The Best Potato Kugel You Will Ever Eat

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So Pesach (Passover) ended last week. It’s a pretty demanding holiday if you do it right (which is why I haven’t been posting anything). Clean, cook, eat – that was basically my schedule for eight days.
But I loved the seders, held the first two nights, when we tell the story of the exodus from Egypt. All my children were here, and we stayed up talking late into the night. (Well, they stayed up, anyway; I’m always the first to fall asleep.)
Most people know about matzah and Pesach, but for me, the potato is the most important food of the holiday. It substitutes for everything (like pizza crust), there are a zillion ways to prepare those babies, and who doesn’t like potatoes?
Potato kugel is one of my favorite fool-proof Pesach recipes. We also often enjoy this on Friday night, for Shabbat.

The Best Potato Kugel You Will Ever Eat

½ cup oil (we like olive, but you can use just about any kind)
8 medium potatoes, peeled
1 small onion
2 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
3 Tbs. sugar
5 large eggs, beaten (or you can whip them up in a food processor, which is what I like to do)

Preheat oven to 425-degrees.
Place oil in a 9×13” baking pan and set in the oven.
Meanwhile, puree onions and potatoes in a food processor, then add other ingredients and mix until just combined.
Once the oil is sizzling hot, carefully remove from the oven.
THIS IS THE CRITICAL STEP: Carefully (I can’t say that enough, obviously) pour potatoes into the hot oil (yes, oil MUST be hot) and gently stir until oil is absorbed into mixture. This hot oil is what makes the kugel soft and fluffy.
Cook uncovered for one hour.

Cooking with My Great Kid

In addition to being a computer genius (I even call him from work for help with Facebook), my son is a wonderful cook. Last night he and I were in the kitchen, listening to Dave Brubeck and Duke Ellington and making food, and I had a spectacular time. I didn’t even mind washing the dishes.

One of the items we made was Lil’s Rice Casserole, which I found in an old cookbook. It’s really good!

Lil’s Rice Casserole

1-1/2 cups rice
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
3 cups hot vegetable or chicken broth (must be hot)
1 Tbsp. oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4-8 sliced mushrooms (depending on how much you like mushrooms)
1 small package of peas, thawed

Cook onions until soft. Add mushrooms, tomatoes and rice and mix. Add hot stock, salt and pepper to taste.

Pour mixture into a pot and place in a 400-degree oven. Cook 20 minutes. Add peas and cook five more minutes.

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Perfect Friday Night Chicken

027 It’s Thursday evening and you’ve yet to prepare any food for Shabbat.

We’ve all been there!

It’s always good to start with the main course which, in our home, usually means chicken and often tofu in the same sauce, for our vegetarians. Then add rice and green beans and a nice salad, and you’ve got a lovely meal.

Here’s a foolproof recipe that everyone likes. It’s easy to prepare and has a nice, old-fashioned flavor that reminds me of something you might find in a Jewish home in the 1940s. I hope you’ll like it, too.

 

Perfect Friday Night Chicken

1/2 cup Italian salad dressing (or olive oil with some spices, if you don’t have Italian salad dressing)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
Pour over chicken and bake.

If you have time, you can marinate the chicken first. But it will be fine, too, if you simply put the sauce on and toss this right in the oven.