Kasha Varnishkes with Savoy Cabbage

2 tablespoons schmaltz*
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup kasha (buckwheat groats)
1 egg
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 savoy cabbage
3/4 lb bow tie noodles, cooked and drained

In a large saucepan, saute onions in schmaltz until blackened. Meanwhile, mix the egg and the kasha. Add to pan and saute with onions until the kernels begin to separate. about 5-10 minutes. Add broth and then cover. Simmer over low heat until kasha is tender. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the cabbage and saute until wilted Remove from heat. Stir in noodles and serve.

My thoughts:

My husband loves kasha varnishkes. Luckily kasha is pretty easy to find (it’s buckwheat groats) especially this time of year when grocery stores have zero idea what foods go with which Jewish holiday and just put anything remotely Jewish or Kosher on sale.

I had to make a chicken dish for a client so Matt made schmaltz* with the leftover chicken fat and saved it to make kasha varnishkes. Thrifty! If you don’t have schmaltz, you can just use oil. Traditionally it’s just the buckwheat, onions and noodles but to totally eliminate the need for a second side dish (my secret goal when making pretty much any side dish), I had him add in some fresh savoy cabbage. I love cabbage so much and savoy cabbage is a little lighter alternative to white which takes a lot longer to cook. It really worked with the hearty flavors of the dish. I’m sure his ancestors would have approved of the addition despite tradition. It’s a great side dish with roasted meat.

*To render chicken fat to make schmaltz: Heat a sauté pan, add the fat, and the small onion, quartered and cook over medium heat until the fat is rendered. Strain into a heat-safe bowl or measuring cup.
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