Jeweled Citrus Spinach Couscous
Just because Jewish-American cooking tends to focus on the meat and potatoes of the Old Country doesn’t mean you can’t spice up your holiday fare. Try serving this twist on the Mediterranean side dish to sample traditions from around the globe!
Make jeweled citrus spinach couscous.
Is there a better way to celebrate a miracle than with jelly doughnuts? The lemon zest adds a sophisticated twist to the traditional version, though if your kids are purists — or picky eaters — they’re also delicious citrus-free.
Curried Sweet Potato Latkes
Applesauce is to latkes what ketchup is to french fries: You can eat ’em without, but why would you? Since this ultra-simple recipe also freezes well, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor long after the candles have burned low.
14 Traditional Hanukkah Dishes That Should Be in Everyone’s Repertoire
Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, starts on Dec. 10 this year. Like any good Jewish holiday &mdash barring Yom Kippur &mdash it&rsquos all about the food on Hanukkah. It&rsquos the perfect time to throw a festive dinner party for friends or family &mdash who can say no to brisket and latkes?
If you&rsquore not familiar with Hanukkah, here&rsquos what you need to know: The holiday commemorates the defeat of the ancient Greeks by the rebel Jewish Maccabees in around 200 BCE. After their victory, they wanted to rededicate the Jewish temple that had been damaged by the Greeks and relight the Menorah but only had enough oil for one day. That oil miraculously lasted for eight days, hence the length of the holiday and the tradition to eat fried foods (yes!).
With deep-frying a major tenet of the holiday, Hanukkah is a fan favorite and the perfect opportunity to invite your friends over and cook (or fry) a fabulous dinner. I&rsquom talking latkes, of course, brisket, sufganiyot (Israeli jelly-filled doughnuts), homemade applesauce, matzah ball soup and more. Any of these 14 dishes would be the perfect addition to your Hanukkah party this year.
A version of this story was originally published December 2017.
Hanukkah Dinner Recipes That the Whole Family Will Love
Here you'll find all of the essential Hanukkah recipes, whether you're sticking to tradition or branching out into more modern interpretations of the classics. Start the meal off with crowd-pleasing appetizers that draw on favorites such as smoked salmon and chicken liver pate or mousse and try your hand at making challah (baking it from scratch is totally worth it) or matzo ball soup (which you just may find yourself making all winter long).
For meaty main courses, our recipes fall into two subcategories: brisket and short ribs. Both are rich and comforting, with plenty of tasty sauce. Our incredible, rich Wine-Braised Brisket, shown here, is a crowd-pleasing option. There's also a brisket with carrots, garlic, and parsnips, a classic dish that's sweet and sour, thanks to chili sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar. Yet another brisket recipe calls for Meyer lemons and pomegranate seeds to lend a bright and tart note. Our short ribs recipes incorporate many of the same ingredients, such as pomegranates and root vegetables. The combination of fatty meats with sweet fruits and vegetables is a tried and true winner!
Sides include applesauce and roasted apples, as well as a trio of wonderful kugel recipes. Of course, latkes play a starring role in any Hanukkah dinner, and we offer two versions in this gallery: a classic that calls for potatoes, onions, eggs, and potato starch and an inventive twist that uses matzo, cottage cheese, onion, and egg to form cakes that you then fry.
Rooted in tradition, these dishes will make your celebration meaningful (and delicious!).
2. Challah Made With Aquafaba
Rebecca Coleman‘s Challah Made With Aquafaba is based on the the iconic, delectable Jewish bread that is a little sweet and has a glossy, glazed top. It is traditionally made with eggs, but this brilliant recipe swaps eggs for aquafaba (aka, the liquid from a can of chickpeas) and the result is wonderfully fluffy challah. You can also accent it with different flavors kosher salt, poppy seeds, and sesame seeds are all popular ways to stud the top of your loaf.
Matzo ball soup
Matzo (also spelled matzah) ball soup is one of the most famous Jewish dishes and is especially know for its connection to Passover. But Hanukkah is also an excellent time to make it. The traditional way of preparing it is to float Ashkenazi Jewish soup dumplings called matzo balls — a mixture of matzo meal, water, eggs and chicken or other fat — in chicken soup. But you can substitute a delicious veggie broth and make vegan matzo balls. This recipe from The Edgy Veg uses coconut oil and potato starch as fat and binder. Forks Over Knives’ recipe for herbed vegan matzo ball soup holds it together with cooked quinoa and flax seed. And if you’re wondering, matzo meal is mostly wheat flour.
Hanukkah has got to be my favorite Jewish holiday when it comes to food. It's a time when we celebrate the victory of the Jewish people over the Greek army, and the recapturing of the Holy Temple. There was only enough oil to light the menorah in the temple for one day, yet it lasted eight, a miraculous event. Because of this, the cuisine of the celebration is oil-based. There are latkes, or shredded potatoes fried in patty form, and the oh-so glorious doughnut, a pastry so clutch it can even pass as breakfast.
These days, doughnuts come in all different shapes, fluorescent colors, flavors, and sizes, and even though you may be used to picking up a dozen at your favorite shop, they're actually easy (and so much more fun!) to make at home. Keep reading to check out some of the most delectable recipes from around the internet that will have you salivating before you can even shut your laptop and get cooking.
Israel Takes Doughnut Decoration To Dizzying New Heights
Image by Ronen Mangan and Roladin
A part of Roladin’s 2017 collection, some of these doughnuts come with ‘chasers’ — syringes filled with different flavors.
Just before Hanukkah each year, doughnut collections are released in Israel as if they were haute couture Parisienne fashion. The humble Israeli jelly-filled doughnut dusted with powdered sugar has evolved over the last decade or two into doughnuts with show-stopping glazes, decorations, and gimmicks — and palate-tantalizing flavors.
Click on the green model below to see a spectacular slideshow.
Spectacular Sufganiyot Slideshow
Roladin, a leading bakery with multiple locations throughout Israel, launched a mega media campaign with billboards plastered all over the country with images of models displaying doughnuts. The models wear elaborate costumes and high-fashion makeup — this one wears green for the “Green Queen,” a pistachio cream doughnut with white chocolate.
The doughnut evolution was undeniable when the “chaser doughnuts” gimmick swept the Israeli market. Chasers are syringes filled with flavored creams and coulis that are stuck into the doughnuts. This year’s chaser doughnuts include a raspberry coulis chaser in the cheesecake strawberry doughnut at Tatti (just outside Tel Aviv), a tropical chaser in a cheesecake doughnut and a caramel filled syringe in the ‘Pecan-iliya’ doughnut at Roladin.
Roladin, a leading bakery with multiple locations throughout Israel, launched a mega media campaign with billboards plastered all over the country with images of models displaying doughnuts. The models wear elaborate costumes and high-fashion makeup — in green for the “Green Queen,” a pistachio cream doughnut with white chocolate, and in red for the classic strawberry one. In November, Roladin previewed its new doughnut collection and gave away free doughnuts for one day at its Ibn Gvirol, Tel Aviv location.
In the Jerusalem-themed doughnuts project, sanctioned by the city of Jerusalem as part of a city-wide golden jubilee (semi-centennial) Hanukkah festival, a collaboration between Angel Bakery and Midnight Steak produced a savory mixed grill doughnut. Midnight Steak סטקיית חצות makes the popular grilled offal (hearts, livers, gizzards, spleens), commonly known as “Jerusalem mixed grill,” with its secret spice mix. It’s usually served stuffed in a pita and drizzled with tahini, amba (Iraqi mango pickle) and green or red spicy sauce. For Hanukkah, the brainchild of these two iconic Jerusalem institutions is Midnight Steak’s Jerusalem mixed grill in Angel Bakery’s doughnut, which will be served exclusively at Midnight Steak restaurant in Shuk Mahane Yehuda in Jerusalem.
A “Cotton Candy” cronut is a part of The Showroom Bakehouse’s “Luna Park”-themed doughnut collection. It pays a very pleasing homage to New York’s Dominique Ansel’s cronut, with pink strawberry vanilla mascarpone and blue cotton candy on top. The Showroom Bakehouse has a storefront by Rabin Square and a Hanukkah pop-up at Sarona Market in Tel Aviv.
Last year, Biscotti (just outside Tel Aviv) launched a doughnut collection inspired by childhood flavors. One of its highlight was the “Bamba” doughnut. Bamba, a quintessential Israeli peanut snack, is now sold at Traders Joe’s and soon enough will be a household staple in American homes too. This year the peanut theme carries over in the pretzel, or begale as Israelis call it: a doughnut with caramel, and glazed with peanut butter ganache which is a part of Biscotti’s 2017 crunchy themed doughnut collection.
A 300 NIS ($28) doughnut glazed in 24-karat edible gold at Dudu Automezgin Patisserie (multiple locations) is clearly controversial. Gold stock exchange rates aside, it was neither aesthetically pleasing nor refined. YOLO GOLD, a Roladin doughnut, inspired by a chocolate pudding snack by the same name, is a chocolate, hazelnuts and praline doughnut with touches of mini gold leaves, selling for 11 NIS (a little over $3).
There was even a call on social media for participants in a country-fair-hot-dog-eating-like contest, only with doughnuts. But for those who are sentimental, it takes only one classic Israeli jelly doughnut to satisfy the soul.
Shulie Madnick is a food and Travel writer and photographer. Follow her blog Food Wanderings, on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook
Spectacular Hanukkah Doughnuts
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Baby-Led Weaning First Foods: What to Look For
When preparing baby-led weaning first foods, you should be mindful of three components: texture, size, and ease of eating.
Texture: Foods should be soft enough to smash between your thumb and forefinger with gentle pressure. Raw hard fruit and veggies are a choking hazard, so steam or roast them first.
Size: Size also matters, both for safety and because if a baby can&rsquot pick up the food, then what&rsquos the point? Few 6- to 8-month-olds have mastered the pincer grasp (thumb and index finger), so they&rsquoll pick up foods with their whole palm. To make it easier, cut foods about the length and width of an adult pinky finger.
Ease: Remember that many foods are slippery! When serving bananas and avocado, for example, leave some of the peel on to make it easier for your baby to grasp. Using a crinkle cutter can also be helpful with certain foods.
Other Interpretations of the Hanukkah Story
Some modern historians offer a radically different interpretation of the Hanukkah tale. In their view, Jerusalem under Antiochus IV had erupted into civil war between two camps of Jews: those who had assimilated into the dominant culture that surrounded them, adopting Greek and Syrian customs and those who were determined to impose Jewish laws and traditions, even if by force. The traditionalists won out in the end, with the Hasmonean dynasty—led by Judah Maccabee’s brother and his descendants—wresting control of the Land of Israel from the Seleucids and maintaining an independent Jewish kingdom for more than a century.
Jewish scholars have also suggested that the first Hanukkah may have been a belated celebration of Sukkot, which the Jews had not had the chance to observe during the Maccabean Revolt. One of the Jewish religion’s most important holidays, Sukkot consists of seven days of feasting, prayer and festivities.
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) in Food
Added to foods to enhance flavor, MSG has not been shown to pose a health risk, despite popular concerns about this additive. But some people do experience an unpleasant reaction, known as MSG symptom complex, which includes headache, flushing, sweating, fluttering heartbeat, and shortness of breath.
Lisa Hark, PhD, RD, University of Pennsylvania.
Christine A. Rosenbloom, PhD, RD, professor of nutrition, Georgia State University.
American Heart Association: "Know Your Fats."
Center for Science in the Public Interest: "Food Additives."
FDA Backgrounder: "MSG," 1995.
Brambilla and Martelli, Mutation Research, January-February 2007 pp 17-52.