Potato Kugel – Kosher Link up


So I’ll go out on a limb here, and let you all know, that I’m pretty much a pro at potato kugel. I know that’s a pretty brash statement right there, but I’ve been making potato kugel since I was about 13 years old. It was really the first step into my decent of food madness. However, it’s been 2 plus years on this here blog, and not one mention of potato kugel? No recipe? Nothing!? Well for some reason, my potato kugel is very hard to give over. I never had a recipe, and kind of am at the point where I make the kugel by feel. So why the change of heart? Why am I all of a sudden writing up a post on potato kugel? Well to be honest, this month’s kosher LinkUp theme is root vegetables, and I’ve been super busy lately, and really haven’t had the time to take pictures and write up a post, so I figured, I’d be making the potato kugel anyway for Shabbos, so like everything else in my life, I’d be able to kill two birds with one stone, and half ass it, awesome! I can already hear you in the background rolling your eyes, but fear not, I’ll be back with some quality posts once I can get my life in order…so in like 15 years give or take.

One of the nice things about not being consistent when making kugel, is that every week is a surprise as to how it will come out. Will it be too salty? Too garlicky? (which as my Hungarian compadres will know, is not really a thing) Too peppery? You get the gist. And another thing is, over the years I’ve tried different things. Different ingredients, different techniques, etc, but one thing that hasn’t changed – I grate the potatoes by hand. Yeah, call me old fashioned, but I can tell the difference between a potato kugel made by hand, and one made by machine. Now that’s not to say if it’s made by machine it won’t be good, but here at casa del Fogel we like our potato kugel to be just slightly chunky, not like a puree, and there’s no way you can get that with a machine.

All right, so let’s start with some potatoes shall we? I like to peel them and to prevent them from browning I keep them submerged in water. If I have my act together (which if you haven’t caught on yet, is never) I would actually put it in the fridge over night, because that’s how Bobby (ie – my grandmother) did it, and it also makes sense, a colder potato takes longer to brown, and while a browned potato will still make a good potato kugel, it’s still something I try to avoid.


Next thing up is the grater. Of course you can’t just use a normal box grater because that would just be too normal, you have to use one of these types of graters, which you can only buy from an old women on the side of the road somewhere in rural Hungary. This is the grater I’ve used every time (well almost, more on that in a bit) for the 16 plus years I’ve been making it.


So grate your potatoes (which by the way, would be a great idiom…I’m not sure for what, but I can totally imagine someone saying: “..and by the way, don’t forget to grate your potatoes”…it has a nice ring to it…but I digress) and you really want to work fast here (so it doesn’t brown), which can be a little tricky if it’s your first attempt at using one of those graters.


Look at that consistency, it’s not too mushy, not too chunky…just right

To be honest, up until recently I used garlic and onion powder, because that’s how Bobby does it, but the good food maniac (I’m trying to think of another word other than foodie, which I hate) I am, just couldn’t let it continue. So I grate an onion, and mince some fresh garlic in there, and it’s really stepped up the kugel in the past few months. However, another thing the onion might do is since it’s acidic, it prevents the potatoes from browning also, but that’s just an educated guess on my part.


Now for the piece de resistance. Before I start grating, I pre-heat the oven, and put the pan in there with some oil. I let it heat up, and when I’m done with all the grating, and adding my salt and pepper, I take the scalding hot oil out of the oven, and pour it over the spices (I make sure the pepper and garlic are on top), which allows them to bloom, and it sizzles, so that’s pretty awesome. Once that’s all mixed, I add my eggs. It’s hard to tell you how many eggs because most of the time I’m not sure myself. I would tell you 1 egg per pound of potato, but that’s not a hard fast rule. Eggs will help bind everything, and keep it more solid, but it will also add to the browning of the crust (as will the oil).


Anyway, I cook the potato kugel at 350 degrees until it’s ready, about 1.5-2 hours, depending on size, and type of pan you use, but you’ll know it’s ready when your house smells like Shabbos, and there’s a nice brown crust on the top. My favorite type of pan for the kugel is a glazed ceramic souffle pan, which gives a lot of interior, and makes a nice crust (because of the heat retention capabilities of the ceramic), but it is a little big for just the wife and I.


That’s pretty much all I’ve got for now. Oh, one more thing – I did mention that I would mention something about using the grater every time. Well to be perfectly honest, one acceptable alternative in our family is the Braun Food processor, using the “e” blade. I’ve used it if I was making a whole lot of potato kugels (like the 6 pans that I made for Daniella’s kiddush). But to be really honest, it’s good, but it’s just not the same.

Now for all of you not convinced, I openly invite/challenge you to come by any Shabbos and taste my kugel, and tell me that you can’t taste the difference. Now that’s brash right there.

As like last time – this is all part of the Kosher Connection LinkUp, with the theme of Root vegetables, and since I know you want to check out what other slightly more normal people have to say about that topic, and since you probably want something just a little more exciting than plain ole’ potato kugel, click on that little frog mentschey (man, I cannot tell you how long I’ve wanted to use the word mentschey in a post…normally mentschey is strictly used for lego men, but we’ve extended it to this guy…it’s a pretty great day)…so go ahead click on it.

Potato Kugel

We’ll assume you’re making kugel for a standar d Shabbos meal, for like 6-8 people, but you can obviously scale the recipe up/down for your needs


  • Potatoes (2.5 pounds), peeled
  • 3-4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 small-medium onion
  • 2 tablespoons salt (total guess on that one)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper (also a guess, and for the love of all that’s sacred, use freshly grated black pepper, it’s really not that hard to find, and unless you like the taste of saw dust, it really makes a difference)
  • 3 eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350, and when oven’s hot, add your oil to your pan, and heat up in the oven
  2. Peel potatoes, and place in water (if you want to do this the night before, place potatoes in fridge, in water)
  3. Grate potatoes and onions. Add salt, minced garlic, and pepper (making sure the pepper and garlic are on top)
  4. Being careful not to burn yourself (my lawyers told me I had to say that), pour oil over top of the potato mixture, let it sizzle, and mix it through
  5. Once cooled, add your eggs, and mix until incorporated
  6. Add to pan (if the pan has good heat retention [like a ceramic one, and not like an aluminum one] you should start to hear the kugel sizzle as it hits the pan).
  7. Bake for about 1.5-2 hours, or until it’s nice and brown and delicious (well maybe wait a little to decide for yourself how delicious it is, because it’s probably going to be hot)

Leek Fritters


I was trying to figure out a way to incorporate some of simanim into our meal for Rosh Hashanah, and got this idea from Pragmatic Attack, another kosher blog, and also a Jets fan, although I don’t know if that’s something we want to bring up nowadays…sigh…All right, back to food…at least food doesn’t lose to the Ravens, while I’m constantly surrounded by these annoying Ravens fans…but I digress.


I really wanted to call this post “allium fritters” because I basically had an allium family reunion in the pot with this one, but I didn’t…good story huh? You see, when I saw the idea for leek fritters, I thought to myself, why stop at leeks? Let’s go with total allium domination. Alliums are a family of plants that include: onions, shallots, leeks, scallions, and garlic among other stuff, so I figured let’s combine it all together, and make the craziest fritter ever…and you know what I did? Just that.

First a word from out sponsor – Mr Leek. Leeks have that oniony taste, but a little more mild, but did you ever notice every recipe that you ever see with leeks calls for them to be rinsed clean? Well the reason is, as leeks grow, the farmer continuously kicks dirt over it to cover more of it (called “hilling”), so the dirt gets in between the layers.


That’s also why the top half or so is greener than the bottom half, because sun produces chlorophyll, which is green and bitter for that matter, and why we discard that half of the leek, and, full circle, why mr farmer kicks dirt on the leek to cover it. Huray for science!

Anyway, start by cutting up your alliums (are you sick of that word yet? because I am), and sautee the leeks, onion, and shallots in the oil until they’re translucent and tender, about 5 minutes.


Then add the minced garlic, and cook for another minute. Remove the whole shebang from the heat, and allow to cool. At the last minute, I decided the scallions would be better off raw, and not sauteed, so I combined it with the cooked onions.


Then added flour, salt, black and white pepper, to taste, and added the eggs, and mixed it all together.


I then heated up some oil in a skillet, and dropped in spoon fulls of the batter to cook them…kind of like latkes. I fried them for about 2 minutes per side, and allowed them to drain on a paper towel lined plate.

Until next time.

Leek (Allium) Fritters

adapted from Pragmatic Attack


  • About 1 pound of mixed alliums (geez! enough) – leeks, onions, shallots, scallions, garlic
  • Vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 eggs, beaten


  1. Chop up your veggies, and heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat, and sautee the leeks, onions, and shallots, until they become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, and sautee for another minute.
  2. Remove from fire, and add them all to a bowl, and allow to cool, and add the chopped scallions.
  3. When cool, combine flour, salt, and white and black pepper adjusting seasoning to taste, and add eggs, and mix to combine.
  4. Heat up about 1/3-2/3 cups of oil in a skillet over medium-low heat, and drop in the batter by the spoon full and fry for about 2 minutes per side.
  5. Drain on a paper towel lined plate.

Sweet and Sour Chicken


You know those people that always have to say things like: Oh the movie was great, but the book was so much better? Don’t you hate those people? Well I do too, but sadly I’m one of them. I mean just the other day, I made these seriously awesome sweet and sour chicken, you know the chinese takeout type of sweet and sour chicken? and man they were awesome, and like nothing I’ve ever tasted before…they were so much better than store bought…You see? I said it, look what I’ve become…Help me.

Anyway, what can I say, I said it, and I meant it (right Ambinders?), these little morsels of chickeny sweet goodness are awesome, and worth the time it takes to make it.

Let’s get something out of the way first. These here morsels were fried, and yes the dreaded “deep” type of frying. I understand some of you may have aversions or allergic reactions to fried foods, and I want to assure you, I’ll make sure we’ll have some weight watcher bars for you when you’re over next time for our monthly “fried stuff n’ cheese” party.

Onward! Mush!

Mix together some soy sauce, rice vinegar, and cornstarch. Then Grab a hold of your chicken, and cut them in to bite size pieces, and toss them in to the cornstarch mixture, and let it sit for 30-60 minutes.


Then put a whole bunch of oil in a dutch oven, or any heavy pot, and heat it up to 375 degrees.


A good two to three inches should do the trick.

While it’s heating up, make the batter. The batter is very thick and pasty, but that’s normal. Combine egg whites, canola oil and water, and whisk until it all together. Then combine flour, cornstach, salt, and baking soda together, and then combine the flour and egg white mixture, until it’s uniform and pasty. Add the chicken, and toss to combine.

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When the oil is ready, drop in the chicken a few at a time, and cook for 2-3 minutes, moving them around while they cook with a spider or slotted spoon to make sure they don’t clump all together.


When ready, move to a cooling rack, or to a paper towel lined baking sheet. I like to season food when they’re still hot, so sprinkle some salt on them, and finish frying up the rest.

When they’re done, make the sweet and sour sauce. Combine the rice vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, pineapple juice, cornstarch (dissolved in some water), and soy sauce in a pot, bring to a boil, and simmer it up good.


If you want, the recipe calls for a second fry to re-heat the chicken, and to crisp it up. I really don’t think it’s necessary, but if you want go for it.

Toss the chicken with the sauce, and serve over rice, for that authentic take out feel.


Now there were a few things I deviated from in this recipe. First of all, it calls to sauté peppers and pineapple first, and then combine it with the finished product, I’m not a big fan of sauteed peppers (unless they’re peeled) and I didn’t have pineapple. Second, I didn’t add the pineapple juice to the sauce because I didn’t have any, the sauce tasted fine, but it was a little thick, so if I would have thought about it, I probably should have just added a little water to it, but I didn’t.

Either way, it came out awesome, and yes, they were waaaay better than store bought.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

adapted from TheKitchn


  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts cut into 1/2-inch to 1-inch pieces
  • 1 each green and red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (optional)
  • 2 cups pineapple chunks (optional)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

For the marinade

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

For the frying batter

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/3 cup (5 tablespoons) warm water

For the sweet and sour sauce

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce


For the marinade

  1. Whisk the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and cornstarch together in a medium sized bowl. Add the cut up chicken and let it marinate for 30-60 minutes
  2. (If you want the peppers and pineapple – heat a couple of tablespoons vegetable oil in a heavy dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sauté the bell peppers and pineapple until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside, and wipe the dutch oven clean with a paper towel)
  3. Fill the dutch oven with 2 to 3 inches of peanut oil. Heat the oil to 375°


For the frying batter

  1. Combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Combine the egg whites, canola oil, and water and whisk until the uniform, and then combine with flour, and mix until mixture is thick and sticky (almost glue-like). Stir the marinated chicken into the fry batter until every piece is completely coated.
  2. Working in batches, fry the chicken until crisp and golden brown, about 2 – 3 minutes per batch. The coated chicken pieces will want to clump together in the oil, so I like to put in each piece one by one. I(f you’re using a thermometer, which you and I both know you’re not going to do, the oil will lower when you put the colder chicken in there, and that’s ok, as long as it’s between 350-375 you’re golden and delicious.)
  3. Using a spider or a slotted spoon, remove the cooked chicken to drain on a sheet pan lined with paper towels.  

For the sweet and sour sauce

  1. combine the rice vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, pineapple juice, cornstarch slurry, and soy sauce in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce begins to gently boil. It will darken in color and become thick. Immediately reduce heat to simmer and keep warm.
  2. If you want that second fry, then add all of the fried chicken back into the hot oil for about 30 seconds – 1 minute.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the hot chicken with the warm sweet and sour sauce and reserved vegetables. Serve immediately with cooked rice.