|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 12 to 15|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 9g||11%|
|Saturated Fat 3g||17%|
|Total Carbohydrate 37g||13%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||13%|
|Total Sugars 5g|
|Vitamin C 15mg||76%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
This traditional recipe for Lithuanian savory potato pudding, known as kugelis or bulviu plokstainis (literally "flat potato"), produces a dense, heavy casserole that is considered a national dish of Lithuania.
Kugelis is commonly served with applesauce, lingonberry preserves, sour cream, or crumbled bacon bits and can be eaten as a main course or side dish.
Compare this recipe with this easy Lithuanian kugelis recipe made with frozen hash browns and this Polish potato pie recipe known as baba kartoflana or kartoflak.
1/2 pound bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
5 large eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups milk
1 (7-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup farina (not quick-cooking)
5 pounds white or red potatoes, peeled and grated
Gather the ingredients.
Transfer rack to middle of oven and preheat to 350 F. Coat a 13-by-9-inch pan with cooking spray and set it aside.
In a large skillet, sauté bacon and onion until lightly browned and caramelized. Leave in skillet and do not drain fat. Set pan aside to cool.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, evaporated milk, salt, and farina. Add bacon-onion mixture and drippings. Stir until well combined.
Using a food processor or by hand, finely grate potatoes, squeezing out excess moisture. Work quickly so potatoes don't darken. While they are still fine to eat if darkened, the final product won't look as appealing.
Add grated and squeezed potatoes to bacon-egg mixture, combining well.
Pour potato mixture into prepared pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours or until top is quite brown and interior is solid, but still moist.
Remove pan from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before cutting into squares.
Serve as a side dish or as a main course with a salad.
Cover and refrigerate any leftovers. You can enjoy leftover kugelis by heating portions in the microwave or browning them in butter. Enjoy!
Tips and Substitutions
- Farina is milled wheat that is used to make hot cereal. It is available in the cereal section of the market and one common brand is Cream of Wheat. If you don't have any you can substitute 1/2 cup of plain breadcrumbs.
- Because this recipe uses farina, it is not gluten-free. However, you can instead use gluten-free cream of rice cereal as a substitute.
Potatoes Abound in Lithuanian Cuisine
Lithuanian cuisine shares many culinary traditions with Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, Germany, and Ashkenazi Jews. That means potatoes reign supreme and exist in nearly every course. Besides kugelis, also known as kugel, they star in these other potatoes dishes:
Lithuanian zeppelin potato dumplings: Known as cepelinai, these football-shaped dumplings made with a raw and cooked potato dough are filled with meat or cheese.
Lithuanian potato sausage: Vederai or potato sausage can be made entirely meatless or with the addition of bacon. The only other ingredients are grated potatoes, eggs, onion, seasonings, and a few tablespoons of flour.