Everyone has a favorite latke recipe. But do you really want to serve the same thing, no matter how delicious, for eight nights straight? Imagine, if you will, a fresh “spin” on Chanukah that has nothing to do with dreidels and everything to do with a dinner to remember. Kayco (www.kayco.com) and Kosher.com have joined forces this year to help you change it up with eight unique recipe suggestions, one for each night, to celebrate the Festival of Lights.
This savory starter is as festive and delicious as it is pretty. Dairy-free and vegetarian, it calls for puff pastry dough and sautéed onions. With frozen Puff Pastry Sheets and frozen sautéed onions, these impressive hors d’oeuvres are a cinch.
For Tomato Jam
2 large onions, diced; OR 8 cubes frozen sautéed onions
oil for sautéing
2 (14- and 1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon oregano
black pepper to taste
1-2 small zucchini (about 2 inches diameter)
1-2 small yellow squash (about 2 inches diameter)
salt for sprinkling
black pepper for sprinkling
oil cooking spray
2 (10- x 15-inch) sheets puff pastry dough
In a medium saucepan, sauté onions in oil on a low flame, until soft and golden brown.
Add the rest of the jam ingredients, raise the flame and bring to a boil.
Once the sauce is boiling, lower the flame to medium and simmer the tomato jam for about 20-25 minutes, stirring every so often to prevent burning. Keep the lid off of the pot so that the liquid will evaporate and the jam will reduce.
When complete, place the jam in the refrigerator to cool. If there is still some liquid in the pot, strain so that the jam is somewhat thick and chunky, yet a nice spreadable consistency.
Wash the zucchini and slice into thin round slices.
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch for a couple of minutes in boiling water then stop the cooking by immersing them in cold water. Alternatively, place on a plate covered with saran wrap and microwave for about a minute, or until slightly bendable. Dry with paper towels.
Defrost dough and roll out thinly on a sheet of parchment paper, so that it is about 14×18 inches.
Slice dough evenly into seven 2 and 1/2 inch x 14 inch strips. Repeat with second sheet of dough.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Spread about two tablespoons of tomato jam onto each strip.
Place the zucchini slices on the top half of the strip, alternating colors and making sure that the top third of the zucchini is overlapping the dough.
Fold about 1 inch of dough over the bottoms of the zucchini.
Starting from one end, carefully roll the dough, keeping the zucchini slices in place, and gently roll tight. Place immediately in a greased muffin pan.
Spray roses evenly with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until fully cooked and golden brown.
Using a spoon, remove each rose from muffin pan and cool on a wire rack.
Note: Make sure the pastry is fully cooked on the inside before removing the roses from the oven. If after the first 30 minutes the zucchini starts to burn on top, move the pan to a lower rack of the oven and finish baking. You can also cover loosely with aluminum foil for these last 10-15 minutes, to avoid burning the top.
If you think you’ve seen (and tasted) it all, consider this latke mashup starring carrots and ginger topped with a dollop of apple salsa. Cilantro and pickled jalapenos give the dish a Southwestern accent, and a bit of honey mellows the heat.
Yields 20 Latkes
12 medium carrots, peeled
1 clove garlic, peeled, or 1 cube frozen garlic
2 inch knob fresh ginger, peeled
1/3 to 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 eggs, beaten
vegetable oil, for frying
3 large apples, peeled, halved, cored
1 fresh lemon
2 tablespoons honey
2 scallions, chopped
1 pickled jalapeño pepper, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
For the Latkes
In a food processor fitted with the shredding blade, place the carrots vertically in the feeder and shred. Remove blade and spread shredded carrots on a kitchen towel. Roll towel up jelly-roll style and twist to squeeze out excess moisture.
Switch food processor to chopping blade and place the garlic and ginger in work bowl. Chop until finely minced.
In a large bowl stir together one-third cup of the flour, the baking powder, salt and pepper. Add the carrots, ginger mixture and eggs. Add more flour as needed to make a loosely-held mixture.
Place a large frying pan over medium high heat. Pour in enough oil to thinly coat the bottom of the pan by one-fourth inch. Test by dropping a small amount of the mixture into the oil. When it sizzles the oil is ready. Mound mixture in a heaping tablespoon and carefully place into the hot oil. Flatten gently with a spatula or back of a spoon. Cook two to four minutes until golden brown. Using a fork, turn latke over to brown the other side for another two to four minutes.
Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining batter, adding oil as needed to prevent latkes from sticking, and adjusting temperature to maintain an even heat.
Prepare the Salsa
In food processor fitted with shredding blade, shred apples. Remove into a colander, press and squeeze apples to remove excess juice.
Using a rasp or paddle grater, zest the lemon into a medium bowl. Halve and juice the lemon into bowl, and remove the seeds. Stir in the honey, apples, green onions, jalapeño pepper, cilantro, salt and pepper. Cover and chill.
Prepare ahead: Keep Carrot Ginger latkes warm in a 250 degree Fahrenheit oven for a half an hour, or at room temperature for four hours. Reheat before serving. Apple-Salsa will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to one day.
Some people want to avoid all the fat (and calories of fried latkes). This Baked Latke recipe will do the trick.
Yields 24 latkes
1 small onion
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
24 ounces (680 grams) frozen cauliflower or broccoli, semi defrosted
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (230 degrees Celsius).
Mince onion and add eggs, salt, and pepper. Change to an S blade and finely chop the cauliflower or broccoli. Mix well.
Spray muffin top tins with cooking spray. If you don’t have muffin top pans, you can use regular muffin pans filled with a heaping tablespoon of mixture. Fill cavities till the top (latkes will shrink). Spray once more with cooking spray.
Bake for 15 minutes. Lower to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius) and bake for about half an hour or until golden brown and crispy.
Four Cheese Lasagne
Decadent in every way! Filled with a quartet of cheeses, porcini mushrooms, and a creamy béchamel sauce, this rich main dish is anything but ho-hum. Prep and assembly are a bit involved, though, so save yourself a step with oven-Ready Lasagna noodles (Haddar makes a good one).
For Mushroom Filling
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
3 tablespoons butter
8 cups (1 pound) sliced mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 and 1/2 cups shredded Emmentaler or Swiss cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 and 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
For Bechamel Sauce
1/4 cup butter
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 and 3/4 cups milk
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
15 oven-ready lasagna noodles, or regular lasagna noodles cooked until al dente
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
Prepare the Mushroom Sauce
Place porcini mushrooms in small bowl; cover with half a cup of hot water. Set aside for 15 minutes.
In large skillet set over medium high heat, melt butter; add mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until mushrooms are softened, have started to turn golden and any excess liquid has evaporated. Transfer mushrooms to bowl.
Drain porcini mushrooms. Chop coarsely; stir into sliced mushroom mixture along with parsley.
In separate bowl, combine Emmentaler and half a cup of the Parmesan. In third bowl, stir together ricotta and egg.
Prepare the Bechamel Sauce
In a bowl, combine Emmentaler and half a cup of the Parmesan. In a separate bowl, stir together the ricotta and egg.
In saucepan set over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion, garlic and thyme; cook, stirring, for three minutes. Stir in flour for one minute; mixture will be very thick. Stir in milk and stock, whisking to break up any clumps.
Bring to boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes or until thick enough to coat back of wooden spoon.
Whisk a quarter cup of sauce into the ricotta mixture. Pour remaining sauce over Emmentaler/Parmesan mixture, whisking until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth.
Assemble and Bake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spread half a cup of cheese sauce over bottom of a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Layer with three noodles, half a cup of ricotta mixture, half a cup of mozzarella and half a cup of cheese sauce. Repeat layering once.
Cover with all of mushroom mixture. Repeat layering two more times. Spread remaining sauce over the top of the last layer of noodles.
Sprinkle with remaining quarter cup of Parmesan cheese. Cover loosely with foil.
Bake in the center of the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and broil for about three minutes or until top is just starting to turn golden brown. Let lasagna rest for 10 minutes before cutting into servings.
CHESTNUT CHICKEN Ingredients (6)
Make Friday night extra-special – and extra-simple. The secret to Chestnut Chicken? Six ingredients and one oven roasting bag are all you need. Instead of prepping fresh chestnuts (not to mention cleaning up the shells), buy roasted and peeled chestnuts.
1–2 (5.2-ounce) bags roasted and peeled chestnuts (or prepare them yourself **)
2 large Spanish onions, sliced
6-8 chicken quarters, skin on
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon paprika
2 cloves garlic, minced
Place an oven bag in a roasting pan. Place inside sliced onions, chicken and spices. Sprinkle in whole chestnuts and close the bag.
Cut three slits in the bag and place pan in oven. Bake on 400 degrees Fahrenheit until the thermometer reads 180, about an hour to an hour and a half.
** Note: Alternatively, you can prepare the chestnuts yourself and bake them. Buy 2–3 cups of raw chestnuts. On the flat side of the chestnut, use a paring knife and score an “x” in it. This allows the steam from the chestnut to escape; otherwise the chestnut will explode! Place chestnuts on a baking tray, separated so they don’t layer on top of each other. Bake for 15–25 minutes, till skin separates and they are easy to peel. Careful, they are crazy hot! Discard skins and you should have about 2 cups of chestnuts.
Syrian Pumpkin Patties
Surprise guests with this Sephardic take on classic latkes. Bulgur wheat, pumpkin, and spices give these fritters their exotic, slightly sweet flavor, while olive oil gives them a perfect fry. Don’t forget the applesauce!
Syrians tend to prefer their pumpkin pancakes spicy, while Sephardim from Turkey and Greece generally favor them slightly sweet. In either case, these colorful pancakes are both traditional for Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, and Chanukah as well as make a tasty side dish for any meal, the many seeds a symbol of fruitfulness and abundance.
1 cup fine bulgur
warm water for soaking
2 cups mashed cooked pumpkin (about 2 and 1/2 pounds raw), or 16 ounces pure-pack canned pumpkin
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
1 medium onion, chopped
3–4 cloves garlic, minced
about 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon grated black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch of cayenne
vegetable or olive oil for frying
Prepare the Bulgur
Soak the bulgur in warm water for 20 minutes.
Prepare the Patties
Transfer the bulgur to a food processor with the remaining ingredients except the oil and puree. If the mixture is too thin, add a little more flour.
Shape into patties about two inches long, one inch wide, and half an inch thick.
Heat an eighth inch oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the patties, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about two minutes per side. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Tip: To cook fresh pumpkin, cut it into eighths, place in a large pot of lightly salted water, cover, and simmer over low heat until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, cut off the peel, and mash. Gently press in a strainer to remove the excess liquid.
Sephardic Pumpkin Patties (Fritadas de Calabaza): This batter will be looser than the bulgur version, and is dropped from a spoon. Omit the bulgur, 1/2 cup water, onion, and seasoning. Add 3 large eggs and 2–8 tablespoons granulated or brown sugar. If desired, also add 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and a pinch of ground ginger.
Syrian Baked Pumpkin Casserole (Kibbet Yatkeen bi Seniyeh): Spread the pumpkin mixture into an oiled nine-inch square baking pan. Cut into diamonds or one- and- a- half-inch squares. Drizzle with 1/4 cup vegetable oil. Bake in a 400-degree oven until golden brown.
Everyone loves mini things, especially cupcakes…but how do you transform a usually kid-friendly sweet into something more elegant and Chanukah-relevant? Olive oil makes these super moist and pairs well with citrus, which is at its peak now in December. You can also prepare these cupcakes using Meyer lemon, orange, or grapefruit zest or a combination of different varieties (just make sure to zest the full two tablespoons to get that flavor).
Yield: 12 mini cupcakes
1 tablespoon melted butter or margarine
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
2 large eggs
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup whole milk or non-dairy alternative
1 cup flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk or non-dairy alternative
1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest, plus more for garnish
mint leaves, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a mini cupcake pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter and sugar. Add zest, eggs, olive oil, and milk and mix to combine. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 12-15 minutes.
Rather than topping the mini cupcakes with the glaze, serve the glaze on the side as a dipping sauce. If serving as a plated dessert, you’ll only need one tasting spoon of glaze alongside a few mini cupcakes. The garnishing is easy…these are beautiful and elegant with a simple sprinkling of citrus zest and a small mint leaf.
Prepare the glaze while the cupcakes bake. In a bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and milk, adding only a bit at a time. When glaze reaches desired consistency, add zest. Serve alongside cupcakes.
To garnish, sprinkle cupcakes with additional zest and a mint leaf, letting some of the zest fall naturally onto the plate.
Mexican Churros with Chipotle Chocolate Sauce
These utterly addictive delights may well replace sufganiyot as your family’s favorite Chanukah dessert. Dough is fried to a golden brown, coated with cinnamon sugar, and dipped in an amazing warm blend of chocolate (we recommend Gefen Chocolate Chips), heavy cream, and a pinch of chipotle powder.
1 stick butter
1 and 1/4 cups water
1 tablespoon plus 2 cups sugar, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cinnamon
vegetable oil, for frying
1/2 cup heavy cream, milk, or soy milk
1 cup Chocolate Chips
chipotle powder, a pinch
For the Churros
Preheat the oil in a large pot to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a medium-sized pot heat up the butter and water until the water is simmering and the butter is melted.
Add in the salt and one tablespoon sugar and stir to combine.
Add in the flour and mix until fully incorporated. Continue mixing on a low flame for 30-45 seconds.
Transfer the dough into a large bowl and let it cool for five minutes.
Prepare the sugar coating: In a small bowl combine the cinnamon and remaining two cups sugar.
Mix in the eggs into the dough one at a time until its forms a homogeneous mixture. Add in the vanilla extract and continue mixing.
Place the dough into a piping bag fitted with a star tip.
Pipe churros about four inches long into the hot oil and fry until golden brown.
Immediately place the churros, right out of the oil, into the bowl of cinnamon sugar and fully coat. Serve
immediately with Chipotle Chocolate Sauce.
For Chipotle Chocolate Sauce
In a small saucepan heat the heavy cream until it begins to simmer, then remove from the flame.
Add in the chocolate and chipotle powder and stir until fully combined. Serve warm.