I have been on kind of a kugel kick lately. And by lately, I mean for the past four months, with no signs of stopping. I have made kugels with noodles, kugels with quinoa, and kugels with bulgur. I’ve made sweet kugels that should really be classified as desserts, and savory kugels that have nothing whatsoever to do with the Eastern European heritage suggested by the word kugel (which means ball, but which I also apply to my square-shaped kugels).
What I love about kugels is how versatile they are, and how comforting they are. The perfect food to get excited about when the weather is cold and wet. You can make a kugel for dinner three times a week and never feel like you’re doing the same thing over and over. It’s also a great vehicle for camouflaging vegetables if you need to shoehorn some into your children or partner’s diet.
Here at MyJewishLearning we have recipes for Potato kugel, Sweet Potato Kugel, Cheese Lockshen Kugel, Yerushalmi Kugel, Gluten-free Apple Kugel, Zucchini Kugel, Carrot Kugel, Onion Kugel, Cinnamon Noodle Kugel, Apple Pear Cranberry Kugel, Broccoli Kugel, and the Love Potion Kugel
I also highly recommend all of the kugel recipes recently printed in the New York Times as part of their “kugel challenge”: Carrot Quinoa Kugel, , Sweet Millet Kugel with Apricots and Raisins, Cabbage, Onion and Millet Kugel and finally the Sweet Potato and Apple Kugel.
What’s your favorite kugel recipe?
Just in time for Hanukkah and the holidays – three new cookbooks have arrived from some of the foremost Jewish lady foodies out there:
Susie Fishbein’s 7th cookbook, “Kosher by Design Cooking Coach: Recipes, Tips and Techniques To Make Anyone a Better Cook” hit the bookshelves on October 23rd. The Forward has a great Q&A with her, and you can order the book on Amazon…maybe for that special someone who might need a little boost in the kitchen.
The much anticipated Smitten Kitchen Cookbook also came out recently – as well as Chef Paula Shoyer’s first cookbook, The Kosher Baker, featuring 160 dairy-less desserts. Fellow blogger and Nosher contributor Amy Kritzer recently reviewed The Kosher Baker for the Austin Chronicle.
In other Jewish-food related news, The New York Times seems to have a new-found love affair with the non-traditional kugel – in the past few weeks they have featured recipes for a Quinoa and Carrot Kugel, as well a Cabbage, Onion and Millet Kugel. They don’t sound like my first line of defense for Shabbat, but I am willing to give anything a try – the quinoa and carrot kugel could even be a great side dish for Passover.
And in Washington, DC yet another non-kosher, reinvent-the-Jewish-classics restaurant has opened called DGS Delicatessen, from Chef Barry Koslow. From what my friends in DC have said and are posting, the menu sounds awfully similar to some of the eateries that have come before DGS (Kutchers Tribeca, Jack’s Wife Frida…), particularly the babka bread pudding, dessert kugel and updated kreplach. But regardless….once again, I am excited to see that Jewish Food is truly having a moment. I am starting to feel almost like a trendsetter myself.
Last month my husband and I brought our 4 month old daughter to visit one of her two living great-grandparents. Our daughter was delighted to meet her great-grandfather, and his wife cooked us a wonderful Shabbat dinner to celebrate, which included, among many other delicious dishes, a cherry apple noodle kugel that I just couldn’t get enough of.
As I devoured the sweet kugel I had the idea that the cherry-apple kugel could easily turn into a cranberry-apple kugel perfect for a Thanksgiving side dish.
The original recipe calls for a can of cherry pie filling, which I swapped out for a scratch-made cranberry sauce made with lemon zest, sugar and water.
No patience to make your own sauce? Buy a can of whole cranberry sauce to substitute!
8 ounces fresh cranberries
2 tsp cornstarch
¾ cup water
½ cup sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon zest
1 ½ lbs wide egg noodles (one and a half packages)
5 large eggs
3 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced
½ cup margarine or butter
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon plus extra
Place cranberries, ½ cup sugar, water and lemon zest in a saucepan over medium heat. Wait until water begins boil and then add cornstarch and stir. Continue to simmer until cranberries are all soft and sauce thickens. Add a little water if needed. Set aside to cool.
Cook noodles in large pot. Drain well and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 pan.
Melt margarine or butter and mix with sugar, cinnamon and apples. Separate eggs and beat egg whites until frothy and thick. Add egg yolks to sugar-apple mixture.
Add noodles and mix well. Gently fold egg whites to noodle mixture.
Spread half the noodle mixture into the pan. Add a layer of the cranberry sauce. Add the remaining noodles. Sprinkle with a very light dusting of cinnamon on top.
Bake 50-55 minutes, or until desired crispiness on top.
For years I lived a dark Potato Kugel-less existence. For some reason my mom never made it when I was a kid, and it wasn’t until high school that I experienced the true starchy joy of potato kugel. It’s a great side dish for any Shabbat meal, particularly in the winter, but for some reason it tastes particularly good on Pesach. And like the best Pesach foods, potato kugel has a simple but very rich flavor. Should you eat it every day? Definitely not. Should you have it right next to brisket on your plate during the seder? Absolutely.
And now, the only Potato Kugel recipe you’ll ever need…
Sometimes at the end of a long day I just want to go home and watch a nice looking man make me a kugel. My boyfriend’s out of town tonight, so I guess it’s just me and Dave Lieberman and some egg noodles. I might even go crazy and try making this.
When I was in high school, I was dating a lovely (non-Jewish) guy whose parents seemed vaguely confused by my Jewish heritage and always had a slew of questions about Jews. In fact, one time the boyfriend’s sister asked me, “So, what do Jews eat on Thanksgiving?” I was a bit bewildered by her question. I responded, “Um, turkey…”
But is it appropriate to deviate from American classics and infuse some Jewrific food choices into the menu? I imagine many of you already do just this.
During a brief stint working for a law firm in Washington, DC I worked alongside a lovely woman whose family was Filipino. Thanksgiving was right around the corner during the time that we worked 15 hour days together, and so I got to learn a lot about her and her family. One of the most interesting tidbits she shared was that her family never celebrated Thanksgiving with turkey, but rather, with a roast pig, as was a traditional Filipino custom. So interesting! I also know plenty of Italian American families who serve lasagna and meatballs right alongside their turkey and stuffing each year. And in truth, what better way to celebrate this holiday of giving thanks and celebrating an immigrants’ experience than bringing in different cultural culinary traditions into the meal.
My own favorite Thanksgiving recipes include this fantastic, moist and already pareve (non-dairy) recipe for Sweet Potato Cake (you can ignore the icing or not). I also love Tyler Florence’s recipe for Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Bananas and Honey, perhaps as an alternative to the “traditional” sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top. You can also try trading in your white bread for leftover challah in your stuffing.
And for a truly Jewey Thanksgiving side dish, I recommend the tried and true Butternut Squash Kugel. This recipe was given to my mother-in-law, by her mother-in-law. I only hope one day I can push recipes upon my daughter-in-laws in the same way (I jest, I jest).
From The Melting Pot, a cookbook put out in the early 1980s by the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach Women’s League.
- 2 10 ounce bags of frozen butternut squash (defrosted)
- 1 stick of melted margarine
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup of pareve milk
Mix all ingredients together in Kitchen Aid, or with electric mixer until blended and smooth.
Grease 9x9 pan (or 9x13 for thinner kugel). Sprinkle top with cinnamon
Cook at 350 until firm (approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour).