Questions on Potato Kugelettes
A few people have strongly recommended the Potato Kugelettes for Passover, and I am looking forward to making them this year. Nancy Berry kindly posted a recipe on the "Passover Crowd Pleasers" thread, and I had a couple of questions about it. It calls for 1 1/2 cups Idaho potatoes and 3/8 cup onions, grated--can anyone tell me how much potato and onion that is, either in pounds or in number? I'm not good at visualizing how much to buy so that I have those amounts when grated. Also, the recipe calls for rendered chicken fat (i.e., schmaltz). I know it says no substitutions, but has anyone experimented with butter, margarine, or oil and gotten good results? If so, how much did you substitute for the 3 tablespoons of rendered chicken fat? I don't want to buy or make schmaltz if possible, but am willing to do so if it is vital to the recipe. Thanks so much!
Even though we're not Jewish, because of my mother's skills with a potato kugel we've been deemed honorary Jews by our friends who invite us for Passover. Schmaltz does make a kugel truly over the top fantastic, and it is most definitely worth the effort to either make it or find it...but sometimes you just don't have the time. My mother often uses a fairly neutral tasting vegetable oil mixed with a little olive oil for a little olive oil flavor. It's still good stuff even without the schmaltz.
re: Diane in Bexley
Thanks for the feedback, coastie. Sure I can post the recipe, Diane. To give credit where it's due, this is the recipe that Nancy Berry posted. She noted that the recipe is from Patty Unterman, a San Francisco restaurant reviewer and restaurant owner (Hayes St. Grill.) Others have also posted potato kugelettes recipes, if you want to do a search.
1 1/2 cups Idaho potatoes (I use Russets), grated and drained
3/8 cup onions, grated
3 eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons rendered chicken fat (NO substitutions), plus fat to grease the muffin tins
matzo meal, for dusting muffin tin
1. Preheat oven to 375~
2. Combine all ingredients
3. Grease a 24 cup mini-muffin tin with chicken fat and dust with matzo meal. Place 1 T of filling per muffin cup and bake for 25 min. until golden.
Yield 24 kugelettes
Nicole...I made these yesterday and they tasted amazing and were such a hit! I was a little scared about your NO substitutions rule on the schmaltz,and at first figured no big deal if Iused oil or margerine. But, boy am I glad that I found some chicken fat in the frozen section at Waldbaums (and I searched for it!). I have never cooked with schmaltz before but am truly convinced they were twice as good because of it. I couldn't keep my family away from munching on them before dinner was served. Great recipe. Highly recommended. And not just for Passover!
I think the rendered chicken fat is probably really important to the final flavor. However, they would still taste good if you must substitute, use the same amount of fat.
3/8 cups shred onion is less than 1/2 cup so one large onion will be more than enough. I'm guessing its about 1/2 the onion or about 6 oz. ,educated guess, Potato -2 medium sized should do it . Maybe a pound of potato - to be on the safe side I would purchase 2 potatoes = to 18 oz of potato skin on....... Again a guess.
Back to the fat - fat is flavor. I think you will be most pleased with the dish with the chicken fat.
Slowly render some fatty skin - it won't take much. The trick is patience and low heat.
I am not about to render my own chicken fat, but do feel like maybe they will be better made with schmaltz vs. other fats. And I am so excited about this recipe (excited enough that I went out and bought a mini-muffin pan today) and want it to be as great as I believe it can be. Question: Can I purchase schmaltz? I have a kosher market near me. Ya think they would carry it?