Web Extras: Hanukkah Recipes

To those who haven’t had a kugel before, think of it as a savory bread pudding with noodles instead of bread. Here, you’ll find a traditional kugel, which is a great base that can be used for many variations. Traditionally a side dish, kugel can easily go between meal periods and be made more savory as with our zoodle, (zucchini noodle variation) or our carrot cake variation.

It is a great dish for a crowd, can be done easily ahead of time, served cold or reheated (works well in a water bath to reheat). It is not a particularly light dish, but the indulgence is worth it, especially for a celebration. Enjoy your kugel today and tomorrow you can always have my go-to healthy dinner: broccoli steamed, in a pasta bowl with 1 tablespoon Dijon vinaigrette, 2 tablespoon hot water, roughly 8 pieces of artichoke hearts, tossed with a grating of parmesan and a couple of grinds of black pepper. Because one good kugel deserves another.

Kugel

Preheat oven to 325° F

  • 12 ounces wide egg noodles in salted water
  • (2) 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) creamed cottage cheese, full fat
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 1 stick salted butter, melted (plus more for greasing baking dish)
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  1. Prepare a well buttered 9×13 glass baking dish.
  2. Cook noodles (5-7 minutes) and drain.
  3. In large bowl beat cream cheese until fluffy, add cottage cheese.
  4. Add sugar and melted butter.
  5. dd eggs one at a time to combine.
  6. Add cinnamon and vanilla.
  7. Carefully mix in the drained egg noodles and salt.
  8. Pour mix into the heavily buttered baking dish and bake for one hour. If you have a thermometer it should read 200° F in the center. Kugel should be well browned on top.

Carrot Cake Kugel

(Add together in a bowl before adding noodles)

  • 1 orange or lemon zest, grated finely on micro plane
  • ½ can or 10 ounces diced pineapple
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 3 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Carrot Topping

  • 1 cup sliced skin on almonds
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ stick of butter
  1. Combine all ingredients in bowl.
  2. Add carrot mix to egg mix with noodles.
  3. To bake, sprinkle carrot topping over all. Bake as is for traditional kugel

Zoodle Kugel

For this variation, we reduce sugar to 1 cup, replace cottage cheese with ricotta, add one extra egg, and replace half of the egg noodles with zucchini noodles (about five large zucchinis julienned, or three cups if store-bought).

Add zucchini noodles to bowl (enough for 3 cups). Add the following ingredients:

  • (2) 4-ounce balls of mozzarella, diced
  • 4 sprigs of thyme, minced
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup minced scallions
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • Bake as directed for traditional noodle kugel.

Latkes

(This recipe makes about 14 to 16 latkes)

Preheat oven at 300°.

  • 4 pounds Idaho potatoes (or a combination of 2/3 Idaho 1/3 sweet potato)
  • 1 large Vidalia onion
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ cup fine plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 3½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lemon zested on micro plane
  • 1 cup vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 tablespoon Malden salt for sprinkling
  • Homemade applesauce, sour cream or Greek yogurt with herbs (see below)
  1. Peel onions and potatoes. Grate potatoes and onions (use a coarse side of box grater; food processor makes potatoes & onions very watery).
  2. Place them on large kitchen towel. Gather ends of towel and twist over bowl to wring out liquid. Place mix in a large bowl.
  3. Add to bowl, with potatoes, eggs, breadcrumbs, salt, baking powder, garlic and pepper. Combine well. (Your hands work well for this!)
  4. Set a wire rack on a baking sheet. Heat oil over medium heat in a large Teflon Sauté pan. Oil should measure about 1/8 inches in the pan. Keep oil at same level while cooking latkes, you may need to add more as you go.
  5. Form a ball in your hand about the size of a golf ball, squeezing a little, then flattening it a little in your palm. Place into oil. Let sizzle about 30 seconds then with the back of a spatula, flatten to size. Repeat this process with all of them.
  6. Let cook about 1 ½ – 2 ½ minutes depending on heat, then repeat on other side. Remove to grate.

Tips:

  • Work in batches, peeking underneath for color. Golden dark shining golden not pale!
  • Flip carefully. When turning I use a wide stiff metal spatula, go right under the pancake, put my middle fingers on the top center of uncooked side to turn over and slide into oil carefully to avoid splatters. It will be about 2 ½ minutes on each side. When you turn, you will easily see if one side of the pan is hotter, and if the pan isn’t crowded you can move and rotate them in a pan for even cooking.

Greek Yogurt with herbs

  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 2 minced shallots
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 2 tbs minced chives
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Stir all ingredients together to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. Keep cold.

Homemade Applesauce

  • 8 large apples, peeled, cored & sliced in 1/8ths
  • Water to cover bottom of sauce pan 1”
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 1-2 tablespoons, depending on taste)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  1. Combine all ingredients over low heat. Keep on low heat just to bubble and cook apples till they fall completely apart.
  2. At end (about 20 minutes) whisk to puree, leave slightly lumpy and whisk in butter. Store cold.
  3. You may keep the pancakes warm in a low 200° oven while you fry in batches. They hold very well because of the moist interior, and having been fried. They are delicious with the yogurt sauce but of course you could use plain yogurt or sour cream instead.

Sweet and Sour Brisket

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

  • 2 cups canned diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups veal stock
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 pounds second-cut brisket (also called deckle)
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • Handful of fresh thyme sprigs
  • Chopped fresh herbs, for finishing
  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the tomatoes, broth, wine, ketchup, vinegar and sugar.
  2. In large enameled Dutch oven (with tight-fitting lid), heat oil over medium heat. Season meat with salt and pepper and place in pan to sear, 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until it is evenly browned.
  3. Remove meat and set aside. Line Dutch oven with onion and broth mixture.   Place brisket on top. Liquid should cover meat. If you are using larger pot and liquid does not cover meat, add water until it does.   Add thyme sprigs and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Cover and place in oven for 3 ½ hours. Let sit at least 45 minutes before slicing.
  5. Brisket tastes even better the next day, reheated in the oven. To serve, scoop out about 6 cups of liquid from the Dutch oven and place in small saucepot. Cook over medium-low heat until it has reduced into a sauce. Serve sliced brisket with sauce ladled over top, and garnish with fresh herbs.

This story comes from our November 2018 issue of Boca magazine. For more content like this, subscribe to the magazine.