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The Perfect Kugel

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Shavuot, a major festival, comes exactly 50 days after Passover. It commemorates the giving and the receiving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai.

Many reasons are given for the universal custom of eating dairy foods on this holiday. The holiday also marks the arrival of spring, and in biblical times, the harvest of the first fruits.

Dairy-type kugels are remarkably diverse. They can be served as an accompaniment to a fish entree, as a dessert, a snack, a casserole main dish or wrapped up and tucked into a lunch bag or box.

Kugels can be eaten hot from the oven, warm from the cooling rack or at room temperature. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week or can be frozen. They should be reheated thoroughly before serving.

The following recipes can be modified to suit dietary needs. Yolkless noodles are available, and sugar substitutes or reduction of sugar all work well in these recipes. Flavor enhancers such an cinnamon and vanilla are helpful. Skim milk; low-fat or no-fat sour cream, cottage cheese and cream cheese; commercial egg substitutes or the replacement of 1 egg with 2 egg whites can be used as needed. – Traditional Kugel 1 16-ounce package broad egg noodles 1/4 1b. butter or margarine, melted 1 cup sour cream 1 cup small curd cottage cheese, drained 4-6 eggs, lightly beaten 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1/4 teaspoon white pepper.

Cook noodles uncovered in boiling water for 7 minutes or until tender. Place in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop cooking action. Drain well.

Combine all ingredients until well blended; do not overbeat. Add noodles and place in a well-oiled 9-by-13 inch casserole dish.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 4445 minutes or until it feels firm and top is lightly browned. -Kugel Souffle 8 ounces lasagna noodles 4 large eggs 1 cup small curd cottage cheese 1 cup sour cream 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted 1 1/2 cups milk 1 teaspoon vanilla 3/4 cup white raisins streusel (recipe follows)

Cook noodles in boiling water, uncovered, until tender.

Beat eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, butter, milk and vanilla together until well blended. Pour about I cup of this mixture into the bottom of a well oiled 2 to 2 1/2 quart baking dish. Top with 1/444 of the boodles and sprinkle with 1/4 of the raisins. Continue to layer these ingredients until all are used. Cover and chill overnight.

Sprinkle streusel evenly over the noodles.

Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven until firm in center, which takes about 1 hour. – Streusel: 1/2 cup flour 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/8 1b. cold butter

Using fingers, rub cold butter into all ingredients until coarse crumbs from. Cover and chill until needed. – Noodle Kugel Bundt 1/4 cup melted butter or margarine 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts 4 eggs or 1 cup egg substitute, beaten 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 cup sugar 1 cup non-fat yogurt 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce 12 ounces yolk-free noodles, cooked and drained

Pour melted butter into the bottom of a 12-cup bundt or tube pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar and nuts.

In a large bowl, blend all ingredients, except noodles. Add drained noodles and mix well. Pour into pan, spreading evenly.

Bake in a 350 degree over for 1 hour or until lightly browned. Remove from oven, turn upside-down on platter and serve.

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