Celebrating the Fourth

It’s July.

It’s triple-digit hot, I lost out on the coolest sequin dress on eBay and I am not sure why this has left me feeling so bereft since I do not have a lifestyle that calls for anywhere near that much sparkle, and my kids are constantly around which is both good, because I am painfully aware of how fast time flies, and bad because it’s impossible to do anything requiring the slightest bit of brain power when they’re in the house. It’s hard to concentrate or write with their nonstop disruptions (and I thought they were interrupt-y when they were toddlers), like the constant barrage of weird, made-up expletives courtesy of No. 3 playing Fortnite in the playroom, which is uncomfortably close to my desk. For all these reasons, I’m having a hard time coming up with blog inspiration.

And, did I mention it’s July? And hot? I was sweating so much running errands the other day that I literally slid off the car seat. I’m praying I also lost 5 pounds off my thighs, but I don’t think it works that way.

So, speaking of 5 pounds…. I plan to gain it tomorrow for Fourth of July. I’m making burgers smeared with bacon jam — the best and most efficient way to make sure every inch of your patty is properly baconified — and topped with caramelized onions and Cheddar and nestled between toasted English muffins. I found a spicy fried pickle recipe from Trader Joe’s, and No. 1 requested this dip from an old “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” recipe back when I used to watch that TV show religiously as I exercised on the elliptical —until I realized that it was wiping out all my work on the elliptical.

But, it’s good to splurge on occasion and I’m feeling particularly indulgent when it comes to No. 1 and her cravings because she is such a foodie and I suspect it’s not going to be easy for her to be fed in the style which she has become accustomed once she’s living in a dorm in a few short months.

Enjoy your Fourth — and the dip.

 

Recipe courtesy of George and the Dragon
Total:
1 hr 10 min
Active:
40 min
Yield:
6 to 8 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry English mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup Onion Jam, recipe follows
  • 3 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Chopped chives, for garnish
  • Serving suggestions: crackers, toasted bread and vegetables
Onion Jam:
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, cayenne, salt and Worcestershire, and continue to beat until smooth, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan and the Onion Jam, and mix on low speed until just combined. At this point, cook immediately or store the dip in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Scoop the dip into a baking dish and top with the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan and the crumbled bacon. Bake until the cheese melts and the dip begins to bubble, 8 to 10 minutes. Garnish with chives and serve the dip with crackers, warm bread and vegetables.

Onion Jam:

In a large frying pan set over medium-low heat, add the oil and then the onions. Add the salt and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the vinegar, sugar and 2 tablespoons water. Continue to cook over low heat, stirring often, until the liquid is absorbed and the onions are rich golden brown, about 20 minutes. Spread the onion jam on a cookie sheet and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Cook’s Note

The Onion Jam recipe will yield a little more than you need for the Bacon Onion Dip. Heat some of the leftovers in a frying pan and add to a grilled cheese sandwich, top a burger, serve with a grilled steak or toss in with scrambled eggs. You might want to make a double recipe because there are so many ways to use the Onion Jam!

This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.

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