Kugel is the kind of food that people can get into an argument about.
The issues can become monumental.
Like -- should it be sweet or salty?
have cheese or not?
if cheese-- what kind?
And lots more.
Including this biggie -- what width noodles to use!
Skinny? Medium? Wide?
Here's my answer. Medium or wide for sweet, creamy, dairy-based or fruit-laden kugels served as side dishes with dairy or for dessert, because you want more pasta-surface area to absorb the sauce.
BUT, definitely skinny noodles for a savory kugel because you want it crispy on top to crunch under the pan juices or gravy that come with the tender meat and vegetables.
I grew up in a family where salty kugels were the thing. And ALWAYS made with the skinniest of noodles.
Here's my grandma's recipe. If you make it in a shallow baking pan the entire kugel is one huge crunch. Use a deeper pan if you prefer some soft noodles under the crusty top.
Grandma Hoffman's Mushroom Onion Kugel
- 10 ounces skinny egg noodles
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or schmaltz
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 10 ounces fresh mushrooms, any variety, sliced
- 2 large eggs
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook according to package directions, until the noodles are tender but not mushy. Drain under cold water and set aside. While the noodles are cooking, heat the vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Set aside. Place the noodles in a large bowl. Add the vegetables with any accumulated juices, and stir the ingredients to distribute them evenly. Add the eggs and some salt and pepper to taste and mix them in. Place the mixture inside a baking dish. Sprinkle the top with paprika. Bake for about 25 minutes. Raise the heat to 400 degrees and cook for another 10 minutes or until the top is crispy and browned.
Makes 8 servings