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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Kugel Me

Mushroom Kugel... A lightbulb moment.

Usually when I think of noodle kugel I think of something sweet.  I am especially fond of those kugels that are clock full of cream cheese, raisins, and topped with corn flake crumbs mixed with brown sugar.  You know, the kugels that are desserts masquerading as side dishes.

The other night I was trying to come up with a side dish that was noodle-y but not just plain noodles.  I thought about a sweet kugel but alas, I didn't have any cream cheese in the house.  And what's a sweet kugel without cream cheese?   I did have a box of dried portobello mushroom and that got me to thinking that maybe I could make a savory kugel.  Imagine that.

This was cooking by the seat of my pants because I am a believer in following recipes.  In fact, I am absolutely convinced that anyone can cook anything if they can read a recipe.  But at some point all those recipes that I so diligently follow started out as ideas.  Here was my chance to actually create a recipe from scratch.  I was ready to roll.

I have to tell you that this mushroom kugel was delicious.  Not only was it a lovely side dish to my somewhat uninspired (although perfectly cooked) roast chicken, it would be perfect at the Jewish holidays because it used no dairy.  In fact, it would be good anytime!  It has a pleasing crunch from the bread crumb topping and the mushrooms add a heartiness to the noodles that really pushed the flavor up a notch.

So come on... Are you ready to kugel?

Recipe:  Mushroom Kugel


1 pound wide egg noodles
1 onion, chopped
1 ounce dried portobello mushroom, rehydrated in hot water and drained
1 clove garlic, minced
6 tablespoons olive oil
6 eggs
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs


Preheat oven to 350.

Cook noodles according to package instructions.

In a large saute pan over medium high heat warm 4 tablespoons of the olive oil and cook mushrooms and onions until lightly browned.  Add garlic and cook for one minute more.   Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork.  Add the noodles, salt, pepper, and mushroom mixture. Combine well.  Transfer the noodle mixture into a greased 9x13 baking dish.  In another bowl, combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and then sprinkle over the noodle mixture.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the kugel is set and top is browned.  Let cool slightly and serve.

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