Kugel is basically a noodle casserole with a pudding-like texture. It is usually served for Shabbat and Jewish holidays. Depending on taste or cultural influences, kugel can be sweet, almost dessert-like or savory.
The first kugel, made from bread or flour, was typically more savory than sweet. The word kugel is an old German word meaning round. These days kugel is baked in square or rectangle pans. Jewish homemakers eventually replaced the bread and flour with egg noodles and eventually, eggs and cheese were added, changing the dish to more of a custard (casserole). It’s believed in Poland that the addition of raisins and cinnamon was added to make a sweeter version.
Sephardic Jews lean more towards savory versions of kugel. Many recipes include adding potato, cabbage, or even spinach.
My kugel is sweet, savory, and custardy with a Latin twist that wows guests. The addition of maduro ( sweet plantain) and the buttery caramelized onions change the way we’d typically enjoy kugel.
Kugel Con Maduro Ingredients
- 1 stick unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 3 very ripe plantains, sliced and fried
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, sliced thinly
- 2 cups full fat cottage cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 4 large eggs
- 12 ounces egg noodles
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Kosher salt & black pepper
- Oil for frying
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Kugel Con Maduro Preparation
- Preheat the oven to 375° F and grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with butter. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until softened and lightly caramelized, 20 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
- In a heavy bottom skillet, add oil about ¾ of the way up from the sides. Once the oil has reached 350° F, fry the sliced plantains until a deep golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain off excess oil. Once the plantains have cooled, dice into large cubes.
- In the blender, add cottage cheese, sour cream, salt, eggs, sugar, and black pepper. Blend until smooth, then add to the large bowl with the onions.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the egg noodles and cook until al dente, 7 minutes. Drain, mix in fried plantains.
- Add the noodle mixture to the prepared baking dish and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake until golden brown and set for 45 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.