By Giora Shimoni
This uniquely-flavored savory kugel, of caramelized noodles spiced with black pepper, was brought to the city of Jerusalem by Eastern European Hasidic Jews in the eighteenth century. Thus the kugel is called Kugel Yerushalmi, which means Jerusalem Kugel. Kugel Yerushalmi is traditionally eaten after Sabbath morning prayer services - either for kiddish or lunch - along with cholent and pickles.
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 1 Tbsp. salt
- 3/4 Tbsp. black pepper
- 1 pound (400 grams) fine egg noodles
- 2/3 cup oil
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
Preparation:1. Grease a baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
3. In a pot, bring water, salt and pepper to a boil. Add noodles. Cover pot. Reduce flame to low. Cook until water is absorbed.
4. Your careful attention (be careful not to burn yourself) and patience (don't leave this unattended) is needed to make the caramel. Place oil and sugar in a light-colored (so you can see the color of the melting sugar), heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. Slowly the sugar will start to turn yellowish-brown and combine with the oil. If the sugar turns dark brown too quickly, turn the heat down. Stir until a bubbly, liquid caramel has formed. Then immediately pour caramel over cooked noodles and continue stirring until thoroughly blended.
5. Let cool for a few minutes. Then add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
6. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) until nicely browned.
7. When done, remove immediately from pan.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: This kugel can be served hot, warm or cold.
NOTE: This recipe got a poor review because someone had trouble making the caramel. I rewrote the caramel instructions above and tested the recipe again. It worked beautifully for me, and my son is enjoying a piece of the kugel right now. According to Bon Appétit Magazine, caramelizing sugar is "one of the trickiest techniques to master." It may take some practice to get the caramel to the right color (undercooked caramel has a weak flavor and overcooked caramel has a burnt flavor). But once you get the hang of it, making this kugel will be easy for you.