Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Where Yom Tov is There Recipes also are

Kugel has come in for some negative commenting both here and on other blogs. Being a "kugel person" I mentioned elsewhere that I had recipes for kugel that weren't heart attacks waiting to happen. People have been emailing me for the recipes and it just might be simpler to post a few of them here.

First, a word about potato kugels and fat. "Too much oil" I hear a lot. First, don't use pouring oil to grease the pans with--use spray oil just to coat. Second, don't pour the kugel mixture into cold pans. Put the sprayed pans into the oven to heat up before you put in the potato mixture. When the mixture hits the hot pans it will sear the outside of the kugel right away, giving you a nice crust and meaning that no more oil will seep into the kugel. Then just lightly spray the top of the kugel and bake as usual. Of course, we are talking here about canola or grapeseed oil.

Second, ever wonder how you get all that potato starch that is used for Pesach? How did they have potato starch in Europe? When you grate your potato mixture for kugel you may notice that if it sits a few minutes it starts to get kind of "foamy" on top. That is the starch rising to the top. Want less calories in your kugel? Skim off the starch foam that rises up. And please, it is not necessary to add flour into the potato mixture--already enough starch in there naturally.

Three, use plain egg whites or the packaged egg substitute instead of whole eggs. Works just as well and eliminates the cholesterol.

Four, is the texture too "gluey" for you? Potatoes grated by hand or left too long in the food processor are very fine in texture. They make a denser kugel. To lighten up the texture don't over process the potatoes--leave them coarsely grated.

So, on to the recipes

Bread Kugel—Savory

5 cups of fresh breadcrumbs—whole wheat or whole grain preferred
One cup of egg whites
One can of chick peas (12-16 oz), drained and liquid reserved
½ cup finely chopped celery
One medium onion finely chopped
One teaspoon of finely minced garlic
¾ teaspoon cumin
¼ cup chopped parsley (2 tblsp. Dried)
One tablespoon paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Chop chick peas coarsely.
2. Mix chopped chick peas, celery, onion and garlic together.
3. Add spices and parsley to chick pea mixture.
4. Toss bread crumbs with chick pea mixture.
5. Add egg whites to mixture and stir to combine well. If mixture seems too stiff or dry, add in a little of the reserved chickpea liquid.
6. Use spray oil and lightly spray an 8x8x2 square baking pan or equivalent. Place kugel mixture into pan, distributing evenly and smoothing top.
7. Lightly spray top of Kugel.
8. Place in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Check the kugel at 45 minutes. Check if top is firm to the touch. If not, leave in the oven for another 15 minutes.

Note: Kugel can be eaten cold or warm
Note: Freezes well.

Bread Kugel—Sweet

5 cups of fresh breadcrumbs, whole wheat or whole grain bread
1 cup of egg whites
One can of pineapple (12-16 oz) drained (reserve liquid)
½ cup golden raisins
Scant teaspoon cinnamon
One teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup Splenda or equivalent in sugar or honey

1. Chop the pineapple chunks coarsely.
2. Mix the raisins into the pineapple.
3. Mix the sugar into the fruit mixture.
4. Mix the breadcrumbs into the fruit mixture.
5. Add the egg whites to the fruit mixture and mix to blend. If the mixture seems a little too dry or stiff, add in some of the reserved pineapple juice.
6. Use spray oil and lightly spray an 8x8x2 square baking pan or equivalent. Place kugel mixture into pan, distributing evenly and smoothing top.
7. Lightly spray top of Kugel.
8. Place in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Check the kugel at 45 minutes. Check if top is firm to the touch. If not, leave in the oven for another 15 minutes.

Variation #1: Substitute any of the following for the pineapple: chopped canned apples, chopped canned pears, chopped canned peaches, chopped canned cherries.

Variation #2: Substitute any of the following for the pineapple: 2 cups of peeled, cored chopped fresh apple, 2 cups of chopped fresh peaches, 2 cups of chopped fresh pears, 2 cups of chopped fresh cherries, 2 cups of fresh blueberries (use variation #4 below).

Variation #3: Substitute dried cranberries for the golden raisins.

Variation #4: Substitute chopped almonds for the raisins.

Confetti Kugel Recipe


One box unflavored couscous, whole grain preferable
One cup of egg whites
One large onion chopped fine
One tablespoon fresh minced garlic (2 cloves worth)
1/2 teaspoon of cumin (optional)
One teaspoon powdered mustard (optional)
One medium green pepper, yellow pepper and red pepper, cored and chopped coarsely
Two large tomatoes, skinned and seeded and chopped coarsely
One medium size carrot, peeled and chopped finely
One small yellow squash, chopped coarsely
Salt to taste

1. Prepare couscous according to package directions, omitting salt and oil
2. If you are using a food processor, prepare all the vegetables first.
3. Into the bowl of the processor put the egg whites and couscous and process until well mixed.
4. Mix together all the vegetables plus the onion and garlic, salt and cumin and mustard if you are using them with the couscous mixture until well blended.
5. Spray two 8x8x2 pans.
6. Place mixture into pans, spreading evenly and smoothing out the top.
7. Spray the top of the kugel lightly.
8. Bake in a 350-degree oven for one hour. Top will be lightly browned.

Note: Kugel may be eaten hot or cold.
Note: Freezes well.


Orthonomics said...

I've never heard of a kugel with cumin. Now you have got my attention. Where did you pick up some of these receipes?

And btw, I do enjoy a warm kugel from time to time, just don't want it to be the only thing for a vegetable that is available.

ProfK said...

Sephardi Lady,
I like the taste of cumin and so I use it as a spice in a lot of my cooking,even chicken, where I think it fits. I'll make sweet kugels for those who like them, but I'm a spice not a sugar person. I don't even put sugar in my coffee. Ever wonder why falafel smells so good? The smell of cumin. I also like to experiment and "do my own thing" when cooking, so the recipes are ones I've developed out of my experimenting. The savory kugel came about because I wanted something that used the ingredients in falafel without the frying.

Anonymous said...

You mention canola oil and grapeseed oil (never heard of this one) but I thought that olive oil was supposed to be the really healthy one. Why no mention?

ProfK said...

First, the grapeseed oil. "Grapeseed oil has health benefits . The grape seed contains many antioxidants. Grapeseed oil has been found to raise the HDL good cholesterol levels and reduce the LDL, bad cholesterol levels in the human body. This positive affect can lead to less heart disease and strokes. In addition, grapeseed oil contains protein, minerals, and linoleic acid as well. Grapeseed oil has a high smoke level which means it is a great oil for frying and sautéing foods. In addition grapeseed oil has a low level of saturated fats and is high in unsaturated fats."

It's a more expensive oil then some others but offers many benefits. You need less to fry with and it is not strong tasting. It is also available kosher for Pesach and is the only oil I use then.

I don't use olive oil in anything that requires baking or frying. For one thing, it is, even with the mild ones, a very strong tasting and smelling oil and it changes the flavor of things made with it. It also has a low smoke level, which means that it starts to burn faster than other oils. The olive oil is good for dressings and cold dishes where its flavor is wanted.

Anonymous said...

I tried the sweet bread kugel after I saw the recipe this morning. I cheated a little though and used challah crumbs because that was what I had and I used the honey because I don't give the gives artificial sweeteners. I figured I'd better taste it before I tried serving it. I liked it and so did my 4 year old who came in to ask what was smelling so good.

I took advice you gave a long time ago that I have been using with the kids. When the 4 year old asked what the name of the kugel was I didn't say bread kugel, which would have turned this kid off. Instead I told her it was called meichel. She bought that and took a taste and then ate a whole piece. thanks.

Anonymous said...


I'm glad it worked out for you. It's the kind of recipe that stands up to improvisation.

Just a little word of caution. I know that some doctors say not to give honey to children below a certain age. I don't know the age or if it's different when it is cooked but you might want to check that out.

ProfK said...

sigh, that anonymous was me. The joys of typing.

Anonymous said...

Not on this topic but on a recent one where you talked about freezing milk. I do that to and this last night I took out a milk to defrost in the fridge. When I went looking for it I couldn't find it. My husband called me from work to tell me that he had thrown away a milk because it was 3 weeks past its deadline.

I bought a package of bright red stickers to put on products like milk that I've frozen with space to write the date I defrost it so no one will throw it out again.

Anonymous said...

I came here from a link from another site and I'm kind of confused. Just in this week you've posted on figuring out what kind of animal you are, on dairy recipes, on Jewish recipes, on yeshiva yichus and on denim and I may have missed a few. Is there any subject that you won't write about? Not complaining really but I don't know what to expect from posting to posting.

ProfK said...


I like to think that variety is the spice of life, hence the types of postings. I do keep away from two types of postings--politics and sex, perhaps because the first so often comes in company with the second. Hmmm, maybe we should add in professional sports as well.

Anonymous said...

Yup it smells like falafel. You just made my husband a very happy man.

mother in israel said...

I like your ideas. I've never seen grapeseed oil here, not that I've looked.

You can also bake falafel balls, if you add egg. When you put them in the pita you can hardly tell that they weren't fried.