Crisp on top, meltingly soft in the center, and imbued with herbs, garlic, and shallot, this is my favorite of my mother’s experimental kugels du jour, especially on Rosh Hashana. She cooks it rösti potato-style in a skillet, searing the bottom on the stove before running the whole thing under the broiler for maximum crunch. It reminds me of a giant latke, but thicker and more aromatic.
Heat 1 tsp. of the remaining oil in a 9-inch, slope-sided skillet. Add the shallots in a single layer over high heat. Let sit several minutes before stirring. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are crispy and dark brown, about 7 minutes total.
Fold the potato mixture and shallots in the egg mixture. Return the skillet to high heat and add the remaining 3 tsp. oil. Tilt the skillet to grease the bottom and sides of the pan. Carefully press the potato mixture into the pan. Cook over high heat for 3 minutes (this will help sear the bottom crust of the kugel). Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the potatoes are tender and the top of the kugel is golden brown, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
Place the kugel under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes to form a crisp crust on top (watch carefully to see that it does not burn). Run an offset spatula around the edges and bottom of the kugel and carefully invert it onto a large plate or platter. Sprinkle with salt and serve.
In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite is published by Hyperion. Copyright © 2010. All Rights Reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
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