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Potato Kugel with Asparagus and Broccoli - various

Posted by : Karen Selwyn

Potato Kugel with Asparagus and Broccoli

The recipe which follows is from Faye Levy's cookbook, INTERNATIONAL
JEWISH COOKBOOK.  The introduction to the recipe says the author first
ate this kugel at the home of a friend at Thanksgiving.  The recipe
comes from the friend's grandmother, whose family originally came from
Poland. 

I  haven't tried this recipe, but it looks quite wonderful.  Since my
Thanksgiving guest list just grew by four people yesterday, I think this
is another dish I am going to make.

Here's a question for the newsgroup:   What is "vegetable schmaltz"?  I
ask because Faye Levy's introduction says that the friend responsible
for the recipe now lives in a place where schmaltz is not easily
purchased.  He now substitutes "vegetable schmaltz" in the recipe. 

Margaret has already gotten in touch with me and offered the answer
Crisco.  If Crisco is, indeed, "vegetable schmaltz" what is unique about
Crisco that one would use it in preference to a good quality olive oil
or pareve margarine? 

Karen Selwyn

6 large boiling potatoes (about 2 1/4 pounds) with peel on
salt
3/4 pound asparagus, peeled (if necessary) and cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 pound broccoli, divided into fairly small florets
7 tablespoons schmaltz, pareve margarine, or butter 
  (depending on the rest of the menu)
3 medium onions, diced
freshly ground pepper
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Put potatoes in a saucepan covered with water and a pinch of salt. 
Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 35-40 minutes until
potatoes are completely tender.  Drain potatoes and leave in saucepan
until cool enough to handle, but still reasonably hot.

Bring salted water in a medium saucepan to a boil.  Drop asparagus
pieces into boiling water and continue boiling for 3 minutes.  Remove
asparagus with a slotted spoon and place in a colander.  Rinse asparagus
with cold water.  Remove from colander and place on paper toweling

Repeat this process with the broccoli florets, however, cook the
broccoli 4 minutes.

Using 4 tablespoons of the schmaltz, saute the onions over medium-low
heat until golden brown, approximately 25 minutes.  Remove 1/2 cup of
the sauteed onions for mixing with the potatoes.  Toss the boiled
asparagus and broccoli into the pan and mix well with the schmaltz and
onions.  Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel the potatoes.  Mash them with a potato ricer or food mill, but not
in a food processor.  Mix mashed potatoes with remaining schmaltz.  Add
beaten egg and reserved onions.  Add salt and pepper to taste, mixture
should be seasoned generously.

Place half the potato mixture into a greased 2-quart casserole,
smoothing the layer.  Place all the seasoned vegetables on top of the
first potato layer.  Place remaining potatoes on top of vegetable layer,
smoothing top.

Sprinkle top with paprika.  Bake, uncovered, for approximately 50
minutes until the top is firm and light golden at the edges.  Let stand
for 10 minutes before serving.  When serving, be certain to spoon down
through all three layers for each portion.

Advance preparation: Casserole can be made in advance.  Cover and
refrigerate overnight.

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