Are you attending a Halloween party this year, or maybe even having your own? As I write this it has been 30 months since we’ve had anyone over (except for witnesses and my lawyer to sign my will, and I wouldn’t really count that as a party) but I still have party dreams. I grabbed this easy base recipe recently from Food 52 and made a small amount, adapting it to imagine I was making a much larger batch for some notional Halloween party. My version is really yummy, and I’ve certainly given you enough lead time if you want to make it yourself for All Hallow’s E’en.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a little more for sprinkling
1 1/2 cups sliced small mushrooms
1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup grated orange cheddar cheese
1 cup grated low-moisture mozzarella
2 tablespoons sour cream, thinned a little with lime juice or water, for drizzling
2 tablespoons spicy honey, preferably from a squeeze bottle
1/2 cup halved small black olives, plus more if desired
Hearty crackers, tortilla chips, or hunks of crusty bread for serving
Heat oven to 475°F.
Set a 10-inch high–heat safe skillet over a medium flame. Add butter. When it has melted, add the onion and salt. Sauté the onion, moving it around only every so often, until it’s soft and golden brown and just beginning to caramelize in places, about 5 to 8 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add the mushrooms. Sauté another minute or so until they’re soft and have shrunk a bit.
Add the grated cheeses, and mix thoroughly with the onion and mushroom. Transfer the skillet to the oven, and bake a few minutes until cheese is bubbling. Turn on the broiler and broil for just a minute or two, until cheese is browned in spots across the top—watch closely to make sure it doesn’t burn!
Remove from the oven. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the cheese. Very carefully, because it will be hot hot hot, transfer to a bowl that can take the heat. With any luck your dip will be orange-ish, especially the parts near the browning. Then, drizzle the top with spicy honey and sour cream. Be artistic and draw a witch’s face in profile or a couple of ghosts or a haunted castle or just write Happy Halloween. Dot with the olives so the overall effect is black and orange. Serve with sturdy chips, crackers, or bread.
Author’s note: This, believe it or not, was dinner, because I made less than is written here but still a little too much for it to be an appetizer, and it was that tasty.