Classic kasha varnishkes: For the kasha -Use medium or coarse - the directions on the Wolf's kasha box are a good starting point - but, keep stirring the kasha and egg in the pan until the kasha is almost white, then add liquid (doesn't have to be hotter than room temp).
Cook a lot more onions than you think you should need in a separate pan. Mushrooms are okay, but don't cook together with onions.
Bowtie noodles (Goodman's)are the classic, but you can use wide egg noodles. I prefer proportionately more kasha to noodles, so I use an 8 oz box of noodles to a whole box of kasha. Most people like more noodles. Freezes really well, if there are any leftovers.
For a classic NY dairy restaurant variation, you can serve it with a mushroom cream sauce.
None of the recipes given are classic to me. So I'm going to give you the classic way to do it.
Method: No honey and processed broth please - just water salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. No spices - Jewish cooking does not use oregano. No exotic mushrooms - God forbid dried porcini - that is NOT what kasha should taste like! Fry your mushrooms and onions separately because they take different amounts of time to get brown. The fat you use is up to you - I would suggest butter or chicken fat. Never evoo.
First you rinse the kasha, spred out on a towel and allow to air dry overnight - kasha, especially if it is bought from a bulk bin, is very dusty/dirty. Fry the kasha in a dry, very hot pan, stirring frequently to prevent burning. You want to really toast it to get the nutty flavor. When toasted, mix in egg to coat the grains. Then add your boiling water, and simmer very low, covered, until done but still pleasantly chewy (about 15-20 minutes) - you do not want to overcook - the grains explode and turn to mush. Then add your chopped carmelized onions or shallots, and sliced white or crimini mushrooms that have been fried until also carmelized.
Then mix in the bow tie/farfalle noodles. If you only have rectangular egg noodles that's fine - I think they taste richer than plain - but the shape of the bowtie is classic. I always add salt and pep. right at the end because you can't really tell how much you need till then. Kasha freezes well.
2 large onions - minced
1/2# thin sliced crimini or white button mushrooms
4T fat - divide betweemushrooms and onions
1 extra large or jumbo egg
1C WHOLE kasha
2C boiling water
S & P to taste
3/4# bowtie noodles - cooked al dente
Makes 6 servings
re: niki rothman
I know this was posted a long time ago (2006), but here it is Rosh Hashanah 2007 and I followed your description to make kasha varnishkes for a big group of people last night. Perfect! It tasted exactly like it should. A friend of mine hadn't had them since he was 13 and he said this took him back to childhood. I thought they were delicious. If others are looking for recipe, this one is excellent. I used butter, by the way, since I wasn't making meat. I think the butter helped with the deliciousness.
For the kasha part -
heat 2 cups of water with 1-2 tablespoons of instant soup mix and 1/4 cup of honey to a simmer - can also use stock instead of water/soup mix -
Using medium kasha - mix 1 cup of kasha into one slightly beaten egg until abosorbed-
Sautee 1 diced medium oniion and 3 cloves of minced garlic until golden over meduim heat
Add egg/kasha mixture and continue sauteeing until dry and the grouts are seperated
add soup/honey mixture - cover and turn heat to low cook until abosrbed -
in a seperate pot cook 6-8 oz of bow tie noodles - drain (this is the varnishkas part)
mix the kasha and noodles and serve -
To make the kasha, follow the pilaf directions on the box of Wolf's kasha which is commonly found in grocery stores (coating the kasha in egg etc) and be sure to add plenty of onions, and i throw in some mushrooms. ... then boil some noodles, add a bit of salt or onion salt...then combine the kasha with noodles! Pure comfort food..I've never heard of adding honey....