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Subject: Help fixing potato kugel, please! [and sub-thread]
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

============================

From: Rickie Beth 
Date: 13 Mar 2006 08:44:29 -0800
--------
Making kugel for the holidays has traditionally been my grandmother's
job but the results have unfortunately become increasingly inedible
over the past few years.  She doesn't have a written recipe and while
she claims that it's the same method she's always used, even she admits
that the kugel just isn't the same.  My grandmother's now assigned the
kugel responsibilities to me and I have just under a month until
Passover to figure it out . . . and I could use some help, please!

Like I said, there's no written recipe that we use.  According to my
grandmother, the kugel has always consisted of shredded potatoes, a
shredded onion or two, eggs, matzoh meal, and salt and pepper.  It used
to be delicious, but the last few kugels have been grey, too-dense,
slightly bland, and burnt on the top while still undercooked in the
middle.  I've seen lots of recipes on the internet and most of them
have the same ingredients that I listed above, so I don't know what's
been going wrong.  I'm definitely going to experiment before the
holiday, but since I don't have a food processor and will have to do
all the grating by hand, I'd like to get some tips or advice before I
start.

Any words of wisdom for a first-time kugler?  Thanks in advance!

============================

From: Boron Elgar 
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2006 12:31:00 -0500
--------
Are the potatoes grated on an old fashioned knuckle-eating box grater,
or are they shredded in something like a food processor?The advantage
of the latter is that it all gets done quickly before the potatoes get
a chance to sit around and get gray. Food processor makes for a more
interesting texture, rather than the smoother, "potato pate" of the
grater. You can shred the onion in with the potatoes. This is show I
do my latkes.

Therefore, if you get the ingredients together ahead of time, quickly
combine the potatoes (drained) with the onions, eggs, matzoh meal,
seasonings, etc, dot with a bit of margarine (butter if you  don't
keep kosher) and put it into oven right away, I think you'll  be
better off.

Whatever temp it has been baked at may be too high and/or the
casserole dish too deep if it is burning on top and raw in the middle.
Try something like a lasagna pan at  350. Additionally, try baking it
covered for the first 40 mins, and then remove the foil for the
reminder of the baking.

All this being said, you realize that if you do anything to improve
it, some folks will still kvetch and long for the old burned
-on-the-top- one anyway.

============================

From: Rickie Beth 
Date: 13 Mar 2006 10:46:20 -0800
--------
Boron Elgar wrote:
> Are the potatoes grated on an old fashioned knuckle-eating box grater,
> or are they shredded in something like a food processor?The advantage
> of the latter is that it all gets done quickly before the potatoes get
> a chance to sit around and get gray. Food processor makes for a more
> interesting texture, rather than the smoother, "potato pate" of the
> grater. You can shred the onion in with the potatoes. This is show I
> do my latkes.
>
> Therefore, if you get the ingredients together ahead of time, quickly
> combine the potatoes (drained) with the onions, eggs, matzoh meal,
> seasonings, etc, dot with a bit of margarine (butter if you  don't
> keep kosher) and put it into oven right away, I think you'll  be
> better off.

Thanks . . . we haven't been draining the potatoes, and I'm guessing
that might be part of the texture problem.  Too much starch, I suppose.
I've also seen some recipes that call for baking powder which I assume
would help achieve the desired fluffiness, but I don't even think
that's allowed for Passover.

> Whatever temp it has been baked at may be too high and/or the
> casserole dish too deep if it is burning on top and raw in the middle.
> Try something like a lasagna pan at  350. Additionally, try baking it
> covered for the first 40 mins, and then remove the foil for the
> reminder of the baking.

"Too high," you're probably right.  I bet that's the problem with the
cooking times.  We tried experimenting one year for Rosh Hashana with
individual mini-kugels in muffin tins -- those cooked pretty well but
we neither have nor feel like making room to store a Pesadich muffin
tin.  I'll try a lasagna pan.

> All this being said, you realize that if you do anything to improve
> it, some folks will still kvetch and long for the old burned
> -on-the-top- one anyway.

LOL.  It's funny because it's true.  No one ever remembers the food
that turns out well, but it's been four years since I exploded the
'beitzah' in the oven and it still gets a good laugh every holiday. :)

============================

From: Boron Elgar 
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2006 12:34:35 -0500
--------
Rickie Beth wrote:
>Any words of wisdom for a first-time kugler?  Thanks in advance!

Whoops! I see you need to do the grating my hand. 

Try the shredding part of the grater,  with the larger hole, not the
little grating-hole one.

And work fast!

============================

From: Sheldon 
Date: 13 Mar 2006 09:58:26 -0800
--------
Rickie Beth wrote:
> Any words of wisdom for a first-time kugler?  Thanks in advance!

Don't even consider a fercocktah food processor, unless you're a goy...
if grating by hand is a bit much for you then the best method for
prepping spuds for kugel/latkes is with a meat grinder.

Here:
http://www.jewish-food.org/cgi-bin/webglimpse/home/jewish/jewish-food-www?query=potato+kugel&filter=%5E%2Fhome%2Fjewish%2Fjewish-food-www%2Frecipes&maxfiles=100&maxlines=50&maxchars=10000

This even better:
http://www.jewish-food.org/cgi-bin/webglimpse/home/jewish/jewish-food-www?query=potatonik&filter=%5E%2Fhome%2Fjewish%2Fjewish-food-www%2Frecipes&maxfiles=100&maxlines=50&maxchars=10000

This one is my favorite:

POTATONIK
SOURCE: "Secrets of a Jewish Baker" by George Greenstein

SPONGE:

1 c Warm water
1 1/2 pk Active dry yeast
1 1/2 c Bread or all-purpose flour
DOUGH:

3/4 lb Potatoes, skin on
6 oz Yellow onions
1 sm Stale roll or 2 slices bread
1/2 c Bread or all-purpose flour
1 1/2 ts Salt
Scant 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 ts Ground black pepper
1/2 c Vegetable oil
1/2 c Beaten egg
Shortening for greasing pan
SPONGE: In a large bowl sprinkle the yeast over the warm water; stir to
dissolve. Add the flour and mix until smooth. Cover and set aside until
it puffs up (about 20-25 min.)

DOUGH: Stir down the sponge. Scrub the potatoes, then grind or grate
them with the skins on. Add the ground potatoes and onion to the sponge
and stir until blended. Add the stale roll, flour, salt, baking powder,
and ground pepper; mix until incorporated. Add the oil and egg and mix
well. Drop the mixture out into 3 well greased 8 or 9 inch loaf pans.
Each loaf should wiegh about 15 oz. Leave room for expansion-the
Potatonik will rise in the oven.

BAKING: Bake with steam in a preheated 360F oven until the crust is
brown and feels firm when gently pressed in the center with your
fingertips (about 1 hr.) Let cool on a wire rack covered with a cloth
for 5 min. to allow the loaves to steam. Invert and and tapout onto the
rack. Serve warm. Potatonik can be refrigerated for several days or
frozen for 1-2 weeks. Reheat at 325F until warm, or develops a hard
crust if desired.

============================

From: Jude 
Date: 13 Mar 2006 10:21:04 -0800
--------
Sheldon wrote:

> This one is my favorite:
>
> POTATONIK
> SOURCE: "Secrets of a Jewish Baker" by George Greenstein
>
> SPONGE:
>
> 1 c Warm water
> 1 1/2 pk Active dry yeast
> 1 1/2 c Bread or all-purpose flour

Well, right there, you're screwed if you want to make this for
Passover. The matzoh meal is used so that there's no leavening
ingredient or leavened bread used.

Surprised to see this title for the book - his family might think it
QUITE a secret when they find out what he's done to gramma;s recipes!!!

============================

From: barry.grau[at]gmail.com
Date: 13 Mar 2006 14:36:45 -0800
--------
Jude wrote:
> Well, right there, you're screwed if you want to make this for
> Passover. The matzoh meal is used so that there's no leavening
> ingredient or leavened bread used.
>
> Surprised to see this title for the book - his family might think it
> QUITE a secret when they find out what he's done to gramma;s recipes!!!

No, it's not for Passover. It's not a potato kugel either, it's a
potatonik. Different things.

-bwg

============================

From: Rickie Beth 
Date: 13 Mar 2006 10:57:22 -0800
--------
Sheldon wrote:
> Don't even consider a fercocktah food processor, unless you're a goy...
> if grating by hand is a bit much for you then the best method for
> prepping spuds for kugel/latkes is with a meat grinder.

> POTATONIK
> SOURCE: "Secrets of a Jewish Baker" by George Greenstein

Thanks, but I'm very much not a goy and this is probably the least
Pesadich recipe ever.  The yeast and the leavened bread are big no-nos
for this holiday, although it looks interesting for the rest of the
year.  I would imagine that it comes out more like potato bread than a
legitimate kugel -- which could be nice, depending on the context, but
it's not what we'd serve on a holiday.

============================

From: Sheldon 
Date: 13 Mar 2006 17:17:59 -0800
--------
Rickie Beth wrote:

> Thanks, but I'm very much not a goy

Doesn't prevent you from being a functionally illiterate ungrateful
bitch.

> I would imagine that it comes out more like potato bread than a
> legitimate kugel.

Now that is funny, a bread your fat JAP ass!

Actually it is a kugel, potatonic is the king of all potato kugels,
potatonic is the potato kugel by which all others are measured.  All
kugels can be prepared suitable for passover.  You're simply too
ignorant... had you perused the list you'd note some were for passover.
 And yes, you are a goy, you have a goyishe kupp, because anyone who is
incapable of rendering a recipe kosher for passover is indeed a goy,
that makes you the queen goy.

============================

From: Margaret Suran 
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2006 23:01:19 GMT
--------
Rickie Beth wrote:
> Any words of wisdom for a first-time kugler?  Thanks in advance!

Here is the Potato Kugel I made a couple of years ago.  Perhaps it 
will be of help to you.  I may have gotten the recipe from Victor.

Potato Kugel

Potato kugel, or potato pudding is a standard side-dish in Ashkenazi
(Eastern European) Jewish cooking. It resembles potato pancakes, and
like potato pancakes, it has evolved over the years with all kinds of
variations. For example, some people don't peel the potatoes. Others add
additional vegetables such as zucchini or carrots. My family has always
enjoyed the traditional potato/onion/garlic version. The only suggestion
I would make is that you grate the potatoes by hand, if possible. I had
always prepared potato kugel in a food processor until I went on
sabbatical and had to make do with a simple kitchen with the minimum of
appliances. The family quickly realized that potato kugel, carrot kugel,
and other dishes with grated vegetables were much better tasting with
hand grated vegetables.

Ingredients

     6 large potatoes, washed and peeled
     1 large onion, peeled and halved
     2-3 large eggs
     1/4 cup olive oil
     1/2 cup matzoh meal
     1 tsp. baking powder (do not use when making for Passover)
     1 tsp. salt
     1/2 tsp. chopped garlic
     3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
     1 tsp. paprika, split in two

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Either grate the potatoes and onion by 
hand or
put the potatoes and onion in the bowl of a food processor and process
until coarsely chopped. Add eggs, 3 T. oil, and remaining ingredients
(except for 1/2 tsp. paprika and one tablespoon of oil). Process or mix
by hand only until smooth; don't overdo it. Pour into a 2 quart
casserole, sprayed with vegetable oil spray or rubbed with oil. Sprinkle
with remaining oil and paprika. Bake for 45 minutes or until puffed and
brown. Serve with brisket, roast chicken, or roast veal. Potato kugel
can be eaten at room temperature with cold meats, but it is much tastier
if slightly warm or hot. Serves 8-10.

============================

From: Boron Elgar 
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2006 08:54:32 -0500
--------
Margaret Suran wrote:
>The family quickly realized that potato kugel, carrot kugel,
>and other dishes with grated vegetables were much better tasting with
>hand grated vegetables.

Oh sure...it's that little bit of blood and knuckle flesh that
guarantees the home made taste! 

============================

From: azazello[at]koroviev.de (Victor Sack)
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2006 23:46:46 +0100
--------
Margaret Suran wrote:
> Here is the Potato Kugel I made a couple of years ago.  Perhaps it 
> will be of help to you.  I may have gotten the recipe from Victor.

Nope, not from me.

Bubba Vic

============================

From: HiTech RedNeck 
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2006 12:58:11 GMT
--------
Rickie Beth wrote:
> Making kugel for the holidays has traditionally been my grandmother's
> job but the results have unfortunately become increasingly inedible
> over the past few years.

Try different varieties of potatoes instead of the usual russet, such as new
red potatoes or Yukon Gold.  Try including the peel (after scrubbing well of
course).

============================

From: Rickie Beth 
Date: 14 Mar 2006 08:14:06 -0800
--------
HiTech RedNeck wrote:
> Try different varieties of potatoes instead of the usual russet, such as new
> red potatoes or Yukon Gold.  Try including the peel (after scrubbing well of
> course).

You read my mind -- I was thinking about this last night as I fell
asleep.  I have both white rounds and russets in the house right now so
that's at least someplace to start.  I'll try reds or yukons after
that.  I'm going to have kugel coming out of my ears!

============================

From: Sheldon 
Date: 14 Mar 2006 08:42:41 -0800
--------
Rickie Beth wrote:
> You read my mind

No great accomplishment.

> I'm going to have kugel coming out of my ears!

A change from the usual shit stains.

============================

Subject: Potato Kugel from Margaret Suran
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

============================

From: Gloria Puester 
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2006 02:37:31 GMT
--------
Potato Kugel

Potato kugel, or potato pudding is a standard side-dish in Ashkenazi
(Eastern European) Jewish cooking. It resembles potato pancakes, and
like potato pancakes, it has evolved over the years with all kinds of
variations. For example, some people don't peel the potatoes. Others add
additional vegetables such as zucchini or carrots. My family has always
enjoyed the traditional potato/onion/garlic version. The only suggestion
I would make is that you grate the potatoes by hand, if possible. I had
always prepared potato kugel in a food processor until I went on
sabbatical and had to make do with a simple kitchen with the minimum of
appliances. The family quickly realized that potato kugel, carrot kugel,
and other dishes with grated vegetables were much better tasting with
hand grated vegetables.

Ingredients

     6 large potatoes, washed and peeled
     1 large onion, peeled and halved
     2-3 large eggs
     1/4 cup olive oil
     1/2 cup matzoh meal
     1 tsp. baking powder (do not use when making for Passover)
     1 tsp. salt
     1/2 tsp. chopped garlic
     3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
     1 tsp. paprika, split in two

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Either grate the potatoes and onion by 
hand or
put the potatoes and onion in the bowl of a food processor and process
until coarsely chopped. Add eggs, 3 T. oil, and remaining ingredients
(except for 1/2 tsp. paprika and one tablespoon of oil). Process or mix
by hand only until smooth; don't overdo it. Pour into a 2 quart
casserole, sprayed with vegetable oil spray or rubbed with oil. Sprinkle
with remaining oil and paprika. Bake for 45 minutes or until puffed and
brown. Serve with brisket, roast chicken, or roast veal. Potato kugel
can be eaten at room temperature with cold meats, but it is much tastier
if slightly warm or hot. Serves 8-10.

============================

From: maxine in ri 
Date: 14 Mar 2006 09:02:59 -0800
--------
Puester wrote:
>   The family quickly realized that potato kugel, carrot kugel,
> and other dishes with grated vegetables were much better tasting with
> hand grated vegetables.

For those who no longer have the strength, agility, and skin to use the
hand grater any more, one suggestion that comes close is to put the
potatoes through the large hole plate of your food processor.  Then
take about half of those shreds and put them in the bowl with the blade
and not quite puree them.

I am blessed with a teenager who likes latkes and potato kugel so much,
that she'll grate the taters and onions on the wire grater, which as we
all know, makes the absolute best consistancy for kugel or latkes

============================

From: Sheldon 
Date: 14 Mar 2006 11:28:37 -0800
--------
maxine in ri wrote:
> For those who no longer have the strength, agility, and skin to use the
> hand grater any more, one suggestion that comes close is to put the
> potatoes through the large hole plate of your food processor.  Then
> take about half of those shreds and put them in the bowl with the blade
> and not quite puree them.

You gotta be kidding.

1. Pare 10 pounds spuds.

2. slice each into six long chunks, nothing fancy, don't measure.

3. Place large sieve into large bowl.

4. With meat grinder grind spud chunks into sieve.

5. With hand press out liquid.

7. Save potato liquid for baking/soup.

8. Grind onion into spuds if desired.

9. Proceed with recipe: kugel/latkes.

10.  Ten pounds spuds *perfectly* processed in ten minutes, no more
effort or time than I spent typing this post.

============================

From: Pennyaline 
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2006 08:52:58 -0700
--------
Sheldon wrote:
> 4. With meat grinder grind spud chunks into sieve.

Maxine's method also works well for those who don't have a meat grinder.

============================

From: Sheldon 
Date: 15 Mar 2006 09:41:29 -0800
--------
Pennyaline wrote:
> Maxine's method also works well for those who don't have a meat grinder.

Huh?  That's like saying a hatchet works well for those who don't have
a can opener.

============================

From: Pennyaline 
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2006 12:09:37 -0700
--------
Sheldon wrote:
> Huh?  That's like saying a hatchet works well for those who don't have
> a can opener.

Okay, I'll clarify my statement: Maxine's method also works well for
those who don't have a meat grinder but *do* have a food processor with
a coarse shredding blade.

Whereas your method, Shel, works for anyone with a meat grinder
(regardless of whatever else they have, or don't have).

Further, a hatchet does work well for those who don't have a can opener.
It will open a can. However, a can opener will not work for those who
don't have a hatchet, unless they want to open a can. In that event,
either will work. One will work more efficiently than the other. If they
want to chop wood, the other will be more efficient.



============================

From: Wayne Boatwright 
Date: 15 Mar 2006 18:04:02 +0100
--------
Thus Spake Zarathustra, or was it Sheldon?
> 4. With meat grinder grind spud chunks into sieve.

I don't like the texture of potatoes put through a meat grinder.

============================

From: Sheldon 
Date: 15 Mar 2006 09:33:56 -0800
--------
Duh'Wayne wrote:
> I don't like the texture of potatoes put through a meat grinder.

No one asked you.

And how would you know, you never have... and you never heard of kugel
until you saw it in this thread.

============================

From: Boron Elgar 
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2006 20:42:46 -0500
--------
Wayne Boatwright wrote:
>I don't like the texture of potatoes put through a meat grinder.

I do not, either and that is why I was never crazy about my mom's
latkes. I attended a Chanukah cooking class with my daughter when she
was about 4 and one of the recipes was for latkes that were made using
the shredding disk on the processor. 

I have a special shredding attachment for mine Cusinart that spits out
everything through a chute into a bowl and that is ideal for latkes.In
go the peeled potatoes, whole, the onions, whole and all I do is drain
the mixture, add the eggs & a bit of flour to bind. 

The texture is lovely - much better than ground or grated as far as I
am concerned.

Of course, I only do this once a year, what a mess on the stove! 

============================

From: Wayne Boatwright 
Date: 16 Mar 2006 03:30:08 +0100
--------
Thus Spake Zarathustra, or was it Boron Elgar?

> I have a special shredding attachment for mine Cusinart that spits out
> everything through a chute into a bowl and that is ideal for latkes.In
> go the peeled potatoes, whole, the onions, whole and all I do is drain
> the mixture, add the eggs & a bit of flour to bind. 

That's basically what I do, although I don't have the shoot attachments.  
Who was it, Maxine?, that suggested what I do.  Shred them all, then return 
some of it and chop slightly with the steel blade.  Works like a charm. 
Then I proceed as you do.
 
> The texture is lovely - much better than ground or grated as far as I
> am concerned.

Perfect, as far as I'm concerned.

> Of course, I only do this once a year, what a mess on the stove! 

I avoid that issue by cooking them outside, either on the side burner of 
the grill, or in an electric skillet.  Of course, with out climate, I can 
do that any time of the year.


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