Sweet Apple Noodle Kugel with Pickled Raisins


Sweet Apple Noodle Kugel with Pickled Raisins

Sweet noodle kugel is a traditional comfort food that I always look forward to, because the crispy, crunchy noodles on top are so delicious and fun to pick off. But noodle kugel deserves to be eaten in its entirety, and that’s where I decided to break with tradition (and my grandma’s recipe). Sweet kugel is typically made with canned or dried fruit- not the most popular ingredients. This version uses fresh, sautéed apples and (surprise!) raisins that are plumped and pickled in an apple cider vinegar solution. The raisins are flavor bombs that provide a slightly tangy balance that will keep you coming back for more. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the No Yolks® Noodles.

Sweet Apple Noodle Kugel with Pickled Raisins

To make this kugel, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook 12 ounces of No Yolks ® Broad Noodles for 8 minutes. While the water is heating, peel 3 apples, halve them, remove their cores, and cut them crosswise into 1/8 inch thick slices.

Sweet Apple Noodle Kugel with Pickled Raisins

At the same time, add 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, and a pinch of salt to a small pot. Put a lid on the pot, and bring the liquid to a boil. Then, turn off the heat, and allow the raisins to sit until you are ready to use them. During this time, they will plump and pickle.

Sweet Apple Noodle Kugel with Pickled Raisins

When the 8 minutes are up for cooking the noodles, pour them through a strainer and run cold water over them to stop them from cooking further. Give a noodle a taste- it should be smooth, firm, and delicious! Try to stop yourself from eating them all.

Sweet Apple Noodle Kugel with Pickled Raisins

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a saute pan, and add in your sliced apples, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and a sprinkling of salt. Cook the apples, tossing them occasionally, until they soften into a noodle-like state and are lightly caramelized. I know the butter takes this kugel into dairy territory for anyone who keeps kosher (unlike a traditional sweet kugel), but it’s just too delicious to omit.

Sweet Apple Noodle Kugel with Pickled Raisins

While the apples cook, preheat your oven to 350° F. In a very large bowl, whisk together 4 eggs, 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a dash of salt.

Sweet Apple Noodle Kugel with Pickled Raisins

Add the drained noodles and sauteed apples to the bowl. Drain the pickled raisins (don’t rinse them), and add them to the bowl too. Stir everything together so that it is evenly coated and combined.

Sweet Apple Noodle Kugel with Pickled Raisins

Lightly coat a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray, and pour the kugel mixture in evenly. Sprinkle the top of the kugel with 1 tablespoon of sugar for an added crunchy topping.

Sweet Apple Noodle Kugel with Pickled Raisins

Bake the kugel for 1 hour until it is golden brown on top and the noodles are crispy. Allow the kugel to cool for a few minutes before serving. Sprinkle some extra cinnamon on top of your slices for the prettiest presentation. Now tell me, what is your favorite traditional recipe that would be even better with a modern update? I would love to hear your ideas, and even better, each comment will automatically be entered to win a $100 Visa Gift card. And for more noodle ideas, try one of these family-favorite, comforting No Yolks® Noodle recipes.

Shopping list:

  • Apples- 3
  • Egg noodles- 12 ounces
  • Rasins- 1/2 cup
  • Apple cider vinegar- 1/2 cup
  • Butter- 4 tablespoons
  • Cinnamon- 1 teaspoon
  • Salt
  • Eggs- 4
  • Vegetable oil- 1/4 cup
  • Sugar- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon
  • Vanilla extract- 1 teaspoon

Tell us what your favorite comfort food is for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!

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Herb & Lou’s Infused Cubes

Herb & Lou's Infused Cubes

Cocktail hour has changed forever! But in my house, it’s more basic than that– now we have a daily cocktail hour! I am obsessed with these infused cocktail ice cubes, to the point that I pack them when I travel so I can share them with my friends. What makes them even better is that my sister’s boyfriend invented them, so I’ve had a behind-the-scenes look at their creation and development over the years. They are finally here, and the best part is, they’re f-ing delicious.

Herb & Lou's Infused Cubes

These cubes are a genius idea. They contain everything you need for a perfectly-balanced cocktail, except for the liquor. Add your own, shake or stir, and you end up with a really fancy drink that doesn’t require any other ingredients or effort to make. And the flavors are really sophisticated. The Cooper (named after my doggy nephew) has blood orange and ginger. Mixed with bourbon, you get a unique take on an Old Fashioned. The Cecile is probably my favorite, and it goes with tequila. I’ll tell you more about it below. The Clyde makes a very herbal, crystal clear vodka drink that has hints of peach and sage. I keep the boxes in my freezer so individual cubes are always ready for their higher calling.

Herb & Lou's Infused Cubes

Oh Cecile, I love you. She tastes like watermelon, with hints of cucumber, honey, and thyme. I think the mixture goes best with reposado tequila, the aged golden kind. All together, this cocktail has the perfect amount of mild sweetness that makes for a very smooth, crave-worthy drink. I usually make a small, 1-shot cocktail, but let’s go big here.

Herb & Lou's Infused Cubes

Get your cocktail shaker, and pour in 2 shots of tequila. Take 2 infused cubes out of the freezer, and drop them in. Shake until the cubes melt and the shaker gets frosty (the cubes melt REALLY fast- all part of the genius), and pour your cocktail into a glass. That’s it. You’re done. Drink and repeat!

Keep an eye out for Herb & Lou’s near you (or online)!

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Magnificent Meat Sauce: New and Improved

Magnificent Meat Sauce: New and Improved

Winter is a tough time for blogging, because the days are shorter, and food doesn’t look so great in photographs without sunlight. So I can either take pictures using a flash and hope that some really delicious recipes get the attention they deserve (like these ribs), or I can hold off and plan to remake a recipe on a sunnier day, with the risk that you might never learn about it (like a fantastic winter salad I haven’t gotten back to). This magnificent meat sauce recipe is a hybrid case. I originally posted it 2 years ago, amid short winter days, but it’s so delicious that it deserves to look as good as it tastes. Here it is again, with a few tweaks and a much prettier presentation.

Magnificent Meat Sauce: New and Improved

I love this recipe because it makes a big batch of sauce that can be used in a bunch of different ways. And leftovers keep perfectly in the freezer for a lazy day. To make it, heat a very large pot over medium-high heat. Into the hot pot, dump 3 pounds of ground beef. Use a spoon to break up the meat and stir it around, until it has mostly all browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the meat to a bowl, dump out all of the liquid that the meat released, and return the pot to the stove.

Magnificent Meat Sauce: New and Improved

While the meat cooks, small dice 1 onion and 1 seeded green pepper, and mince 3 garlic cloves. Drizzle some olive oil into the empty pot, and then add in the vegetables. Sweat the vegetables until they soften and turn translucent. Then, pour in 1/2 cup of white wine. Use your spoon to scrape up any bits of food that are stuck to the pot, and then let the wine cook off.

Magnificent Meat Sauce: New and Improved

To the pot, add a 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes, a large can or jar of marinara sauce (I think mine was 25 ounces), and 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. And now for the seasonings…sprinkle in 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 2 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Stir everything together.

Magnificent Meat Sauce: New and Improved

Add the browned meat into the pot of tomato sauce, and give it a good stir. Bring the sauce to a simmer, partially cover the pot, and let it cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Magnificent Meat Sauce: New and Improved

After the hour, add 3 tablespoons of minced fresh basil to the sauce, along with 1 parmesan cheese rind. Let the sauce simmer for 30 more minutes. Cook it with the lid on for a saucier sauce, off for a thicker sauce, or partially on for somewhere in between.

Magnificent Meat Sauce: New and Improved

While the sauce finishes cooking, boil some pasta according to its package’s instructions. Once the pasta is drained, return it to its pot, and stir in some of the meat sauce until it completely coats the pasta. Portion the pasta out into bowls, and top it with some fresh basil and fresh parmesan cheese. Enjoy the comfort, beauty, and versatility of this meal (use on sandwiches or pizza too!).

This recipe is adapted from the Pioneer Woman.

Shopping list:

  • Ground beef- 3 pounds
  • Onion- 1
  • Green pepper- 1
  • Garlic- 3 cloves
  • White wine- 1/2 cup
  • Crushed tomatoes- 28 ounces
  • Marinara sauce- 25 ounces
  • Tomato paste- 2 tablespoons
  • Dried thyme- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Dried basil- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Red pepper flakes- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Bay leaf- 2
  • Sugar- 1 tablespoon
  • Kosher salt- 1 teaspoon
  • Fresh basil- 3 tablespoons+
  • Parmesan cheese rind- 1 + cheese for topping
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