Monday, December 7, 2015

Hanukkah Party Time

Today ii the second day of Hanukkah, the festival of lights. It's a time to celebrate , and of course eat fun treats.As with any other holiday., it's celebrated differently throughout the world. There are some yummy treats that work well at any Hanukkah party.

The holiday is known for homemade latkes or potato pancakes.These symbolize the miracle of the festival when the last jar of oil not touched by the Greeks lasted for eight days - hence the reasoning whythe holiday lasts for that long. Latkes are usually made with grated potatoes mixed with onions.This is the traditional way however you can also make them with mashed potatoes..This creates a creamy middle yet it still has a nice crispy, crunchy crust. You can add shallots and parsley  for more flavor and color. another way of adding color is making latkes with root vegetables.Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler on "The Big Bang Theory") has an excellent recipe for this in her cookbook, Mayim's Vegan Table (Lifelong Books Publishers). Carrots ,zucchini and red pepper make the batter festively colorful while matzoh meal and egg are the binders. You can use a real egg instead of the egg substitute. Sweet potatoes can also be turned into latkes They're basically made the same way as the regular ones with one more egg added.These can be served with yogurt and sour cream or plain yogurt.

Another Hanukkah favorite is sufganiyot , another treat deep fried in oil. It's a kind of  yeast jelly doughnut. that actually originated in North Africa. The recipe is a hybrid  from the Ashkenazi Jews who resettled in Israel who combined the recipe with their ponchke one, a type of Berliner. The original recipe called for two pieces of dough sandwiching a blob of jam and then deep frying it. A better way is making the dough and frying it first and then filling it with a syringe. The filling is usually strawberry or raspberry jam. Dust with powdered or granulated sugar.You can fill them with salted caramel or dulce de leche.If you're having a party you make want to think about baking dreidl cookies. These are just a basic sugar cookie dough rolled out to look like the four sided top. Ice it with the familiar symbols of nes, gadol,haya and shan. If you want a more substantial dinner then make the traditional brisket with carrots and potatoes.You can also serve with meat with latkes.Noodle kugel is another nice dish that could go sweet or savory. It can be served as a meal or as a dessert, depending on the ingredients.

Hanukkah is a time of good food and good eating. Fry up a batch of latkes for a fun crunchy treat or a jam filled sufganiyot for a bite between games. Enjoy this festive time with festive sweets and savories.

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