Monday, October 6, 2014

Not My Mama's Noodle Kugel or Finally, the Daughter Likes It!


Sometime last week the kugel popped up on my Facebook. Seems someone didn't know what it was. A day later, the daughter asked me for my kugel recipe. Shocker, that she would. After all, she never liked it as a child. I used to always tell my children that just a taste would do, so they would, taste that is. I also told them that their tastes can change and so it was always important to taste, to see if in fact, their tastes did change. This was viewed with skeptical eyes, but apparently tastes can change, as evidenced by this request.

So, who doesn't know what a kugel is? This really isn't that easy of a question to answer, because there are about a million ways to make it. A kugel is a pudding or casserole made from noodles. Unless it is made from potatoes. Ah, you see, that is the first question to ask when making a kugel. If one keeps kosher than a noodle kugel, which is made from dairy products, can't be served with meat, where as a potato kugel which is made from potatoes, eggs and oil could.  Unless it is my Omi's potato kugel which does not contain eggs and is not for Passover. Do you see the mishegas (craziness in Yiddish),  when it comes to explaining kugels? So... A noodle kugel can be savory or sweet. It can be served for dessert, or with the main course, and some eat it for breakfast.


My mom always made a savory kugel. It was a dairy kugel which she always served with roast beef. I know. BUT! We didn't keep kosher. Savory kugels are made without sugar. They can contain everything from onion soup mix to mushrooms, to caramelized onions, to zucchini. They are good. But another but! I like mine better. I like them a little sweet. And though I would never serve a kugel for dessert, I do like them with a meal.




Often one finds sweet kugels with every variety of fruit. This year I saw a recipe for a caramel apple kugel. And my friend posted a pineapple kugel. And one year I made a Jerusalem kugel which is a caramelized sugar and black pepper kugel, that is unique and outstanding. But this isn't what I often do. I make a semisweet kugel and serve it with dinner. In this case a roast chicken. Not kosher, I know! However, for breakfast, I heat a slice up and eat it with a dollop of my favorite jam. Total delish!


Kugel is comfort food in a Jewish home. Well, at least it was in my home. Their are a zillion ways to make it and they are all good. It is the perfect company dish because it makes a lot. Since there are just two of us, I did freeze quite a bit for future meals. You can Google kugel and find recipes out the yin yang. They are simple and quick to make. They are kind of like a Jewish mac and cheese, which my friend Shulie so eloquently mentioned.


So when to eat kugel? Well, Saturday which was was the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, our day of atonement, is the perfect day. A serious day, spent sitting in temple atoning for our sins. Remember, I told you about Rosh Hashonah? Well, 10 days later is Yom Kippur. We fast from sun down to sun down, so it is common when breaking the fast, to serve breakfast type foods. Every year we get together with friends and eat lox and bagels, my frozen cheese souffle, tuna fish, fruit and plenty of dessert. One could also serve blintzes or a noodle kugel. Yes, we have brinner!

So there you have it. Noodle Kugel in a nutshell. Or not. But anyway you cut it, this is Jewish comfort food, at its best!




Noodle Kugel

Serves: 8-12
Time to Make: About 20 minutes
Time to Bake: About 1 hour
Ingredients:
12 oz bag wide egg noodles 
1 t salt for boiling water
6 T butter (divided)
4 oz cream cheese
1/3-1/2 c sugar
3 eggs
1 c sour cream
1 lb small curd cottage cheese
1 t vanilla
1/2 c raisins or other dried fruit, plumped in 1 c of hot water if fruit is dry
1/2 c  to 1 c cereal, like cornflakes to crush for topping

Directions: Boil noodles in salted water for no more than 7 minutes, because you will be baking this and do not want them overcooked. Drain and return to pot and toss with 3 T of the butter. This should melt!


In a large bowl, by hand or with mixer, combine cream cheese, 3 T melted butter and sugar. Beat until somewhat smooth. Add eggs, sour cream,cottage cheese and vanilla and fruit if using. Stir well, until all is combined. Add noodles and mix well.


Generously butter a 13x9 pan. You could also bake this in a smaller pan and have a thicker kugel.  Scoop noodle mixture into prepared pan. Smooth top. Crush cereal between hands over noodles, until the kugel has crushed cereal over the top of it. Dot with butter. Place in preheated 350 oven for about an hour or until it feels firm and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. A thicker kugel may take a few more minutes.


Other Jewish Style Recipes:

Everything but the Bagel Scrambled Eggs
Chopped Liver
Sephardic Charoses
My Mother's Brisket
Latkes
Ilse's Passover Nut Cake

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29 comments:

  1. Unless you're a Lithuanian (at least partly) like me and the its kugelis and it's potatoes!! Nothing Jewish about this one because it has bacon in it! Kugel is confusing and not necessarily kugel! Just saying! I do love me a sweet kugel with noodles and raisins!!!

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  2. My father is from Lithuania and so I am part Lithuanian! This is a Jewish kugel and has no bacon, though that could be a good idea for another! Thank you!

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  3. I love the Jewish holiday traditions. Your break the fast meal sounds terrific...and I'm glad your daughter is changing her tune on your kugel :) My boys are a lot less picky now that they're cooking for themselves!

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    1. That is a great meal, Liz. Especially when you haven't eaten all day!

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  4. Great kugel! I love both sweet and savory kugles, but oddly enough I almost never make them. Gotta start, and probably with this one -- it really looks terrific. Thanks.

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    1. I know what you mean. It had been awhile since I had made one. And then I wondered why it had taken me so long!

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  5. Hi!! Looks yummi!! Nut what are wide egg noodles? Don't know if we have them here in Holland!?!... And Oz? Diffuus too! We ''work'' with ounces,pounds and kilograms! I'd like to make the recepy...as a jewish woman,don't know it... Thxx!!

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    1. Here we can buy thin, medium or wide noodles. Get the widest you can. Not necessarily the thickest! OZ is ounces, sorry! You will enjoy! And thanks for writing!

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  6. I have never made kugel before..but I know I will love it because it has CHEESE :-))
    It looks super, Abbe.

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    1. And healthy cheese it is! Thanks, Angie!

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  7. I'm so glad you posted this --- I need to learn how to make kugel!

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    1. It's not hard to make kugel. Easy and good and the variations are endless! That's why I had to make it to give her the recipe, because I always vary it up a bit!

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  8. Wow..have I told you how much I love you, Abbe? Every time I visit, I learn something new! xo

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    1. I try Sharon! I love reading about food, don't you? And I love to be loved! :)

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  9. Abbe, this kugel looks so creamy and dreamy and I love the crisp cereal topping for texture! It's love in a dish!

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    1. Thanks Kari! It is creamy and dreamy. I love that description!

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  10. Abbe this is fascinating. I've never hard kugel and am now completely confused - haha! The kugel you posted sounds and looks wonderful. Your daughter probably loved it all along! Stop by when you get a minute - I'm having a giveaway this week!

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    1. Try it, Tricia. It is really good! I entered and Congrats!

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  11. This recipe looks and sounds delicious, I have never had kugel but I like trying out new tastes....Thanks for sharing this.....I love all the info on kugels :)

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    1. They are delicious, Pat! It is worth trying; after all everyone loves noodles! Thanks!

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  12. such a beautiful kugel....we love cottage cheese in desserts and bakes so this is just making us so excited to try it out.... must be tasting scrumptious,thanks :-)

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  13. Cheesy noodle krugel here I come :D
    It looks so delicious!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  14. Hi Abbe, krugel sounds very interesting and confusing. But now I know I have to make this, looks delicious!

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  15. I have never baked kugel, I love the idea of cream cheese, sour cream and cottage cheese...sounds and looks delicious Abbe.
    Enjoy your weekend :D

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  16. Looks, delicious and comforting noodle kugel for starting a day!!!
    sure gonna try this recipe....

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  17. There's only one kugel recipe I've ever made and it has caramelized onions - so delicious! I'd love to try a sweet one sometime and if I do, I'll know where to find a great recipe.

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  18. I knew it was a Jewish noodle dish, but now I find it can be a potato dish. Plus it can be sweet or savory. Its a dish you see in books, you hear it in conversation and then with the posting of your recipe, I realize I have tasted it. I didn't have a clue what was in it besides noodles. Gosh maybe this old dog can learn new tricks. Ha. Seriously thanx for the education. Good advice to your kids about changing taste buds. Who would have thought I would ever voluntarily eat beets. Mom told me I wouldn't even eat them as a baby. But here I am eating beets in salad anyway. Hey Mom---do you see me now?

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  19. Tastes definitely do change - I never ate any vegetables other than carrots and cucumbers growing up - I hated cooked veggies. Fast forward to my early 30's - I was dating my boyfriend (now husband) and we went to a steak house that had all the vegetables a la carte. He ordered the asparagus, offered it to me and I was like "no way." He begged me to try it, I finally did and was shocked - I liked it! Well, it turns out that my Mom overcooked all her vegetables and that's why I didn't like them - now I love all the vegetables! :D Well, except onions - some things never change!

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