Preparing for Yom Kippur

Like every year, Rosh HaShanah is quickly followed by Yom Kippur. In my family, the fast is always broken with some Cholesterol Death Kugel. It’s delicious but if you ate it regularly you are nearly guaranteed arterial blockage.  We eat this kugel on Yom Kippur  and on Shavuot. I also make this kugel when someone needs a clear indication that they are really beloved.
This year, I decided to make the noodles from scratch. It’s a nice touch, entirely unnecessary. I like the physical effort that goes into making  the noodles. I liked doing the chesbon nefesh  soul math one needs to do this season of the year as I was working the dough.

I used to approach noodle making with a certain amount of trepidation. I followed the recipe from Mark Ruhlman to the letter. this time, I poured a bunch of semolina flour in a bowl and added eggs until it felt right.
I used to think that making noodles required specialized tools. Below, you see my tools; a bench scraper, a length of dowel to use as a rolling pin and an optional pastry cutter. you can also cut your noodles with a regular knife.
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New recipes have you use new products. Most newer recipes for noodles have you cover the noodle dough with plastic wrap to let it rest after the initial kneading. Older cookbooks tell you to invert a bowl over the dough. Guess what I do?
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When you roll out the dough you with with small chunks of the dough. The remainder hangs out under the bowl until you are ready to roll it out.
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If I wanted noodles that were all exactly the same shape and size, I would buy them. Part of the charm of home made noodles is their lack of uniformity.
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I let the noodles dry after they were rolled and cut and then mixed up the custard for the kugel. If I were using packaged noodles, I would have boiled them before adding them to the kugel. because I was using freshly made noodles I added the un-cooked noodles right into the pan and let them cook with the custard as the kugel baked.
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This is the finished product right out of the oven. As the kugel cools it collapses a bit. The kugel is now packaged and in my freezer awaiting being warmed up to break our fast on Saturday evening.
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My unscientific noodle making method meant that I had made too many noodles for the kugel.  You can see the extre noodles just above the finished kugel. My youngest boiled them up and served them with melted Boursin  garlic/herb cheese. He was surprised that he had made himself such a chic meal.
Cholesterol Death Kugel

Pre-heat
oven to 350
Put 1 stick of butter into a 9 x13 pan and put into pre heating oven. You can also use just 1/2 a stick of butter to no ill effects
Boil one package of egg noodles in a pot of water
In a blender ( or a mixer) combine
8 eggs ( you can use as few as 5)
4 oz cream cheese
8 oz farmer cheese
8 oz sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
Remove pan from oven when butter is melted. Drain noodles. Put noodles in baking pan. Stir. Add dairy/egg mixture and pour over noodles. Be sure that noodles are submerged in dairy mixture. Sprinkle top of kugel generously with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves.  ( cloves are essential)Bake 45 minutes or until center is done.
You can vary the exact form of soft dairy that you use. Vanilla yogurt, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, ricotta cheese, all work well. If you want the kugel to taste entirely ethereal, you can beat the egg whites until they are stiff and them combine with the rest of the ingredients. You can also add plumped raisins to the kugel.
Noodles – the unscientific no measure way
Pour some  semolina flour into a bowl
Add eggs one at a time to the flour mix with your hands after each addition
Add eggs until you can form the mixture into a semi coherent dough…it will be ugly but persevere
Remove the dough from the bowl and knead on your counter. Knead for about ten minutes. This is hard work. You will feel the burn in your biceps but the dough will go from being an ugly hairy mess to feeling smooth and almost leathery.
Cover the noodle dough with the bowl you had mixed the dough in. Go away for at  least 20 minutes.
To form the noodles
With your dough scraper or a knife cut off a Spaldeen sized lump of dough. form it into a ball, flatten it a bit and then roll it out  thin. I find it easiest to use a 1 inch dowel for rolling. The narrow diameter makes it easier to roll the stiff dough. I bought mine at a hardware store and they cut it down to three rolling pin sized lengths. You might need to flour the counter a bit.
Cut the noodles in any shape that makes you happy. I had the pastry crimper in my tool drawer, a pizza cutter wil work fine. One of your kids might have a play-do tool will work perfectly.

After you cut the noodles, let them rest to dry and then boil them up. They cook really quickly.

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