One of the tumblr blogs I follow asked readers what their favorite comfort food was.
I thought about it for awhile because there are so many, I couldn’t make up my mind. Like challah and butter; baked, crispy-skinned Russet potato; apple pie; fried chicken wings. Snacks like potato chips and popcorn.
You’ll notice most of these are starch. Even the chicken dish I chose is wings and therefore mostly crunchy, flour-crusted skin.
And of course, there’s kugel: egg noodles, boiled until they’re tender, then crisped in the oven, either plain or with all sorts of stuff inside. Like this recipe for Almond Crusted Winter Squash and Noodle Kugel.
What makes this kugel such a comfort?
Not just the soft noodles, but the sweet crunchy crust. You get to feel them both in your mouth at the same time, with one bite.
And there’s color too, because I’ve included white cottage cheese, dark red cranberries and orange winter squash, so when you cut a piece it looks pretty on a plate.
Notice please, that you can sort of cut down on some of the less healthy aspects by using Greek style, plain (non-fat) yogurt instead of dairy sour cream and non-fat cottage cheese instead of the full-fat kind.
Kugel is a year ‘round treat. But it’s usually a must for Hanukkah. Sure is for us.
Almond Crusted Winter Squash and Noodle Kugel
5 tablespoons butter, melted
one pound medium egg noodles
3 cups diced winter squash (such as butternut or acorn)
1 cup dried cranberries
2 cups cottage cheese (nonfat is fine)
1-1/2 cups nonfat Greek style plain yogurt (or use dairy sour cream)
6 large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped almonds
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9”x13” baking dish using some of the melted butter. Cook the noodles according to package directions, drain and place in a large bowl. Add the squash, cranberries, cottage cheese, yogurt and remaining melted butter and toss the ingredients to distribute them evenly. Beat the eggs, sugar and cinnamon together with a hand mixer at medium speed for about 3 minutes or until thickened. Fold into the noodle mixture. Place in the prepared baking dish. In a small bowl, mix the almonds and brown sugar. Sprinkle on top of the kugel. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is crispy and brown. Makes 8-10 servings