This is the crowd-pleasing skillet dip I make when I’m having a big gathering and can’t be bothered with anything fussier. It draws inspiration from baked cheeses everywhere—hi, hello honey-baked brie, queso fundido, and broiled feta. It's super cheesy (like, three kinds of cheesy), surprisingly nuanced (thank you onions and enoki mushrooms), and comes together in about 10 minutes. And it's endlessly customizable: swap in any alliums or mushrooms, sub in your favorite melty cheese, and top with whatever you please (tomato jam! hot sauce! spicy breadcrumbs!). Thanks to the scientifically proven fact that hot cheese is delicious, your guests will love it no matter what. —Ella Quittner
8 or more as an appetizer
large yellow onion, diced
kosher salt, plus a little more for sprinkling
1 1/2 cups
enoki mushrooms (if still attached at bottom when you get them, cut that part off so you have lots of little stems)
1 1/2 cups
grated Monterey Jack cheese
grated cheddar cheese (white or orange is fine)
grated low-moisture mozzarella
sour cream, thinned a little with lime juice or water, for drizzling
spicy honey (I like Mike’s Hot Honey)
very finely chopped chives, plus more if desired
Hearty crackers, tortilla chips, or hunks of crusty bread for serving
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 enoki 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. Then, drizzle the top with spicy honey and sour cream. Sprinkle with chopped chives. Serve right from skillet—you may want to wrap the handle with a dish towel!—along with sturdy chips, crackers, or bread.
Ella Quittner is a contributing writer and the Absolute Best Tests columnist at Food52. She covers food, travel, wellness, lifestyle, home, novelty snacks, and internet-famous sandwiches. You can follow her on Instagram @equittner, or Twitter at @ellaquittner. She also develops recipes for Food52, and has a soft spot for all pasta, anything spicy, and salty chocolate things.