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Hanukkah Recipes

The Latkatini - A Hanukkah Cocktail

By: 
Tina Wasserman

I originally created horseradish vodka to serve with gefilte fish at my Passover seder.  Thinking about what this flavor evokes in Jewish cuisine and thinking about the foods we customarily eat for Hanukkah, I created this Hanukkah cocktail.  The Latkatini mirrors the ingredients in latkes with applesauce, and the milk stands in for sour cream.  All that’s missing is the onion!

Chag urim sameach, Happy Festival of Lights!

Ingredients: 
.......................................................................
LATKATINIS:
½ cup sugar
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon rosewater
3/4 cup unfiltered apple juice or cider
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2-3 tablespoons plain or horseradish potato vodka (recipe below)
1/3 cup milk or milk substitute
¼ cup Hungry Man mashed potato flakes
1 cup of ice
Baharat or cinnamon for garnish
.......................................................................
HORSERADISH VODKA
4-inch piece of horseradish
2 cups potato vodka
Directions: 

Vodka Latkatinis

  1. To make the rosewater simple syrup, combine the sugar and water in a 1-quart saucepan.  Bring to a boil and stir once or twice until the liquid is clear. Boil for 1 minute, remove from heat and stir in the rosewater. Pour into a clean jar and store in the refrigerator until needed.  
  2. Combine 1 tablespoon of the rosewater simple syrup with the next five ingredients in a blender. Blend until combined. Let mixture rest for a minute or two to allow the potato flakes to hydrate.
  3. Add the ice to the blender and blend on high until ice is totally incorporated. If necessary add a little more apple juice for desired consistency.Pour into martini glasses and sprinkle with some baharat or cinnamon as a garnish.

Horseradish Vodka

  1. Peel a 4-inch piece of horseradish. Rinse.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler or a julienne peeler/shredder, shred about ¼ cup.
  3. Place shredded horseradish in a quart jar and add at least 2 cups of potato vodka (I prefer Titos).
  4. Let the jar of infused vodka sit on your counter for at least two days but preferably four.
  5. Refrigerate with the horseradish until needed.
Tina's Tidbits: 
  • Rosewater simple syrup will last for months in the refrigerator.

The Bloody Maccabeet - A Hanukkah Cocktail

By: 
Tina Wasserman

I originally created horseradish vodka to serve with gefilte fish at my Passover seder.  Thinking about what this flavor evokes in Jewish cuisine and thinking about the foods we customarily eat for Hanukkah, I created this colorful and delicious Hanukkah cocktail. 

Chag urim sameach, Happy Festival of Lights!

Ingredients: 
............................................................................
BLOODY MACCABEET:
15 ounce can Julienne beets
1 ½ cups tomato juice
3-4 tablespoons honey (according to taste)
Juice from 2 medium limes
½-3/4 cup horseradish-flavored potato vodka (recipe below)
Zatar
............................................................................
HORSERADISH VODKA:
4-inch piece of horseradish
2 cups potato vodka
............................................................................
Directions: 

Bloody Maccabeet

  1. Place the contents of the can in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add the tomato juice, honey, lime juice, and vodka to the blender and blend well.
  3. Pour into 4-6 highball glasses over ice.
  4. Garnish with zatar and serve.

Horseradish Vodka

  1. Peel a 4-inch piece of horseradish. Rinse.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler or a julienne peeler/shredder, shred about ¼ cup.
  3. Place shredded horseradish in a quart jar and add at least 2 cups of potato vodka (I prefer Titos).
  4. Let the jar of infused vodka sit on your counter for at least two days but preferably four.
  5. Refrigerate with the horseradish until needed.
Tina's Tidbits: 
  •  I often serve a shot of this vodka at my Passover seder with the gefilte fish.  Mini “Maccabeet” shots could be served as well!

Baked Beans

By: 
Irene Garber

Traditional Ashkenazi Hanukkah dinners often include potato latkes and pot roast or brisket. This year, in honor of the Union for Reform Judaism December 2017 Biennial, taking place in Boston, here's a Jewish twist on a classic Beantown favorite, a perfect accompaniment to your Hanukkah feast.

Ingredients: 
BEANS
1 pound white pea or navy beans
1/2 pound flanken or short ribs
1 medium onion, peeled
......................................................................
SAUCE
1/2 cup molasses
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup water or tomato juice
Directions: 
  1. Place beans in bowl, cover with water for several hours or overnight.
  2. Rinse beans, place in 2-3 quart pot, boil with additional water for one-half hour.
  3. Rinse the boiled beans, and place in a bean pot with the meat. Place peeled onion in center of the beans.
  4. Combine sauce ingredients, and pour the molasses mixture over beans and meat mixture just to cover. Place a "fat" piece of meat on top.
  5. Cover. Bake at 300°F for 5-6 hours. If liquid is absorbed during baking, add additional water. Bake until beans are brown and soft.

    Reprinted with permission from Palate Pleasers by the former Women's Auxiliary of Hebrew SeniorLife (then Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for Aged in Boston). 

Peanut Butter Gelt Cookies

By: 
Deborah R. Prinz

This easy recipe incorporates and maintains the shape of the gelt on top of the cookie. Not only is the cookie delicious with the chocolate, it also highlights the gelt.

Ingredients: 
1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth; do not use old-fashioned or freshly ground)
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
Approximately 35 chocolate Hanukkah gelt (preferably organic, fair trade)
Directions: 
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets.
  2. Beat the peanut butter, sugar, and egg together.
  3. Shape the dough in rounds with flat tops the size of the gelt.
  4. Bake for about 12 minutes.
  5. Remove the cookies from the oven, cool slightly on the pan, then gently press one piece of gelt into the center of each cookie.
  6. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
     

Reprinted with permission from On the Chocolate Trail: A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions, History, Travel, Rituals and Recipes to the Magic of Cacao (2nd Edition) by Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz.

Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz speaks about chocolate and Jews around the world. The newly released 2nd Edition of her book, On the Chocolate Trail: A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions, History, Travel, Rituals and Recipes to the Magic of Cacao, (Jewish Lights) contains 25 historical and contemporary recipes. She is co-curator of the exhibit, “Semi[te] Sweet: On Jews and Chocolate” at Temple Emanu-El’s Herbert and Eileen Bernard Museum of Judaica, NYC, on display through February 25, 2018. She blogs at The Forward, The Huffington Post and onthechocolatetrail.org. The book is used in adult study, classroom settings, book clubs and chocolate tastings.

Latkes with Gravlax

By: 
Michael Solomonov

Chef Michael Solomonov was a featured speaker at the Union for Reform Judaism's 2017 Biennial in Boston, December 2017.

It seems weird to admit that I had to work at a northern Italian restaurant to learn how to make great latkes (sorry, Mom). The trick is to use pure potato. There is more than enough starch in the potatoes to bind the latkes without using egg or flour (which make them less crispy and more dense). Potatoes can handle much more salt than seems reasonable, so make sure to taste your mixture (or fry off a small test latke) before you cook up a bland batch. Starchy things like to stick to the pan, so let the latkes cook undisturbed for a few minutes and the crust will set up and release on its own. A cast iron pan is ideal; but if you’re scared, a nonstick skillet is foolproof. I make one big latke here, but you can make many small ones, too.

Pairing cured salmon with latkes is almost a cliché, but for good reason. Gravlax is elegant and super simple to make. The hardest part is actually slicing it into thin ribbons. I’ve found that freezing it for just 15 minutes makes the slicing much easier. Use a long sharp knife held at a very shallow angle to the surface of the gravlax and draw the knife through it from heel to tip. Placing the flat open palm of your other hand on the surface of the fish will ensure a thin, even slice.

Ingredients: 
.................................................................
GRAVLAX
¼ cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup chopped fresh dill
1 pound center-cut salmon fillet, skin and pin bones removed
.................................................................
LATKE
2 russet potatoes, peeled and shredded (about 3½ cups)
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
Canola oil, for frying
.................................................................
Sour cream, for serving
Minced fresh chives, for serving
Directions: 

For the Gravlax

  1. Combine the salt, sugar, and dill in a small bowl.
  2. Lay a large sheet of plastic wrap in a baking dish and sprinkle half the salt-sugar mixture down the center.
  3. Put the salmon on top of the salt sugar mixture and cover with the rest of the salt-sugar mixture. Wrap the salmon tightly in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for 48 hours to cure, turning the fish over a few times.
  4. Rinse the excess salt-sugar mixture off the salmon and thinly slice to serve. Refrigerated, gravlax will keep for a week. 

For the Latke

  1. Toss the potatoes with the salt and wring them out in a clean towel to remove excess water.
  2. Put ¼ inch oil in a large skillet. Spoon the potatoes into the cold oil in the pan in a single layer and flatten with the back of a spatula. Turn the heat to medium and cook the latke undisturbed until a deep golden crust forms on the bottom, about 15 minutes, pressing occasionally with the spatula.
  3. Flip the latke onto a plate and add more oil to the skillet. Slide the latke back into the hot skillet, uncooked side down. Cook on the second side until deep golden brown, about 8 more minutes. 
  • Slice the latke into wedges, top with gravlax slices, sour cream, and chives, and serve.

    Excerpted with permission from ZAHAV by Michael Solomonov. Copyright © 2015 by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook. Photography © 2015 by Mike Persico. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

    Chef Michael Solomonov was born in Israel and grew up in Pittsburgh. He and Steven Cook are the co-owners of CookNSolo Restaurants, home to some of Philadelphia's most distinctive culinary concepts, including Zahav, Federal Donuts, Abe Fisher, Dizengoff, Rooster Soup Co., and Goldie. They are a combined four-time James Beard Award Winners, including the 2016 "Best International Cookbook" and "Book of the Year" awards for their first cookbook, Zahav, and a 2011 "Best Chef Mid-Atlantic" win for Solomonov and who in May, was named the 2017 JBF's "Outstanding Chef".

Video: How to Make Gluten-Free Baked Latkes

Easy and fun, these latkes are gluten-free and delicious! See instructions below.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound shredded potatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon pepper 
  • 1 egg 

Directions:

  1. Mix shredded potatoes with onion and egg.
  2. Add salt and pepper. Mix well. 
  3. Coat cupcake tin with cooking spray.
  4. Put the potato mixture into the tin. Pat down each potato mound. 
  5. Bake at 450 degrees for 20-30 minutes – cooking times will vary. 
  6. Remove from tin, serve with apple sauce and/or sour cream.

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