Sunday, 1 April 2012

Rebbetzin Sara's Perfect Potato Kugel



5 more cooking days left until the Seder.  What did the little engine that could say?  "I think I can, I think I can".  Mom used to read that story to me over and over throughout my early childhood, and whenever we were faced with a challenge - big or small - we would always say that line to one another.  

The brisket is done.  I need to remove any fat slice and freeze in its juices.  Today's preparation will include chicken soup, matzo balls, kugel and, if there's time, stuffing.  The matzo balls are Norene's Low-Fat Matzo Balls (Meal-Lean-I-Yumm, page 373), as is the High-Fibre Turkey Stuffing (Meal-Lean-I-Yumm, page 169).


But the kugel is a delicious recipe shared with me at a Chabad of Aurora Jewish Women's Circle event a few years ago.  We all met to make Seder Plates.  This is the plate featured in my recent post Pesach Is Here Already?!?!.  It was such a fun evening and we've used my Seder Plate every year since. 






The irony of this evening is two-fold.  My Bubbie Lou loved working with clay and her artwork can be found all around our house.  I, on the other hand, cannot draw a stick man to save my life!  Yet here I was, 10 years after her death, channelling every ounce of artistic effort I could muster to make my own treasure that our family would use from year to year.  Now, imagine my surprise when, a few months later, someone comments on the lovely photo of me in Chabad's annual magazine!  I searched for it, and there I was - not looking my best, on one of the inside covers of the magazine, holding my Seder plate! Oy!






But let's get back to the recipe!  During the evening Rebbetzin Sara also shared some delicious dishes she had made that were kosher for Passover (KFP).  The kugel she served was out of this world!  I have served it every year since, and it is a hit.  The only thing I find with this recipe is that it needs to be followed to the letter, and it helps to squeeze excess liquid from the grated potatoes before adding to the mixture.


Whatever you're making, and whatever holiday you are celebrating, I wish you a wonderful celebration filled with family, fun, friends and fantastic food.  B'Tayavon & Buon Appetito! 

Rebbetzin Sara's Potato Kugel

Ingredients:
  • 6 potatoes, peeled & grated
  • ¼C oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 onion, grated or diced
  • pepper to taste

Method:
Preheat oven to 350°.  Grate onion and potatoes.  Leave the grated potatoes in a colander in a large glass bowl to drain for 20 minutes, pressing down every few minutes to squeeze out the excess liquid (you will not believe how much water they retain).  If you do not drain the excess liquid your kugel will not cook evenly, and the middle will remain "wet" while the outer layer will be too crispy! Once drained, add eggs, oil, salt and pepper.  Pour mixture into a greased pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until brown and crispy on top.  Serve warm.  Freezes well.


The follow pictorial step-by-step was taken on the day of the Seder, and I made a double recipe (as reflected in the accompanying captions), which is almost gone!!

Add 6 eggs to large mixing bowl

Peel 12 potatoes

Add ½C oil

Add 2 finely chopped onions

Add 1 tbsp salt and 1 tsp pepper

Blend ingredients

Grate potatoes, squeeze out excess liquid, drain in strainer 
for 20 minutes, pushing out excess liquid every 
few minutes, then add to egg mixture; blend

Evenly spread in parchment-lined pyrex

Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown