What Jew Wanna Eat
Latkes and pizza are both delicious -- so why not combine the two?
December 8 marks the first night of Hanukkah – what should be called the Festival of Oil. To commemorate the oil that kept the menorah lit for eight long nights (though there should have been enough for only one), Jews all over the world use oil for its best purpose – frying. It’s time to look beyond the traditional latkes and doughnuts to Indian fritters and even fusion eggrolls for some delicious inspiration for your Hanukkah party. Wear your fat pants and take out your napkin – it’s frying time!
Potato pancakes, called latkes are the most traditional and delicious of all Hanukkah foods. Though they are usually served plain with sour cream and applesauce, Amy Kritzer from What Jew Wanna eat has another suggestion. She layers sliced apples and potatoes on homemade pizza crust, then tops the whole thing with sour cream and bakes it in the oven. This rustic yet elegant dish is perfect for a Hanukkah brunch or dinner – just don’t count on any leftovers, because there won’t be any.
For a South Asian twist, Jacqueline Pham of Pham Fatale looks to Indian spices like cilantro, curry and mint. She uses milk soaked bread to act as binder instead of flour, resulting in a thicker, more sturdy latke. This is a fragrant and spicy latke, redolent with turmeric, onions and jalapenos. Be sure to serve it with raita and mango chutney as the appropriate counterparts for sour cream and applesauce. Namaste Hanukkah!
Though it’s easy to feel jealous of all the kids who get to decorate gingerbread houses, there is no need – just join in the fun! Margaret Hathaway of Ten Apple Farm makes a yearly “ginge-gogue” fit for any Hanukkah festivity! Just like a Christmastime gingerbread house, the structure is made with gingerbread and stiff royal icing, along with all sorts of Hanukkah paraphernalia. Make stained-glass windows by melting lifesavers in a Star of David cookie cutter, decorate with white, blue and silver candies and don’t forget to paint a white menorah on the side of the house.
If you have had one pasta salad, you might have thought that you had them all. You would be so very wrong. Joy of Kosher’s fried pasta salad, by Sharon Lurie, is just that – fried noodles, drenched in a creamy and zesty mayonnaise and Italian herb dressing. Author Sharon Lurie says that “It has crunch, it has texture, it has taste, it has a combination of freshness you just can’t seem to put your finger on.” But we can put our fingers on it. It’s fried pasta – it doesn’t get better than that. Except for now, when it is coated in mayonnaise.
For my own Hanukkah party, I took a tip from New York City eatery Red Egg and stuffed my eggrolls with pastrami. Of course, I also included sauerkraut and Swiss cheese for a Reuben Eggroll. Dipped in tangy Russian dressing, this is everything that a Reuben should be – salty, meaty, sour, and, of course, fried. My people have always loved Chinese food, and though we usually eat it on Christmas, there’s no reason not to make it a Hanukkah staple, too.
Of course, if you really want to make it a gut busting holiday, there is only one way to go. This parody of Epic Meal Time is kosher, Hanukkah-approved and guaranteed to put you into a food coma. Say hello to mounds of pastrami, schwarma meat kosher hot dogs, and 200 falafel balls. That’s not even taking the doughnuts into account. This meal is way over 34,000 calories, and though you aren’t committing any biblical sins by consuming it, there is a chance that your intestinal system will hate you for a long, long time if you ever go anywhere near this Maccabean monstrosity.
More from TODAY Food: