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Simple Recipe for Savory Potato Kugel

Who doesn’t like kugel? Especially a savory kugel with baked potatoes. For those who might not know, kugel can be compared to a baked “pudding” that is usually prepared with noodles or potatoes. This potato kugel recipe from our chefs at the Jewish Community Housing Corporation is so good, that we just can’t keep it to ourselves! If you decide to try it out, leave a comment and let us know how it turns out!   

Potato Kugel Ingredients: 

  • Potatoes (approx. 5 lbs peeled and shredded)
  • Yellow onion (1)
  • Shallots (4)
  • Potato starch (? cup)
  • Vegetable oil (1 cup)
  • Large eggs (5)
  • Egg yolks (2)
  • Olive oil (½ cup)
  • Kosher salt (1 tbsp)
  • Black pepper (½ tsp)
  • Nutmeg (pinch)
  • Boiling water (1 cup)
  • Optional: chives to garnish

Potato Kugel Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. While the oven is heating, pour vegetable oil in a mid sized pan and heat until the oil is shimmering. 
  2. Add your shallots to the pan and cook over high heat until they are golden brown and crisp. Then, transfer the shallots to a plate using a slotted spoon. Save the shallot oil for later.
  3. After peeling and shredding the potatoes, squeeze out as much liquid as possible and transfer the potatoes to a large bowl. Then, add the chopped yellow onion, potato starch, salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir well. 
  4. Next, stir in the whole eggs, egg yolks, olive oil and boiling water, followed by the sauteed shallots from earlier. 
  5. Pour your potato kugel mixture into two 8 by 11 cast-iron baking dishes. Important note: Before pouring the mixture in, heat the two baking dishes and add 2 tablespoons of the shallot oil you saved earlier. 
  6. Let the kugels bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, lower the heat to 375 degrees and bake the kugels for 40 minutes longer. The kugel should appear golden brown and crisp on the sides. 
  7. Preheat the boiler and broil the kugels as close to the heat as possible, until they are golden brown and crisp on top. 
  8. Let the potato kugels cool for 20 minutes before slicing into squares, adding chopped chives on top and enjoying! 

Seniors dine in style in Morris County, NJ  

The culinary trained chefs at Lester Senior Living in NJ love to try out new recipes for our assisted living and independent living residents. Our residents have the option to eat in the dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner if they’d like. Not to mention, the majority of our chef’s recipes can be modified to adhere to dietary restrictions and kosher needs. For more information about senior dining options in Morris County, NJ, please give us a call today. You could also visit our website to learn more about what independent living looks like at Lester Senior Living: https://jchcorp.org/independent-living-new-jersey/

Shakshuka Recipe: Eggs with a Twist!

If you’re sick of hard boiled or scrambled eggs, try shakshuka! This popular Israeli egg dish is healthy, easy to make, and incredibly delicious. Not to mention, it can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. For breakfast or lunch, you can eat shakshuka with bread, pita or matzah. And for dinner, you can eat shakshuka with a fresh mixed green salad. Before you start to drool, here is the JCHC’s recipe for shakshuka that serves 4-6 people. 

Shakshuka Ingredients: 

  • Eggs (4-6) 
  • Diced tomatoes (3-4 cups)
  • Tomato paste (2 tbsp)
  • Onion (½)
  • Bell pepper (1)
  • Olive oil (1 tbsp)
  • Garlic clove or garlic powder (1-2 tsp)
  • Chili powder (1 tsp)
  • Cumin (1 tsp)
  • Paprika (1 tsp)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • OPTIONAL ADD-ONS: Chopped parsley, pinch of cayenne pepper and/or jalapenos for extra spice! 

Shakshuka Instructions: 

  1. Pour your olive oil into a deep pan or large skillet with medium heat. 
  2. Once olive oil is warmed in the pan, add chopped onion and saute until the onions are translucent (approx. 3-4 mins). 
  3. Add garlic and diced bell peppers and continue to saute for approx. 5 minutes. 
  4. Next, add diced tomatoes and tomato paste to the pan and stir well until all the ingredients are evenly blended together.
  5. Stir in the rest of the spices and simmer for approx. 5-7 minutes.  Pro Tip: Taste your shakshuka sauce at this step to make sure it is spiced to your liking. You could always add more chili powder for heat or more cayenne pepper for an extra kick! 
  6. Now, it’s time for the eggs. Crack them carefully over the sauce mixture, making sure the yolks stay intact. The eggs will cook “over easy” while on top of the shakshuka sauce. 
  7. Put a lid on the pan and allow the eggs to cook. Keep checking the skillet for two reasons: 1. So the eggs don’t overcook and 1. So the  sauce doesn’t reduce too much, which could lead to burning. Note: this usually takes 10 minutes, but it could take less time if you prefer eggs that are more runny. 
  8. Optional step: add chopped parsley and jalapenos to the top. 
  9. Serve shakshuka with bread or matzah to dip and enjoy!  

Dining Deliciously at Lester Senior Living, NJ  

The culinary trained chefs at Lester Senior Living are always happy to try out new recipes for our assisted living and independent living residents. Whether it’s a crowd favorite like bagels or an Israeli dish like shakshuka, there’s nothing they love more than sharpening their cooking skills. For more information about dining options for seniors in Morris County, NJ, please contact us today: (973) 929-2725.

You could also visit our website to learn more about what life is really like at Lester Senior Living: https://jchcorp.org/lester-senior-living-morris-county/

Bake Your Own Bagels With This Recipe

Did you ever take the time to bake your own bagels at home? It may not be the quickest recipe, but it can be a great bonding experience to have with your kids and senior parents. Not to mention, there’s a good chance you already have all the ingredients already at home! The only two ingredients or supplies that you may not have on hand are a Dutch oven and active dry yeast. Luckily, yeast can be purchased at your local supermarket and a good-quality Dutch oven can be purchased pretty inexpensively from Amazon. So, what are you waiting for? Bake some bagels, fill them with lox and you’re ready to roll! Get it? Bagels… rolls… 

Without further ado, here is the JCHC’s signature bagel recipe. 

Ingredients for Bagels:

  • Active dry yeast (1 teaspoon)
  • Egg yolk (1)
  • Warm milk (1¼ cups)
  • Softened butter (½ cup)
  • All purpose flour (3 ¾ – 4 ¼ cups)
  • Sugar (2 tablespoons)
  • Salt (1 teaspoon)
  • Olive oil for greasing 
  • Everything bagel seasoning (optional)

Directions for Baking Bagels:

  1. First, get a large bowl and dissolve the active dry yeast with the warm milk. The temperature of the milk should be approximately 110 degrees. 
  2. Next, add the egg yolk, butter, sugar and salt to the bowl and mix well. 
  3. Stir in flour until a soft dough forms. 
  4. Knead the dough on a floured counter top until it starts to feel “elastic.” This will usually take 6-8 minutes. 
  5. Once you’re done kneading, grease a bowl with olive oil and place the dough in it. Then cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for about an 1 hour or until the dough doubles in size. 
  6. Flatten or “punch” dough down and then shape into 12 balls. Push your finger through the middle of each ball to create a 1 ½ in. hole. Then, stretch and shape the dough into an even ring. After you’re done shaping all 12, cover them on your floured counter top and let rest for 10 minutes. 
  7. Grab your Dutch oven and fill it with water. The oven should be about ? filled with water and then bring it to a boil. Once boiling, drop bagels in 2 at a time. Cook for about 45 seconds on each side and then remove with a slotted spoon. 
  8. Drain bagels well on paper towels and then sprinkle with everything bagel seasoning.
  9. Place each bagel 2 in. apart from one another on a greased baking pan and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. 
  10. Remove bagels from the pan, let them cool on a wire rack and then enjoy! 

Culinary trained chefs at Lester Senior Living in NJ  

The chefs at Lester Senior Living are always whipping up something new. Whether it’s a crowd favorite like bagels or a seasonal Jewish dish, our cooks are happy to serve our residents day in and day out. For more information about senior dining options in Morris County, NJ, please contact us today: (973) 929-2725.

You could also visit our website to learn more about what senior community life is really like in Morris County, NJ: https://jchcorp.org/assisted-living-morris-county-nj/