A PRESENT

Here’s a present for the new year, or to celebrate arrival of fall, whichever has more meaning to you. I post my grandmother’s savory noodle kugel recipe – from the same grandmother whose latke and blintz recipes I’ve shared before (but not on String – I’ll have to fix that). I see lots of how-tos on the web for sweet noodle kugels, with cottage cheese, sugar and even cinnamon and raisins, but very few for non-dairy savory ones to serve as a meat meal side dish. As a kid, this noodle kugel with onions was one of my favorites, especially alongside roast chicken.

One quick note about noodles. The curlier the ribbon style noodle, the looser texture your finished kugel will be. Many brands of bagged egg noodles have a very slight spiral to their shape, to make them look fluffier when cooked. You can see the spiral in these:

noodles-1.jpg

If you can find them, choose a flatter rather than a more curly noodle, preferably of medium width. This will make a denser, moister kugel. If you can’t find flatter noodles, use the others, but be prepared for a final product that’s drier, crunchier throughout, and that falls apart when cut. Manischewitz, Streits and Goodman all make the “old fashioned” flatter type noodles.

You can use either yesterday’s leftover noodles (which is what I do when I make a little kugel), or cook up noodles just for this dish. If you cook up noodles to make this, you’ll get the best results if they are room temperature or cool from the fridge rather than just-drained and steamy hot.

On what to cook this in – I strongly suggest a Pyrex dish or pan. A clear or tinted glass pan will let you see when the bottom is brown and done. A glass pie plate will work in a pinch, but I prefer something deeper, and depending on the size of my kugel will use either a clear glass loaf pan, 8″ square baking dish, or a slightly larger oval glass casserole dish. Whatever pan you use, make sure that it is both VERY well oiled, and pre-heated before putting the noodles in it. Doing both will eliminate sticking.

Apologies for not having pix of the finished product, but we ate every bit of it before I thought to write up this entry.

Minnie Leibowitz’ Noodle Kugel (in three sizes)

Small – (Fills one loaf pan, about 4 servings)

About 2 cups of leftover cooked egg noodles (measured after cooking)
1/2 medium onion, sliced very thin
2 Tbs vegetable oil
2 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste

Large – (Fills one 8″ baking dish, about 8 servings)

1 whole 12-oz box or bag of egg noodles, previously cooked.
1 medium onion, sliced very thin
2-3 Tbs vegetable oil
3 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste

Giant – (Fills one large oval glass casserole dish, about 10-12 servings)

1 whole 16-oz box or bag of egg noodles, previously cooked.
1 and a half medium onions, sliced very thin
3 Tbs vegetable oil
4 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste

Method (all)

Preheat oven to 350, pour oil into Pyrex pan and oil the bottom and sides very generously. Pour remaining oil out of Pyrex pan and into a saute or small frying pan. Saute onions in oil until they are golden. While sauteing, put the Pyrex dish in the oven to heat it up.

When onions are done (takes about 15 min or so), beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl and dump in the noodles. Scrape the onions into the mixing bowl. Toss noodles, egg and onions together to separate the noodles and combine the ingredients, adding salt and pepper. When well mixed, remove the Pyrex pan from the oven and turn the noodle/egg/onion mass into it. Return Pyrex pan to oven, turn the heat down to 325 and cook until noodles are brown and bubbly on the bottom and crunchy on the top, about 45 min to an hour, depending on the size of your kugel.

When done, it’s best to let rest a few minutes before cutting into portions, especially if you used a curlier noodle. Can be served hot, warm or cold.

Enjoy!


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One response

  1. Your grandmother’s recipe sounds great! We just posted a spinach kugel recipe on our site that might make a good variation. Check it out at http://www.koshergiftgiving.com/read/two-quick–easy-kosher-recipes.

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