Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Gluten-Free Kasha Varnishkes: Mission Accomplished

kasha varnishkes with gluten-free pasta
Tonight's dinner was a successful revision of kasha varnishkes, served up gluten-free. I grew up eating this Ashkenazi Jewish dish, a combination of nutty kasha, sweet browned onions, and toothsome noodles. It is great as a side dish with meat, but I enjoyed it this evening as an entree, with just a green salad on the side. This dish is traditionally made with bowtie noodles. Sadly, in my extensive internet research I discovered that there doesn't appear to be a gluten-free bowtie noodle on the market. I was glad to discover that Glutano Gluten-Free Pasta Tagliatelle* which is made of maize, is a great substitute. It has the right texture and taste for this dish. If you can't find tagliatelle, try any other flat, gluten-free noodle. Egg noodles are preferable - Break them to the length of bowtie noodles if they're longer. Mmm... nothing like some carb-on-carb action!

Kasha, for anyone who's confused, is another name for buckwheat groats. Buckwheat is a misnomer, as it is not related to wheat in any way and is safe for people with celiac disease.

Ess gezunterhait! (Eat in good health!)

Kasha Varnishkes

1 cup buckwheat groats
1 egg
1 cup uncooked Glutano tagliatelle* or gluten-free egg noodles
2 cups boiling chicken stock
1 teaspoon of salt (less if you're using a very salty broth)
1 quart water
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons canola, corn oil or chicken fat (schmaltz)
1.5 large onions, chopped coarsely

Beat the egg in a small bowl. Add kasha and stir until every grain is well coated with egg. Place in a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the egg begins to dry and the groats separate. Some of the groats may stick together and/or brown slightly.

Pour boiling chicken stock over the kasha. Mix in salt and pepper and stir thoroughly. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until the kasha has absorbed all liquid. Remove from heat.

In a separate pot, bring water to a boil and cook the pasta until done. Drain and set aside.

In a skillet, heat the oil (or schmaltz) on a medium flame. Saute the chopped onions until thoroughly browned. Add the onions and noodles to the pot of kasha, and adjust salt and pepper to taste.

*Edited 3/09 to add: Glutano Tagliatelle doesn't have kosher certification. I now use Manischewitz Passover Egg Noodles which I stock up on at Passover when they're in the stores, or I cut Tinkyada Lasagna Noodles into strips.


Anonymous said...

yay--jewish GF treats! mazel tov! from Allergic Girl

Annie said...

Now if only you could make it kosher for passover...

ByTheBay said...

Ha! I heard recently that Manischewitz makes gluten-free kosher for passover egg noodles (made of potato, I think)... And apparently many Sephardic Jews do allow buckwheat for Passover. Google tells me it's traditional in some Ashkenazi families, too, but obviously is not commonly accepted as kosher l'pesach. Bummer.

jocelyn said...

Kasha often just refers to buckwheat groats in English (not always, but usually), but in Russian, it's actually a more generic term for a dish made from grains. Adjectives in front of kasha indicate whether the dish is made from buckwheat, semolina, millet, etc.