Saturday, December 21, 2013

This Christmas Part Nine

Kugel prepared and repaired!

One of the wonderful things about this season is that strangers are willing to talk! You learn so much just from light conversations. Last night at the grocery store, slave got into a great conversation with a nice looking young man sporting a rather large tattoo on his leg. After all our temperatures had stayed in the 50's and many shopping were wearing their shorts in one last attempt at pretending it was summer.

That got me in the talkative mood and at the check out several cashiers, that I hardly knew, were suddenly engaged with me in discussions on holiday dishes, traditions, and religions.
 “Fascinating” as Mr. Spock would say! 
To cut to the chase, slave heard the term “kugel” used in a strange way. Now I know this is a Jewish dish, a pudding, as I remembered from my youth, but never as descriptive term for a person. Hummmmm.

Upon returning home, I went right to the computer to do research! 

Yes, kugel was a noodle type pudding and it did look interesting and just right for this blog. The strange usage? Well it seems that the dish originated among the German Jewish homes where it was featured as a special holiday dish. They even made a kugel out of matzo to serve as an alternative at Passover seders.

Then among the South African Jews it became a derisive term used by the older generation for young women who forsook traditional Hasidic dress. Instead they would dress modern and very upscale, “putting on airs” as it might be called. Well the young girls thought it was funny and instead of being hurt, laughed at it and often used the term for each other. “just a plain noodle pudding all dressed up like a delicacy”!

With that, slave decided what was needed was a modern take on this great old tradition. This fits our criteria for being fun, tasty, and not expensive at all.

First let slave freely state that when it makes a mistake, it will admit to it. There is nothing to be gained by bluffing its way through. The recipe that it made for you today had major flaws that slave did not realize until it was cooked.

Nearly all of these recipes are ones that slave has developed all by itself. However since it has never cooked a kugel and had found a very easy recipe it thought with a few tweaks, this might be just what was needed for this blog. That was wrong. Even though the basic recipe was from the “Campbell's Kitchen”: They were wrong!

Slave prepared it with its own embellishments which produced some great tasting loose noodles, it just wasn't a “kugel”.   So now, faced with a crock pot full of noodles, another closer look at the ingredients showed what I think was the error. Those adjustments were made in the recipe.

Without making the changes, how was slave to know? How would You learn? How would yours come out for your loved ones? Slave wasn't going to guess at that.

So, to make the custard base, a can of evaporated milk was mixed with eggs. This would make a binder. ½ teaspoon of salt was added as well as ¼ cup of sugar. Then for good measure: 1 teaspoon vanilla and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon was whisked into the mixture.

Oven was heated to 350 with a pan of water in there. (always include a pan of water if baking a custard or pudding) A square baking dish was sprayed. The noodles were stirred into the milk mixture and all placed in dish. Now it was allowed to bake for 30 minutes and voila! 

What was good became even better and slave now had the chance to show you how to fix a problem!

The recipe below has been corrected and proper adjustments made.

So let slave present: 

The You Go Girl Kugel!

This is going to be fun! Make this luscious kugel that's so versatile you can use it as a dessert, a brunch dish or a flavorful side dish. And it's pretty!

5 eggs, slightly beaten
1 can condensed cheese soup
1 12 ounce can (1½ cups) evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk (like Eagle Brand)
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Cooked wide noodles
1 pkg dried cranberries

Put a pan, half filled with water in the oven, then pre-heat it to 325 degrees.

Cook the noodles according to the package directions but for less time. If it says boil for 9 minutes, only boil for 7.   Drain the noodles well.

Spray a 9 by 13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, slightly beat the 5 eggs. Then add the soup, the milks, the sugar, vanilla and cinnamon, stirring well with each.

Dump the drained noodles in the baking dish and mix in the cranberries until they are all through it. Pour the egg-milk mixture over it. 
Be sure to cover as much of the noodles as you can because any left sticking out tend to cook hard and will really crunch! 

Cover it with foil.

Carefully slide this into the oven next to or above the rack with the pan of water.

Let that bake for about 40 minutes, check it after 30. The pudding custard will finish setting in the center after this is taken from the oven.

This versatile sweet noodle pudding can be served as a dessert, a brunch dish or a side dish all year around. Imagine it as a side for barbecued chicken or brisket.

Now isn't this fun? We are trying different things yet being true to all the traditions. We are putting in the effort to care for those closest to us. Don't forget the other touches like music, or colored lights! All of these things will make for shiny memories and warm fuzzy nights!

Serving My Master Indy


To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

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