Cooking For Others: Meatless Monday Noodle Kugel

BREAK FAST MENU: Noodle Kugel; Phoebe’s Brisket; String Beans with Mustard Dressing and Cured Shallots; Asparagus with Tarragon Vinaigrette; Caramel Apple Cake

My family is a little competitive. When, at Rosh Hashanah dinner last week, my cousin Jordyn announced that she had just been chosen field hockey captain for her high school team–the fourth cousin to hold such an illustrious position–all eyes turned to her little sister Randi. The pressure was on. Randi had exactly three years to secure her captainship, or you could just tell that Rosh Hashanah dinner 2013 was going to be very tense until we found out that our brood had given birth to five field hockey champions.

So when I unwrapped my just-made noodle kugel on the counter next to a very similar-looking noodle kugel, you can imagine the adrenaline rush I felt and the fan-like cheers that rose up around the kitchen. Turns out, due to a lapse in communication, I had no idea Aunt Cindy was making kugel, and Aunt Cindy had heard not a peep that I was too. When Aunt Cindy and Uncle Michael put out the dinner buffet, Aunt Cindy grabbed the “Cara” and “Cindy” place cards from the table to identify whose kugel was whose.
In fact, we would have only had one dish of noodle pudding–Aunt Cindy’s–if it hadn’t been for the always-hungry twitterverse. A few weeks ago, I was going on about my favorite potato kugel, when twitter friend One Tough Cookie chimed in. She had a noodle kugel that I just had to make. Though I’d already been volunteered to bring an apple cake, when Gail of One Tough Cookie sent me the recipe, I couldn’t resist. I did of course tweak it a little bit, omitting the cornflakes and replacing them with a cinnamon, sugar, and butter topping that gave the top of the kugel a beautiful brown crispiness.
From my kitchen, where I’m running for dinner captain, to yours,
P.S. Meatless Monday is a campaign dedicated to reducing the amount of meat everyone eats. Though we eat meatless meals way more often than just on Monday, we’re going to be posting some of our favorites on Mondays, since cutting out meat once a week is a good start to reducing meat consumption.

Noodle Kugel

Serves 10
Adapted from a recipe by One Tough Cookie

1 pound broad egg noodles
8 ounces cream cheese, room temp
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
7 large eggs
1 pint (2 cups) sour cream
For the topping:
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Generously butter a 9X13-inch pan that looks nice enough to be set on the table. Cook the noodles in highly salted water according to package directions, stopping after the minimum cooking time, about 8 minutes. Drain the noodles.

While the noodles are cooking, combine the butter, cream cheese, and sugar and beat with a stand or handheld mixture and beat until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and beat again, until smooth and lightened. As soon as you’ve drained them, add the hot noodles to this mixture and stir to combine. Spread it into the prepared pan, and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at least 1 hour on the counter, or refrigerate overnight.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the cinnamon and the sugar in a small bowl. Dot the kugel with small pieces of the softened butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the kugel is set and the top is quite golden. Be careful not to burn the top of the kugel, and turn down the temperature 50 degrees if it seems to be getting too brown. Let sit for 30 minutes before cutting and serving. Serve warm or room temperature.

  • THEToughCookie

    I can’t take credit for creating this delicious recipe. I was never a kugel fan til I tasted this one from my friend Betsy Bogin. It’s THE best sweet kugel recipe I’ve ever tasted. Glad I could share it with you.

  • Naptimechef

    Even though I don’t celebrate Rosh Hoshannah I am bit of a kugel fanatic, always snagging it from my friends. I LOVE Meatless Monday, too – it makes such a difference. It was funny when I first heard about it and realized that I already eat meatless way more than once a week, too!

  • Keisenrpess

    Randi, you better live up to our Field Hockey name! On another note, I am so sad I missed this, I love kugel. Does Grandma Esther know you made a different recipe? I love hers, but cannot wait to try this one this weekend for a very untraditional Souther break fast!

  • Alison @ Ingredients Inc.

    Wow love this! So glad you connected with me on twitter so I could find your blog!

  • Kristina

    Yuuuuuum! That. Sounds. Fantastic. And to think, if I hadn’t gotten that Twitter alert just now, I might’ve missed out on your stunning pictures and adorable wit. You just earned a new follower!

  • Essie

    This looks delicious!! My family’s Kugel has always been a little too dry and a little too bland but this looks perfect. Cara, will you adopt me for the next round of High Holidays? You know I can bring the spirit of competition to anything I do….

  • BTLover2

    Oh boy! I married a Jewish man so I’ve had the pleasure of eating this dish a few times. I remember at every single holiday, I would ask “is this a kugel holiday?” I got some laughs but I was serious. I love me some kugel! This sounds heavenly and I’m going to try it out (when I’m not counting calories so much). Thanks for the post!

  • Rachelle Louise

    I just stumbled onto your blog! Love it! And the title! This recipe and post have pushed me from thinking about making noodle kugel to I have to make noodle kugel! I’m not Jewish (always wished I was when I was little!) but recently saw this dish on Barefoot Contessa and it really piqued my curiosity! Sweet noodles… never had anything like it. Can’t wait to try it! Thanks!

  • Lee

    I made this recipe last Sunday and shared portions with all of my yenta neighbors. It was a huge hit….. I made one change.
    I added a 1/2 cup of plumped (heated in Micro for 30 sec with a tiny bit of water) white raisins.

  • chick

    Wow – just found your blog FANTASTIC!

    My neighbor and I take turns making an adult lunch weekly – great food, great company for a working lunch.

    I can’t wait to try out some of your recipes. Thank you!

  • Brianna Kolcun Edinger

    I’ve never had kugel, but have always wanted to try it. This recipe sounds luscious. I can’t wait to make it!

  • Madeline Tiani

    I made this kugel the other day and I have to say this is THE BEST KUGEL ever and I’m not going to bother with any other recipe.  The cinnamon sugar topping really isn’t optional.  I can’t see why you would omit it!  The crispy cinnamon sugar crunch they noodles turn into is delicious.  As with most casseroles, it is better the 2nd day.

  • Hannah

    I just made this for, sadly, a shiva, and everyone RAVED about it! Thanks for such a great recipe – this one is a keeper.

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