Only once have I ever gotten in a bidding war with someone on eBay. Ten years ago or so, someone put up a copy of the 1963 ‘What’s Cooking with the Millstein’s’ (apostrophe error, I know, but there it is on the cover), a Jewish cookbook from Natchez and I just had to have it. From the foreward: “…a collection of favorite family recipes. “Bloods” and No-Bloods” alike have generously given their most guarded, secret concoctions…”
There are old-country recipes and old-South recipes (everything from ‘Rumanian putlejola’ and ‘ptcha’ to ‘shrimp dip’ and ‘white fruitcake’). The Tante’s Honey Cake recipe is one of my favorites, and now this kugel recipe, which is pareve (neither dairy/milchig nor meat/fleishig). I served a variation on it at Rosh Hashanah:
12 oz wide egg noodles
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 c sugar
1 small can (8oz) crushed pineapple, mostly drained
Preheat the oven to 350*, Boil noodles to 90% cooked (they will finish in the oven). Drain, let cool a bit.
Prepare a 9×13 baking dish — I line mine with parchment paper so nothing sticks.
In a large bowl, combine the noodles with all other ingredients. Mix well. Pour into prepared pan and bake for one hour (check at 50 min, but you can also let this go over an hour if you like the noodles more brown).
I think of kugel as Jewish macaroni-and-cheese. Serving a traditional meal and want a pasta dish? Kugel.
If you’re serving dairy, you can make it with cottage cheese and you get that whole casserole feel with the creamy texture. If you’re serving meat, you can make this kind above with no dairy at all but it’s still smooth and comforting.