Ask A Denver Expert: 5 Traditional Chanukah Recipes

December 2, 2015 9:56 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Hanukkah starts sundown on Dec. 6 this year, so the holiday will be here before you know it. There are lots of great recipes for traditional Jewish foods, and you can easily find something new to enjoy every night of the holiday. If you’re in need of some new recipes, here are two fantastic experts who both have lots of Hanukkah recipes to share. Each runs a packed Jewish cooking blog, filled with lots of delicious recipes for both kosher and non-kosher lifestyles. As you prepare your meals for the eight nights of Hanukkah, here are several to spark your appetite.
Amy Kritzer
What Jew Wanna Eat
www.whatjewwannaeat.com

Amy Kritzer is no stranger to Jewish cooking. She’s been cooking with her grandmother (Bubbe Eleanor) since she was young, and followed her culinary dreams to school at Le Cordon Bleu. Today, she teaches cooking classes, develops recipes and runs the Jewish cooking blog “What Jew Wanna Eat.” It’s a fantastic blog filled with easy to follow recipes that have all been tested and perfected by Kritzer. If you’re in search of some (mostly) kosher recipes for the holiday, or any time of year, make sure to bookmark “What Jew Wanna Eat” and check back often for lots of great recipes. Here, Kritzer shares some information and tips on her favorite recipes, all perfect for the Hanukkah season.

Sweet And Tangy Brisket

This amazing recipe by Kritzer uses lots of flavorful seasonings like thyme and paprika, and adds some sweetness with brown sugar and tomatoes. In the recipe, Kritzer walks you through browning the brisket before you braise it, which provides tons of flavor and really melds the flavors together. If you’re not too experienced in the world of picking out a brisket, Kritzer offers this advice, “For brisket, fat is your friend! You don’t want to pick the leanest brisket out there. Fat lends flavor and melt in your mouth texture. I start with a packer brisket, and trim the fat down to ¼ to ½ inch.”

Related: Ask A Denver Chef: Top Latke Recipes For Hanukkah

Candied Ginger, Almond And Cardamom Rugelach

Rugelach is a very traditional Jewish dessert, one that has been a staple on most Jewish tables for generations. The rolled pastry also acts as the perfect canvas for a variety of flavors, including Kritzer’s unique candied ginger, almond and cardamom rugelach. “That candied ginger, almond and cardamom rugelach is one of my favorites,” she offers. “I developed it for a Jewish/Indian fundraiser called Bollywood meets Borscht Belt. I used Indian inspired flavors with a Jewish dessert and it worked out really well.”

Fried Foods Galore

Hanukkah is all about fried foods, as the oil is symbolic of the oil that lasted for eight days. That means you get full permission to enjoy lots of great fried foods this season. When it comes to the many different fried options, Kritzer has lots of amazing recipes to try out. “Latkes are definitely my favorite, but I like to try all sorts of fried recipes during Hanukkah time. These deep fried rugelach are amazing. And beet fries are a favorite, too — beets means healthy, right? Donuts are also popular for Hanukkah, like these decadent boozy glazed doughnut holes with chocolate covered potato chips.

Related: Holiday Recipes From Denver Chefs

Chanie Apfelbaum
Busy In Brooklyn
www.busyinbrooklyn.com

Another fantastic Jewish cooking blogger, Chanie Apfelbaum runs Busy in Brooklyn. She observes a kosher diet, so all of the recipes she offers are perfect for any holiday, and she has lots of great Hanukkah recipes to share. The vast majority of her recipes are all her creation, so you know you’ll find lots of original things to try and new dishes to share. Here, Apfelbaum shares her recipe for confetti latkes with Harissa sour cream, which is a truly delectable version of the Hanukkah classic (reprinted here with permission).

Confetti Latkes (Kohlrabi, Carrot And Beet)

Ingredients

  • 1 large kohlrabi, peeled and grated (approximately 2 cups)
  • 3 medium beets, peeled and grated (approximately 2 cups)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and grated (approximately 2 cups)
  • 1 handful beet greens, shredded (approximately 2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 c Panko breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • oil, for frying

Directions

  1. Grate the kohlrabi, beets, carrots and onion in a food processor using the shredding disc.
  2. Wash the beet greens to remove dirt and finely shred with a knife.
  3. Place the grated veggies and beet greens into a large colander and press down to remove excess moisture.
  4. Add to a large bowl and mix in eggs, panko, salt and pepper.
  5. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry until golden and crispy on both sides.
  6. NOTE: If the mixture starts to get soggy, form patties and squeeze out excess moisture before frying.
Harissa Sour Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 c sour cream
  • 1 tbsp Harissa
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix to combine.
  2. Serve with confetti latkes.

Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.