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Hot Crab Dip With Caramelized Onions

A sure hit at any holiday cocktail party.

[Editor's note: This recipe was originally published on Clinton Patch.]

When the holidays roll around, chances are you will need a reliable as well as delicious (emphasis on delicious) appetizer to serve at your own party, or to bring to someone else's party.

This hot crab dip fits the criteria for many reasons: it is hot, easy to make, yummy, and a little bit fancier than the average dip due to the crabmeat.

What makes this extra special are the caramelized onions. I love caramelized onions. They are easy to make, inexpensive, versatile and delicious. They also add a serious pop of flavor to just about every savory dish.

Making perfect caramelized onions is easy -- the oven does most of the work, not you. If you are wise, make a triple batch and freeze some in small quantities. You will thank yourself one day when you want to make meatloaf or pasta sauce and can reach in the freezer for already-made caramelized onions.

To make the onions, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Take about 4 or 5 large regular or Vidalia onions, peeled, halved, and sliced and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and dot with a little butter. Roast them, stirring frequently, until onions are soft and turn light brown in color, about 45 minutes to one hour.

For the dip:

1 can (6 oz.) crab meat, drained

¼ cup mayonnaise (I used Hellman's Light)

¼ cup sour cream

1 can (2 ¼ oz.) sliced ripe (black) olives, or about ¼ cup of sliced black olives

3 T caramelized onions, chopped

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

½ T chopped chives, fresh or dried

pinch curry powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together. Lightly grease a small oven-safe dish and fill with mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with toasted baguette slices or sturdy crackers.

This recipe makes enough for about six people as an appetizer. Double or triple the ingredients for a crowd.

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