Remember the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland singing, “I’m late, I’m late. For a very important date”? Well, that’s me.
Terribly late to the latest International Incident Party hosted by the most affable Jeroxie. This time its a Noodle party! A horrible head cold has deprived me of my senses of taste and smell for several days now, as well as keeping me out of the kitchen. Given my condition, I probably should have brought Chicken Noodle Soup to the Noodle party, but for some reason I couldn’t get noodle kugels out of my head, so I have made them instead.
The word kugel comes from the German word for ball. It is an Eastern Eurpoean Jewish dish, much loved and interpreted but traditionally a round, baked sweet or savory pudding or casserole made of noodles or potatoes. The first kugels were made from bread and flour and were savory rather than sweet. Then, about 800 years ago, cooks in Germany replaced bread mixtures with noodles. Eventually eggs were incorporated and sour cream to help with binding the ingredients and to provide flavour and creaminess. Savoury kugels are often served as a side dish with hearty slow cooked meat dishes. The addition of cottage cheese and milk created a custard-like consistency which is common in today’s dessert dishes. In today’s adaptations you might find the addition of raisins, cinnamon and sweet farmer’s cheese to noodle kugel recipes. In an article in the New York Times around 18 different types were mentioned including the Jerusalem kugel which combines caramelized sugar and black pepper, also an apple-noodle kugel, salt and pepper kugel, broccoli kugel, and a modern “designer” three-layer kugel with sweet potato, broccoli and cauliflower.
I have gone for a plain savoury kugel and served it with a Hungarian dish, Lamb Paprikash. You can used dried spaghettini or make your own. I always use the ratio 1 egg to 100gm of “00” flour when making pasta. Never seems to fail. Simply mix together until it is a silky smooth dough, cover in plastic wrap and leave in the fridge to rest for about an hour. Roll it out with a pasta machine then cut into spaghetti with the appropriate attachment.
150g spaghettini (noodles)
100g sour cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 onion, grated
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley
Paprika, to dust
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease six 8cm wide, 1/2 cup (125ml) ramekins and place on a tray.
Cook spaghettini until just al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water, then drain again. Place in a bowl with sour cream, egg, onion, garlic and parsley, then season and stir to combine. Divide mixture among ramekins and bake for 20 minutes or until tops start to crisp and turn golden.
Run a knife around inside of moulds, turn out and serve (in this instance with lamb paprikash). Not very challenging I admit, but it was the best I could muster in the circumstances.
Don’t forget to check out what the rest of the International Incident Crew made:
Anh – A food Lover’s Journey – Taco Soba Noodle