Lokshen mit kaese
A couple of days ago my friend Sue mentioned that her Yiddish speaking grandmother used to used the expression “lokshen mit kaese” as the equivalent of hunky dory, to describe a situation as being easy .
Sue’s grandmother’s expression also refers to the dish I am so fond of making. As I type this I realize that”easy as pie” might be a nicer food equivalent of the expression but it is I think missing the sense of people being at peace and getting along that the Yiddish expression implies.
I was thinking about this because I was planning a dinner to serve to beloved relatives who were in from out of town. I particularly wanted to serve the lokshen mit kaese made with home made noodles, so my relatives could understand with each mouthful how happy I was to see them.
A while back I was reading in a fancy bread cookbook that you need to make bread with a dough cloth on the kneading surface. After thinking about it a bit I realized that all I really needed was a tea towel strewn with flour. This tea towel was my mother’s. it is made out of Irish linen. The linen from fancy pedigree is not essential. you want a closely woven smooth cloth woven with coarse threads.
I had mixed the noodle dough in my food processor. Two cups flour and four large eggs and lots of black pepper. A few moments in the food processor had the dough in a coherent lump within a minute or so.
I kneaded the dough for a couple of minutes and then let the dough rest while I went to take a shower. Noodle dough likes a rest after any exertion.
After my shower I cut off a fist sized piece of dough and began to roll it out.
I have my rolling pin there just so you see how large that little lump of dough can get.You can see all of the flecks of black pepper in the noodle dough. since the noodles will be topped with lots of black pepper, this seemed like a nice touch. One of the nice things about rolling your own noodles is that you can play with the flavorings.
After you roll out the lump of dough you can cut the noodles.This is the old fashioned Jewish housewife way to cut noodles.
You first roll the big noodles into a long roll.
And then you slice it up.
I chose to make wide noodles. But feel free to cut your noodles to any width. I have also used giant pan sized noodles to make lasagna.
Let the noodles dry a bit before cooking. If you plan to store them you need to let the noodles completely dry out. I have never done that. I have always used the noodles fairly soon after making them.
Boil the noodles in water and drain them. No there is no photo of those steps but I figure you don’t need a visual cue for boiling noodles in a pot of water.
If you plan to make lokshen mit kaese, after you drain the noodles return them to the pot and put the pot back on the burner, turn the flame to low-medium low and add some butter.
I had the perfect amount left on the stick of butter in my fridge. Stir until the butter is melted.
Then I added farmer cheese. I like the Amish cheese a whole lot. if you live near a Russian grocery store I would add Russian farmer cheese . I would bet that it is sublime.
I didn’t have exactly the right volume of farmer cheese. Actually it would have been fine, but it wanted this batch to be really lush so I added some cottage cheese.
After the cheese was well mixed add three beaten eggs, some salt and lots of pepper and some smoked paprika and cook on gentle heat until the eggs are cooked.
That’s it. This is deep comfort food. When you serve it to people they will understand that you love them. You can also make this with store bought egg noodles. It will still be good, but not quite as special.
I end this post with some bonus images of the shadows cast by the stained glass windows in the chapel where I daven shaharit.