Today’s recipe is from the 1942 edition of Short Cuts and Left-Overs by Hannah W. Schloss. Schloss felt that there had been enough attention on recipe books and household hints, but not enough on using leftovers in an easy and appetizing way. She wrote that the secret of leftovers was to make them taste better and use them in filling dishes. She also thought that combining fresh foods and canned foods was the ticket to using leftovers in a way that would appeal to the family while filling them up.
The cookbook is aimed at new cooks. I can imagine this book being a terrific gift for a new bride in the early 1940s. It includes a long list of kitchen vocabulary ranging from appetizer to zest. There is a weights and measures chapter, and a chapter with kitchen hints that help a housewife choose spices, utensils, food staples, and more. My favorite chapter is a separate index in the front of the book that is really helpful when you are trying to use up specific foods. For example, if you have leftover apples, this index lists all the recipes in the book that use apples. The index in the back of the book is not near as detailed.
One last thing I want to mention before I get to the recipe—none of these recipes have directions for oven temperature and many don’t include cooking times. Less than half actually have a list of ingredients. There is a lot of guess work involved in cooking these recipes, but I think that allows for more flexibility when using a variety of leftovers. In fact, we adapted today’s recipe. More on that in a minute.
Escalloped Potatoes Hungarian Style
Our version of this recipe is tweaked a little to fit the meal we were having. We placed the ingredients on a cookie sheet, dotted it with sour cream, and baked it at 350°F for 20 minutes.
I would describe these as a cut up baked potato. Your typical baked potato ingredients are all here—salt, pepper, sour cream. The eggs were a nice, mild tasting addition. You definitely could add things like pickles or cheese to make the dish have more flavor and color. It’s a good way to use up potatoes and it will go with almost any meal. Recipes like this would help home front housewives use up every last bit of food in their kitchens.
Do you have a favorite leftover recipe?