Marcy Goldman’s Romanian Cottage Cheese Cornmeal Kugel (Faith Kramer)
Marcy Goldman’s Romanian Cottage Cheese Cornmeal Kugel (Faith Kramer)

2 of my favorites from the Dept. of Leftover Recipes

Here are two recipes I love but haven’t been able to share until now due to space considerations.

The first recipe is bursting with Middle Eastern flavors and is perfect for family Shabbat meals. Serve it with pan juices or a drizzle of pomegranate molasses, and if you want to use a full turkey breast, just go ahead and double the recipe.

The second recipe is adapted from Marcy Goldman’s “The Newish Jewish Cookbook,” which includes “new spins on delicious traditions” among its more than 140 recipes for “holidays and everyday.” This kugel is perfect for brunch or as a not-too-sweet dessert. Goldman’s book updates Ashkenazi classics for modern tastes and shares recipes inspired by Sephardic and Mizrachi dishes.


Roast Turkey Breast Half with Za’atar Marinade

Serves 4 to 5

  • ½ cup olive oil plus extra
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. crumbled dried mint leaves
  • ¼ to ½ tsp. chili pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. dried ground sumac, or additional 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. crumbled za’tar spice mix, or crumbled dried oregano leaves
  • 2- to 3-lb. bone-in, skin-on turkey breast half
  • ¼ tsp. paprika

Mix olive oil, garlic, zest, juice, salt, mint, chili, sumac and cumin in small bowl. Place turkey in snug-fitting container. Brush with marinade. Separate skin from turkey (do not detach) and brush or rub marinade under skin. Pour remaining marinade over turkey. Marinate for 1 hour, turning and brushing periodically.

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place turkey in baking pan. Brush thoroughly with marinade (discard any leftover marinade). Sprinkle with paprika. Place in oven. Immediately lower heat to 325 degrees. Baste occasionally with liquid from baking pan (or use additional olive oil). Roast about 20 to 25 minutes a pound (timing will vary) until meat at bone is just cooked and very moist (see notes). Remove from oven. Cover with foil. Let sit for 10 to 20 minutes before slicing.

Notes: A half turkey breast is sometimes called a split breast. Do not overcook. Turkey continues cooking after removal from oven. If using an instant-read thermometer, remove at 160 degrees. Turkey reaches 165 degrees while resting.


Marcy Goldman’s Romanian Cottage Cheese Cornmeal Kugel

Serves 8 to 10

Adapted from “The Newish Jewish Cookbook”

  • Nonstick spray
  • ⅓ cup melted, unsalted butter
  • ⅔ cup sugar, divided
  • 4 large eggs, divided
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup plus ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt, divided
  • 1 lb. dry cottage cheese (see note)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Fresh berries for garnish
  • Additional sour cream for garnish

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch or 10-inch springform pan or 11-by-7-inch baking dish with spray. In a medium bowl, whisk until smooth the butter, ⅓ cup sugar, 2 eggs, milk, ⅓ cup sour cream, flour, cornmeal, baking powder and ⅛ tsp. salt.

Place cottage cheese, vanilla and remaining sugar, eggs, sour cream and salt in food processor work bowl. Process until smooth.

Spoon half of cornmeal batter into prepared pan. Top with half of cottage cheese mixture. Repeat. Marbleize by swirling a knife through batter.

Bake until kugel appears set and is pulling away from pan edge, about 40 to 50 minutes. Serve warm or chilled with garnishes.

Note: When dry cottage cheese (also known as no-curd cottage cheese or hoop, farmer’s or baker’s cheese) is not available, I substitute ricotta cheese strained of all liquid. Use 24 oz. of ricotta cheese. After straining, use 1 lb. for recipe, mixing in dash of salt. Reserve rest for another use.

Faith Kramer

Faith Kramer is a Bay Area food writer. She blogs about her food at clickblogappetit.com. Contact Faith at clickblogappetit@gmail.com.