Pass the Passover!

21 Apr

Passover started a couple days ago, however unceremonious it seemed here at college.  I didn’t do anything to celebrate the holiday on the first night, but I finally set aside some time to make my favorite Passover dessert/breakfast/snack.  I plan to have a seder dinner on Saturday, but in the meantime, I have KUGEL to hold me over.

Oh, kugel, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways…Well, for starters, I just put a piece in my friend’s school mailbox.  That’s how good it is–I will make a point to wrap up a piece, throw it in my backpack, and then get it to its final destination, whereupon the recipient can go for it, right in the mailroom, so to speak.

This kugel recipe is an old one my mom has been using for the past 20-something years since she’s taken on Jewish cooking.  My Dad’s family is Jewish, and when she married in, my mom did not convert; however, she did adopt a new repertoire of recipes for our Jewish occasions.  And she’s a damn good Jew food cook, even by Jew standards.  Although my cousin used to occasionally express dissatisfaction when my mom used more modern approaches to dishes, I think her food was always the bomb-digitiest at the seder table.  Matzoh ball soup?  Make it with a rotisserie chicken to add depth of flavor.  Brisket?  Braise it to silky submission in an oven bag with ketchup, brown sugar, carrots, and a handful of other ingredients.  But the kugel?  It’s a classic.  And it’s addicting.

When I wanted to make this sweet, eggy, matzo bread pudding of sorts at school, I asked my mom to send me the recipe.  Instead of typing it, she uploaded the scanned recipe to Facebook.  I was glad to see it, familiar and faded, even if it was hard to read:

kugel recipe

If you can’t read it, I’ve re-written it here:

4 c matzo farfel

2 16-oz cans sliced peaches, drained and cut into 3 pieces each

5 oz pitted dates, chopped

1/2 c plus 2 T butter

8 eggs

1/2 t nutmeg

1/2 c sugar plus 2T

1 8-oz container plain yogurt

1 8-oz container pineapple cottage cheese

1/2 c chopped walnuts

1/2 t cinnamon

  1. Soak 3 1/2 c farfel in 1 1/2 c warm water
  2. Whisk together eggs, 1/2 c melted butter, sugar, and nutmeg.
  3. Add in cottage cheese and yogurt
  4. Mix in soaked farfel and then 3/4 of the fruit
  5. Combine the remaining 1/2 c farfel and walnuts with 2 T sugar and cinnamon and 3 T melted butter.
  6. Pour wet mixture into a rectangular baking dish and sprinkle with dry farfel mixture.
  7. Arrange some peach and date slices on top.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes.
  9. ENJOY!
I remember shamelessly shoving a generous 4X8 inch piece down the hatch at some seder dinner.  It’s just so good!  If you are having people over for dinner, hide some extra kugel in your fridge for later in the week–you’ll want it, trust me.

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