The ultimate comfort food: Kasha Varnishkes with tons of fresh mushrooms, bright sumac fried Brussels sprouts, and a fried egg!
Because why not add a fried egg, right?
Y’all, I’m not telling you this to be braggy, but it’s been so hot in Austin! Valentine’s Day, I had to ditch my plans to wear head-to-toe white (faux) fur and instead sipped pink pomegranate mimosas al fresco in a pale pink tutu. It’s a tough life in Texas.
Speaking of tough, I’ve been busy! Last week I did two back-to-back demos here in Austin. The first, was a hands on class at the Tapestry Conference. And the second, to nearly 100 (!) members of the local Federation chapter. I can’t believe that many people came! We made Nutella Rugelach, Candied Ginger, Almond and Cardamom Rugelach, Bagel, Lox and Schmear Bites, and Manischewitz Sangria!
It was all so fun meeting a bunch of blog readers, and answering pressing rugelach questions. I really love
attention talking in front of a crowd, but it can be scary too. What if no one laughs at my jokes or my undiagnosed tourettes kicks in or I drink too much sangria and start babbling even more than I usually do? Luckily, everyone had fun, we all laughed and ate a lot, and I didn’t cut myself like I did in my first cooking class ever. Total win. After that, my Dad came into town! I’m a pretty chill, laid back person. And if it’s possible, my Dad is even more so. We vegged, sipped on wine and BBQ in Dripping Springs, watched some movies and ate and boozed at some of my favorite spots: Vox Table, Mongers, The Infinite Monkey Theorem, South Congress Cafe and Cafe No Se!
And then it was the aforementioned V Day, which involved a few too many mimosas, and lots of giggles and here we are. Needing an extra kickboxing class this week and some comfort food. Are you familiar with kasha varnishkes? Toasted buckwheat groats with bowtie noodles and (ideally) lots of schmaltz. Treat yo self.
Of course I added my own twist to the classic. Fried Brussels Sprouts kissed with sumac, shiitaki mushrooms, cilantro, and of course schmaltz. But you can use butter or olive oil too. And that fried egg to coat everything. Before…
- ½ pound bowtie pasta
- 1 egg, beaten, plus more for frying
- 1 cup uncooked kasha (buckwheat groats)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup Schmaltz (or butter, or olive oil), divided (I highly recommend schmaltz)
- 1 large onion, sliced thin
- 1 cup shiitaki mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups Brussels sprouts, shredded
- 1 tablespoons sumac
- Juice and zest from 1 lemon
- ½ cup cilantro, minced, for garnish
- First, cook your pasta in boiling salted water until cooked to your desired doneness. Drain and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, let's cook that kasha. Coat kasha in the egg with ¼ teaspoon salt and a little pepper in a bowl. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and add kasha. Cook while stirring until the egg disappears and the kasha is toasted and fragrant, about 5 minutes. This will prevent mushy kasha.
- Meanwhile, boil 2 cups water. Pour the boiling water over the kasha with ¼ teaspoon salt, cover, lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until kasha is tender and liquid is absorbed.
- Remove kasha from heat, let sit for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
- Now, the good stuff. As the pasta and kasha are cooking, make the veggies.
- Heat 2 tablespoons schmaltz in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and ¼ teaspoon salt, and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring often, or until they start to turn golden brown. Then add 1 more tablespoon schmaltz and add mushrooms, ¼ teaspoon more salt and sauté for 7 more minutes until everything is golden. Set aside on a plate.
- Add 2 more tablespoons schmaltz and the Brussels sprouts, ¼ teaspoon salt and sumac. Sauté for 15 minutes, or until Brussels are golden as well. Oh man we are getting close.
- Now put it all together! Lightly stir together pasta, kasha and vegetables. Toss with lemon juice and zest and remaining schmaltz and salt and pepper to taste. Top with cilantro and a fried egg if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.