I was recently asked for an appetizer recipe for the upcoming holidays. Immediately, this one came to mind. Why this one? It is super easy, super tasty and you can make it ahead of a time. It is always a crowd pleaser and I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked for the recipe. Spread it on crackers for your party and any leftovers are simply scrumptious on a roast beef sandwich.
However, there are a few important tips that I must point out. First, like the Mac-n-Cheese, please buy really good extra-sharp cheese (another shout out to the farm families at Cabot) and grate it yourself. Meaning, do not buy the pregrated cheese. It just won't work because of the stabilizers in the cheese. Second, dice the onion by hand. Putting the onion in a food processor or mini chop causes an unpleasant onion flavor that is much too strong for the spread. And third, use good mayonnaise, like Hellman's. Do not use the salad dressing mayonnaise and do not use low fat.
Now that I have told you what not to do...the one thing you can do is to adjust the amount of heat according to your taste and that of your guests. What I like to do is put just a touch of hot sauce in the spread and then serve the spread with the bottle of hot sauce on the side for those who like a bit more heat. That way everyone is happy, especially the kids.
So, please do try this for your next gathering of friends and family. It will surely be a hit.
Sweet Onion Cheddar Spread
makes about 6 cups
*recipe can easily be halved
1 pound extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
2 cups diced sweet onion, like Vidalia or Walla Walla
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Tabasco hot sauce, plus extra
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Using a hand grater or a food processor, grate the cheese using the medium whole side or blade. Put the cheese in a large bowl and add the diced onion. Stir to combine and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the mayonnaise, Worcestershire, black pepper, and hot sauce. Mix throughly. Add the mayonnaise mixture to the cheese and onion mixture and stir until combined. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for several hours for the flavors to develop. Serve with your favorite crackers. Enjoy!
Source: Adapted from Mary Jane Dishes it Out, by Mary Jane Lawrence