It was my sister who got me hooked on these. I think it was the year I flew in from New Orleans to surprise them for Christmas. I was helping her in the kitchen to prepare for a lot of company on Christmas Eve, and one of the tasks I was assigned was preparing these. I'm sure I looked at her like she was crazy - why on Earth was she making an appetizer out of plain white bread and mayonnaise when she had all sorts of other fabulous dishes going on?
Well, when these came out of the oven, I couldn't keep my paws off of them! Forget all the beautiful baked stuffed mushrooms, the delicious shrimp, spinach pie, and all the other goodies. These things are like crack! What's even funnier about it is that her original version was pretty plain - just the mayo, Parmesan, and onion. I later decided to play around with different herbs. I think the dill is my favorite.
1 loaf white sandwich bread
1 c Hellmann's Mayonnaise
5 T grated Parmesan
1 small onion, minced
Optional: Italian seasoning, garlic powder, dried dill, etc.
- Use small cookie cutters to cut shapes out of the bread and place on baking sheets (reserve the scraps to grind and keep in the freezer for future croquettes, meatballs, etc.)
- Pop under the broiler to lightly toast on one side
- Stir together the mayo, Parmesan, onion, and about 1 1/2 T of your seasoning of choice (if including garlic powder, only use about 1/4 t)
- Flip the bread and spread a small amount of the mayo mixture onto the un-toasted side
- Pop back under the broiler until bubbly and golden
- If you want to be fancy about it, arrange on the platter and sprinkle with fresh herbs, or top with thin slices of grape tomatoes, roasted red pepper, sliced olives, etc.
If you know ahead of time that you'll be making these and have a lot of other stuff going on, you can make the mayo mixture a day or two ahead, and store it in the fridge. As for the cut-outs, you can prepare those ahead as well, just pop them in a zip-top bag or other sealed container and freeze them until an hour or so before you need them.
Hmmm, maybe I'll try a little chili powder or smoked paprika next time ...