Tag Archives: Gedempte

Oniony Noodle Kugel

Shopping List

12-ounce package of broad egg noodles

2 very large or 4 medium onions (about 1½ pounds)

Vegetable oil (a few TBL)


p>10 eggs

Bring a large pot of ATTNwell-salted water to a boil. While you’re waiting for it to boil, peel and dice

  • 2 very large or 4 medium onions

This works best with a non-stick pan, but you can do this in any 11- to 12-inch frying pan. ATTNHeat a large frying pan to a medium-high heat and add

  • 1-2 TBL vegetable oil

and then add the diced onions. Saute the onions, ATTNstirring from time to time, not constantly. The onions need to get well-browned, and don’t worry if a few of them get extremely dark — that is what gives the kugel its flavor. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper to them as they cook: check by tasting them. Towards the end of the cooking, if there’s a lot of browned bits stuck to the pan, add ¼ cup water to deglaze the pan, doing this while the onions are in the pan and the pan is still on the heat.

These still need a little more cooking, but they're almost done.
These still need a little more cooking, but they’re almost done.

Remove the pan from heat when the onions are done, but meanwhile…

When the salted water comes to a boil, add

  • 12-ounce package of ATTN broad egg noodles

Pay attention to how long the noodles cook: you don’t want them to get mushy and in fact, they should be a little firm but not doughy or raw-tasting. My brand’s package said they “should cook 8-10 minutes but no more than 8 minutes if they will be added to cooked more as part of another recipe”. I cooked them just over 6 minutes, sampled one and it was done.

While the onions and noodles cook, in a very large mixing bowl beat together

  • 10 large eggs, shelled of course
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper (or more to taste)

When the noodles finish cooking, drain them in a colander and run some cool water over them to bring them down to room temperature. If the onions aren’t done cooking yet, add a little oil to the noodles and toss the noodles to coat. If the onions are already done cooking, proceed with the next step without bothering to add any oil. (The reason for this is that you don’t want to combine the eggs and noodles until you are ready to cook everything because the eggs will absorb into the noodles and the kugel won’t hold together. If you leave the noodles drying in the colander without adding the oil, the noodles will stick together making it hard to mix with the eggs and onions.)

In the large bowl, add the noodles and onions. Stir thoroughly. I prefer to do this with my hands to make sure everything is well mixed. Quickly wash off the large frying pan you used for the onions (if you don’t, the kugel will tend to stick), dry the pan and heat it over a medium heat, adding

  • 1-2 TBL vegetable oil

When the oil is hot, add the egg-noodle-onion mixture. Smooth the top of the mixture in the pan. As the kugel cooks, you should see a crust form around the edge of the pan: this might take 5 minutes or so. Run a knife around the edge to separate the kugel from the pan. ATTNThe kugel will cook about 10-12 minutes on this side, so keep an eye on the heat and make sure it isn’t cooking too quickly as you’ll end up with a very dark crust. There will still be some loose  eggs at the point you need to flip it, but not a lot. Before flipping the kugel, run a spatula or knife around the edge of the pan again and ATTNunder the kugel to make sure it’s not stuck to the pan. If the frying pan doesn’t have straight sides, you can probably shake the pan a bit to see that the kugel has been loosened. Put a suitably large plate over the top of the pan, invert the pan and plate together and hopefully the kugel will be on the plate. If part of the kugel sticks to the pan, remove it with a spatula and put it where it should be. It’ll be fine.

Quickly add

  • 1 TBL vegetable oil

to the pan and slide the kugel off the plate and back into the pan. The second side will probably only take about 7-8 minutes to cook.  Again, ATTN loosen the bottom of the kugel from the pan and invert it onto the serving plate. Note that if you had a “separation disaster” the first time around, it is hidden on the bottom of the kugel and no one will see it.

The completed kugel.
  The completed kugel.
This is a diet-sized slice.
This is a diet-sized slice.

Serve hot or at room temperature, cut in wedges. It’s also great cold, eaten while standing in front of an open refrigerator at midnight. This is often served with braised meat (gedempte) that has a sauce.

From my mother, Rita Fitterman, who probably learned how to make this from her mother-in-law, Goldie Fitterman.



Mah-fay is a stewed dish found in many countries of Africa with variation, but always having of ground peanuts in its sauce.
About 6 servings, depending on your appetites

Remove the skin from

  • 10-12 chicken thighs

You may wish to brown them in some

  • vegetable oil to coat bottom of 3 quart pot

If you do brown them, reserve the chicken after browning. If not, and I am inclined not to bother, put the oil in the pot and continue by cooking

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tsp salt

until it is softened. While it cooks, prepare

  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into ¾-inch chunks
  • ½ peeled butternut squash, cut into ¾-inch chunks
  • 3-4 jalapeno peppers, stems removed and discarded. Cut peppers half, then slice crosswise. I leave the seeds in because I like more spice in the dish. You can omit the seeds or reduce the peppers according to taste.

When the onions are soft, add the vegetables, chicken and

  • the complete contents of 1 can (32 ounces) of plum tomatoes
  • ¾ to 1 cup of peanut butter (I used smooth this time)
  • a few shakes of garlic powder or some minced garlic
  • 1 TBL grated ginger
  • 1 cup water

Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cover the pot. Make sure the heat is just hot enough to keep it at a simmer. Move chicken around in pot after 20 minutes and again 20 minutes later.

You can serve the dish as soon as the chicken is cooked through (about 40-45 minutes total) but ATTN it will taste much better if you reheat it and serve it the following day.

Note: this dish can be made with goat, beef or probably even firm tofu instead of the chicken. You may wish to vary the vegetables to include potatoes or other root vegetables.

Gedempte Chicken with Preserved Lemons

Makes 4 to 6 servings
Shopping List

2 tablespoons oil

3 cloves garlic

1 large or 2 medium onions

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Several shakes cayenne pepper

1 whole chicken, cut into 8 to 10 pieces and trimmed of fat

1 or 2 cans (16-ounce) chickpeas


p>1 preserved lemon

In a 2-quart stew pot, heat on a medium heat

  • 2 tablespoons oil

When the oil is warmed up, add

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped

Stir occasionally. After 5 minutes add

  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Several shakes cayenne pepper

Let this cook for about 10 minutes until the onions become translucent and are browned at the edges. (We used to joke that it didn’t taste right unless you burnt the onions. We’re wiser: it’s no joke.) Be sure the onions are well browned in order to develop a good flavor. Cut up

  • 1 whole chicken, to make 8 to 10 pieces, trimmed of fat

Remove the chicken skin if you will be eating the food right after cooking and you are in a rush, otherwise you won’t have time to cool the liquid to separate out the fat. Push the onions aside and place the meat at the bottom of the pan, with the onions on top, thus allowing the meat to brown. As the chicken browns, turn the pieces over, and eventually get the rest of the chicken into the pan. When it is all browned, add

  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1 or 2 cans (16-ounce) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Peel of one preserved lemon, cut into small pieces

Cover the pot, reducing heat to the lowest flame to keep it at a low simmer.Occasionally move the pieces around as they cook. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until the meat is cooked through. (If you want a more saucy result, add some chicken stock, but resist the urge to add more water.) If you did not skin the chicken, then you must remove the liquid from the pot and separate out the fat. Serve over couscous.

Delhi ‘dempte

Saute a diced medium onion and 2 2½ cloves garlic, minced, in oil in a stew pot. When soft, add

  • ¾ tsp garam masal
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp ground chili
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes and their juice
  • 12 chicken thighs (skin removed)

Bring to boil, lower immediately to lowest possible temperature at which it can simmer. Cook for 40 minutes; occasionally move things around in the pot so the chicken is covered in the sauce. Add

  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets

Cook 20 minutes more. Serve over basmati rice.


The improbable combination of Tex-Mex enchilada flavors and hominy are a big hit in our home. It's delicious over rice or with some tortillas on the side!
Makes 6 servings for people who really like hominy
Shopping List

2 cups dried hominy or 3 cans hominy

2 medium or 1 large onion

3 cloves garlic

6 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs

⅓ cup sunflower (or other neutral) oil

¼ to ⅓ cup flour

⅓ cup chili powder (see note)

1 cup chicken stock or 1 tsp chicken base

1½ tsp oregano

We like hominy. A lot. You may want to cut back the amount of hominy in this recipe by ⅓ if you are not as into it as we are. Before I knew better, I liked canned hominy, but now I avoid it and always use dried. I buy dried “maíz mote” in a section of a local store that specializes in Peruvian foods but looking around you will find it sold under different names.

It’s important you use the ATTN right chili powder. I buy red chili powder that has been ground for use in making red enchilada sauce. It’s commonly sold in 8, 12, or 16 ounce packages and will usually indicate that it’s made from Pueblo or Hatch chilis. It should ATTN have a vibrant red color, as it turns dark and loses flavor as it ages in the cupboard. It is sometimes sold in identified degrees of spiciness.

Preparing the Hominy

If you are using dried hominy, soak

  • 2 cups dried hominy

overnight in water that covers it by several inches. The next day cook it in a pressure cooker with

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tsp salt

for 30 minutes at high pressure and then let the pressure come down naturally. If you prefer to cook it on the stove, use more water and replenish as needed; stovetop cooking will taken 90+ minutes. The hominy should start to soften but as it will cook an additional 45 minutes later in the recipe, it doesn’t need to be super-tender at this stage.

Once the hominy is done cooking, drain the liquid. If you are using canned hominy, instead you will need

3 15-ounce cans of hominy

rinsing it with water and draining it in a colander.

The Rest

Finely chopped

  • 2 medium or 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic

In a stew pot heat over medium heat

  • 1 TBL vegetable oil

Add the finely chopped onions and garlic, along with

  • 1 tsp salt

When the onions are translucent and tender, remove them from the pan and set aside. Now make a roux in the same pan, heating

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup flour

And let it cook for a few minutes — it will have a slight color change but needn’t cook until it’s noticeably brown. Add

  • ⅓ cup chili powder (see note)

And as soon as you are able to stir that in, use a whisk and gradually add

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup chicken stock (or another cup of water and 1 tsp chicken base)

You will have the basis of the sauce, which will thicken as it heats. Raise the heat and add

  • 6 chicken thighs, skinned and trimmed of any visible fat
  • 1½ tsp oregano
  • 1½ tsp salt

as well as the hominy and the cooked onion/garlic mixture. Stir a bit, making sure the chicken pieces are submerged. Bring it to a simmer and then be sure to ATTNturn down the heat to the lowest setting and cover. After 20 minutes, stir the pot and make sure to flip over the chicken pieces. Cover and let cook for 20 more minutes.

Adjust the salt level and check the consistency of the sauce. Sometimes I need to make a little more roux (1 TBL oil/1TBL flour) and work it into the sauce by adding some sauce to the roux and then when it’s smooth, stirring it into the large pot. Other times this isn’t necessary. Serve with Sadie’s Spanish Rice and refried beans.

Gedempte Chicken

Dice one large onion and mince 2 cloves garlic. Heat oil in stew pot, saute garlic and onions. It’s okay if they brown a little. Season with salt, pepper and paprika (or cayenne, my personal preference). Push vegetables to one side of pan and chicken pieces (one whole chicken cut in pieces or use your favorite parts) in one layer. Brown on both sides. Continue until all meat is browned, lifting vegetables on top of meat. The more color the meat gets, the more flavor the dish has.

Add about ⅓ cup water, cover and lower heat to lowest possible temperature you can just get a slight simmer. Every 15 minutes. turn pieces of meat so each side of each piece gets to cook at the bottom of the pan, making sure it doesn’t dry out — but don’t add any extra water beyond the minimum needed. When the meat is tender, it’s done.

Some variations: This recipe was originally for beef, but chicken works well, or meatballs. You can add potatoes cut into large chunks just as you turn down the temperature. The recipe works well in a pressure cooker, but be careful to add enough water so you don’t risk cooking the pressure cooker dry!

Braised Chicken with Mushrooms

This is a complete reworking of a recipe that started out with rabbit meat and cooked in the oven for hours. Years ago, I started cooking this recipe using chicken meat but only recently did I realize how perfect it is for the pressure cooker. It’s much faster, simpler and every bit as tasty.

In a pressure cooker, brown

  • 6-8 skinless chicken thighs

Work in batches if necessary. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and remove from pan.

Over medium high heat add

  • 1 stalk of celery, sliced
  • 1-2 carrots, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced

Season with salt and pepper, stirring until softened. Add

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 8 to 16 ounces of chopped, mixed mushrooms (see notes, below)
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme or ¾ tsp dried thyme

Stir occasionally and cook for about 10 minutes, until all liquid is gone. Add

  • 1 cup white wine

and raise heat and reduce by half, then add

  • 2-3 cups chicken stock

Close pressure cooker and cook at high heat for 24 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then use a quick release technique.

The meat and bones will separate so working carefully, remove chicken pieces from pot. Add

  • ⅔ cup pitted black olives, coarsely chopped

ATTN I like oil-cured Moroccan olives although they can be too salty for some people. Cook until flavors have blended and sauce has thickened a bit (10-15 minutes). While it cooks, remove bones and gristle from the chicken pieces and return the meat to the pot.  Let chicken heat up completely, or remove from heat and reheat completed dish when ready to serve.

This is delicious served over Creamy Polenta, Whole Wheat Pappardelle or Fried Polenta.

Note: I like to use about 4 ounces of any exotic mushroom (such as Maitake or Oyster) except not Shiitake plus about 8 small Cremini mushrooms. I break or cut the caps of the exotics into recognizable pieces. chop up the stems finely and slice the Creminis finely. You could use button mushroom for a less expensive alternative. Sometimes I use rehydrated porcini mushrooms, saving the liquid to replace some of the chicken stock.

Chicken Tikka ‘dempte

OK, this is neither Eastern European nor is it Indian, but I like how it tastes.

Saute 1 diced onion, 2 cloves minced garlic and 1 seeded and minced jalapeno pepper. When onions are golden, push mixture aside and brown trimmed meat; I used chicken thighs (bone-in, but skinned and trimmed of all fat). When all pieces of meat are cooked on both sides, add ¼ to ⅓ cup tandoori paste (I used Patak’s brand) and 1 cup water. Mix around a bit, reduce to a slow simmer and let cook covered for 45 minutes. Every 10-15 minutes, turn the pieces and move the ones on bottom to the top.

When meat is tender, whisk a little gravy into 6 ounces of yogurt, and then add the mixture back to the pot. Let cook 5 minutes more. Serve over rice

Chicken with Yogurt Sauce

Trim of excess fat and place 8 skinless chicken thighs in a skillet large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add water to cover, 1 TBL ground cardamom, 1 tsp ground white pepper and 1 tsp salt. Bring to slow simmer and cook for 20 minutes; chicken should be cooked through.

Remove chicken from pan. In a saucepan, combine 1⅓ cup chicken broth (reserved from cooking chicken), an equal amount of thick Greek-style yogurt, 1 TBL cornstarch. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until thickened. Adjust salt and pepper. Serve sauce over chicken on platter, garnished with toasted pine nuts.

This dish has a lot of sauce, so consider serving it with couscous you’ve cooked with some turmeric and added minced carrots or red peppers. The main dish is so white you’ll want some contrast.

Adapted from a recipe in The New York Times, Feb 11, 2009.