September 27, 2017

Broccoli Kugel

Cartoonists and animators hate broccoli.
Probably because they're dead inside
There's a traditional dish amongst many Jews called Kugel. The word comes from a dialect of German in the middle ages, and roughly translates to "ball." This has absolutely nothing to do with what the dish is. Kugel, at least nowadays, is essentially a casserole or a cooked pudding made out of either noodles or vegetables. It's usually savory, but sweet variants have been known to exist that often involve raisins and other crimes agains humanity. So, you know, totally like a ball? If you talk to historians or linguists they'll tell you something along the lines of the original kugels back in the day probably had a rounded shape which is why they were named that. Being a historian or a linguist sounds like a boring job, so I'll forgive them for obviously being drunk.


3 lb. Broccoli (You can totally use frozen bags of broccoli for this, but if you want to use fresh just cook the broccoli first. There are instructions, along with a recipe for an insanely good soup, here)
4 Eggs
4 TBSP Potato Starch
3 TBSP Mayo
3 TBSP Onion Soup Mix (If you don't like using mixes like this, you can make your own out of dried onion, onion powder, celery salt, dried parsley, garlic powder, and black pepper. Which is pretty much what's in the mix anyway, so cancel that feeling of accomplishment you had planned)
3 TBSP Vegetable Oil
1 Onion
Black Pepper

The first thing you're going to want to do is make some friends and invite them over for a meal. Partially because like most traditional recipes with a long history, kugel is best served amongst friends and family at a cheerful meal. And partially because this is going to make 2 pans of kugel, and you don't want to be that weird guy who eats three pounds of broccoli on his own and then has to shamefully avoid making eye contact with the cashier the next day when he has to buy more broccoli from the store (And don't even start about how it's a big store, and you'll probably get a different cashier. You could go shopping in a different time zone and you'd somehow end up with the same cashier). Now it's time to deal with your broccoli. Depending on your level of manliness and/or masochism, use either a food processor, a potato masher, several knives and forks, or your bare hands to reduce your broccoli into tiny pieces or goop. Bonus points if you use a food processor, but only the outside of it which you then smash down on your broccoli like a caveman. Bonus points are redeemable in the form of tiny shards of plastic in your food. Then add in your eggs, potato starch, mayo, soup mix, and oil, and stir until the whole thing is homogenous. Add in salt and pepper to taste (unless you enjoy tiny salmon swimming through your blood to their ancestral spawning grounds, I wouldn't actually swallow the raw eggs here, but follow your heart), then split that goop into two round 9-inch pans and bake it at 350 for about 45 minutes.

Insane amount of food made courtesy of Jewish Holidays
Jewish Holidays: like Thanksgiving, but WAY more often.
While your kugels are in the oven, it's time to make your house smell awesome for the benefit of those largely imaginary friends you invited over who've had nothing to do for a while but stare at you abusing some broccoli. So take your onion and choppity chop chop it into tiny pieces and then sauté it with some oil and kosher salt until it turns a nice deep shade of brown. The key to browning onions is patience. Don't constantly stir them. Let them sit in the hot pan, legitimately longer than you think you should. Like, just on the cusp of so long that you'd be concerned that they're burning. Willingness to burn your house down is also key for browning onions. Anyhow, once your kugels are out of the oven, sprinkle your browned onions over the top of them to add an extra dash of insane deliciousness to a dish that can, even on it's own, be described as "an awful lot of broccoli, even considering its name." And that's all there is to it. You've got a delicious view into food from the middle ages that didn't even end with you getting dysentery. I call that a win.

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