Food Editor's Notes: This is one of the winners of our 2006 Passover Recipe Contest! It is a classic, and this version takes advantage of the ease of a food processor, which many people are afraid to use with a potato kugel, for fear of overprocessing and getting a gluey mess. But processing the potatoes and onions together until just pureed enough not only produces a perfect texture, but it also serves to keep the potatoes white. No discoloring with this recipe! The truth is, it's hard to mess up a potato kugel. For a chunkier texture you can grate the potatoes and onions with the grating disk in the processor or by hand, you can add extra eggs for a lighter texture (up to 5 eggs with 5 pounds of potatoes), you can use matzah cake meal instead of matzah meal (or regular flour not on Passover), and you can certainly use chicken fat for all or part of the oil. In fact, I always use chicken fat in my potato kugels! Every potato kugel is a little different and they all are wonderful. They are best when they first come out of the oven – hot and crispy on the bottom and the top – so try to make this the last thing you do before sitting down for the seder. But the kugel can certainly be reheated – undercook it a little the first time, then reheat at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Yummy!
5 pounds potatoes, peeled, cut in chunks and put in cold water
2 large onions, sweet or regular, cut in chunks
3 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup matzah meal
2 teaspoons baking powder (omit on Passover)
2 teaspoons salt
Pepper to taste
1/4 cup oil plus 3 tablespoons oil
Prepare all the ingredients in advance – peel, cut and place the potato chunks in cold water, peel and cut up the onions, beat the eggs in a small bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place the oil in a 9-inch by 13-inch glass casserole.
Process the potatoes and onions together, in 4-5 batches, in a food processor. Place the mixture in a sieve over the sink or a pot to let excess liquid drain out. When all the potatoes and onions have been processed, press down on the mixture to squeeze out as much liquid as possible and then place the mixture in a large bowl. Add the eggs and mix a little. Then add the dry ingredients and mix well.
While you are mixing everything together, place the baking dish in the oven to heat the oil until very hot. Remove and carefully pour the oil into the potato mixture and stir well. Then pour the potato mixture into the baking dish. Brush the top with some oil to make it crispy. Bake for one hour.
Laurie says that her parents, Jeanne and Arnie Weisman, made this recipe for over 50 Passover celebrations in Newton, and have passed it on to their family who are proud and honored to share it with ShalomBoston.com.
Nana Jeanne's and Papa's Potato Kugel