This year, there will be a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence on the first day of Chanukah, when it coincides with the American holiday of Thanksgiving. This happened 125 years ago, in 1888, and will not happen again for a very long time! Even if you do not celebrate Thanksgiving, this momentous occasion is a chance for us to get creative and combine customs. Both Thanksgiving and Chanukah are holidays full of culinary traditions. Let’s see how we can combine them and put a Chanukah twist on Thanksgiving fare.
Turkey. Nothing says Chanukah more than the use of oil, which commemorates the miracle of the oil burning for eight days. Taking the symbol of Thanksgiving and combining it with the symbol of Chanukah by deep-frying your turkey will make a perfect marriage of the two holidays.
Potatoes. Both holidays feature potatoes in their meals, one with mashed potatoes and the other with latkes. You can make mashed potatoes with crispy shallots as an ode to the latke, or make a mashed-potato latke that has a more creamy consistency than the grated-potato variety.
Stuffing. Put a Jewish twist on your stuffing by making a challah bread stuffing with wild mushrooms and herbs or turkey sausage and leeks. Another option is make a kugel of sweet potatoes and noodles or pumpkin or an apple–challah kugel that can substitute for stuffing as a side dish.
Condiments. Cranberry sauce is typically served alongside the turkey. Why not combine this condiment with the latke topping of applesauce? You can make a cranberry–apple relish that will go great with turkey and latkes.
Sweet potatoes: Instead of making traditional candied yams, use sweet potatoes to make latkes. Top sweet-potato latkes with melted marshmallows to take it to the next level.
Brussels sprouts and green beans. As with other vegetable sides served on Thanksgiving, a Chanukah twist on Brussels sprouts and green beans is to make them into latkes. Everything tastes good as a latke! Take shredded Brussels sprouts or finely chopped steamed green beans and combine with other latke ingredients: onion, eggs, and flour. Fry up the same way you’d make potato latkes.
Pie. Pies are usually served for dessert or as a side, made of sweet potato or pumpkin. Alternatively, use the same flavors to make sweet-potato or pumpkin doughnuts. You can also fill doughnuts with a cranberry or pumpkin filling instead of the regular jelly doughnut. Dip into melted chocolate gelt for another Chanukah tradition. v
4 cups shredded Brussels sprouts
1 medium onion, chopped
kosher salt and pepper to taste
juice from half a lemon
4 egg whites
½ cup all-purpose flour
canola or olive oil for frying
Make sure pre-shredded Brussels sprouts are shredded well. In large bowl, combine sprouts, onion, salt, and pepper. Stir in lemon juice and egg whites, then add flour and mix well. Heat ¼” oil in a pan over medium heat. Using a large spoon, place dollops of the mixture into oil and gently flatten with back of spoon. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Remove to tray lined with paper towels to drain. Serve with balsamic sour cream (1 cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons honey, and 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar). Makes 10-12 latkes.
Sweet Potato Latkes
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
1 medium onion
2 egg whites, beaten
⅓ cup cornstarch
salt and pepper to taste
canola or olive oil for frying
Grate sweet potatoes and onion together in a food processor. Place in bowl and stir in egg whites, cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Heat ¼” oil in a large skillet. Place spoonfuls of mixture into oil and gently flatten with back of spoon. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Remove to tray lined with paper towels to drain. Serve with cranberry–apple sauce (combine can of cranberry sauce with jar of apple sauce for a quick version).
Want to learn how to cook delicious gourmet meals right in your own kitchen? Take one-on-one cooking lessons or give a gift to an aspiring cook that you know. For more information, contact Take Home Chef personal chef services by calling 516-508-3663, writing to elke@TakeHomeChef.net, or visiting www.TakeHomeChef.net.