Chanukah Recipes Revamped
Coming to the end of December (and Kislev), the Festival of Lights looms brightly in the corners of our eyes. The moon wanes in the sky, we dig our menorahs out of storage or take them off the shelves they have decorated for the past year— perhaps purchase one for the first time or add another to our collection—and ready our window sills as snow begins to fall. There are so many ways we prepare ourselves for this time of year, but there is one tradition that unites us all: the warm, oh-so-yummy goodness of deep fried food.
In honoring the miracle of Chanukah oil, it is tradition to fry up all kinds of delicious goodies this time of year. Latkes and sufganiyot (jelly donuts) already have our mouths watering. Then of course, there’s kugel (noodle AND potato), applesauce, rugelach, challah...what were we saying again? The point is, there’s so many delicious ways to celebrate Chanukah—and beautiful ways to serve them—so here are a few simple ideas for your table this year:
Sweet Potato and Apple Latkes - These latkes strike the perfect balance of sweet and savory. Starchy and filling, sweet potatoes have what it takes to fill the shoes of regular yukon golds, and pairing them with apples vamps up their deliciousness. Don’t be afraid to go a little off-road with your seasonings, too; If cinnamon and nutmeg sound too sweet, try something like basil or sage. Serve these latkes up with pomegranate seeds and creamy tahini for an extra burst of flavor!
Zucchini Latkes - Switching up traditional potato with zucchini is a great, health-conscious version of the latke that is still full of flavor! Combined with onion and flavored with garlic and lemon, these green beauties are ready to become new favorites. If you want an even lighter taste and feel, try baking these patties instead of frying them (though we know it’s horrible to suggest). Zucchini latkes pair amazingly with a sour cream-based tzatziki sauce, and are very worthy of a spot on any holiday table. With so many recipes out there, make sure you shop around and follow the one that speaks to you most!
Sufganiyot - These scrumptious jelly donuts often take a back seat to the popular latke this time of year, but there’s more than enough room for both! Bursting with filling and dusted with powdered sugar, sufganiyot are deep fried to light golden perfection, and bring out all the sweetness of Chanukah as we light the candles each night. Before you get your oil frying, make sure you find the perfect recipe for you and those you love. Adding a little cinnamon, cocoa powder, or orange zest to your dough is a fun and easy way to add depth of flavor! Fill them with with a traditional berry jam once they’ve cooled, or branch out to lemon curd, chocolate sauce, or custard. Sufganiyot stuffed with blueberry jam and topped with a light lemon icing, anyone? For a lighter option, these jelly donuts can also be baked instead of fried!
Winter Squash Kugel - Winter squash—the beautiful centerpieces we purchase from farmer’s markets to decorate our tables throughout the autumn and then promptly forget about. But did you know these squash (which include butternut, acorn, delicata, hubbard, and more), make for an excellent kugel? You may be thinking, “Can it be a kugel if it’s not noodle and/or potato?” Trust us on this. Winter squash have a wide range of tastes—from starchy to sweet—and a heartiness that makes them a wonderful addition to a winter meal. Butternut squash kugel is a favorite, but you can easily add in acorn or delicata squash for a more robust, nutty flavor. Go savory with your seasonings and top with rosemary sprigs and toasted pine nuts, or go sweet and serve with a candied pecan topping.
Homemade Applesauce - As anyone who has made applesauce from scratch can tell you—it blows the store bought stuff out of the water. Like with zucchini latkes, there are many different recipes, all with room for experimentation and fun. For one thing: Who said apples get to have all the fun? Adding in pears, cranberries, or raspberries, as well as warming spices like ginger, cloves, and whole cinnamon sticks, help to dress up your applesauce to be its very (berry) best. A delicious sweet-tart applesauce makes for a delicious side for your latkes. Even if you consider yourself a sour cream purist, spice things up and try adding applesauce into your tradition this year and see how it goes!
No matter what foods you fill your table and belly with this Chanukah season, everything tastes better when shared with loved ones. From all of us at Kolbo, we wish you a very Happy Chanukah!
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