Festive Noodle Kugel

Ingredients:
12 oz Egg Noodles
8 oz Cream Cheese
8 oz Sour Cream
8 oz Ricotta Cheese
4 Eggs
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Mace
1/2 tsp Salt
3-4 cups Graham Crackers, crushed
1/2 – 1 cup Raisins (optional)
Water for Boiling
Pinch of Salt for Water

Directions:

  • Bring Water to a Boil and add Salt and Egg Noodles. Cook till al dente. They will cook much quicker than regular pasta, so don’t leave it unattended.
  • Drain the Noodles, and set aside.
  • Preheat Oven to 350°F.
  • Divide the Graham Cracker crumbs and sprinkle on the bottom of a casserole dish (9″ x 13″ approximately).
  • In a large bowl combine the Dairy, Eggs, and Spices (and Raisins if using them). Mix well.
  • Fold in the Noodles.
  • Pour mixture (think scoop) into the Casserole dish, and even it out with a spatula.
  • Sprinkle with remaining Graham Cracker Crumbs.
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes.

Makes 6-8 servings.

NOTES: This Central European Jewish dish is traditionally served at Hanukkah, though it can be served throughout the year as a festive pudding/custard. I first learned this dish when I found evidence that a section of my family was Ashkenazim and had converted to Catholicism in the 1800s.

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Mustard Green Gratin

Ingredients:Vegetarian
3 lg bunches of Mustard Greens, cleaned, and de-ribbed.
16 oz Ricotta Cheese
1 Tbsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 tsp Salt
1 small Yellow Onion, diced
2 cups Crimini Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (“button” is fine too)
2 cloves Garlic, diced
2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Directions:

  • In a large roasting pan, add Olive Oil, and Onions.
  • Place on two burners, on low heat and saute the Onions until translucent.
  • Add Mushrooms, Garlic and Mustard Greens. Mustard Greens will cook down.
  • Add the Crushed Red Pepper and Salt. Continue to cook down.
  • Preheat Oven to 350°F.
  • When all greens are cooked down, take off heat.
  • Mix in Ricotta Cheese, and pour into a baking dish.
  • Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

NOTE: Regarding the Mushrooms. Button Mushrooms (a.k.a. Table Mushrooms) develop into Crimini Mushrooms (a.k.a baby bellas), which in turn develop into Portabello Mushrooms. The name refers to the cultivation stage of the Mushroom Agaricus bisporus. For this recipe, use Button or Crimini, although you can use Portabello if you want.