This first course is a 1950s American favourite. Retro-Food.com informs me that the Lipton company first printed the recipe for its 'California Onion Dip' on the back of Lipton onion soup mix packets in 1954.
I first came across the idea in my copy of Kitschy Canapés by Babs Harrison and recently rediscovered it while book-trawling retro catering ideas for my 30th birthday party later this year. As the vrai Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion Soup Mix is un available to us limeys, I substitute a sachet of Knorr French Onion Soup mix. Mixed with a 300ml carton of sour cream and chilled for an hour or so, it makes for something that is way more than the sum of its parts. Things become classics for a reason, don'cha know..?
Speaking of which, may I present my new best thing. After a Facebook-based conversation with an old (the friendship, not the friend) mate, I was introduced to this, and could hardly wait to cook it for dinner tonight to accompany some plain-cooked Lincolnshire bangers.
Daniel's Favourite Potatoes
Boil the potatoes until tender, then drain them and 'crush' lightly with a potato masher, to break them up but not too much. Mix in some mustard (I used wholegrain, but Daniel's original uses English mustard). Bung in a dish, top with cheese and melt it, in the oven or under the grill.
This is the sort of food you SCOFF!