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Bread Kugel with Dried Fruit and Sundried Tomatoes

 

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Bread Kugel with Dried Fruit and Sundried Tomatoes
 

 

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Recipe

Bread Kugel with Dried Fruit and Sundried Tomatoes

The first bread kugels made 800 years ago probably didn’t have more than a few raisins in them! They definitely didn’t have sun-dried tomatoes since tomatoes were brought to Europe from the Americas in the 16th century! This recipe combines many of the flavors and foods found in Spain and Portugal (the home of Sephardic Jews) with the classic technique for making a bread kugel.

Times

  • Prep Time : 20 min
  • Cook Time : 40 min
  • Ready Time : 1 hour

Servings

8-10

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for greasing the pan
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped mixed dried fruit (apples, prunes, pears, apricots etc.)
  • 1/2 cup Craisins
  • 1 cup apricot nectar
  • 1/4 cup Madeira-optional add more apricot nectar if not using
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1 loaf of white bread or Challah with crust cut into 1.2” cubes-about 7 cups
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and 10 grindings of pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth warm or at room temperature
  • 1 egg

Directions

  1. Sauté the onion in the olive oil until lightly golden.  Add the celery and mushrooms and sauté for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and have given up their juices.  Set aside.
  2. Grease a 2 quart casserole or 11.5 x 8 pan with some additional olive oil.
  3. Combine the chopped dried fruit, Craisins, apricot nectar and Madeira in a small glass bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes.  Set aside.
  4. Combine the sun-dried tomatoes, almonds, and bread cubes in a 4 quart bowl.
  5. Mix the seasonings with the chicken broth, and egg.  Set aside.
  6. Add the onion mixture and the dried fruit/juice mixture to the bowl with the bread cubes and toss.
  7. Add the broth and egg mixture and stir until the mixture is very moist and almost runny.  If necessary, add a little more broth or nectar.
  8. Pour mixture into the prepared casserole and bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes.

NOTE: Casserole can be baked for the first 25 minutes covered with foil, shiny side up and then remove foil for the remainder of cooking time.  This will give you a very soft stuffing.

Tina’s Tidbits:

  • Don’t be put off by the number of ingredients.  Each step can be worked on independently over the course of the day, covered, and then all combined before baking.
  • Cream Sherry or additional apricot nectar can be substituted for the Madeira if you would like.
  • Eliminating the sundried tomatoes reduces saltiness so adjust seasonings accordingly
  • 2 teaspoons of poultry seasoning mix may be substituted for the individual herbs if you prefer.

Kitchen conversations:

  •  See introduction for some suggestions
  • Do you think the Jews of Eastern Europe would use apricots and other dried fruits or apples and pears and raisins?  Why?

Source: Entree to Judaism For Families

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About Tina Wasserman

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Tina Wasserman is the author of the highly successful cookbook Entree to Judaism A Culinary Exploration of the Jewish Diaspora. She is a respected and well-known cooking instructor living in Dallas, Texas. Her hands-o­n approach to all facets of food, (that also happens to be kosher), and its preparation have appealed equally to her non-Jewish and Jewish students for 40 years. More about Tina at CookingandMore

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