At least traditional in my family. This is one of the side dishes that make the holiday complete, especially at Easter. My family’s traditional Easter protein is Ham, and really, nothing goes better with ham than CHEESE!
My Grandmother made this dish as does my mother, and I have been known to make it not only for the holiday but for pot-lucks. It really shines at a pot luck, just make sure that you get your dish back, because this cannot be made in just any old casserole dish; it must be made in a souffle dish.
When it comes down to it, anyone with a little bit of culinary savvy will read this recipe and say “Hey, that looks like a souffle recipe”. And well, they would be right. But in my family it has always been called a pudding and that is what I am sticking with. I have, on occasion, peered into the oven and seen it rising majestically over the rim of the dish. But who has time for the pussyfooting that a souffle takes when you are trying to churn out a holiday supper for the gathered horde?
If it falls, it falls and it is a Pudding. It tastes divine whatever you call it.
Grandma Willette’s Cheese Pudding
Round Souffle dish, Stand mixer or hand mixer or masochistic tendencies + a whisk.
10 Slices White bread, crusts removed
1 Stick Butter
3 Eggs separated
2 C Milk
1 lb Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 t Salt
1/4 – 1/2 t Ground Red Pepper (also known as Cayenne hoo-ah!)
1 t Dry Mustard Powder
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and slice the crusts off of your bread. If you are doing some kind of traditional stuffing you might want to re-purpose the crusts – or feed them to your dog. Cut the bread into cubes about 1/2 square.
Melt butter in your baking dish and add cubed bread, set aside. Combine your egg yolks with the milk and add salt, red pepper (hoo-ah!) and mustard powder. Stir in the god-awful amount of cheese and then fold into the bread cubes and butter.
Beat egg whites until stiff, using a mixer is preferable but hey if you dig the pain of doing it by hand – who am I to judge? Fold stiff egg whites into the other mixture and bake for 35 – 45 minutes or until set.
The cooking on this one is a judgment call – sometimes it comes out perfect and sometimes it is a bit soupy. This year was a soupy year, but I think that was because my Mom assembled the whole thing early in the morning and then put it in the ‘fridge. Oops.
I did not actually prepare the Pudding in the picture, but I did consume it – soupy-ness and all. Not only is it divine with the ham(assemble a fork with ham and then cheese in the same bite) but I poured the soupy part over my broccoli which made it much better.
Watch the red pepper in this, it can get really hot really quick – but some people like it that way. Also, you can easily double the batch and it comes out just fine, just make sure your dish is big enough.