Thursday, July 6, 2017

GF Noodle Kugel (pareve)

Lately, we've been doing a lot of Shabbat hosting - every week we find ourselves with a houseful of guests! It's really amazing to do this, and reminds us that we have a direct line to the tradition of hosting, passed down from Avraham and Sarah...

I won't lie and say it is simple, though. It's a lot of work to host all the time, so I decided to try to streamline my cooking -- I found I was getting overwhelmed -- even more than before. And I think I've done it! Shabbat prep isn't quite as overwhelming as it used to be (granted, some of this is related to the fact that it's Summer, and Shabbat starts late, but I'm trying to convince myself that it's more than that!)!

One of the things that I have begun to do is make several kugels in multiples (and I do this on Thursday) - so all of our side dishes Friday night and Shabbat morning are actually identical.

Most weeks I make 4-6 kugels, but it's not that much work.

Here's one of my new go-to recipes, because it's so easy, and works for almost everyone's food issues (but not vegans, sorry) and is not expensive at all to make. I also take shortcuts and don't make lots of dirty dishes in the process.

noodle kugel, not yet baked

GF Noodle Kugel (makes 1 large pan or 2 small pans)

1 package of thin rice noodles
5 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 Tablespoon salt
pepper to taste 
(1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar, optional)
(1/4 cup raisins, optional)

Boil a pot of water and cook rice noodles. I tend to undercook them and then turn off the fire to let them finish absorbing the water in the pot.
Allow noodles to cool somewhat (do something else while waiting - it's enough time for me to chop some veggies or check Facebook...).

Then I do the rest of the prep RIGHT IN THE POT so I minimize the dirty dishes I've got piling up in the sink!

Add the rest of the ingredients to the rice noodles, stir with a wooden spoon. When fully mixed, transfer to baking pan(s).
Bake at 200 C for about 1 hr.

That's it! It's so easy, and everyone seems to enjoy it!

Price breakdown: 
Rice noodles - 5-8nis. (Depending where I buy them. Obviously I prefer to get them for 5, but that's not always an option.)
Eggs - just under 5nis
oil - 1nis perhaps
seasonings - minimal, let's round up to 1nis
if you use raisins, add a few shekels to the cost.
(Baking time in the oven -- costs a bit too)
Total: less than 20nis (12 - 15 for basic ingredients)!!

The other kugels I make are usually Potato Kugel, and Vegetable Kugel. All are big hits among kugel eaters. The thing about kugels are they are totally comfort food for many of us...

Then I add random other things to the menu: Usually roasted whole chickens or cut up chickens (spicy or with date honey, depending on my mood) for Friday night, and Cholent and Spicy Chicken Breast for Lunch. And salads, using the abundance of cheap veggies available! If I get enough requests, I'll make soup for Friday night, too, but right now, its so hot I think it's fine to skip it!

For dessert, I have been keeping watermelon on hand, and if there's enough time, I'll bake a couple of cakes.

What are your favorite, EASY crowd-pleasers for Shabbat?

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