A couple of weeks ago, we started challenging ourselves to recreate recipes from George Eastman’s camp cookbook. To learn more about this book, and see the first two recipes we tried, check out our previous article: Cooking by the Book: George Eastman’s Camp Cookbook.
This recipe’s name is a little misleading, as it is more of a dip than anything we would associate with a pudding. Molly Tarbell, our editor and publications manager, decided to try out this interesting cheesy dish.
The recipe requires:
4 oz. bread crumbs
2 tablespoons of grated cheese
a little pepper, salt, and cayenne
A little milk
The directions are simply “Bake in a buttered dish sprinkled with grated cheese and put small pieces of butter on top of the pudding.”
Molly decided to layer the above ingredients, then top with cheese and pieces of butter. She supplemented bread crumbs with a little bit of matzo meal to get to 4 oz., which was approximately a cup of crumbs. For milk, no measurement was given, so she used about a ¼ cup. Molly added the toasted crumbs to my buttered baking dish, then topped with the 2 Tbsp grated cheese, pepper, salt, and cayenne. Then, she poured over the egg and milk mixture, topped with more grated cheese, and dotted the top with the little pieces of butter. Given no indication of oven temperature or time, Molly decided to bake at 350°F until the top was golden, which was about 35 minutes.
How did it taste? Well, it’s eggs, cheese, bread crumbs, and butter — how can you go wrong? (Molly highly recommends topping with some hot sauce.)
Onions Au Gratin
An Au Gratin means to be covered with breadcrumbs or grated cheese and browned. In French it translates to “by grating” which comes from the verb gratter, meaning to grate. Gratin is traditionally made with potatoes, but any vegetable can be made au gratin. Elli Schelemanow, the daughter of Amy Schelemanow, director of publishing and design, made Eastman’s recipe for Onions De Gratin.
This recipe calls for:
3 good-sized Spanish (yellow) onions, chopped thinly
Salt and Pepper
6 Tablespoons of Breadcrumbs
½ cup Butter
Grated Cheese (of your choice)
First butter a shallow baking dish, then add a thin layer of onions to the bottom. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste (Elli opted for a lot of pepper). Sprinkle a tablespoon of breadcrumbs over it, and drizzle one tablespoon of melted butter on top. Repeat these steps 5 or 6 times, until you have a layered casserole.
The original recipe calls for a moderate oven. Elli interpreted this to be 350 degrees. Cook for 45 minutes then remove from the oven and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Place the casserole back in the oven until the cheese is brown and melted.
Elli made this recipe gluten-free by substituting gluten-free bread crumbs. She used grated asiago for the cheese and Spanish onions. The onions turned quite sweet with the baking and the asiago added some tang. The final dish would be a good side for traditionally grilled steaks or grilled smoked tempeh. Vidalia, red, or other onion varieties could be experimented with to change the taste to complement different meals.