and paprika; stir to coat onions and until the seasonings coat the bottom of skillet. Toss in spinach and stir until completely wilted. Add Worcestershire sauce with the liquid smoke, stirring up the fond from the bottom of the skillet. Reduce heat to low and stir in cream cheese until completely smooth and blended with onion mixture. Stir in yogurt and crumbled bacon.
- Either hot or at room temperature, spoon about 2 tablespoons onion dip into hollowed out dinner rolls. Garnish with scallions and a sprinkle of paprika and top with lids. Serve immediately with crackers; alternatively, you can refrigerate until serving time.