Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Anyone for Sandwich Casserole?

Sandwich Casserole was a new concept for me when I discovered the following recipe in a 1930’s  newspaper.  It seemed to be quite a common thing until the 1950’s, but I can find little trace of it afterwards. No doubt many of you will now contact me saying that it was an integral part of your childhood (hopefully via the comments, so we can all share your stories.)

Summertime Sandwich Casserole.
6 slices bread
1 small can deviled ham
1 ¼ cups grated American cheese
1 ½ cups milk
2 eggs
 ½ tsp salt
Dash of pepper.
Spread three slices of bread with the ham, sprinkle with ¾ cup of the cheese, and cover with the remaining slices of bread, buttered.  Cut the sandwiches in half and place flat in a baking dish. Scald the milk, add gradually to the beaten eggs, add salt and pepper. Then pour over the sandwiches. Sprinkle the remaining half cup of cheese over all this. Place in a pan of hot water and bake until cheese is melted and sandwiches are hot through. Garnish with paprika and parsley.

Madison Capital Times (Wisconsin) July 26, 1939.

(This recipe appeared in a display advertisement for a gas cooking range.)

Sandwich Casserole
Six slices of bread, 2 cups minced turkey or chicken, 3 tablespoons minced ham, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, salt, pepper, 1 cup grated cheese, butter, 1½ cups milk, 2 eggs, parsley to garnish.
Spread three slices of bread thinly with butter, cover with meat mixed with mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with ¾ cup of the cheese and cover with the remaining slices of bread thinly buttered. Cut the sandwiches in halves and place in a greased baking-dish large enough to hold them without overlapping.Scald the milk in a double-boiler and add gradually to the slightly beaten eggs. Season with salt andpepper, pour over sandwiches.Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup cheese. Place in dish of hotwater, bake in moderate oven (350deg. F. gas, 500 deg. F. electric) about 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and the sandwiches are heated through. Garnish with parsley.
Advocate (Burnie, Tas.) 31 December 1949

A Sandwich Casserole Saves Time.
Busy with spring cleaning? Here’s a goodly dish that you can prepare ahead and pop in the oven to bake while you go on with the work.
1 ½ cups minced corned beef, ham, pumped leg of lamb, etc.
Mixed mustard
1 cup grated well flavoured cheese.
2 firm tomatoes.
9 slices white bread, without crusts.
4 eggs
1¾ pints milk.
Salt and pepper.
Butter bread, make three two-decker sandwiches with sliced tomato, pepper, salt, grated cheese in first layer, minced corned beef, or pumped leg, mustard, as second layer. Press firmly together, cut each one cornerwise, put evenly in well-greased casserole, cut side down (sandwich could be cut into 4). Beat eggs, add milk, salt and pepper, pour over sandwiches. Bake until set in slow oven, about 1 ½ hours. Sprinkle top liberally with more grated cheese and paprika for last 15 mins of baking.

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW) 28 Oct 1954.


Anonymous said...

This sounds a lot like the "overnight" breakfast casseroles I've seen, but perhaps a bit more substantial. At least the idea of soaking bread and something else with milk and cheese, and then baking it, is the same. Not something I grew up with, however; I first saw it when my sister-in-law served it.

Anonymous said...

These are also known as "stratas" in American cooking. They range from perfectly acceptable to ghastly. The big allure is that they have to be made ahead, and that they can be made relatively inexpensively, with foods that are generally at hand.

Lawrence in Ohio, United States.

Elizabeth said...

I've never heard of Sandwich Casserole but I do remember pumped legs of mutton (not lamb). Mutton in any guise has long disappeared - so has hogget, for that matter.

The Old Foodie said...

Thanks all. I can see the appeal, if decent ingredients are used. It is a sort of savoury custard. But I can also appreciate that with random leftovers it might be a nightmare! Methinks I will experiment a little.

SometimesKate said...

I agree with Anonymous #1. It does sound like one of the egg and bread and cheese breakfast casseroles. Or even like a monte cristo for the lazy. Was it common to have to scald milk back then? Would it have an effect on the custardy bit if you didn't? Also, being on the wrong side of the world, I've never heard of pumping lamb. Could you please elaborate?

korenni said...

I had to do a search for "pumped" mutton (and also for hogget). It seems pumped mutton is mutton that has been brined, which "pumps it up."

I'm not sure I've ever eaten mutton -- they don't sell anything but lamb in the States, as far as I know. I would like to try it -- and hogget!