Thinking about my Nana’s good, simple food for the 10 Things meme got me thinking of my other grandmother as well. She didn’t cook much, but she did make this kugel which we adored as young children.
Easy ingredients for kugel: eggs, noodles, seasoning
Traditional kugel can be sweet with noodles, sugar and raisins, or savory with potato and onion. This is a rather plain kugel, savory with noodles, that is probably not traditional to any anyone other than my family. It’s really just a noodle pudding. Nonetheless, it is enjoyed by kids of all ages. It’s easy to make and is good served hot or cold, as a main dish with salad or on the side with something more substantial.
You can use any spice mixture that suites your taste. My grandmother used bullion cubes, and mom still does. I prefer more herbs and less MSG, so I have been using Penzey’s Fox Point (I am really partial to that Fox Point). For a no-salt version, have a look at Penzey’s Sunny Paris Seasoning.
If you use no-yolk or whole wheat noodles and add some veggies, it almost approaches healthy. Veggies that work well are cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, asparagus… really only limited by imagination. Cut the veggies small and blanch them briefly to remove the raw taste before adding to the mixture.
This can be made with great success in a toaster oven, making it perfect for hot weather when you don’t want to use the big oven. Kugel keeps well in the fridge ~ just be sure to wrap well so the cut edges don’t get hard. Made in advance this way and brought to room temperature, it makes good party food too.
Grandma’s Noodle Kugel
This makes enough for one pie plate or cake/brownie pan filled to the top ~ a thick kugel with tender noodles inside. For crunchier noodles, divide it into two pans so they will crisp up more.
4 c dry egg/no-egg/wheat noodles
1 TB butter
2 large eggs
3 tsp mixed seasoning of your choice
salt to taste
1 or 2 c blanched chopped veggies (optional)
Preheat oven to 375, and butter/oil/Pam spray baking pan(s).
Boil noodles according to package directions, usually 8-10 minutes. Drain well and immediately place back in hot pan. Add butter and mix well until butter melts and coats noodles. If using veggies, mix them in now. Allow to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, break eggs into small bowl and add the Fox Point or other spice mix. Beat with a fork until well blended.
When noodles have cooled slightly, mix in the eggs/seasonings. Have prepared pan handy, and mix quickly with a big spoon, so the eggs don’t have time to “cook” in the hot noodles. Immediately turn out into prepared pan(s).
Ready for the oven
Bake 30-35 minutes, until top is browned to your liking. Remove from oven and allow to rest 10 minutes before cutting into wedges, squares, or snack-sized fingers.
Serve hot or cold and enjoy.
Noodle Kugel Lunch
A few things:
Any width noodle will work, but wider is better. More butter can be used for a browner finished dish. If using Fox Point blend, be careful adding extra salt.