How About Some Kasha Varnishkes?

In the last post I included a recipe for latkes, a traditional dish served during Chanukah, to honor the Festival of Lights. Traditionally, my Jewish friends serve latkes with beef brisket. However, it has been my experience and preference that a great dish to serve with brisket is none other than that usual standby, kasha varnishkes.

Kasha is boiled or baked buckwheat. Actually, buckwheat that has been hulled and crushed. It is a side dish (think of rice or pasta) popular in Eastern Europe. It is traditional comfort food. I love kasha varnishkes, by itself, or as an accompaniment to a main meal. And I prefer that popularly known brand, Wolff's Kasha. So, without further ado, here is my version of kasha varnishkes.


1 cup kasha (medium grain)
1 large egg (or egg white, if preferred), slightly beaten
1/4 cup margarine or olive oil (being Latino, I prefer the latter)
1 large onion, thinly sliced in rounds
2 cups chicken broth or bouillon
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 cup bow-tie noodles
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. In a small bowl, combine the egg and kasha. Using a wooden spoon or fork, mix well, making sure all the kasha kernels are coated with the egg.
2. Heat oil or margarine in a heavy skillet or frypan, and saute onions until translucent.
3. Stir in kasha mixture, and cook for a couple of minutes. Add broth or bouillon, salt, pepper, and oregano. Bring to a boil, cover tightly and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, bring a medium-to-large pot of water to a boil. Cook the bow-tie noodles according to package directions. Drain.
5. When kasha is done, stir in cooked noodles. Put skillet or frypan in the broiler and brown under broiler flame (1-2 minutes).
6. Remove from boiler, sprinkle with parsley, and serve with gravy or as is.
Yield: 4 servings.

Note: You can also convert this dish into kasha pilaf by omitting the noodles, and sauteing 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms along with the onions. Or you can add 3/4 canned chickpeas, drained, to the broth or bouillon. This is the fancier way of cooking kasha.

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