Sunday, December 10, 2006

"prairie" kugel

i call this a prairie kugel. why? because i associate the main star of the show with the prairies of canada and a particular manitoban friend of mine. i came up with this kugel [based on another recipe] when i was overloaded with an abundance of this vegetable a few years back.

no, it's not a potato.

[for those who have no idea what in the world a kugel {koo-gull} is .... well, it is best described as a baked casserole [sidedish] usually involving a vegetable of some sort held together by the addition of eggs. it can also involve egg noodles, where it is called a noodle or lokshen kugel. kugels can be both savoury or sweet and are omnipresent at any jewish (traditional) meal. it is a typical sabbath and holiday addition to any menu.] to read more about what it is, look here.

so who is this star of the show, you ask? the lowly rutabaga, otherwise known as swede. we never call it that however.

did you know there is a whole controversy [more like confusion] as a rutabaga is not a turnip and vice verse? shocking, isn't it? enough to make your head spin. lol.

Brassica napus Napobrassica group (rutabagas) are closely related to cole crops and were an interspecies hybrid bred in Switzerland (summer turnip x winter white cabbage). The rutabaga was introduced into England about the end of the 18th century and was called the turnip rooted cabbage. Both white and yellow fleshed cultivars exist. The rutabaga root consists of both true root and true stem. The upper portion of the stem forms a neck. This neck distinguishes rutabagas from turnips. Rutabaga is a Norwegian term for a "Swede'' turnip.

quoted from atlantic vegetable production

i am talking about the yellow fleshed kind, not the white and these are what you will need for the following sidedish. it is a very light kugel and really is very good. it also always disappears fast when i serve it. i think it would make a perfect addition alongside the brisket for one of the nights for the upcoming holiday of hanukkah.

rutabaga [prairie] kugel
(and yeah, yeah.... i know it grows all over canada).


enough rutabagas for 4 cups mashed
[1 very large one* will give ~ 1 c. mashed turnip]

well salted water for boiling the rutabagas

4 eggs
1/3 c + 2 tbsp matzo meal or dry bread crumbs
2 tsp fine sea salt
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 - 2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 c apple sauce [i use the (115 g) mini snack containers]
1/8 tsp cinnamon [don't omit!]

2 tbsp margarine
1/2 c ground cornflakes cereal, optional


peel (*very large = large fist sized) rutabagas and cut into small chunks. cook in boiling well-salted water until very soft and cooked through. drain.

mash well with a potato masher, leaving very small chunks. it does not need to be totally smooth.

preheat oven to 375 F.

put the 2 tbsp of margarine in an 8 x 8 pyrex or similar dish. place this in the oven 10 minutes before you are ready to put the puree in the dish. the margarine needs to melt and the pyrex needs to get hot.

while the pryex is heating, put the mashed turnip in a large bowl. add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and with a large spoon put the mixture into the dish. sprinkle the top with extra salt and pepper and dust with paprika. sometimes i will spread the ground cornflakes evenly on the bottom of the dish and try to coat the sides of the pyrex before adding the kugel mixture and returning it to bake. this adds an extra dimension to the finished baked dish.

return to the oven and bake for about an hour or until it is browning and pulling away from the sides of the dish.

enjoy while warm. best eaten the day it is made but still tastes fine over the next few days. reheat in oven, not microwave to keep it crispy. you can, however, microwave it with no damage.



Pammie said...

Hi Burekaboy,

Gotta say I was dubious when I took a look at the rutabega, but the photograph of the kugel in the casserole dish out of the oven looks very very nice!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Mmmmhhh, this Kugel looks delicious!

As a matter of fact, tomorrow, I will also post a Kugel recipe (potato)...

burekaboy — said...

pam - hehe, i know. i always expect that response with this dish however much of the time people really end up liking it alot. admittedly, it was never one of my faves previously but i have come to like it much more over the years. it's one of those love/hate vegetables, i think. it works very well in this preparation surprisingly and doesn't taste too "turnipy" at all.

rosa - thanks! will be sure to check out what you post. potato kugel is one of my favourites.

beenzzz said...

You know, I don't think I've ever tried rutabaga. Isn't that weird? Anyway, this kugel recipe looks really good!

annie said...

I have always been a fan of turnips, and I know rutabagas are of the same family. But, I have never tried rutabagas...maybe this is my big chance.

PS/ I tried to comment yesterday, but I couldn't get the comment box to open up enough to see the whole word verivication. Weird, huh. Now today, the comment page takes up the whole screen!

Pammie said...

Hi Burekaboy,

Do you know that the whole turnip thing managed to pass me by somehow. I don't think we ever had them as kids, and I have certainly never bought one. I have bought a parsnip or two though for roasting with potatoes. But I went to a Robert Burns night once in the UK, and one of the traditional dishes they serve is mashed tatties and neeps (potatoes and turnips), and they were pretty nice. In fact the haggis was pretty decent too, bizarrely, and you really don't wanna know what's in there! I am a pretty picky eater, to be honest, and reckon that there are better sources of protein these days (ie, fish and the major muscle groups from commonly domesticated farm animals!), and we can all move on from war ration fare...I have never bought a cabbage either..

burekaboy — said...

beenzzz - it's one of those vegetables that people either love or hate. i have come to really like it over the years. i wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole as a kid.

annie - you know, i don't think there is much of a difference in taste between the two. rutabagas are just bigger and yellow fleshed.

pammie - i love my root vegetables. roasted is best! lol, tatties & neeps .... how uk'ish is that?? i have never really had much typical brit/scottish/irish fare. it is hearty food. i shall pass on the haggis, thank you very much. canada has many ties to this type of food especially out in the maritimes. now run and buy yourself an organic rutabaga from granville island!!

Ostara said...

Mmmmm, another great recipe burekaboy. Your prairie kugel is good! I would never have thought to use cinnamon with rutabaga but what a lovely blend of flavours it makes. This recipe is sure to convert a lot of turnip-haters. Try it, you'll like it! (Now if only we could convince a few of those Icelandic elves to peel and chop the neeps!)

burekaboy — said...

hi ostara! - wow, soon i'm going to have to start paying you promotional fees! thank you for trying it and giving me feedback. more than happy to hear you liked it. i, too, have found many a turnip hater (after FORCING them to try!) to no longer "turnip" their nose after they tried it. isn't the cinnamon great in it? i love it. so, again, thanks a lot. ps. i'm sure it would be good to serve at christmas also for one of the meals, perhaps along with the turkey. ps. maybe sam and jazz will lend a paw and beak in peeling next time around!