Kids don’t think their parents need comfort or comfort foods. Kids, especially really teeny ones don’t think their parents need anything at all–not food or sleep or privacy. But they do. As a battle scarred veteran with 23 years on the front lines of motherhood, I know that Moms sometimes need to scarf down a meal returns their taste buds to childhood .
For my Mom, Rakott Krumpli that kind of meal. In prewar Europe my Mom literally grew up on this dish, a Hungarian peasant classic whose literal translation is pleated potatoes. Ironically, whenever she’d make it–when I was a kid, and even as a young adult, I’d refuse to a taste. Sour cream, potatoes, and hardboiled eggs all baked together? Yuck and double yuck. But now that I’m getting older I want to savor the tastes that nurtured my nurturer . And after making three Rakotts in the kosherhomecooking.com test kitchen which happens to be in my house, I can say that this is good stuff, hearty, savory and extremely filling.
Since my Mom provided a rather approximate recipe, I googled up Rakott Krumpli in an attempt to track down more precise measurements. That brought me to a YouTube video of some honest to goodness Hungarians cooking my mother’s dish and talking about it in the Mamaloschen which in my Mom’s case is Hungarian.While my Mom insists that Rakott isn’t a typically Jewish dish. the YouTube recipe was swimming in kielbasa, sauted pork sausage tucked in between the “pleats”alongside the potatoes, sour cream and hard boiled eggs.
That says a lot. As much as we Jews identify with the host culture–to this day my Mom calls herself a Hungarian, we are Jews and in that way quite distinct in our foods and way of life.
I don’t know what the youtube Rakott tastes like and unless someone creates an excellent pareve kielbasa I will never find out. Meanwhile, my Mom’s Rakott is great throw together dish for a quick weekday supper, nourishing, tasty, and of course, comforting.
Recipe to serve 6
6 medium potatoes cooked in their skins until fork tender (about 20 minutes)
3 eggs hard boiled
1 t salt (or more to taste)
1/8 t white pepper
1 t paprika (optional)
2 Vidalia onions sauteed in 2 T butter (optional)
2 handfuls of grated yellow cheese, any kind.(optional)
2 cups sour cream
Slice the boiled potatoes potatoes into 1/4 inch rounds
Slice eggs into 1/4 inch rounds (could be bigger pieces if eggs seem to be falling apart. This is a very easy going dish. Don’t worry about things being perfect).
In a buttered casserole layer potatoes, eggs, grated cheese, and sauted onions sprinkling salt and pepper over the potatoes.
Continue layering until casserole is full. Top with the sour cream.
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until top is brown. Doesn’t freeze well but will keep in fridge for up to four days and reheats nicely in the microwave. Enjoy
Dieters can substitute butter for Pam and use low fat sour cream and cheese.