Monday, February 8, 2010

Jana’s Doo Dads

Ohhhhhhhhh these things are good. Take my word for it. If you don’t believe me then ask LookLeap because she knows.

Have I ever steered you wrong? Have I ever lied to you?

I have not!

I had meant to get this recipe up before the Super Bowl but time just got away from me. It has a tendency to that more than I like. Time is like that. I need to get a handle on it. I…..

Ummm, yes, recipe, right. I have to say that this recipe is so easy that it is just sinful. Sinful I tell you.

I should probably give you some background before we start with the pictures and the longwinded, driveling commentary. Many moons ago Pilot Man and The Chef invited HHBL and I over for dinner. I don’t think we had any progeny yet and neither did they. I liked going to their house for dinner because I always knew that we would get good things to eat. Really good things to eat. She is a chef after all, though when this particular recipe arrived The Chef had yet to train as a chef. So, we sat down to have some appetizers (I can’t spell the other fancy French word at the moment and I am too lazy to look it up) and then dinner. I have no idea what we had for dinner, I don’t remember the rest of the evening. Not because I had too much alcohol but just because it was, um, like 20+ years ago. I have trouble remembering what I did yesterday!

At any rate, what I do remember about that evening are these little things. I am not sure that they ever had an official name, they were just something that came from The Chef’s head. So we call them Jana’s Doo Dads. Why? Because it just trips off the tongue and because we can.

IMG_5005 These are the ingredients that you will need. There are 5 of them. 1,2,3,4 and 5. How hard can this be. And any recipe that has cheese AND mayo in it is something that you know will be good.

Take note, I am not too picky about things generally but I am VERY picky about my mayo. It is only Hellman’s, always Hellman’s. And NOT low fat or non-fat. I catch you making this recipe with that less than full fat stuff and we are going to have to have a little “talk”. And it won’t be pretty.

IMG_5009The first thing that you want to do is take your onion and dice it up finely. You can use shallots rather than onion, that is what I do most of the time. But, when I went to make the recipe to take the pictures I found that I didn’t have any shallots and I wasn’t going to go out to the store to get some. If you are using regular onion I think the recipe benefits from having the onions carmelized.

Dice the onions finely, melt a small amount of butter in a pan. Put the onions in, spread them out and then just leave them for a while until there is some browning going on. Then stir them a bit to move them around but don’t move them too much. When they are browned then take them off the heat and let them cool down.

IMG_5011Then it is time to invest some time in the cheese. Please use extra sharp cheddar. You will not be sorry. And do not use pre-grated cheese. It will not melt correctly because it is coated with cornstarch. That is how the manufacturers make sure that the pre-grated cheese doesn’t clump together in the package. Looks good, doesn’t melt when you need it to. Go the extra mile and grate it yourself. Yes, I know that I can grate the cheese with my food processor. But I didn’t want to have to wash all the parts afterwards and this was just as easy. After the cheese is all grated just throw it into a large mixing bowl.

IMG_5013 Mayo!! Oh yes, let us sing the song of mayo, that wonderful and flavorful condiment. For one pound of grated cheese I start with 1/2 cup of mayo. You want enough mayo to bind everything together but not so much mayo that it overwhelms everything. You will most likely use between 1/2 cup and 3/4 cup of mayo. It is an individual thing. I will be honest, when I make this I don’t even measure. I just throw some in, mix, look at it, throw some more mayo in, mix and then decide if I have enough in.

IMG_5014This is sort of what it should look like. Delicious!

IMG_5019Then you are going to add some Worcestershire sauce. I usually just add a good glug but in deference to some who have to have measurements……I started with 1 teaspoon. This is strictly by taste. Don’t add too much. You can always add more but it sure is hard to take out what you have already added.

Then add the onions and mix everything all around. I forgot to take a picture of the onions going in. Oops.

IMG_5021A Then you have to test it. It would be a terrible thing to make something that didn’t taste good. I felt it was my duty since I was taking this stuff over to someone’s house. The funny thing about the mixture at this point is that it is better if you let it sit in the frig for a day or two. The flavors meld. My mouth is watering at the moment.

IMG_5026A When it is time to put everything together you need to slice your bread into slices that are about an inch thick. Take the cheese mixture out and let it come to room temp on the counter. It will spread better.

IMG_5029 Spread some of the cheese mixture on each piece of bread and put the pieces of bread onto a baking sheet. Don’t put too much mixture on the bread, just enough to cover the top. Then pop the whole thing under the broiler.

And WATCH THEM! These things go from not toasted to over toasted in a very short period of time.

IMG_5044This is what they should look like. Slightly brown around the edges, the cheese melted and yummy.

It’s time to eat!!!

Jana’s Doo Dads

1 pound sharp cheddar cheese – grated
1/4 cup finely diced onion or shallot
1/2 – 3/4 cup mayo
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 loaf French bread

Grate the cheese and set aside. Finely dice onion. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in a small frying pan. Place the onions in the butter, spread them out but do not stir them. Let them carmelize. Set onions aside to cool.

Mix cheese, onions, mayo and Worcestershire sauce together. Put in airtight container and refrigerate for at least 24 hours to let the flavors meld.

Slice French bread into 1 inch slices. Spread cheese mixture on slices and broil until slightly brown and bubbly.


  1. Uhm, I'm drooling too. Can this be any more perfect?! I don't think so. And I just so happen to have all the ingredients on hand...strange how these things work out :)

  2. OK, I can do this. I mean, if I can't make this then I am seriously doomed. You have some of my most favoritist things in here!

  3. Yes indeed, I can vouch that this is the most amazing and simplest of all appetizer recipes! And if you're not careful, you will eat them until you are sorry. No, I take that back. I am NEVER sorry I've eaten them.

    Oh, and Deb, I LOVE your close-up shots. Especially of food. But you are NOT helping my diet!

    (And thanks for keeping the background out of your photos!)

  4. Yummmo - thanks for sharing!! And, I could'nt agree more about the mayo!

  5. I'm filing this one away under "Something tasty to make and destroy". Delicious!

    I have yet to make your mac and cheese from scratch for dad. It is a favorite of mine for all time.


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