Friday, January 18, 2013

Lockshin Kigel

I've been trying to make Lokshin Kigel from about two years now with varying degrees of success and I think yesterday I finally nailed it. I'm posting it here because I need to write down my recipe while I can still remember what I did.

EDIT: It's two years since I first posted this and since then I've made some improvements which I'm updating below.

It turns out you can't find a recipe for lokshin kigel on the internet. If you google it, all you get is results for "lockshin kugel". Are there no other Galitzianers out there posting recipes? Is the Internet run by Litvaks? We'll see if I register in the Google search after I post this...

My problem with cooking is that I'm always improvising. My theory is that how far wrong can you go if you stick to good wholesome ingredients? So let me try and remember what I did...

They had cottage cheese on sale for 99 cents at the Food Fare last week. I wouldn't have normally bought it because it was diet (1%) but I figured...what the hell, for 99 cents how bad could it be? I can always make up the fat content by using lots of butter.

And that's what I did...about a third of a pound, and half again as much Crisco (melted together in the microwave). I had two apples that I chopped up and threw in. Salt and pepper (don't skimp on the pepper) and just over a quarter cup of sugar. (That was one scoopful, and I just tossed another scoop into the measuring cup so you readers would know how big my scoop is.) Four eggs, and that was my mix.

OK, that's way too much butter. I'm now cutting at most a one-inch slice off my pound of butter (even a bit less). Forget the Crisco too. And instead of apples, I'm using a whole can (540 grams) of pineapple tidbits. I cut them up a little, but don't use crushed pineapple - the bits are too small.

AND THIS IS IMPORTANT: I got my best kigel so far when I used one carton (500g) of dry curd cottage cheese mixed with half a carton of sour cream. You can really taste the sour cream when it's done.

I had a half-used bag of fettucini was a 900 gram bag to start with, and I'm guessing there must have been 5 or 6 hundred grams left over. So that's what I used.   A 450g package is just right.

I think that's it. I baked it for an hour at 350 50 minutes at 325 then turned down the heat and left it in the oven. Some of the noodles were a bit crunchy so you might want to cut that back 10 minutes or so, but I kind of like the jawbreakers. So unless I've forgotten something, there you have it.

And don't forget to grate in a generous portion of cheddar cheese.
I think we'll get back to the physics when we return.

EDIT: I knew I'd forget something! The marble cheddar. I had about 150, maybe 200 grams of marble cheddar in the fridge and I grated it into the mix.    I'm not sure there's such a thing as adding too much cheese.

Oh yeah, one more thing. About the cottage cheese. The reason it was 99 cents is that it was expired...what my Chinese wife calls "past the duty date". But what's five or six days to a tub of cottage cheese?


Anonymous said...

Fellow 'Galitzianer' here. We pronounced it 'kigel', but we always spelled it 'kugel': It was just understood. Anyhow, I'm a creative cook, and like to experiment, add , try this, try that...

I like to use ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese: it has a sweeter, richer flavour. And try brown sugar instead of white sugar. If you like raisins, you might like to add a 1/2 cup or so (soak them first for at least an hour).I also like to use the finely grated zest of a lemon, as well as 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. And it absolutely must have some sweet spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg.

Variations: If you are in the mood, try adding some cranberries. If you want something a little more exotic, try grating some fresh ginger (great with the apples) and adding rosewater instead of the vanilla. Cardamom adds a wonderful scent redolent of bazaars in warmer climes... You might want to experiment with apples and pears...or in warmer months, plums. Or, try mixing the apples with those jars of sour cherries.

Personally, I haven't used cheese with it... but I wouldn't use marble cheddar. Instead, I would try either gruyere or asiago or one of the British cheeses, like cheshire. or wensleydale.. or maybe even peppato (an Italian cheese heavily spiced with pepper). And good cheese makes a world of difference: Get them from a 'real' cheese place, like de Luca's, and not from the local supermarket.

Just some suggestions for you.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to say, instead of the actual cheese, what I add to the ricotta cheese is plain yoghurt. Most people would probably add sour cream, but I like the taste of yoghurt and usually have it on hand.

Also, I often add to the apples the juice of a 1/2 or a whole squeezed lemon (I previously mentioned the lemon zest, but not the lemon juice).) This give it a great 'veinedikke' taste.

This is a nice heimishe recipe for such a cold winter spell! I'll have to make it... (I can't put the accent stroke on the 'e' on 'heimishe').

Anonymous said...

You could try asking Chav (Ev) for her recipe!
Xoxo Rhon

JB said...

I tried to google kugel,
Now I want to giggle kigel.