Cozy Potato-Carrot Kugel
- Prep time 35 minutes
- Cook time 1 hour
- Serves 6 to 8
Kugel is a beloved dish in the Ashkenazi Jewish tradition. Sometimes sweet, the casserole is typically a mixture of egg noodles, eggs, and spices; but potato kugels often make an appearance during Passover, when one would avoid cooked wheat-based noodles. I think potato kugel is actually far superior to noodle kugel anyway: picture a big baked latke, but thicker with a creamy interior. Plus, potatoes are an ideal bang-for-buck ingredient: they’re cheap, filling, and oh-so satisfying. What could be wrong?
This potato kugel recipe (which is part of a budget-conscious Passover menu) is made with sweet potato and carrot ($2.29) in addition to the traditional russets, onion, and egg ($6.10), to bring to mind another Ashkenazi favorite, tzimmes. Typically served on Passover and Rosh Hashanah, tzimmes is a dish of stewed or roasted root vegetables, typically carrots and sweet potatoes, with warm spices and dried fruit. In this potato kugel, we’ll borrow tzimmes’s root veg (and cinnamon, if you’d like) for a slightly sweet slant on the classic.
The kugel can be made up to 24 hours in advance of serving (after 2 hours at room temperature, cover and chill) and reheated, covered, in a 350ºF oven until warmed through. —Rebecca Firkser
Test Kitchen Notes
$25 Passover Menu
Brisket-Braised Beans & Portobellos
Cozy Potato-Carrot Kugel
Tangy Romaine With Cucumber & Horseradish
Permission to Not Make Dessert
Nickel & Dine is a budget column by Rebecca Firkser, assigning editor at Food52. Rebecca usually shares an easy, flavor-packed recipe that feeds four for $10 or less—this is a special edition: a $25 Passover for six or eight. —The Editors
2 1/2 pounds
(about 4 medium) russet potatoes, scrubbed
(about 2 medium) sweet potatoes, scrubbed
(about 5 medium) carrots, scrubbed
yellow onion (about 1 large), halved and peeled
cornstarch or potato starch
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
ground cinnamon (optional)
extra-virgin olive or vegetable oil, divided
Flaky sea salt, for serving
Sour cream and freshly chopped dill or chives, for serving (optional)
- Heat the oven to 400°F. Use a box grater or the coarse grating attachment on a food processor to grate the potatoes, carrots, and onion.
- Transfer the potato mixture into a large colander. Season with a couple big pinches of kosher salt, then let sit for 10 minutes. Transfer one-third of the potato mixture to a clean kitchen towel placed in a small bowl. Gather the edges of the towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you possibly can from the vegetables into the small bowl, then place the squeezed potato mixture into a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining two-thirds of the potato mixture. Let the squeezed liquid sit in the bowl for 5 minutes, then gently dump out the water from the bowl, but make sure to leave any milky white potato starch that’s accumulated in the bottom of the bowl.
- Transfer any potato starch from the small bowl to the large bowl, along with the cornstarch, 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, lots of black pepper, cinnamon if using, the eggs, and 3 tablespoons of the oil. Use your hands to combine.
- Heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil in a 12- or 13-inch cast-iron skillet on the stove over high heat until it starts to ripple and smoke. Immediately scrape in the kugel mixture, evenly pressing it into the pan but not tightly packing. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 10 minutes, rotating the pan a few times through to ensure even browning. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil over the kugel. Turn off the heat.
- Transfer the kugel to the oven and bake until firm to the touch and deeply browned on the edges, 55 to 65 minutes (the larger the skillet, the shorter the cook time). Turn on the broiler to high and cook until crispy on top, 2 to 4 minutes, keeping a close eye to make sure it doesn’t burn. Remove from the oven and let cool until warm or room temperature.
- To serve, shower with flaky salt, then slice into wedges, and serve directly from the skillet, with sour cream or herbs if using. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
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