We know it’s only March, but we think Jake Cohen’s new cookbook, Jew-ish, might be our favorite of the year. It’s an enticing collection of modern Jewish recipes, yes, but it’s also funny, sweet and drool-inducing. We’re making his kugel and cheese—a play on mac and cheese—first.
“I love noodle kugel,” Cohen writes, “and I’m not ashamed of it. It’s a dairy-packed dish that doesn’t know if it’s a side or a dessert. As a kid, how couldn’t you love an excuse to eat dessert with dinner? As an adult, the tables have turned. If I’m cooking a meal, I want every dish to work together, and somehow the thought of brisket and sweet noodle kugel on the same plate just makes me gag. So welcome to my whimsical world of modern kugel, where I break all the rules to get my peers hyped about Jewish casseroles.
“With a base of cottage cheese, sour cream and eggs,” he continues, “kugel can venture in whatever direction you want. Toss in mounds of grated Gruyère and cheddar for a Jewish mac and cheese that my husband accurately describes as 'dank.'”
Strapped for time? Cohen’s kugel can be assembled and baked a few hours in advance, then set aside until you’re ready to serve—all you’ll have to do is reheat.
Excerpted from Jew-ish: A Cookbook: Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch © 2021 by Jake Cohen. Photography © 2021 by Matt Taylor-Gross. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.