Tag Archive | Jewish food

Potato Kugel for Seder

I know passover is almost over, but I wanted to do a recipe for seder this year, and one not involving matzo. So, after surprisingly little searching, I came across this recipe for potato kugel, which looked really good. Naturally, it needed veggies added in though, so I made a couple adjustments. A note on the ingredients, I basically always cook with frozen chopped spinach. Feel free to tinker if you want fresh.

1 large russet potato, grated
1 cup chopped and dethawed spinach
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup shredded cheese (optional, I used manchego)
2 eggs
1/2 tablespoon butter

In a large bowl, beat the two eggs. Add the salt, pepper, and onion and mix it in. Then add the spinach, cheese (if using), and the potato and mix it all together by hand till it’s all throughly mixed. Heat the dish you are using a bit, and then add the butter to it, letting it melt and cover the bottom. Add the kugel mixture, cover, and bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes, uncovering it for the last 10 so it can brown. Enjoy warm.

Christmas colors for a Passover dish!

                 Christmas colors for a Passover dish!

This turned out great! I don’t know if I’m going to make it more often, but it seems easier, and healthier, than frying potato pancakes. The nice thing about kugels is that it’s impossible to make a small amounts, so you have leftovers for the next day. I will say though, I didn’t add enough cheese to really taste it, so it felt kinda pointless. Also, I made it thinner than most kugel, you can make it thicker in a smaller dish if you want. I should have just left it out or added a lot more. Song of the week: Hamilton soundtrack. So I’m a little late to the game on this, especially since my mom mentioned the show to me a months ago. But I finally listened to it over the weekend and I’m now completely obsessed. Its amazing. So if you haven’t yet, listen to it because I promise it lives up to the hype.

Rosh Hashanah – Challah

While I am a confirmed atheist, I do enjoy the food aspects of holidays, religious or otherwise, from many different cultures. Besides which, my BFF and my brother-in-law are both Jewish, so I have a special place for Jewish holidays in my world. Monday was Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. While apples and honey are traditional for the holiday, I decided (after consultation with my BFF) that this was the perfect reason to make challah. I love challah so much, but have never gotten around to making it myself. So finally I felt motivated enough.

1 package yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg

In a large bowl, place the warm water. Dissolve the sugar and yeast. Add 3/4 cup flour and blend thoroughly. Let the yeast mixture proof for about 15-20 minutes. Add the egg and the butter and mix those in. Then add a cup or so of flour and mix it in. Keep adding flour a little at a time while you mix and start to knead the dough, until its no longer sticky. Keep kneading til the dough becomes elastic. Cover and let the dough double in size, like an hour and a half. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down, and divide the dough into thirds. Roll each third into a rope of roughly the same size. Braid the ropes together (Here’s a good visual on braiding challah). Once you’ve braided the challah, stick it on a lightly-greased baking sheet and let it rise again, for about an hour. Bake at 35 for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown, and enjoy!
The recipe was awesome! Perhaps not quite as good as when I’ve bought challah from the grocery store, but hey, it was my first try with this. I also think I’m going to try for a little less sugar next time I make this. Also there is an onion variation I now want to try as well. Since apples are a thing for this holiday, I had the challah (and the casserole I made for dinner) with hard cider. Now that it’s basically fall, hard cider is something I drink a lot. Song of the week: You’re A Better Man Than I by The Yardbirds. One of the great, under-appreciated 60s rock bands, the Yardbirds launched Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck’s careers. This is one of my favorite songs by them.