kugel

Potato Cheese and Spinach Kugel

Tell me Shavuot is coming and my first thought is cheesecake.

Of course. Cheesecake the dish most associated with the holiday. I love it. Make all kinds. Some plain. Some spiced. Some covered with fruit. Some with chocolate.

On the other hand you can't just eat cheesecake. 

Shavuot is generally a dairy holiday.

I love dairy.

Especially if there is a potato involved.

Like in this kugel, which is a wonder all by itself. But also good with salad, other dairy dishes or served with sunnyside eggs on top.

Perfect dish for the holiday.

 

Potato Cheese and Spinach Kugel

  • 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1-1/2 pounds)
  • 8-10 ounces fresh spinach
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 6 large eggs
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup panko crumbs
  • 2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish. Peel the potatoes, cut them into chunks and boil them in lightly salted water for about 15 minutes or until tender. Let cool and chop into small pieces. Place the potatoes in a bowl. While the potatoes are cooking, wash and dry the spinach and chop it coarsely. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes or until softened. Add the spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes or until wilted (if there is liquid in the pan, raise the heat and cook until it evaporates, or drain using a strainer). Add the spinach mixture, the feta cheese and dill to the potatoes and mix gently to distribute the ingredients evenly. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in 3 tablespoons of the melted butter and pour over the potato mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Gently mix the ingredients. Place the mixture inside the greased baking dish. In a small bowl, mix the panko, the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter and the Parmesan cheese and sprinkle over the ingredients. Bake for about 30 minutes or until hot and crispy.

Makes 8-10 servings

 

 

Cheese and Vegetable Kugel

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When my kids were young and still living at home, I made kugel a lot. My daughters were not terribly anti-vegetable, but I realized that pairing veggies and noodles would make it even easier to have more vegetables at our meals.

Also, it is a good way to use leftovers -- the recipe below is extremely versatile. Add cut up cooked green beans or asparagus, corn kernels, peas. Like that.

This kugel is filling enough for dinner. Also yummy with a sunny-side egg or two on top of each serving for a meatless (Monday) dinner. And a wonderful choice for dairy-fest Shavuot.

Veggie Kugel

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 10-12 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 bunch spinach or kale, washed and dried, coarsely cut
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 12 ounces medium-wide egg noodles
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup grated Swiss cheese
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • paprika

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9”x9” baking dish. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until it has wilted (kale may take a minute or so longer). Add the carrots and cook for another minute. Remove from the heat and set aside. Cook the noodles according to package directions, drain and place in a large bowl. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, the cooked vegetables, eggs, sour cream and 3/4 cup of the Swiss cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir to mix ingredients well. Place in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining Swiss cheese, Parmesan cheese and paprika. Bake for about 35 minutes or until the top is crispy and brown.

Makes 6-8 servings

 

Grandma Hoffman's Skinny Noodle Crusty-Top Mushroom Onion Kugel

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?

OY!

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
  • paprika

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

Kale and Potato Kugel

When I hear the word kugel I daydream about old fashioned Jewish food like the kind my grandma made and that brings back happy memories of when I was a kid. She made noodle kugel, always a salty kind made with noodles,  schmaltz , onions and sometimes mushrooms and of course, lots of eggs. It’s still one of the best side dishes that you could possibly eat with roasted chicken.  In fact kugel is hard not to like, whether it’s made with noodles, potatoes or vegetables.   My grandma never made Kale and Potato Kugel like the one here, but I bet she would have loved it. It’s filing enough to be dinner, but of course it’s also a good bet as a side dish for fish, eggs, whole grains or vegetarian dishes.  It’s also a nice choice for brunch and perfect for a Shavuot dairy meal.                                                                                                                                                                                      Kale and Potato Kugel       4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1-1/2 pounds)  1 large bunch kale (about 14-16 ounces)  6 large eggs  3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese  5 tablespoons melted butter  1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg  salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste  3/4 cup panko crumbs  2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese     Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish. Peel the potatoes, cut them into chunks and boil them in lightly salted water for about 15 minutes or until tender. Let cool and chop into small pieces. Place the potatoes in a bowl. While the potatoes are cooking, wash the kale and remove the thick stems from the bottom. Chop the kale coarsely. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Immerse the kale and cook for 10 minutes or until soft. Drain and squeeze out as much water as possible. Chop into smaller pieces and add to the potatoes. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the Swiss cheese, 3 tablespoons of the melted butter, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Add to the potato and kale mixture. Gently mix the ingredients to distribute them evenly. Place the mixture inside the greased baking dish. In a small bowl, mix the panko and remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle over the ingredients. Top with the Parmesan cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes or until hot and crispy.  Makes 8-10 servings

When I hear the word kugel I daydream about old fashioned Jewish food like the kind my grandma made and that brings back happy memories of when I was a kid. She made noodle kugel, always a salty kind made with noodles, schmaltz, onions and sometimes mushrooms and of course, lots of eggs. It’s still one of the best side dishes that you could possibly eat with roasted chicken.

In fact kugel is hard not to like, whether it’s made with noodles, potatoes or vegetables. 

My grandma never made Kale and Potato Kugel like the one here, but I bet she would have loved it. It’s filing enough to be dinner, but of course it’s also a good bet as a side dish for fish, eggs, whole grains or vegetarian dishes.

It’s also a nice choice for brunch and perfect for a Shavuot dairy meal.                                                                                                                                                                                   

Kale and Potato Kugel

 

4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1-1/2 pounds)

1 large bunch kale (about 14-16 ounces)

6 large eggs

3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese

5 tablespoons melted butter

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

3/4 cup panko crumbs

2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish. Peel the potatoes, cut them into chunks and boil them in lightly salted water for about 15 minutes or until tender. Let cool and chop into small pieces. Place the potatoes in a bowl. While the potatoes are cooking, wash the kale and remove the thick stems from the bottom. Chop the kale coarsely. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Immerse the kale and cook for 10 minutes or until soft. Drain and squeeze out as much water as possible. Chop into smaller pieces and add to the potatoes. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the Swiss cheese, 3 tablespoons of the melted butter, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Add to the potato and kale mixture. Gently mix the ingredients to distribute them evenly. Place the mixture inside the greased baking dish. In a small bowl, mix the panko and remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle over the ingredients. Top with the Parmesan cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes or until hot and crispy.

Makes 8-10 servings

Gluten Free Cranberry-Orange Noodle Kugel

I’ve been experimenting with gluten-free pasta recently, with mixed results. Some of these pasta products get gummy, some never become tender. If you go gluten-free, I suppose, it’s like anything else — you get used to it NOT being exactly like the product that isn’t gluten-free. Wheat-based pasta doesn’t taste or cook like corn or rice pasta, that’s all there is to it. 
 But if you’re on a gluten-free diet or you’re cooking for someone who is, you go with the flow, as they say.  
 And so, here’s a recipe for gluten-free corn noodle kugel for Hanukkah, a holiday when kugels are on the menu (actually is there ever a time when a kugel would not be welcome?). 
 I used  Sam Mills Pasta D’Oro Gluten Free Lasagne Corte *, which, by the way,  is on the relatively inexpensive side   for a gluten-free product.  
 *I did not get paid by this manufacturer nor did I receive a free sample. It’s just a great product, so I am recommending it to you. 

  Gluten Free Cranberry-Orange Noodle Kugel  
     
  1 cup dried cranberries  
  1/4 cup orange juice  
  8 ounces cream cheese  
  4 ounces butter  
  1/3 cup sugar  
  1-1/2 cups sour cream  
  4 large eggs  
  1 teaspoon ground cinnamon  
  2 teaspoons grated orange rind  
  1/8 teaspoon salt  
  1 pound Sam Mills Pasta D’Oro Gluten Free Lasagne Corte  
     
  Place cranberries in a bowl, pour the orange juice on top and let soak for at least 30 minutes. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9”x13” baking dish.   In an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until thoroughly blended and softened. Beat in the sugar until well blended. Add the sour cream and blend thoroughly. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the cinnamon, orange rind and salt. Set the mixture aside.   Cook the pasta, drain the noodles and place them in a large bowl. Spoon the cheese mixture over the noodles. Add the cranberries and any remaining juice. Gently mix the ingredients. Place the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Makes 12 servings  

  

I’ve been experimenting with gluten-free pasta recently, with mixed results. Some of these pasta products get gummy, some never become tender. If you go gluten-free, I suppose, it’s like anything else — you get used to it NOT being exactly like the product that isn’t gluten-free. Wheat-based pasta doesn’t taste or cook like corn or rice pasta, that’s all there is to it.

But if you’re on a gluten-free diet or you’re cooking for someone who is, you go with the flow, as they say. 

And so, here’s a recipe for gluten-free corn noodle kugel for Hanukkah, a holiday when kugels are on the menu (actually is there ever a time when a kugel would not be welcome?).

I used Sam Mills Pasta D’Oro Gluten Free Lasagne Corte*, which, by the way, is on the relatively inexpensive side for a gluten-free product.

*I did not get paid by this manufacturer nor did I receive a free sample. It’s just a great product, so I am recommending it to you.

Gluten Free Cranberry-Orange Noodle Kugel

 

1 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup orange juice

8 ounces cream cheese

4 ounces butter

1/3 cup sugar

1-1/2 cups sour cream

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons grated orange rind

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 pound Sam Mills Pasta D’Oro Gluten Free Lasagne Corte

 

Place cranberries in a bowl, pour the orange juice on top and let soak for at least 30 minutes. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9”x13” baking dish. In an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until thoroughly blended and softened. Beat in the sugar until well blended. Add the sour cream and blend thoroughly. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the cinnamon, orange rind and salt. Set the mixture aside. Cook the pasta, drain the noodles and place them in a large bowl. Spoon the cheese mixture over the noodles. Add the cranberries and any remaining juice. Gently mix the ingredients. Place the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Makes 12 servings

 

Almond Crusted Winter Squash and Noodle Kugel

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

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 piefried 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

The Kugel to End all Kugels

This is the kugel to end all kugels.  I mean it. I am a kugel-eating expert, if only because when I grew up my grandmother and mom made salty kugel stuffed with mushrooms and onions and it was only when I was grown, married and with kids that I had my first taste of this. That taste was a transforming moment.  My friend Susan brought this dish to my annual Break-the-fast (she got the recipe from her friend Linda and I don’t know where Linda got it).  For years after that I have tasted more kugels than you could possibly imagine (including those hard, dried up things they sell in some supermarkets) always trying to surpass that moment of culinary discovery.   I was even a judge once in a kugel contest.  I have made some wonderful kugels since then. But this is still my favorite. I always ask Susan to make an extra one so there will be leftovers. I pack pieces of it in my freezer so I can have a little treat whenever.  Don’t even think about the calories. Just enjoy.      Susan/Linda’s Sweet Noodle Kugel         1 12-ounce package egg noodles        1 8-ounce package cream cheese at room temperature        1/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature        1 cup sugar        2 cups dairy sour cream        6 large eggs        1 teaspoon cinnamon        1 cup raisins, optional        2 cups crushed frosted flakes or corn flakes        4 tablespoons melted butter  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the noodles in slightly salted water until al dente (not soft). Drain and set aside. In an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until thoroughly blended and softened. Beat in the sugar until well blended. Add the sour cream and blend thoroughly. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the cinnamon and raisins, if used. Pour the mixture into the noodles and toss to coat them completely. Place in a baking dish. Combine the frosted flakes and melted butter and sprinkle on top of the noodles. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the top is crispy.   Makes 8 servings  

This is the kugel to end all kugels.

I mean it. I am a kugel-eating expert, if only because when I grew up my grandmother and mom made salty kugel stuffed with mushrooms and onions and it was only when I was grown, married and with kids that I had my first taste of this. That taste was a transforming moment.

My friend Susan brought this dish to my annual Break-the-fast (she got the recipe from her friend Linda and I don’t know where Linda got it).

For years after that I have tasted more kugels than you could possibly imagine (including those hard, dried up things they sell in some supermarkets) always trying to surpass that moment of culinary discovery. 

I was even a judge once in a kugel contest.

I have made some wonderful kugels since then. But this is still my favorite. I always ask Susan to make an extra one so there will be leftovers. I pack pieces of it in my freezer so I can have a little treat whenever.

Don’t even think about the calories. Just enjoy.

 

Susan/Linda’s Sweet Noodle Kugel

      1 12-ounce package egg noodles

      1 8-ounce package cream cheese at room temperature

      1/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature

      1 cup sugar

      2 cups dairy sour cream

      6 large eggs

      1 teaspoon cinnamon

      1 cup raisins, optional

      2 cups crushed frosted flakes or corn flakes

      4 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the noodles in slightly salted water until al dente (not soft). Drain and set aside. In an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until thoroughly blended and softened. Beat in the sugar until well blended. Add the sour cream and blend thoroughly. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the cinnamon and raisins, if used. Pour the mixture into the noodles and toss to coat them completely. Place in a baking dish. Combine the frosted flakes and melted butter and sprinkle on top of the noodles. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the top is crispy. 

Makes 8 servings  

Cranberry-Orange Noodle Kugel

KUGEL CHALLENGE II 
 Just because Rosh Hashanah is over doesn’t mean I’m no longer thinking about kugel. Good food memories linger and besides, I always serve kugel for my Yom Kippur break-the-fast — the Linda/Susan recipe I mentioned last week — so I still have noodle pudding on the brain. 
 I know that ultra-rich and crunchy topped version is coming next Saturday night, so in the meantime, in between holidays, I like to tinker with different recipes. 
 My mother was an “if a recipe works why fix it?” person. But I can’t help myself. I experiment a lot to see what happens if you add this or that. Not necessarily to make it better. Just different. 
 I came up with this one, Cranberry-Orange, a traditional kugel with a contemporary twist. It’s sweet, tender in the middle and crunchy on top.  
 Cranberry-Orange Noodle Kugel 
 1 cup dried cranberries 
 1/4 cup orange juice 
 1 pound wide egg noodles 
 1/4 pound butter, melted 
 6 large eggs 
 2 cups cottage cheese 
 1-1/2 cups dairy sour cream 
 1/3 cup sugar 
 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
 2 teaspoons grated fresh orange rind 
 1/8 teaspoon salt 
 Place the cranberries in a bowl and pour the orange juice over them. Let soak for at least 30 minutes. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9”x13” baking dish. Cook the noodles al dente (not quite done). Drain the noodles and place them in a large bowl. Pour in the melted butter and stir to coat all the noodles with the butter. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, sugar, cinnamon, orange rind and salt. Mix thoroughly. Spoon the cheese mixture over the noodles and toss to coat all the noodles. Add the cranberries and any remaining juice. Mix in. Place the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the top is browned and crunchy. Makes 8-10 servings 
 Ask Ronnie a question:  http://ronniefein.com/ask  
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KUGEL CHALLENGE II

Just because Rosh Hashanah is over doesn’t mean I’m no longer thinking about kugel. Good food memories linger and besides, I always serve kugel for my Yom Kippur break-the-fast — the Linda/Susan recipe I mentioned last week — so I still have noodle pudding on the brain.

I know that ultra-rich and crunchy topped version is coming next Saturday night, so in the meantime, in between holidays, I like to tinker with different recipes.

My mother was an “if a recipe works why fix it?” person. But I can’t help myself. I experiment a lot to see what happens if you add this or that. Not necessarily to make it better. Just different.

I came up with this one, Cranberry-Orange, a traditional kugel with a contemporary twist. It’s sweet, tender in the middle and crunchy on top. 

Cranberry-Orange Noodle Kugel

1 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup orange juice

1 pound wide egg noodles

1/4 pound butter, melted

6 large eggs

2 cups cottage cheese

1-1/2 cups dairy sour cream

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons grated fresh orange rind

1/8 teaspoon salt

Place the cranberries in a bowl and pour the orange juice over them. Let soak for at least 30 minutes. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9”x13” baking dish. Cook the noodles al dente (not quite done). Drain the noodles and place them in a large bowl. Pour in the melted butter and stir to coat all the noodles with the butter. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, sugar, cinnamon, orange rind and salt. Mix thoroughly. Spoon the cheese mixture over the noodles and toss to coat all the noodles. Add the cranberries and any remaining juice. Mix in. Place the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the top is browned and crunchy. Makes 8-10 servings

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Kugel Challenge

Rosh Hashanah = kugel. Really, old fashioned, traditional kugel has got to be one of the most popular dishes for the Jewish holidays, even for people who on all other days would prefer things like crispy fish with yuzu dipping sauce or grilled chicken with kumquat and papaya relish.

But what kind? Kugels come all ways.

Basically though, they’re either sweet or savory.

My mother always told me that sweet, dairy kugels weren’t very good. In our house the kugels were salty and crispy and filled with juicy mushrooms and soft, golden onions. I never had a sweet kugel until I was fully grown and married and went to my friend Susan’s house and tasted one. OH MY GOODNESS it was so good that when I woke up the next morning, before I even poured my coffee I called my mother to yell at her.

What was she thinking?! This stuff is really really really delicious.

I published Susan’s recipe in several of my food articles over the years, attributing it to her of course, although I have since learned that Susan got it from Linda, who got it from someone else … The recipe hasn’t exactly gone viral on YouTube, but it is well known throughout my community.

Hear this, anyone who likes egg noodles and stuff like cream cheese with sugar and butter and sour cream and crispy cornflake crunchy toppings — try this and let me know if you’ve ever tasted a better kugel!

If you have, can you please send me the recipe??

Susan/Linda’s Sweet Noodle Kugel

  • 1 pound wide egg noodles
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups dairy sour cream
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins, optional
  • 2 cups crushed frosted corn flakes (or plain corn flakes)
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the noodles in lightly salted water until al dente (not quite done). Drain and set aside. In an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until thoroughly blended. Add the sour cream and blend it in completely. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the cinnamon and raisins, if used. Pour the mixture over the noodles and toss to coat all the noodles. Place in a 9”x13” baking dish. Combine the frosted flakes and melted butter. Sprinkle the coated flakes on top of the noodle mixture. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the top is crispy. Makes 8 servings

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