While celebrating Easter at Grandma Glass of Milk’s, I came across a favorite family recipe I’d completely forgotten about. Kugel. And it’s not kosher for Passover. But it is a traditional Jewish dish.
I still remember the first time I had noodle kugel at Sous Chef Lauren’s. Noodles were my very favorite things, and I had never come across them prepared in this way before. Maybe you haven’t either dear readers. It may be because you’re not Jewish. Because if you’re Jewish, I’m sure you’ve had kugel. Or at least seen it on the table at some point during your upbringing.
This particular kugel is a little different. It’s not the sweet kugel with cream cheese and apples that you may remember. It’s a savory, spinach and three-cheese kugel from K8. Well, it’s from Jewish Cooking in America, but we get it by way of K8, one of our favorite family members. She mentioned it at Sunday dinner, and I was so excited to make it, I had it on the table by Monday night.
For those of you with little to no kugel experience, let me let you in on a secret. A kugel is just a casserole made with egg noodles. Kugels are often served at Shabbat dinners, and gracious, are they good. My suggestion: find one you love and cook it for your family every year, regardless of your faith.
The recipe appears in the cookbook as I wrote it below. But if you know your way around a good casserole, you can figure out lots of tweaks and substitutes to fit your pantry. To make one casserole, you will need:
- 8 oz. cooked egg noodles
- 3 T unsalted butter
- 1/4 C onion, finely chopped
- 2 T fresh parsley, chopped (I didn’t have this, so left it out)
- 1, 10 oz. package frozen spinach, thawed, drained of excess water, and chopped
- 3/4 C sour cream
- 1 C small-curd cottage cheese (I have no idea if what I used was small-curd)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/4 C Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 C swiss cheese, shredded (I had a little chunk of Colby-Jack waiting to be used up, so that’s what I used, but really, throw anything in here.)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. white pepper
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme (I used 1 tsp. fresh)
- dash of nutmeg (Hmmm, did I even remember this?)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cook and drain noodles according to package directions and toss with 2 tablespoons butter. In small saute pan, melt remaining tablespoon butter, and saute onion till soft and transparent, 5 minutes. Fold into noodles. Fold spinach into noodles, then add sour cream, cottage cheese, eggs, Parmesan, and Swiss cheeses, salt, pepper and thyme.
Pour into 2 qt. casserole dish, sprinkle with nutmeg (definitely didn’t do this), and bake, covered with aluminum foil, for 45 minutes. Remove foil and cook 15 minutes more, or until top is bubbly and crusty at the edges. Serve hot.