Give Noodle Kugel A Nuttier Essence With Brown Butter

Many Jewish foods possess a symbolic significance relating to their designated holiday, but noodle kugel is a symbol of Jewish unity relevant year-round. A common shabbat specialty, kugel is a sweet, baked noodle casserole consisting of egg noodles and a sweet custard of eggs, sour cream, and cottage cheese that originated as an Ashkenazi tradition and spread with the Jewish diaspora to Israel and North America.

Kugel is an easy recipe and boasts a novel taste and texture profile that sets itself apart from most savory pasta dishes, but you can add depth of flavor to its sweet and tangy ingredients by swapping melted butter for brown butter. Melted butter offers yet another layer of dairy richness to the cottage cheese and sour cream custard, but browning the butter creates a unique caramelized nuttiness for the ultimate gourmet upgrade.

Browned butter is a well-known flavor upgrade for sweet and savory dishes alike, ranging from chocolate chip cookies to single-ingredient pasta sauce. Plus, it's easy to make, taking only an extra five to 10 minutes. You can make it while you cook your egg noodles, and they'll be done around the same time.

Tips for browning butter and kugel execution

While somewhat more difficult than simply melting butter, browned butter's complexity is easily achievable even for novice cooks. To brown butter, simply stir it in a saucepan for around five minutes over medium heat until it turns a golden caramel color. A few easy tips will ensure the execution of your brown butter goes off without a hitch. The first is to use room-temperature butter cut into quarter-inch squares. Cold or frozen butter is more likely to burn, so be sure to let a refrigerated stick sit out for at least 30 minutes before adding it to your saucepan.

Another tip is to use a light-colored saucepan so that you can see the butter change colors. The most important tip for browning butter is being attentive. You'll need to stir butter constantly while keeping a watchful eye for the tell-tale visual signs of doneness. Butter will first melt, then start to bubble and foam, and finally, specks of browned butter will start to stick to the bottom while the melted butter will turn brown. As soon as the flecks begin to appear, remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the butter into a different receptacle. Butter goes from brown to burnt in a matter of seconds, so a watchful eye and quick reaction are crucial. Brown butter is the last ingredient you'll fold into the kugel before mixing everything and pouring it into the buttered casserole dish.