At last! It's Friday! Another hectic week is wrapping up! And like you probably are, I'm looking ahead to the holidays too--perusing recipes, planning menus, griping...No, really I'm looking forward to them--it's just been so busy lately and if the weather doesn't warm up soon, somebody is going to get hurt!! But warm weather or not, Passover and Easter are rapidly approaching and no matter which one you celebrate, chances are you are going to need some sort of carb-loaded side dish. That's why I was so happy to find this wonderful potato kugel recipe I clipped out of an old Food & Wine Magazine issue. It's super-duper addictively delicious! And, and this is a biggie, it can be made a day ahead and reheated! Hallelujah!!
Are you familiar with Food & Wine? It's one of my favorite cooking/lifestyle magazines and is filled with terrific accessible recipes. The magazine has been in circulation since 1978 which is a huge feat considering the fate of print today, and now also has a large online presence with foodandwine.com. Some of my favorite recipes over the years have come right from F & W and this one is no exception. It's like a giant baked potato pancake-crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, full of onion and potato flavor and appropriately decadent and greasy. A real once-in-a-while treat!
You start by slicing up a bunch of shallots and frying them up until they're brown and crispy. Meanwhile, you grate the potatoes, squeeze as much water as possible out of them, and then mix them with grated onion, potato starch, some spices, eggs, olive oil, boiling water and of course, those fried shallots.
Now, if you were making potato pancakes, you'd have to spend the next hour frying up little patties, but here all you do is divide the mixture between two casserole dishes and bake them. Once they're done, you just place them under the broiler for a couple of minutes so that you get the tops really crispy. That's it! People go nuts for this! I highly doubt you'll have any leftovers, but if you do, it also reheats really well.
So enjoy some great "Food and Wine" if you get the chance and have a great weekend!
F & W's Potato Kugel with Fried Shallots-Famous Fridays
Makes 10-12 servings
Prep Time: 45 minutes: Bake Time: About 1 hour
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large shallots, sliced thinly
- 5 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and grated
- 1 large yellow onion, grated
- 1/3 cup potato starch
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 5 large eggs, plus 2 additional egg yolks, beaten
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup boiling water
1. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Heat vegetable oil in a medium skillet over high heat until shimmering and then add shallots, stirring every now and then, until golden and crisp, for about 6 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to drain the shallots and transfer them to a plate. Reserve the oil.
2. Working over the sink, squeeze as much water as possible out of the grated potatoes by handfuls, and place them in a large bowl. Add in the grated onion, potato starch, salt and pepper, and stir well to mix. Then add in the eggs, olive oil and boiling water and mix well. Add in the fried shallots and mix to combine.
3. Take two 8x11 or 9x13 oven-safe baking dishes and place 2 tablespoons of the reserved shallot oil in them. Place the pans into the hot oven for about 5-7 minutes until the oil is smoking. Then remove from oven carefully (pans are very hot and oil will be sizzling) and divide the potato mixture evenly between them, smoothing the tops. Bake for 20 minutes at 450º F and then lower the temperature to 375ºF and cook for another 30-40 minutes until golden and crisp.
4. Turn on the broiler and place one pan at a time as close as possible to the heat for a few minutes so that the tops get all crispy and browned. Remove from the oven and let stand for about 20 minutes before serving if you want it to cut neatly. Otherwise, just dig in!
5. I haven't ever made this in one big pan before because I actually like to have two pans which I can put at opposite ends of the table at a big family dinner, but I suspect that it would also do well cooked in a large pan, though you might have to adjust the baking time and cook for longer at a lower temperature.
6. If you want to make this the day before, prepare it, bake it, let it cool and refrigerate it overnight. Take it out an hour before to come to room temperature and then reheat it in a 375ºF oven till hot.
7. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
Note: Recipe adapted from an old issue of Food & Wine Magazine. I left out the nutmeg and grated the potatoes rather than shredding them.