Next week is Hanukkah, which is, for those who do not know, an eight-day Jewish Festival.
Hanukkah means “dedication” in Hebrew. The holiday celebrates the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem after it was retaken by the Maccabees, a group of Jewish warriors, from the Greek Syrians in the 2nd century BCE.
It’s to commemorate their victory and the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem to the worship of God.
This year, Hanukkah will start on the evening of Thursday, December 10, and it will end on the evening of Friday, December 18.
Things are different this year, thanks to Covid-19, and each family will likely find new ways of celebrating Hanukkah.
With celebrations on the way, you have got some preparation work to do.
Ahead of the celebration, you need to purchase the perfect Hanukkah gifts, hang your favourite festive decorations, and decide on a holiday menu to serve throughout the week – and below we have the perfect food options that are easy to do and can be done by the whole family together.
5 medium baking potatoes
2 sweet potatoes
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup flour
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp coarse black pepper
Olive oil for frying
Options to serve on the side or top
Sour cream and fresh herbs, cinnamon and sugar, apple sauce, smoked salmon and chives, pastrami, avocado, fried eggs, cream and berries, crème fraîche and caviar
Peel the potatoes. Using the large holes of a box grater or a food processor, grate the potatoes.
Transfer this mixture to a large dishcloth and wring out any excess liquid. Place the mixture in a large bowl. Add the eggs, flour, salt and pepper. Toss the mixture with your hands to thoroughly combine.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a small drop of the mixture to the pan. If the fat sizzles around the edges, the oil is hot enough.
Drop 3 spoonfuls of the mixture into the hot oil. Fry till crispy and golden. Flip and cook the other side (approximately 2 to 3 minutes a side). Place some paper towels over a cooling rack. Allow the excess oil to drain.
Repeat with the rest of the mixture. Serve immediately.
You can also place the rack on a baking sheet in a 220ºC oven for a few minutes to warm through and re-crisp the latkes.
Recipe by Melissa Mayo.
Doro Wat (Ethiopian-style spicy chicken)
Yield: 4 to 6
8 to 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbs white vinegar
4 to 5 large onions, peeled and quartered
Fresh ginger, peeled and grated
½ head of garlic, peeled
⅓ cup olive oil
1 to 2 tbs hot chilli powder like cayenne
1 tbs sweet paprika
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground coriander
1tsp ground cardamom
¼tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp ground fenugreek
¾ tsp salt or to taste
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Injera, pita, naan, or rice, for serving
Hard-boiled eggs, for serving (optional)
Heat the oven to 350ºC and rub the chicken with the lemon juice and vinegar.
Put the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, discarding the juices after 20 minutes, then draining again after 10 more minutes.
Remove meat from the oven and set aside.
As the chicken cooks, put the onions, ginger and garlic in a food processor with a steel blade and finely chop until almost ground, leaving a bit of texture.
Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium heat.
Add the onion mixture and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes or until the onions have turned golden.
Then stir in 1 tablespoon of the chilli powder, the sweet paprika, ginger, coriander, cardamom, thyme, fenugreek, salt and pepper.
Cook for a few minutes, taste the sauce, and if you prefer more bite, add more chilli.
Add the chicken and simmer, covered, for about 15 more minutes, adding as much as a cup of water to reach the consistency of a thick sauce.
Add more salt and pepper, if desired.
Serve with injera, pita, naan or rice and, if you wish, hard-boiled eggs.
Recipe by Joan Nathan.
340ml kosher cider
375-420ml self-raising flour
125g dried apple rings
Oil for frying
Cinnamon sugar for sprinkling
Put the cider into a mixing bowl and add enough flour to make a smooth batter. Mix in the sugar. Add the apple rings.
Heat oil in a deep frying pan and fry the apple rings until golden brown on both sides.
Drain on a paper towel and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
1 vegetable stock cube
250ml boiling water
780g bottle of grated beetroot
375ml of cold water
125ml cream or non-dairy creamer
1 cucumber, finely chopped
A handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped (optional)
Dissolve the vegetable stock cube in the boiling water and set aside to cool.
Place the beetroot, with its juice, into a blender or food processor with the cooled vegetable stock, cold water and sugar. Blend until smooth.
Refrigerate until really cold. I usually make it in the morning to have in the early evening.
Before serving, stir and taste again as it may need a little more sweetness.
Pour into individual glasses and, just before serving, drizzle with a little cream or non-dairy creamer, and sprinkle with the cucumber and coriander.
Recipes from ’Celebrating with the Kosher Butcher’s Wife’.