Because it’s the holidays and I love you, I’m about to let you in on a horrifying family secret. One that if you are brave enough to attempt for yourself, you will thank me for. In secret!
Okay. When my brother and I were little, our Grandma Benge used to make us something she called “Mock Pizza,” and BJ and I dubbed “The Stuff.” It was cheesy and melty and meaty and indescribably delicious—we couldn’t get enough of it, and we begged our mother to make it. For a long time she denied knowing anything about it, but our will (and appetite) was strong, and we wore her down.
Now usually, when I get to this part of the story, the listeners lean forward, ready to hear about some charmingly rustic, vintage recipe. That’s when I say,
“You take a pound of hot dogs, a pound of Velveeta, half a red onion, and mayonnaise, and grind them into a paste.” Looks of betrayal, panic, and revulsion soon follow.
But trust me! Spread this, um, delightful concoction (a cousin to such delights as ham salad) on sliced French bread and put it under the broiler—or, to be super special, spread it on refrigerated crescent-roll dough, roll ’em up, and bake them according to package directions—and you will be rewarded with one of the most delicious treats you will ever be lucky enough to eat! It’s pure alchemy!
The red onion is my innovation (my Grandma Benge used pimentos), but you could make your own adjustments: I imagine pickles, olives, and other add-ins would be very tasty!
The Stuff, aka Grandma Benge’s Mock Pizza
1 pound hot dogs (whatever your favorite is), cut into 1-inch chunks
1 pound Velveeta, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1/2-1 cup mayonnaise, to taste
Mix the first three ingredients in a bowl, then run it through the coarse setting of a meat grinder or pulse it in a food processor. You want it to be spreadable but not totally smooth. Stir in mayonnaise to taste!
To use: Spread on baguette slices, hamburger buns, etc., and place under the broiler. Broil until the cheese melts and it gets a little browned. Delicious!
Alternately, you can spread refrigerated crescent roll dough with The Stuff, roll them up, and bake according to package directions. Warning: let them cool a little so you don’t burn off the top of your mouth with molten meat-cheese paste.
Add this to your next holiday get-together and delight your guests! Maybe just don’t tell them what they’re eating!
Do you have secret special holiday family recipes to share? Post them below!