Thursday, February 15, 2007

More on Kugel

Every cook with food-ways roots in Jewish Eastern Europe probably has her own recipe for some sort of lokshen (noodle) kugel. Savory kugels combine noodles with chicken fat, onions, and other meat flavorings. My mother usually arranged a ring of noodle kugel, made with fine egg noodles, around a meat loaf. Elaine says she hated this kugel because she didn't like the taste of the grease from the ground beef. A completely different savory kugel can be made from grated potatoes and onions.

Today, Americans often prefer the dairy versions made with wide egg noodles, egg custard, and varying amounts of dried or canned fruit. These recipes are popular for brunches and pot-lucks. I suspect that as time has gone by over the generations, sweet kugels have become sweeter and sweeter. Some use a streusel-type topping of crushed corn flakes: this must be a New-World addition!

When Myrtle saw my last post of a recipe for sweet noodle kugel, which her sister gave me, she sent me her favorite kugel recipe:

Rich-and-Fruity Lokshen Kugel
(Myrtle's Sweet Noodle Pudding)

8 ounces medium-wide egg noodles
1 10 1/2 -ounce (or similar) can mandarin orange segments, drained
1 16- ounce can pitted dark, sweet cherries, drained
1 8- ounce can crushed pineapple, including juice
1 cup commercial sour cream
1/3 cup butter, softened and cut into small pieces
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened and cut into small pieces
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 large eggs

Topping (optional)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cook the noodles according to the package directions and drain them well.

Combine them with all the canned fruit, and spread the mixture in a well buttered or non stick spray-coated baking dish.

In a blender or food processor (fitted with the steel blade), combine the sour cream, butter, cream cheese, sugar, honey, vanilla and eggs. Process until completely smooth, about 1 minute or longer, scraping down the sides of the container once or twice. Pour the mixture over the noodles and fruit; then stir gently with a spoons so that all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Combine the topping ingredients (if used) and sprinkle over the top of the casserole.

Bake the kugel in a preheated 350’ oven for 1 hour, or until it is set. Let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting. Serve warm or at room temperature, and refrigerate it uncut. Shortly before serving, reheat it, covered, in a 350’ oven until warmed through.

Makes about 12 servings

(I made 1 ½ times the recipe, doubling the mandarin oranges and pineapple, but not the bing cherries.)


Anonymous said...

How about more on savory kugels altho I know the trend is towsrd sweet ones?


E.F. Slattery said...

Even my atheist Czech husband likes kugel (which he knows only as "sweet pasta"). ;-) Thanks for the recipes! Erin

Anonymous said...

My Nana used to make this same kugel only she also added a small can of mandarin oranges.