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Dec 7, 2006 11:44 AM

Hannukah menu

What do folks have on the menu for Hannukah? My husband is Jewish, and we're having some friends over to celebrate. I've never served a Hannukah meal before, but thankfully no one is kosher (though we'll still try to observed the dietary laws.) He's in charge of the latkes, but I'll prepare the rest. Here are some thoughts:

Latkes, w/ sour cream and applesauce
Brisket: What recipes do folks like? I'm considering the spiced, dried fruit recipe from Epicurious. I've also seen some on Cooks Illustrated. Has anyone tried and like (or disliked) any of these?
Tangerine-Maple glazed carrots (these were popular on this board, I haven't tried them yet.)
Sweet and Sour cabbage from Sheila Luskin's Celebrate cookbook
Rustice Apple Cake from SL's Celebrate cookbook

But the menu is evolving, so I'm open to ideas! What have your friends and family enjoyed in the past?



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  1. Latkes with brisket are a classic. I made Emeril's Passover brisket for the High Holidays and it was a huge hit, even with my mother, who really doesn't like brisket. The recipe is available on

    The Sheila Lukins All Around the World cookbook has a recipe for chicken that's marinated in honey, orange juice and soy sauce that's going to be my accompaniment to latkes.

    My grandmother used to talk about having a grease cutter to balance the latkes. Have you considered a salad of mixed greens with oranges and almonds? Or serving sliced oranges or a fruit salad with dessert? I'm planning to make thumbprint cookies as a nod to sufganiyot, the jelly doughnuts traditionally served at Chanukah.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Velda Mae

      I will definitely incorporate a salad of some kind. Thanks for reminding me!

      1. re: Velda Mae

        That Chicken reicpe sounds great, please report on how it turns out!

        1. re: sljones

          I've made that chicken dish several times and it's really tasty. The recipe is called honey and ginger-glazed chicken.

        2. re: Velda Mae

          Do you have the recipe for the honey, orange juice, soy sauce chicken?

        3. not sure if you love that particular apple cake recipe or are willing to try something else but my mom's apple cake is to die for! even good days and days later. actually its better the next day!so it would help in all that preparation.

          here it is:

          4 c diced, peeled apples
          2 c sugar
          2 ea eggs
          2 tsp cinnamon
          1/2 c veg oil
          1 c chopped walnuts, toasted
          2 c flour
          2 tsp. baking soda
          1/4 tsp. salt

          1 stick butter
          8 oz cream cheese
          3/4 to 1 box powdered sugar (depends on how sweet you like)
          1 tsp vanilla
          1 T sour cream

          sift dry ingredients. mix eggs and sugar in a mixer. add oil. add dry ingredients. fold in apples and nuts.
          bake at 350 for about 35 minutes.
          for frosting, beat butter, cream cheese, sour cream, and vanilla until fluffy. add sugar slowly and taste to desired sweetness. maybe 3/4 box or full box....
          and mix until combined.

          4 Replies
          1. re: junglekitte

            Advanced prep is essential! MY family doesn't tend to like the very sweet desserts, so I would likely reduce sugar for the frosting. Thanks for sharing!

            1. re: sljones

              i make a similar cake using half the above recipe.Let apples stand with 1 c of sugar for 10 minutes. Add 1/3c oil and 1 egg, then 1-1/2 flour combined with 1 tsp each baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon, add 1/2 c raisins, 1 c nuts Bake 40 minutes in a loaf pan. oven at 350 degrees.

            2. re: junglekitte

              Stupid question but what size pan? I'm not an experienced baker and it doesn't sound like it would fit in a round cake pan.


              1. re: mrsleny

                oh! i think it was a 9x13...its a big cake. but lasts for days.

            3. As a vegetarian, I always opt for the latkes with the sour cream and applesauce, but try to offer a variety of them. For example, Yukon Gold make great latkes, but I will also do sweet potato (or yam) latkes with maple syrup. These need to be a little crispier because the yam texture tends to go mushy. I remember as a child the prune-stuffed brisket, or the whole roast chicken. A carrot tsimmes is mandatory! My mother always tried to balance the starch of the latkes with fruit, hence the applesauce and prunes. This offers the same effect as Velda Mae outlines in her post.

              1 Reply
              1. re: pamelawinter

                pamelawinter, do you ahve a favorite carrot tsimmes recipe? I'd simply heard about that carrot recipe on other chowhound posts, but I'm open for suggestions!

              2. I have a very simple brisket recipe that is a sort of assemblage of ones I have read. It is based in large part on the Laurie Colwin Homecooking recipe and some Passover recipes I have read. I brown the brisket or french cut roast or chuck roast in olive oil after salting and peppering it a bit and dredging it in paprika. I remove it from the pot and sautee onions (in an amount equal to 1/2 the weight of the meat -- 5 lb. brisket - 2.5 lbs onions). I put the brisket back in the pot distributing the onions above and below it. I add an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce, 8 oz. of red wine, a half dozen or so cloves of garlic and a few more grinds of pepper. Then I put the whole thing in a 350 degree oven for 2-3 hours.

                After cooling I remove the meat and slice it. I puree the onions and sauce and all in a food mill and return the sliced meat and sauce for the pot. I reheat it about an hour before serving. This has been a no fail recipe for me. Everyone seems to like it a lot.

                3 Replies
                1. re: KingsKetz

                  I used to make Laurie Colwin's brisket but now I make one that is similar but richer - "Nach Waxman's brisket of beef," from the New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. I serve it with latkes and sauteed cabbage onions and apples. My family won't touch tsimmes so I make carrots braised in maple sugar. It's our once a year high cholestrol meal - yummy.

                  1. re: KingsKetz

                    I'm interested in the sauteed cabbage onions and apples. How do you prepare those?

                    1. re: sljones

                      Thinly slice white cabbage with some sweet onions and saute in olive oil with kosher salt and pepper. When it starts to brown, add peeled apple slices and cook until the cabbage is nicely browned and nutty flavored. Adjust seasonings.

                  2. Have had good success with Joan Nathan's sweet & sour brisket made with chili sauce. Unfortunately, my family is into meat no more well cooked than med rare, so will be making a sirloin tip roast this year.

                    Here's a recipe for a great sweet & sour cucumber salad as a "grease cutter": Skin 3 large cucumbers, slice in half and scoop out seeds with spoon. Cut in fairly thin slices, salt heavily with kosher salt for 20 minutes, wash and drain well. In non-reactive bowl, make a solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/3 cup sugar and pinch of salt. Optional, I love to add some white pepper and dried dill to spice up the marinade. Add 4 cups warm water and dissolve. Taste solution before you add cucumbers, adjust seasonsings to your taste - more salt, sugar, vinegar, etc. Add cucumbers and some thinly sliced onions. Let steep for at least 6 hours, drain and serve. Very refreshing for heavy meal.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Diane in Bexley

                      That sounds very refreshing. I have a 14 yr old who loves cucumber salad, this will be a great addition to the recipe mix!

                      1. re: Diane in Bexley

                        Diane in Bexley, which book is that recipe from? Our family LOVES chili, so that recipe sounds like a great fit!

                        1. re: sljones

                          Oh boy, I have made it so many times I don't use the book any more. Here is Diane's version of the Joan Nathan brisket: for 5 lb. brisket (I like single cut vs. double cut), slice 3 large onion, 3 ribs of celery and use the leaves, In large roaster, layer 1/2 onion & celery, brisket. Season meat with lots of salt, pepper, garlic, I like Montreal steak seasoning too and paprika. Add remaining onions and celery. Make sauce in large glass container with 1 jar Bennets chili sauce rinsed out with some water, 12 oz can beer, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup vinegar. Heat in microwave to combine. Taste before adding to meat, you might want to adjust sugar, vinegar. Pour over meat, cover tightly and roast in 300 degree oven for 1 hour/per lb. of meat. Let stand overnight in fridge and slice next day after degreasing pan juices and meat. MAKE SURE YOU SLICE AGAINST GRAIN, very important. Freezes very well. Hope you enjoy!

                          1. re: Diane in Bexley

                            This looks great! I'm not familiar w/ Bennets chili sauce, but will indeed look for it. Also, I'm not sure I know the differenc b/w single vs. double cut brisket, but I'll ask our butcher.

                            Many thanks, I'll let you know how everyone likes it!

                          2. re: sljones

                            I second this rec (as I've posted on other threads), but the brisket doesn't really taste like chili! The original recipe is from Joan's book "Jewish Cooking in America."

                          3. re: Diane in Bexley

                            When you say white vinegar, do you mean white (distilled) vinegar or white wine vinegar?