Monday, November 19, 2007

The Thanksgiving Kugel: Gluten-Free Noodle Kugel with Cranberries

gluten-free cranberry noodle kugel
gluten-free cranberry noodle kugel
I haven't been inspired by Thanksgiving yet this year, which explains the lack of Thanksgiving mania on this blog. But tonight I think the bug finally bit me, if only mildly.

This past spring I posted my recipe for Savory Gluten-Free Noodle Kugel, a hearty mushroom-flecked kugel made with Manischewitz brand gluten-free Passover egg noodles. I made a point of stocking up last Pesach so I'd have some of these fabulous noodles to last me through the year, and I used up another bag tonight making a sweet lokshen kugel (noodle and egg casserole). I still have two or three left, just enough to get me through to this spring when they are back on the shelves at kosher grocery stores. Though I generally prefer Tinkyada noodles for just about everything, there are a few things that a wide, flat egg noodle is better for - Kugel is one of them. The fact that the Pesach noodles are made from potato starch means that they are all the more absorbent, which is perfect for a kugel.

Our family has two different kugel traditions - My dad's side of the family makes savory noodle kugels. On my mom's side, it's sweet kugel all the way. Since I made savory kugel last time (and boy was it good) this time I tried to sweeten it up without overdoing it on the sugar. What I ended up with was the Thanksgiving Kugel. There are thousands of bubbes rolling over in their graves at the very mention of the words "Thanksgiving" and "kugel" next to each other. I'm usually a little bit of a purist when it comes to ethnic foods. But I think if any of those bubbes would taste this kugel, they would forgive me. The dried cranberries (or "craisins" as marketing gurus seem to have renamed them) really plump up like little sweet-tart gems and make a tasty replacement for the usual raisins.

I lightened the kugel up a little - Trying to make this kind of traditional food low fat is just not something I have the heart to do. But I did trim some fat from where the texture or flavor wouldn't suffer. If you like your sweet kugels really sweet, you'll want to add an additional 1/2 to 3/4 cups of sugar, since I made this to be a side dish more than a dessert. This easy kugel would be a really nice side dish for Thanksgiving, it works well by itself for breakfast, and it should heat up well in a toaster oven or conventional oven.

Eat it in good health!

gluten-free noodle kugel with cranberries


[ Gluten-Free / Soy-Free / Vegetarian / Dairy ]

16 oz wide gluten-free egg noodles*
6 eggs
7 to 8 oz farmers' cheese
2 cups low-fat sour cream
1/2 cup 1% milk
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar or raw sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Butter or margarine for greasing the pan
Optional: Additional pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar for top

Preheat oven to 350 F. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook noodles until tender but not overly soft, remove from heat and drain immediately, rinsing with cold water. Set aside. Grease lasagna pan.

In a blender, combine spices, salt, sugar, milk, eggs, sour cream and farmers' cheese. Pulse until smooth. In a large bowl, pour liquid over the noodles. Add cranberries. Stir until well-combined. Pour entire mixture (including all "extra" liquid) into the greased pan. Dust the top with additional sugar and pumpkin pie spice.

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the top is golden-brown and the egg mixture has become slightly firm (will still be somewhat soft - do not overcook!) Allow to cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving warm.

If you don't have access to gluten-free Passover egg noodles, gluten-free tagliatelle or lasagna noodles (cut in strips after cooking) will work, though the texture won't be quite the same.

1 comment:

K Allrich said...

Oy, this looks good! (I miss kugel- and savory kugels were my fave.) Your cranberry accent is inspired.

I've used Tinkyada noodles in kugel with great success. There is also a corn based no-egg GF noodle that could work for some. I think it's by Mrs. Leeper's.

Have a healthy, safe and happy Thanksgiving!