December isn’t just for Christmas. Hannukah often falls within the month as well. This eight day, eight night Jewish holiday celebrates the successful liberation of the holy temple in Jerusalem. It’s also referred to as the Festival of Lights, in part because a one-day supply of oil was able to light a menorah in the Temple for eight days.
Because of this miracle of the oil, traditional holiday foods are often fried in oil. The most commonly known dish (and most popular) is the latke. I mean, who doesn’t love potatoes fried in oil? It’s like a rosti but shaped like a pancake! I grew up eating these. Traditional latkes have grated potatoes, onions, egg and flour, but new versions are coming out, made with different root veggies, like grated zucchini, sweet potato, or squash. The list goes on and on. Latkes are traditionally served with either applesauce or sour cream. I love them both and cannot/will not choose a favorite! It all depends on my mood!
Continue Reading Heat the Oil for Latkes
We made Chef Julian Medina's Potato-Jalapeno Latkes at home. Even without a mandolin, they were excellent.
Food was not usually a highlight of the Hanukkah parties of my youth (it was the presents). Never the biggest fan of greasy, leaden latkes, I’d just consume several dollars’ worth of chocolate gelt, winning as many of the foil-wrapped coins as I could in games of dreidel.
Recently, Chef Julian Medina has completely transformed my idea of “Hanukkah food” with a preview of the Mexican Hanukkah menu he serves at his New York City restaurants [Toloache 50, Toloache 82, Yerba Buena and Yerba Buena Perry] throughout the eight-day Festival of Lights. Lucky for us, he’s shared a couple of his most popular Hanukkah recipes so we can all jazz up our own holiday festivities with a little Mexican flair.
Continue Reading Hanukkah, Mexican-Style
Use leftover mashed potatoes from turkey day to make Roger Mooking's potato pancakes for Hanukkah. Brilliant!
When Hanukkah falls early, as it does this year, it means Thanksgiving feasting and loading up on fried Hanukkah treats all in the same week. I’m ready. To celebrate the oil that burned for eight days, crispy potato pancakes and jelly-filled doughnuts (sufganiyot) are customary Hanukkah fare. And let’s not forget the chocolate gelt—I go for the dark chocolate coins in silver wrappers (the milk chocolates are usually gold).
Continue Reading Celebrate Hanukkah: Latkes, Doughnuts, Chocolate!