In her biweekly column, A Shared Tradition, CIA grad and amateur food historian Molly Siegler cruises around the world (and into the depths of her pantry) to explore the versatility of a single food item.
This week: Molly draws attention to some long-ignored recipes with egg noodles.
Photo by Nicole Franzen
Egg noodles hold a special place in my heart. Not only were they the primary noodle of my childhood (I couldn’t wrap my head around macaroni, so that wasn’t much of an option), but my mother recently recounted memories of her grandmother, Gee Gee, who made and dried delicate egg noodles every few months. Gee Gee’s egg noodles hung from every chair in her house until it was time for dinner. Then, they were quickly cooked and tossed with buttery breadcrumbs for a delicious, simple weeknight meal.
In the realm of egg noodles, my motto is the thicker and shorter you go, the better. When I run into Amish Kitchen’s Extra Thick Kluski Egg Noodles, I stock up. Because they are pretty chewy and substantial, egg noodles are happiest in dishes where they gently compete with the other components (think: a rich, meaty Italian ragù).
Noodle kugel is one of my favorite treats. My father-in-law and I hog it all whenever we happen upon it at a Jewish gathering.
Lo mein (meaning simply "tossed noodles") is a dish ripe for experimentation.
"Waiter, there’s too much pepper on my paprikash." (When Harry Met Sally, anyone?) Chicken Paprikash is another classic dish begging for a seat at your winter table.
Egg noodles are a seriously important component in tuna noodle casserole.
Paprikash ingredients; Tuna Noodle Casserole - Redux (photos by Sarah Shatz)
These are just a few of the ways I like to travel by way of the versatile egg noodle. What other regionally inspired flavors would you use to make this pantry staple your own? Share your ideas in the comments section below.
Do you love a good food theme as much as I do? Tell me what food items or themes you'd like to see featured in this column and your idea could be the subject of an upcoming post!
Like this post? See Molly's previous topic: Beef Roast.
Molly is a chef and food educator living and cooking in Northern Wisconsin. When she's not dreaming up themed menus, she's dishing out other delicious content as the editorial assistant for the Whole Foods Market Cooking program.