In my house growing up, parmesan cheese meant one—and only one—thing: a tall, cylindrical green can of Kraft parmesan. For me, nothing quite captured the can’s capabilities, its contents’ pebbly mastery, than the rye toasts my mom made during the holidays. The toasts were the kind of party-friendly snacks that fit nowhere else but under the category of hors d’oeuvres. Beyond simple, a few demure rounds of cocktail rye bread were slathered with a mixture of Best Foods mayonnaise, sliced scallions, and a liberal amount of Kraft parmesan. They were then broiled, their fatty hats turning golden and molten. I started playing with the recipe, swapping Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano for the dusty cheese bits in the can. My mom told me by text that you could add shrimp to the recipe, too. That shift I can’t quite imagine.
- Arrange an oven rack about six inches from the broiler element. Preheat the oven to the broil setting.
- Combine scallions, mayonnaise, and cheese in a large bowl. Place rye rounds on a large baking sheet. Top each round with about a tablespoon of the scallion mixture. Cook until the tops are golden-brown and the edges are crisp, rotating the sheet halfway through, 5 to 8 minutes total. It all depends on how hot your oven is and how close the rack is to the element.
- Let cool for a few minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature within an hour or so after cooking.
Recipe by Scott Hocker
Scott Hocker is a writer, editor, recipe developer, cookbook author, and content and editorial consultant. He has worked in magazines, kitchens, newsletters, restaurants and a bunch of other environments he can’t remember right now. He has also been the editor in chief of both liquor.com and Tasting Table.