LESSON OBJECTIVES AND OUTLINE FOR TEACHERS
I. LESSON OBJECTIVES
A. The students will demonstrate their knowledge of proper cooking techniques by preparing the kugels; thereby demonstrating that they know how to:
- Cook, drain, and rinse noodles.
- Caramelize sugar and oil.
- Measure and combine ingredients.
- Break, beat, and add eggs.
- Turn a kugel into a greased baking pan and bake.
II. KITCHEN ORGANIZATION: TIPS AND TECHNIQUES
1. As kugels take a very long time to bake, it is necessary to prepare them ahead of time so that the students can taste. Actual preparation time is fairly short.
2. Kugels freeze extremely well and can be frozen in a partially-baked state, defrosted, and finished at a later time as well. Do not freeze unless they have been baked somewhat firm.
3. This lesson includes recipes for two kugels and the class is divided into two groups, each making its own kugel.
4. Have water boiling at the beginning of class.
1. Keep an eye on the student that is stirring the caramelizing sugar in oil. The oil and sugar don't actually combine and the splashing of oil when stirring could do much damage. Also, once the sugar has begun to color, it darkens very quickly and should be watched carefully so that it doesn't burn. It is very important to have the noodles cooked, drained, rinsed, and ready to add as soon as the caramel begins to darken.
2. Watch carefully when adding the noodles to the hot oil mixture. It is a good idea to do this in a roomy pot because the oil will sizzle and sputter as the wet noodles are added.
3. It is an integral part of the Kugel Yerushalayim that the pepper be freshly ground. Do not make it with pre-ground pepper. It will not taste the same. In addition, the students enjoy taking turns using the pepper grinder.
III. TEACHING TECHNIQUES
A. Kugel Yerushalayim is a favorite recipe of the Hasidim of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem. This is a very unique community and because it is so ultra-orthodox, many of the problems that arise between secular and religious Israelis originate in this place. Women have been attacked for being dressed immodestly and for acting improperly when visiting this neighborhood. Movie theaters have been vandalized for opening on Shabbat, and kiosks selling pulpy magazines and newspapers have been bombed. A discussion of Mea Shearim might explore the students’ values regarding whether a neighborhood has the right to dictate a moral code to anyone who visits it. Would they tolerate what they would consider immorality on the streets outside their homes? In neighborhoods in the United States, people have banded together to get rid of drug dealers on their streets. Where should the line be drawn between sensitivity for a person 's moral code and infringement of that moral code on another person's rights?
B. On the lighter side, how many different types of kugels are the students familiar with? What different kinds of ingredients could be added to a kugel to make it interesting?
C. One kugel is milchige and one pareve. To observe kashrut, it is necessary to have both kinds so that one can choose the appropriate type to accompany a meal. Discuss how a milchige kugel might be part of different dairy menus and how a pareve kugel might be part of different meat menus.
MATERIALS LIST FOR KUGELS
- 1-1b. fine egg noodles
- 1-lb. medium egg noodles
- 1/2 c. vegetable oil
- pepper mill with black peppercorns
- 2 dozen eggs
- 1 qt. milk
- 1 pt. sour cream
- small container creamed cottage cheese
- non-stick spray
- 1 foil lasagna pan
- 1 foil roaster pan
- 6 qt. dairy pot
- 8 qt. dairy pot
- 2 colanders
- large spoons
- measuring cups
- sample kugels - milchige and Yerushalayim
- serving knife
- aluminum foil
- dishwashing liquid
- paper plates
- plastic forks
FOR THE STUDENTS:
Lukschen kugel is a traditional Shabbat dinner dish and can be served either hot, or at room temperature. Milchige, or dairy lukschen kugel is second only to cheese blintzes as a favorite dish during Shavuot. Kugel Yerushalayim is a recipe that was excerpted from a chapter on foods to celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim. “This peppery kugel (a Yiddish word adopted into the Israeli vernacular) has become a trademark of the Hasidim in Mea Shearim—an ultra-Orthodox area of Jerusalem—and of nearby areas. In fact, preparation and distribution of the delicious noodle pudding are the means of support for a few of its older residents. Jerusalem kugel is served at many Israeli weddings and bar mitzvah celebrations, and even at state functions. The unusual recipe calls for caramelizing sugar in oil, to give the kugel a golden color and a subtly sweet taste that contrasts perfectly with the pepper.”10
- 1 lb. fine egg noodles
- 1/2 c. vegetable oil
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1 t. salt
- 3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- non-stick cooking spray
1. In an approximately 6-quart pot, cook the noodles in boiling water according to the package directions. Drain them in a colander. Then rinse them with cool water and let them drain very well.
2. Dry the pot well; then put the oil and sugar into it. Stir the sugar in the oil over medium-low heat (they will not actually combine) for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the sugar melts and caramelizes, and turns a dark golden brown—the color of caramel candy.
3. Immediately add all the well-drained noodles to the pot, while stirring them very well, so the oil and caramelized sugar are evenly distributed. If any of the sugar solidifies into chunks, continue stirring the noodles over medium-low heat until the sugar melts. Remove the noodles from the heat and stir in the salt and pepper. Then let the noodle mixture cool for 10 to 15 minutes or until it is lukewarm.
4. Stir the beaten eggs completely into the noodles. Then turn out the mixture into a lasagna size pan that has been sprayed well with non-stick cooking spray.
5. Bake the kugel in a preheated 325-degree oven for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours, or until the top is golden and very crisp. Let the kugel cool for about 5 minutes before cutting it.
- 1-lb. medium egg noodles
- 8 eggs
- 3 c. milk
- 1/2 pt. sour cream
- 3 T. creamed cottage cheese
- 1 c. sugar
1. In an approximately 6-qt. pot, cook the noodles in boiling water according to the package directions. Drain them in a colander. Then rinse them with cool water and let them drain very well.
2. While they are cooking, beat together the eggs, milk, sour cream, cottage cheese, and sugar.
3. Mix all ingredients together, and fold into a small roaster size pan which has been sprayed well with non-stick cooking spray.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 1-3/4 hours, or until the top is golden and very crisp. Let the kugel cool for about 5 minutes before cutting it.
10Text from Gloria Kaufer Greene, The Jewish Holiday Cookbook: An International Collection of Recipes and Customs (Published in the United States by Times Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto, 1985), p. 307.
11Ibid Recipe for Kugel Yerushalayim.