Friday, July 15, 2011

Rum Tum Tiddy

Say it with me: Rum Tum Tiddy!
Say what?
I know.  I had NO IDEA what it was either.
Is it a drink?  Kind of sounds like Hot Toddy.
But no.
Is it a musical?  The Rum Tum Tugger is a curious cat!
Any guesses?
Okay, a quick google search will land you in a sea of condensed tomato soup, cheese and bread.  And basically that's what it is.
I hollered to my Mother-in-Law, "Have you ever heard of something called, Rum Tum Tiddy?"  To which she answered, "Of course!  It's an old Southern dish!"
Of course.
I stumbled across the recipe in Martha Hall Foose's new cookbook, A Southerly Course.  Haven't heard of her?  She is the amazingly talented chef behind, well, a lot of different things (click on her name!), but two really amazing cookbooks focused on southern food and traditions.  I first became acquainted with Miss Martha a few years ago on a visit to Nashville when my MIL introduced me to Miss Martha's first cookbook, Screen Doors and Sweet Tea.  It was love at first sight.  Basically I want to make everything in that book!  There is a list being whittled down...
I digress.
In A Southerly Course the very first recipe is for Rum Tum Tiddy.  Which is basically tomato soup and cheese over toast.  Which sounds perfectly delightful to me, but Miss Martha takes it to the next level.  She combines the classic ingredients in a totally new way, bakes it all up in the oven, cuts it up into cocktail sized nibbles and tops each piece with Parmesan cheese and some pickled okra.
Sounds good, right?
Lemme tell ya, it was the perfect light supper for a steamy summer night.
The recipe calls for fresh breadcrumbs, and I found out that there is something quite satisfying about making your own breadcrumbs!  The recipe calls for a 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese, and then it also calls for 2 tablespoons of finely chopped onion.  Since I already had the grater out, I just went ahead and grated the onion too (how Rachel Ray of me!).
Okay, lets get started.

Rum Tum Tiddy (just very slightly adapted from A Southerly Course)

1 large egg beaten
A few shakes of Worcestershire sauce
1 cup (or a little more) of sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped pecan pieces
1 cup soft bread crumbs (just throw 3 pieces of white bread into a food processor, et voilà)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons grated onion
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Pickled okra sliced into rounds 

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter an 8 inch square baking dish.  I used a 7x9 inch Pyrex dish my MIL had because it was blue and white and super cute, and that worked just fine.

In a small glass softly beat one egg.  In a large bowl combine the Worcestershire sauce, cheddar cheese, pecans and bread crumbs. Add the egg and stir gently to combine.

In a medium skillet melt the 2 tablespoons of butter.  Add the onion and saute until just browned.  Add the tomato sauce and cook until incorporated.  Pour the onion and tomato sauce over the bread crumb mixture and stir to combine.  

Spoon the whole thing into the buttered dish and bake for 25 minutes, or until firm.  I baked mine for about 30 minutes and I probably could of let it stay in for another 5 minutes.  Every oven is different, so just keep checking it after 20 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes and then cut in 12 or 16 squares.  I then went ahead and cut a few in half to make triangles, just for looks.

Put the Parmesan on a plate and roll the squares (or triangles!) to coat.  Place a pickled okra round on each and secure with a toothpick.

Retire to the porch with libation of your choice and enjoy!


  1. We ate this as kids, in the 1950's. It came from an old Fannie Farmer cookbook, I think....My mom's copy has disintegrated but she copied the recipe for me when I asked about it and she remembered it perfectly, though I wager she has not made it in 50 years. I mentioned it to some girlfriends and we all had a good giggle, but I am thrilled to see it popping up, though many of the versions are much more complicated than the simple cheese-tomato soup-mustard-egg version of my childhood.

    1. Karen! So glad I brought back some memories! Thank you for checking out my blog, I'll have some new posts up soon. Stay tuned!