Savory Kugel and Neatloaf
Tonight’s meal was pretty rustic and comfort food-esque, without a lot of fat. Sadly my kugel is not vegan, due to the egg noodles and the two eggs I used to bind everything together. I’m not sure what would take the place of the eggs here, since Ener-G is more of a rising than a binding product. I made this up as I went along, but it came out well so I’ll share, and if you’ve got ideas about how to replace the egg and still have everything mold together…please let me know.
1 lg. onion, halved and sliced into strips
1 cup frozen corn
Half cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
Half cup buttom mushrooms, sliced
1 lg. bag wide egg noodles
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbs. dried basil
Half cup dry white wine
Liberal sprinkling bac-uns
Salt and Pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Boil water for the noodles. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over med. heat and add enough olive oil to coat.
2. Add onion and celery to the skillet, stirring until “just” translucent. Add all the other ingredients EXCEPT eggs, paprika (and noodles) and cook until corn is bright yellow, no longer, since these will finish in the oven.
3. Once they’ve cooked to al dente, drain the noodles. Mix in the vegetable mixture, along with the eggs.
4. Coat a large casserole dish with PAM (or equivalent) and pour in the noodle mixture. Sprinkle the top with Paprika, and bake for 30 minutes.
5. Once this is out, it’ll need to cool for awhile in order to retain its shape well, if you don’t mind eating a more “free form” kugel, feel free to dig in right away.
The “neatloaf” is another “Vegetarian Times Cookbook” recipe, and it is vegan. The recipe listed eggs, but had them down as optional, and although I was worried about what would keep the loaf together, I decided to go ahead and attempt it without.
While this tasted good, it did have some intrinsic (and not totally unexpected) issues. As expected, it didn’t hold together very well. The outside got a bit brown and crisped which helped it to maintain it’s shape, but once I attempted relocation to my plate, the soft, loose insides completely fell apart, creating more of a ground beef style dish. I was also looking for a tomato-ey presence (read; ketchup) that I should have added on my own, but I was too concentrated on following the recipe. While its been awhile since I’ve had either, the mild flavor and light color of this reminded me more of my mother’s fish loaf then a meatloaf dish. If I were to do this again, I think I’d extend the cooking time to solidify the insides more, and probably add ketchup and liquid smoke, if not a straight-up steak sauce to make the dish more “meaty”. I was also thinking about sautéing the veggies with some red wine to deepen the richness of the dish, and while I decided against, I think it merits experimentation in the future. For what it was, this was good, and I’ll have no problem finishing off the leftovers…but for what was touted as an American Favorite look-alike….it needs some work.