Yakityak's Grandma's Luchshen Kugel
"Luchshen" is Yiddish for noodle, and a "kugel" is a casserole. There are a great variety of luchshen kugels out there... and they can be either sweet or savory, or somewhere in between. My grandmother's kugel is a fairly simple one, and falls in the 'somewhere in between' category. It's a reliable old favorite that is easy to make, complements many dishes and refridgerates well. It can be made considerably more healthy by using egg-substitute and 'no-yolk' egg noodles... the former change gives no alteration in taste, but I have to warn you that you can definitely tell the difference when you use the 'no-yolk' egg noodles.
12 oz. wide width egg noodles
vegetable shortening or schmaltz (chicken fat)
1 scant tsp of kosher salt
7-8 shakes (grinds) of pepper
1 mounded tblspn sugar
1 - 2 handful of raisins
- Boil water in a 5 - 6 quart pot - about 2/3 full
- Add a small amount of salt
- Add egg noodles and cook at a slow boil for 8 minutes
- Drain noodles in a collander and run cold water over same
- Grease an 8x8 baking dish (glass) thoroughly - sides and bottom. Use 1 tblspn of chicken fat for the best flavor (you can make your own rendered fat or most butchers sell it in small tubs)
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs.
- Mix in the sugar, salt and pepper.
- Mix in the raisins very well - they tend to clump
- Mix in the noodles until thoroughly coated.
- Dump into 8x8 baking dish.
- Bake at 325-350 F until a golden brown crust forms around the edges - usually 1 hour.
Luchshen kugels vary in consistency from almost mushy to fairly stiff and crisp. This one is not particularly moist, and so usually has a fairly stiff consistency and a crisp top. If I use a square baking dish (I almost always do) I usually divide the kugel into 9 square pieces - and it can be easier to cut with a kitchen scissors rather than a sharp knife... although a knife will do.
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