Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Turnip and Leek Kugel

In getting ready for Passover this year, things were very different. I usually bake up tons of different desserts and work with my mom to plan ridiculous menus for the two seder nights. I knew that this year I could not surround myself with a full day of baking sweets and survive unscathed. So, I chose to focus on savory items that are 100% on program and absolutely delicious.

I'm fortunate in that my mother, who shares the cooking with me for this holiday, is so committed to my family's dieting success that she arranged the entire menu around us. We made roasted cauliflower and other veggies, chicken, my middle eastern meatballs with red pepper sauce, and lots of other goodies. We also cut way back on the treats, and I only baked up one thing with my son as a special holiday goodie.

At the last minute, I had a light bulb go off -- what about a turnip kugel? Kugel translates to pudding, and it's a side dish that can be made sweet (as in a noodle kugel) or savory (often potato or zucchini). It's kind of a casserole with eggs and veggies.

I've actually never even made a potato kugel as starchy veggies don't really do it for me, but for some reason I got a bug about making turnips into something extraordinary this year. Surprisingly  there was not a recipe to be found for a mock potato kugel made out of turnips. Has no one thought of this before? No matter--I worked it out for all of us. I based the recipe off of the Lacy Potato Kugel recipe in the Kosher Palette Cookbook (this recipe is delicious as is, but of course has potatoes and potato starch so definitely not allowed!). It does have more oil that I typically use for a veggie, but for a holiday and a recipe we can eat on program I was willing to make a special allowance.

I did a test run a few days before the holiday and we gobbled it all up for lunch. It tasted like potato latkes, and what could be wrong with that! At the seder, just about everyone complimented the dish and all were shocked when the true root was revealed as turnips. This recipe is a definite keeper for our family -- hope you enjoy.
Turnip and Leek Kugel

Turnip and Leek Kugel
6 large turnips (you are trying to approximate 6 large potatoes)
3 splenda packets
4 leeks, 2 diced finely and 2 chopped 
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
5 tablespoons oil
2 -3 teaspoons salt
fresh ground pepper
2/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup oil

Preheat oven to 500 degrees (you can wait a bit to do this).

Sauté diced leeks until nicely caramelized and golden. This will take about 15 minutes.
While leeks are caramelizing, grate turnips using the fine (smallest holes) disc in the food processor. I didn't have this blade, so I grated with the larger holes disc and then put the standard blade in to process further. You want the turnips to be grated very finely.

Place the grated turnips in a large bowl. Cover with water and add in the splenda packets, and allow to soak for 20 minutes. This is intended to remove some of the sharpness. Strain the turnips and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Place turnips into a large mixing bowl.
Grated turnips after soaking and squeezing excess moisture

Process the remaining two leeks in the food processor (use the same blade you did for the second processing of the turnips). Pour that leek pulp into the same bowl as the turnips. 

Stir in eggs, 5 tbsp. oil, salt, pepper and caramelized onions.

Microwave the chicken stock for 1 minute, then pour into the mixture and stir thoroughly.
Pour 1/4 cup of oil into a 9x13 baking pan and heat in oven for about a minute. Do not allow oil to burn.

Carefully pour mixture into pan and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, reduce heat to 400 degrees and bake for 40 minutes or until the top is a deep golden brown.

Serve and enjoy (or, as I did, refrigerate until the next day and then serve)!

1 comment:

  1. splenda causes cancer, probably a dish not served to loved ones