Noodles Romanoff, now that’s an easy one;” said my sister. “You might have to go out and buy some sour cream, but you will have everything else.”
Chatting with my big sister (taller and older) in New Jersey on Skype, she reminded me of one of her favourite standbys. Cooked noodles, sour cream, finely chopped onion and garlic, a dash of Worcester sauce, stirred all together in a buttered casserole with grated cheddar cheese on top, then baked – that’s it.
You can add whatever cooked meats you might have left over - chicken, beef, ham, etc., if you like, to make a more substantial dish. And even better, you can get it ready earlier in the day (or night before) to bake when needed.
Noodles Romanoff was first served in at Romanoff’s Restaurant in 50’s Hollywood, a then celebrity hangout opened by a charming imposter, Mike Romanoff, who claimed to be a nephew of Tsar Nicholas II and was a close friend of the actor David Niven. After Romanoff’s closed, Noodles Romanoff reappeared at Stouffer’s Top of the Rock restaurant in Chicago and was later spun off into their popular frozen food range. The Betty Crocker brand for a time packaged its own boxed Noodles Romanoff, lovingly remembered by many who worked to replicate the commercial version from scratch.
As you can gather, Noodles Romanoff became enormously popular in American kitchens
easy, inexpensive, delicious, flexible – so perfect for the home cook that variations (with cottage cheese, with eggs) appeared regularly in women’s magazines and passed from cook to cook. There are two – Sour Cream Noodles and Margery’s Noodles - in my beloved Fanny Farmer, both excellent.
My sister’s recipe is the simplest and to my mind, the best. She no longer remembers where she found it, but you can take It as an American classic.
All you need is: serve 2-4 (depending on what is served with it)
200grams (8 ounces) cooked flat noodles
150 grams (I cup) sour cream or crème fraisch
50 grams (2 ounces) finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
dash of Worcestershire sauce (optional)
salt & pepper
100 grams (4 ounces) sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Stir everything but the grated cheese together in a buttered oven dish (17cm/7 inches). Scatter grated cheese on top. Bake in pre heated 180F oven for about 30 minutes until bubbling and brown.
NOTE: measurements are approximate - this is a flexible recipe and you can adjust to your taste.