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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Savory Vegetable Noodle Kugel for RFJ

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The ingredients for this month's Royal Foodie Joust were chosen by Billy from A Table for Two. Billy took pity on us and selected ingredients that would lend themselves to simple preparations. After the hustle and bustle of the Holidays, it was much appreciated! He decided on mushrooms, cauliflower and noodles.

For those few that may not be familiar with the Royal Foodie Joust, it is the brainchild of our own lovely and talented Jenn, The Leftover Queen. It's a monthly cooking competition for members of The Foodie Blogroll. Each month, the previous month's winner chooses three ingredients and the rest of us go crazy trying to create a delicious dish incorporating all three ingredients into it! Then, all of the members are invited to vote on their favorite. And so it goes.....

The first RFJ that I entered was back in October, 2008. I made a Creamy Gorgonzola, Fennel & Pear Tart, and was flabbergasted to learn that I had actually won! I've been really anxious to try my luck again ever since.

I didn't want to just throw together a regular pasta dish for this one. I needed to figure out something a little more original. One of my favorite noodle dishes has always been a noodle or lochshen kugel.

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A Jewish specialty, a kugel is a baked casserole-like dish, featuring either noodles or potatoes and anything else that the chef who is making it desires. Kugels may be sweet or savory, but the most popular kinds are those served as desserts. (BTW, I have a killer Cherry Cheese Kugel recipe that I promise to share with you one day.)

Anyway, I didn't think mushrooms and cauliflower would work too well in a dessert dish, so I came up with a savory kugel using vegetables and goat cheese. I used the required mushrooms and cauliflower in my dish, as well as onions and carrots (for sweetness and color). You could use any vegetable and seasoning combination you like. I think that this recipe is very versatile that way. I also toyed with the idea of adding bacon or chopped ham. I didn't because I wanted to keep it vegetarian, but I do intend to try it that way next time.

I started out by cooking some onions down in butter and olive oil until they were really soft and sweet. Then, I added each of the other vegetables in, one by one, and sauteed them until tender. The binder for my kugel was a mixture of the traditional cottage cheese, sour cream and eggs, but with a twist. I also blended in a healthy dose of soft and creamy goat cheese, or chevre. That little bit of tanginess from that velvety chevre made all the difference. It was subtle, but definitely there. And, it was the perfect counterpoint to the mellow sweetness of the onions.

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I was so pleased with the way that this kugel turned out! It was a really delicious dish and a big hit at Chez SGCC. It is also a great dish for a buffet, because it can be made in advance and is best served at room temperature. There is nothing fussy or complicated about it either. Hell, if I could do it standing on one foot, anybody with two good feet should have no trouble!

If any of you Foodie Blogrollers like my kugel as much as I do, please take a minute to hop on over to the forum when the voting begins and......

VOTE FOR ME!

Please and Pretty Please? I'll love you forever! winky-sml2

Savory Vegetable Noodle Kugel (Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 lb cottage cheese- Small curd 2%-4% fat
1 C sour cream
8 ounces chevre
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded carrots
2 cups mushrooms, sliced (I used Baby Bella mushrooms, but any kind will work.)
2 cups cauliflower, cut into small florets
Salt and ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 lb medium egg noodles
1 cup panko crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:

Cook cauliflower by simmering in water until al dente-crisp tender. Drain and set aside.

Saute onions on med-low heat in olive oil and butter for 20-30 minutes, until really soft and sweet. Add carrots and saute until tender, about 10 minutes more. Add mushrooms and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Then add cauliflower and toss. Set aside.

Mix cottage cheese, sour cream, chevre, eggs, salt, pepper and nutmeg together in food processor or blender until smooth. Set aside.

Cook noodles according to package directions and drain well. In a large bowl, mix noodles together with vegetables and stir in the cheese and egg mixture. Then, stir in the grated cheese.

Pour the whole thing into a large, buttered casserole dish.

Mix the panko with the melted butter and sprinkle over the top of the casserole.

Bake at 350 degrees until browned and bubbly, about 30-40 minutes.

Serve hot or at room temperature. The kugel sets up more as it cools and can then be sliced more easily.

Enjoy!

30 comments:

duodishes said...

Kugels are so deliciously chock full of yummy things, whether sweet or savory. The butter, cottage cheese, sour cream, chèvre AND parm have got to make this creamy beyond belief.

Manggy said...

Oh wait, you did this while you were injured?! You're being a baaaad prawn! :P Please be careful Susan!
Anyway, I didn't know what a kugel was, it's kinda amusing to learn I've been eating it all this time, heh heh :) Yours looks delicious, and I can imagine moreso with the ham or bacon :) Can't wait to see the cherry and cheese one!

squawmama said...

Susan Thanks so much for the yummy recipe... I can't wait to make it... I also went to vote for you but got lost on the way... If you let me know where to go (be nice now) I will gladly vote for you...

(((HUGS)))
Donna

squawmama said...

Oh ya can you please put the Cherry Cheese Kugel recipe on... It really sounds great...

Donna

Karen said...

I knew you wouldn't be able to stay away from the stove ;) This looks very good and I agree - good dish for a potluck

vibi said...

Uh! Hummmm... If you don't mind Ma'am... I'm keeping that one!
I've been waiting to find the perfect Kugel to try... and I think this is the one! Looks too yummy!
Thanks for sharing, Susan!

Meg said...

I have never had kugel. This looks delicious.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

So delicious looking. It is a perfect combo of ingredients, flavors. I liked your gorgonzola, fennel and pear tart too.

Snooky doodle said...

This looks yummy I like it. Where do you vote since I couldn t find it or its still closed ???

Snooky doodle said...

Hope you re recovering well. Wish you a speedy recovery :)

joanne at frutto della passione said...

In Italian they would call this *pasticcio* - which can also mean mess funnily enough. This looks delicious. I love this kind of pasta dish and they are often tastier the next day ... if they make it that far!

Kevin said...

That looks really good! Nicely cut slice! I like the crispy crust.

Grace said...

most impressive, susan! i wish i had even one creative bone in my body, but the joust stumps me every time. :)

Netts Nook said...

Can't wait to try I remember having something like this but have never been able to find the recipe. Thanks for sharing.

Bellini Valli said...

I love kigel Susan. It is a childhood favourite:D

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Oooh! I'm soooo glad that you like this one! Thank you for all of your nice comments! I wish you could have seen me trying to make this. I did all the slicing, chopping and processing while sitting at the kitchen table. The rest was done by alternately hopping on one foot and hobbling with a cane! Mr. SGCC did help me with stirring the pan and the heavy stuff. It was pretty comical.

Thanks to those of you that have already tried to vote. I really appreciate it! The voting period for the Joust doesn't start until the beginning of February. At that time, the link I provided in my post will take you to the forum page where all registered persons can vote. I'll try to remember to mention this again in my next post.

Hope you're all staying warm. We're getting another cold front down here. Supposed to get in the 30's this weekend. Brrrr!

Maria said...

This looks amazing!! So creamy, comforting, and even crusty on top! The best!!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Awesome! This looks simple to prepare and has a big comfort food vibe going on. It also is big on the veggies, which gives it a good nutritional edge. If I hadn't been rejected for membership, I would totally vote for you!

Diana said...

I've never heard the word "kugel" before, but it sure looks tasty!

The Cherry Cheese one sounds really good, too! :)

Good luck with the voting!

culinography said...

Mmmm... this looks so good! My vote is in! :)

Jamie said...

Cherry Cheese Kugel? Who said Cherry Cheese Kugel? I love my mom's best friends Apple Noodle Kugel and make it as often as I can, but I have never made a savory noodle kugel (unless Mac and Cheese counts). This one does look scrumptious!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Y'know, as much as that sounds and looks divine to eat, what I love most about it is the name. 'Noodle Kugel'. I could say that all day.

Ivy said...

Good luck with the Joust Susan. Imagine seeing cauliflower in a dessert although when we were kids my mother would coat cauliflower in batter and deep fry it as a savory side dish and we would put sugar on it and eat it as dessert :) Your dish sounds very creative and delicious. I hope you are feeling much better now. The same happened to me more than a year ago. I wish you a speedy recovery.

Aggie said...

Great entry and use of ingredients! I love kugel...never tried a savory version!! Good luck! ;)

CookiePie said...

What a fantastic idea! I don't usually love kugel because it's often too sweet, so a savory one sounds especially fantastic to me. Good luck! (I'll vote for you!)

Sara said...

I love kugel, but I've only had it in sweet form. Must make this soon!

billy said...

looks like a great comfort food, I can do with a slice of it and vege out in front of the telly right now! :)

pigpigscorner said...

This looks amazing! Love your entry.

we are never full said...

looks like a super comforting meal. good luck w/ the RFJ - could you be in for a trifecta after this win?

this reminds me of that old italian "chestnut" - baked spaghetti. but so different.

Triv said...

I made this last night and it was a huge hit. My husband is already dreaming of what to add to the next one. He actually said he could have had this alone, no meat along side. I was floored by that.