Recipes: Hosting Hanukkah Dinner

Recipes: Hosting Hanukkah Dinner

If you are going to host a Hanukkah Dinner, the first thing you need to know is that Hanukkah is a family affair. It’s an opportunity to come together, share food, and celebrate blessings, while passing on and creating new traditions. During the eight days of Hanukkah, communal meals are shared as family and friends reconcile their differences of the year past. The Festival of Lights is a testament to the long-lasting light that came from such a small amount of oil. Those candles burned for eight straight days, which is why most traditional Hanukkah dishes are fried in oil. These recipes, fried or not, are all a sentiment to the miracle that took place during the rededication of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.

Potato Latkes

32 minutes

2 cups peeled and shredded potatoes • 1 tablespoon grated onion • 3 eggs, beaten • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour • 1 ½ teaspoons salt • ½ cup peanut oil for frying

Place the potatoes in a cheesecloth and wring, extracting as much moisture as possible. In a medium bowl stir the potatoes, onion, eggs, flour and salt together. In a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot. Place large spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the hot oil, pressing down on them to form 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick patties. Brown on one side, turn and brown on the other. Let drain on paper towels. Serve hot. Makes 12.


45 minutes

2 tablespoons active dry yeast • 1/2 cup warm water (100 degrees to 110 degrees) • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, plus more for rolling • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting • 2 large eggs • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg • 2 teaspoons salt • 3 cups vegetable oil, plus more for bowl • 1 cup seedless raspberry jam

In a small bowl, combine yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes. Place flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the center; add eggs, yeast mixture, 1/4 cup sugar, butter, nutmeg, and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir until a sticky dough forms. On a well-floured work surface, knead until dough is smooth, soft, and bounces back when poked with a finger, about 8 minutes (add more flour, if necessary). Place in an oiled bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place to rise until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 2 1/2-inch-round cutter or drinking glass, cut 20 rounds. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise 15 minutes. In medium saucepan over medium heat, heat oil until a deep-frying thermometer registers 370 degrees. Using a slotted spoon, carefully slip 4 rounds into oil. Fry until golden, about 40 seconds. Turn doughnuts over; fry until golden on other side, another 40 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Roll in sugar while warm. Fry all dough, and roll in sugar. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a #4 tip with jam. Using a wooden skewer or toothpick, make a hole in the side of each doughnut. Fit the pastry tip into a hole, pipe about 2 teaspoons jam into doughnut. Repeat with remaining doughnuts. MAKES 12.


1 hour 30 minutes

2 tablespoons dried thyme • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika • 2 tablespoons dried sage • 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt, plus more for seasoning • One 10-pound whole beef brisket • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil •8 medium onions (3 pounds) sliced • 2 cups beef stock or low-sodium broth • 1 cup Banyuls vinegar or aged red wine vinegar • 1 cup tomato puree • 10 garlic cloves, peeled • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns • 1 bay leaf • 3 fennel bulbs, each cut through the core into 1 1/2-inch wedges

In a bowl, whisk the thyme with the paprika, sage, ground pepper and 1 tablespoon of sea salt. Rub the spice mixture all over the brisket and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 300°. In a large flameproof roasting pan set over 2 burners, heat the oil. Add the brisket to the roasting pan and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the brisket to a large baking sheet.Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt to the roasting pan. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and well browned, about 20 minutes. Add the beef stock, vinegar, tomato puree, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Return the brisket to the roasting pan, then nestle the fennel in the braising liquid around it. Tent the brisket with foil and bake for about 6 hours and 30 minutes, until very tender. Transfer the brisket to a carving board, tent with foil and let rest for 20 minutes. Skim the fat off the braising liquid and discard the bay leaf. Carve the brisket and transfer to a platter. Serve with the pan juices and vegetables.

Matzo Ball Soup

1 hour 20 minutes

1 package of Matzo Ball & Soup • 2 eggs • 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil • 1 tablespoon of olive oil • 3 celery chopped

2 shallots chopped • 1 cup of frozen peas • 1/2 an onion chopped • 3 garlic cloves • 3 carrots sliced • 2 bay leafs • 1 teaspoon of dill • 10 cups of water • 1 roasted chicken

Take the Matzo out and mix it with eggs and oil. Place in the refrigerator for 15 mins. Take a small spoon to grab the mix and make small balls. They expand ones they are in the soup cooking. Take the olive oil and drip in the pot to saute, onion and garlic for 5 minutes. Put your carrots, celery and frozen peas and saute along with the bay leaf for about 7 minutes. Add the water and half the pack of the seasoning from the Matzo Ball package.

Cook for about 10 minutes until boiling. Add the matzo balls and cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes. Cut up half the chicken breast into small bite size along with the dill and shallots then cook for another 10 minutes. Serves 4.


Though Manischewitz is the traditional drink of choice for a Hanukkah celebration, many prefer a crisp, kosher wine wine to start the evening off right!

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