Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Tradition

In the past week or so, I've read several stories about nontraditional Thanksgiving side dishes (sauerkraut, pickles) that remind me of my own childhood Thanksgivings. The first time he came to my mother's house for dinner, my husband was horrified that our holiday vegetables came from a jar, but that's just the way we did things! Now, I have Thanksgiving dinner at my own house, and we're a little more flexible and inclusive with the menu planning, preparing sauteed green beans one year and roasted Brussels sprouts the next. One thing is always the same, however. Along with the stuffing (this year it is made with corn bread, fennel, dates, and nuts), we serve this savory noodle kugel to give our dinner just a little Eastern European flavor:

Savory Noodle Kugel
Serves 12 as a side dish

The key to this dish is cooking the onions low and slow, so they are caramelized but not burnt.

1 pound dried egg noodles
3/4 cup vegetable oil
6 medium onions, finely chopped
Ground black pepper
4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the noodles until almost tender. Drain the pasta, transfer to a large bowl, and toss with 2 tablespoons oil.
2. Heat the remaining 10 tablespoons oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and cook over medium-low until they are deep golden, 40 to 50 minutes. Stir in 2 teaspoons salt and pepper to taste.
3. Stir the onions and eggs into the noodles. Turn the mixture into the baking dish. Bake until the noodles on the surface are golden and crispy, about 35 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

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