What do we love as much as Jewish food?
a) edible gifts
b) free cookbooks
c) Hanukkah presents
d) all of the above
For our Hanukkah 2014 giveaway we’re celebrating in three’s! For our grand prize winners, we’re teaming up with Soom Foods, a great new 3-sister kosher tahini startup, to share 3 delicious chocolate-sesame tahini sample packs with our readers.
I would like to say that this is the first time I have combined brisket and latkes into one recipe, but I would be lying. I just love finding ways to use brisket, like the brisket latkes I created last year and one of my newer creations: brisket-stuffed cabbage.
Like so many great recipes, this one was created by accident. At a Hanukkah party several years ago I served potato latkes, pulled brisket and some homemade challah rolls. Pretty soon my friends ditched the rolls and started topping their latkes with the brisket. And a new star was born.
If you are asking yourself, “can I use my family’s beloved brisket recipe for this?” The answer is absolutely. As long as the recipe calls for a significant amount of liquid so that it has a bit of sauce to it, whatever recipe you fancy will work great.
You don’t have to stop with brisket as a topping for your latkes. You can make a “top your own latke” party this Hanukkah season, serving up grilled pastrami, pulled brisket, caramelized onions or any other fun topping you like. Watch as your guests get creative with their latkes. You can also shake it up by adding some sweet potato latkes or parsnip latkes into the mix.
For the brisket:
2-3 lb brisket
1 Tbsp salt
½ Tbsp freshly grated black pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried parsley
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
1 can beer
1 can ginger ale
1 bottle red wine
4 oz tomato paste
4 medium carrots, cut into medium size pieces
2 onions, cut into quarters
For the latkes:
12 medium-large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
4 small onions, or 1 medium-large onion, cut into large chunks
4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
¾ -1 cup flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 ½ Tbsp salt
½ Tbsp pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
To make the brisket:
In a small bowl combine salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and parsley. Spread dry rub on both sides of brisket evenly. Preheat the oven to 300F degrees.
Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven or pot on medium high heat. Sear the brisket on both sides "until the smoke detector goes off." Remove meat and set aside.
Using the remaining oil and "good bits" on the bottom of the pan, sauté carrots and onions, scraping the bottom until the veggies are soft, about 8-10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir until thoroughly mixed.
Put the brisket back in the pan, and cover with the bottle of red wine, beer and ginger ale. Place the entire pot with brisket into the oven, and cook for at least 3-4 hours, until meat is completely tender.
When the meat is fork tender, remove the meat and set aside on a large cutting board.
Let the sludge rise to the top of the pot liquid and skim it off. Strain out the carrots and onions and using a food processor, blend them with 1-2 cups of the cooking liquid, then return the blended mixture to the rest of the liquid and simmer to reduce slightly.
On the cutting board using two forks, carefully shred the brisket into small strands. Add 1-2 cups of the pureed cooking liquid to the pulled brisket for additional moisture and flavor.
Serve in a large bowl and allow guests to top latkes, or spoon small amounts of brisket on each latke for a more elegant presentation.
To make the latkes:
Using the shredding attachment of a food processor or a hand grater, coarsely great potatoes, onions and garlic. Place in a large bowl.
Add flour, eggs, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly until completely combined. Allow to sit 5-10 minutes. Drain excess liquid.
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Using your hands, make a small latke patty and squeeze out excess liquid again. Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove from pan and place on wire cooling rack placed on a baking sheet, which you can place in a warm oven until ready to serve.
I recently started my second round with a diet/food-cleanse called Whole 30, in which you eat nothing but unprocessed, unrefined, sugar-free food, while also cutting out entire food groups such as dairy, soy, and grains (oh and booze too). I am sure to many it sounds a bit crazy, but I will share that throughout the 30 days I woke up easier and stayed awake throughout the day, my body felt physically and mentally alive in a way it had not in years past and I felt stronger when I worked out.
Cutting out dairy, sugar, grains and booze? Ok, I could do it. But I could never do without my coffee, which thankfully you are allowed. In order to enjoy my one permitted cup of coffee, I needed to make my own almond milk since almost all sold in stores contain added sugar. I also wanted to find a natural way to sweeten the almond milk to make my coffee a little more enjoyable. So I added 1 medjool date when making the almond milk for the sweetness I craved with my coffee, but without any sugar.
I have come to love making my own almond milk so much that I do it even when I am not on the diet. There is something gratifying about knowing exactly what is in your food and drink. If you are going to try your hand at this I highly recommend buying a nut milk bag, but if you have a cheesecloth available that will work fine.
Homemade almond milk is for more than just crazy diets: it is great for baking, especially when making nondairy desserts, for making smoothies, in your cereal or oatmeal or just drinking too.
For the almond milk:
1 cup raw almonds
3 cups water
1 pitted medjool date
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt
For the vanilla banana smoothie:
1 ¼ cup home made almond milk
1 ½ frozen banana
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp honey
To make the almond milk:
Soak the almonds in 3 cups of water for 12-24 hours. Drain the water from the almonds.
Place the almonds, 3 cups of water, the date, cinnamon and salt in a blender. Start on a low speed and quickly accelerate to high speed until all the nuts are completely pulverized. Pour the nut milk into the bag to strain.
Tip: Don’t waste the almond meal left after straining the liquid. Save it and dehydrate it. It becomes perfect almond flour.
To make the smoothie:
Place almond milk, frozen banana, cinnamon, vanilla and honey in the blender and pulse until smooth. Sprinkle some cinnamon or unsweetened cocoa powder on top.
Burekas are one of my favorite Israeli treats, and they are the perfect way to use up leftover mashed potatoes from your Thanksgiving dinner. This recipe is as easy and delicious as it gets – the best kind of recipe when you need a pick-me-up from all that Black Friday shopping. These are also fantastic during Shabbat dinner to serve with a salad course. You can even serve them with leftover gravy for a delicious dipping sauce.
I used a pareve (nondairy) phyllo dough in this recipe for ease, but you are welcome to make your favorite bureka dough if you prefer. You can also switch up the fillings with whatever leftovers you have on hand: turkey and cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes and even stuffing all make fantastic fillings.
1 package phyllo dough, defrosted
leftover mashed potatoes
1 egg + 1 Tbsp water
freshly ground black pepper
leftover gravy for dipping
Preheat oven to 350°.
Beat the egg with 1 Tbsp of water. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick cooking pad.
Roll out phyllo dough carefully to prevent splitting. I like to divide the layers of the phyllo in half so I can get four sheets instead of two. If the layers seem too brittle and dry, brush with vegetable oil. Working quickly, cut each sheet horizontally into 4 strips.
Lightly brush a strip with the egg wash. Place a scant teaspoon of mashed potatoes at the right end of the strip and fold the right bottom corner up and to the left to create a triangle shape. Continue wrapping the triangle into the remaining strip, being careful to preserve the triangle shape. Seal the end with egg wash if necessary and place end down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat this process with the remaining strips.
Lightly brush the tops of the burekas with egg wash and sprinkle with dried thyme and freshly ground black pepper.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with warmed leftover gravy.
Oh, how I love pasta. Almost all of my favorite comfort foods involve pasta: egg noodles with cottage cheese (a childhood favorite); any kind of gnocchi smothered in just about any kind of sauce; and my pregnancy comfort food, spaghetti with butter and Parmesan.
For Thanksgiving though I really wanted to create (and eat) an orzo side dish. Orzo somehow seems like a compromise of carb: it looks like rice, but it’s actually pasta. And to make it a little healthier than just some plain old pasta, I added some hearty wheatberries, an array of colorful vegetables and even some vitamin-rich pumpkin seeds into the mix.
The result is a scrumptious and satisfying side dish that can also serve as an entree for any vegetarian guests. Want to add some more protein into the mix? Add 1/2 cup cooked lentils or small white beans and you have a complete dish.
If you can’t find purple carrots at your local market, you can use a roasted beet instead to achieve the same color and texture. I also love this dish because you can prepare it a day ahead and either serve room temperature, or heat it back up to serve.
1 cup dry orzo pasta
1/2 cup wheatberries
1/2 medium butternut squash
2 purple carrots or 1 large beet
1/4 cup cooked peas (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup homemade or store-bought pepitas (you can also use slivered almonds or sunflower seeds)
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Peel butternut squash and carrots. Dice each into 1/2 inch cubes. Place butternut squash and carrots, separately, on a baking sheet, drizzle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes, tossing once, until carmelized.
Note: if replacing the carrot with beet, wash the beet gently and place in tin foil. Roast in oven at 400 degrees for around 45 minutes or until soft. Allow to cool and remove skin. Once beet has cooled, dice into 1/2 inch cubes.
While vegetables are roasting, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook orzo around 11 minutes and drain. Drizzle with olive oil and place in a large bowl.
Cook wheatberries according to directions on package. (For 1/2 cup wheatberries, you will need around 1 cup of water. Bring water to a boil and then simmer covered for around 15 minutes).
In the large bowl with orzo, add cooked butternut squash, carrots (or beets), peas, wheatberries, cranberries, pepitas and another 1 Tbsp olive oil. Mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve room temperature or warm.
Hopefully you are just about ready for a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration. I can picture the family around the table, reflecting on the year and soaking up the aroma of freshly carved turkey. Just remember, when you’re looking for the perfect Thanksgiving wine pairings, there’s more to consider than just the bird. I know it can seem confusing or even scary to pick the perfect wine for your celebration, or really any wine, but I hope to make that part a little bit easier with some great kosher wine suggestions.
As The Day Gets Going
When the kitchen starts to come alive with the buzz of Thanksgiving morning, nothing puts me in the holiday spirit more than an ice cold glass of Chardonnay. This year, I’d recommend the Odem Mountain Volcanic Chardonnay 2012. It’s a dry white wine that won’t give you a sugar rush too early in the day. The slow and cold 5 month fermentation process leaves this wine with a delightful golden color and an aromatic nose. In plain terms, this chardonnay is refreshing, crisp and is a delight to sip.
While You Are Snacking On The Stuffing
Nothing says “get this party started” quite like a bottle of Brut. Gilgal Brut is a 50-50 mix of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and it presents floral apple and pear notes. While it is fresh and invigorating, it’s bright acidity pairs excellently with the sausage and chestnuts I put in my stuffing muffins.
But What About My Turkey?
You’d think that pairing turkey with a white wine was a no-brainer. Nope. Wine Folly has written the perfect definitive guide to pairing wine with poultry and you have more to choose from than you would have thought. You won’t go wrong with Carmel’s Kayoumi White Riesling 2012, rated 90 points by Daniel Rogev. This is an impressive wine with a slight sweetness and a delightful color. I’d also recommend Pacifica Pinot Noir 2010 for it’s balanced acidity and generous fruity flavor. Not only with the Pinot Noir pair with the turkey, it’s the perfect match for many of the flavors of the day.
Something With The Side Dishes
Your Thanksgiving table will be complimented by attention to detail, so think about the perfect wine for your side dishes too. Ramon Cardova Garnacha 2011 is a Spanish wine with a unique character that comes to life when paired with fall favorites like mushrooms and butternut. Similarly, Covenant Red C Sauvignon Blanc 2013 would compliments grains like rice and quinoa, wild mushrooms or green bean casserole. Now that I think of it, Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013 is an equally impressive choice to par with your Thanksgiving side dishes.
And For Dessert…
Thanksgiving desserts lean nicely toward being paired with a full bodied glass of port. If Pecan Pie is on your menu, you deserve a bottle of Shiloh Fort. This is an intensely purple dessert wine with a massively full body. It’s sweetness is married to notes of raisin and caramel so it’s well balanced sweetness is great with rich dessert.
Psagot Prat is another port style wine that I admire greatly. After being aged in the warmth of the Mediterranean sun, this wine has a sweet fig-like aroma that can cut through the subtle flavors and creamy textures of homemade pumpkin pie. This is a dessert wine that screams of decadence. This would be my choice with pumpkin pie.
When The Day Is Still Young
As the day draws to a close and your guests move to the couch, some might move on to scotch or brandy but this is when I like open a bottle of one of my favorite wines. Ella Valley EverRed. This is a delicious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Syrah perfect for any occasion. The grapes for this wine are harvested by night and the wine is aged in French oak. On a personal note, this is one of the first bottles that taught me to explore and discover the wonderful world of wine. It really is a personal favorite so light a log fire and pour yourself a well-earned glass. The dishes can wait till tomorrow.
This Thanksgiving, I’m adding an array of chutneys to my holiday spread as a way to jazz up the traditional meal with simmered combinations of fruits or veggies. Chutneys are the perfect accompaniment to long roasted, rich turkey or braised meats because their vinegary bases help to balance the fat of heavier proteins and side dishes.
This selection of chutneys cover a range of flavors to please any palate. With that in mind, I simmered one sweet, one savory and one spicy condiment. They make use of seasonal ingredients and readily available herbs and spices. Best of all, they come together in one pot and with little fuss. And each of these combinations will be tastier and more nuanced when prepared in advance.
Sweet Cranberry and Cherry Chutney
This chutney hints at Thanksgiving tradition with ruby red cranberries, nuts and dried fruit. It is believed that cranberries were served at the first Thanksgiving in 1621.
Serve this Cranberry and Cherry Chutney alongside roasted meat, turkey or chicken. Add a few tablespoons to mayonnaise and use as a spread on lightly toasted challah for turkey sandwiches with leftovers from your feast. Or place this chutney in a small serving dish alongside creamy, mild cheeses as a sweet element on a cheese plate.
Note: This chutney has a very strong vinegar odor when it’s simmering. The first time I made this, I was alarmed by the strength of the vinegary presence. After it’s cooked, cooled and refrigerated, the vinegar- sugar- honey combination settles into a perfectly balanced, slightly sweet condiment for your holiday meal.
2 cups dried tart cherries
½ cup sugar
3 Tbsp honey
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup fresh cranberries (rinsed)
1 Tbsp lemon zest
½ cup finely chopped celery
1 cup raisins or currants
1 cup toasted chopped walnuts
6 Tbsp water (or a little more if the pan appears too dry)
Combine all ingredients in a 2 quart. saucepan over medium heat. Cook 20-25 minutes, stirring well.
Cranberries should burst open. The texture should be slightly sticky and chunky, with little liquid remaining after the simmer. Chutney will continue to thicken as it cools.
Cover and refrigerate for up to one week. Serve at room temperature.
Savory Cauliflower and Lentil Chutney
This vegetable and legume based chutney doesn’t include any added sweetness, making it a welcome savory addition to a holiday meal that tends to include lots of sweet flavors. It’s warm spices and toasted undertones provide unexpected flavors next to traditional dishes like sweet or mashed potatoes. This dish could easily be the star dish for vegetarians at your table.
Serve alongside turkey leftovers or as a condiment with pan-seared fish. If using this as a main dish for vegetarians at your Thanksgiving table, be sure to make stuffing without chicken or turkey broth so that they may enjoy stuffing with this savory chutney.
¼ cup good olive oil
1 large red onion, finely diced
1 large shallot, finely diced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 tsp ras- el- hanout*
½ tsp mustard powder
1 cup dry red lentils
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups cauliflower florets, small pieces
1 ½ cups canned diced tomatoes
½ cup water
salt and pepper to taste
½ tsp paprika
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves- minced
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
*Middle Eastern spice mix found at well stocked markets like Whole Foods or at online on Amazon
Heat oil and add onion, shallot and ginger until softened, about 4-5 minutes.
Add ras-el-hanout and mustard powder and stir, cooking one minute.
Rinse and examine lentils for particles of debris. Remove if found. Add lentils and wine to onion and spice mixture. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cover pot and cook 10 minutes.
Add cauliflower, tomatoes, water, salt and pepper and paprika.
Cover and cook over medium heat, covered, for 20-25 minutes until lentils and cauliflower are tender but not mushy. Stir occasionally. Add ¼- ½ cup more water if chutney appears dry.
Cool mixture and stir in lime juice and cilantro. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
May be refrigerated for up to one week in airtight container. Serve at room temperature.
¼ cup olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp coriander
⅛ tsp each, salt and pepper
½-1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and veins removed and finely chopped (do not touch eyes or mouth when handling this pepper)
½ tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp cayenne
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsplight brown sugar
4 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
2 Tb. apple cider vinegar
2 Tb. dark raisins
1 Tb. fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tb. basil leaves, chopped
1 lime- juiced
Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
Add the garlic, ginger, shallots, onion and cook until softened.
Add turmeric, cumin, coriander, jalapeno, salt and pepper, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.
Add the honey, brown sugar and raisins and cook for 2-3 minutes until caramelized.
Stir in fresh and canned tomatoes and vinegar. Simmer for 40-45 minutes in uncovered pot. Add a bit of water if mixture appears too dry. Texture should be jammy.
Remove from heat and stir in cilantro, basil and lime juice. Taste to season with additional cayenne, salt or pepper.
Cool and place in sealed glass container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Serve at room temperature.
I suggest serving this chutney alongside turkey or roasted chicken. It’s super as a spread on a brisket sandwich or serve alongside guacamole with toasted pita chips. Consider using this spicy tomato chutney swirled into a half cup of extra virgin olive oil as a sauce over your favorite pasta.
Butternut squash and sage are one of my favorite flavor pairings. It makes a wonderful soup, and who doesn’t want to smother butternut squash filled pasta in a sage butter sauce? I do, and I would happily eat it for breakfast.
Pumpkin challah I have made and conquered, and I have even seen recipes for sweet potato challah. Still, I wanted to try my hand at using butternut squash, which is why I was thrilled to write a guest post for my friend and fellow blogger Melinda of Kitchen-Tested based on this idea.
Let me assure you: the result was fantastic. The butternut squash blended incredibly well into the challah dough and the color was just so pretty: a subtle orange flecked with tiny bits of fresh sage.
If you are looking for something uniquely Jewish to add to your Thanksgiving table this challah is definitely the thing.
For the full recipe, head over to Kitchen-Tested.
The first time I made a turkey was actually for Passover, not Thanksgiving. Truth be told, I didn’t really know what I was doing, but got lucky enough that my turkey came out well. I marinated the turkey overnight in a mixture of fresh oranges, lemons, herbs and pomegranate juice. I googled how long to cook the turkey, and somehow, it came out juicy. I was also lucky to have someone at the dinner who knew how to carve a turkey, because I certainly did not. In fact I still don’t know how to carve a turkey.
Thankfully (get it – thankfully!?), my family takes care of roasting the turkey, and I just show up with dessert and a side dish. But for all you folks out there prepping to roast a turkey next week, we wanted to pull together some of the best tips, tricks and recipe ideas the internet has to offer in order to make your turkey roasting a little easier and a little more delicious.
Are you trying to figure out how much turkey to buy for your guests? How long to roast it? What’s the difference between fresh or frozen? Then check out 20 Thanksgiving cooking Dilemmas Solved from Thanksgiving.com.
Have you decided that brining is the way you want to go to ensure a moist and flavorful turkey? Then check out Food and Wine’s 5 Best Brines for Thanksgiving Turkey.
How do I thaw a turkey? What equipment will I need to roast? These questions answered and more from The Kitchn’s How to Cook a Thanksgiving Turkey: The Simplest, Easiest Way.
Need some carving tips? Here’s a tutorial in How to Carve a Turkey from Pop Sugar.
No butter? No problem! I realize many turkey recipes call for butter, which can be frustrating when looking for cooking inspiration. But I have found replacing olive oil with butter works just fine in almost all poultry recipes, so peruse all the non-kosher recipes you like for inspiration, and then just swap out the butter for olive oil instead.
Thanksgiving is one of my family’s favorite holidays. Besides Passover, it is one of the only times we all come together during the year and so my mother and I get pretty excited about planning; we spend months working on the perfect place cards, décor, side dishes and desserts. We went all out for Thanksgivukkah last year creating this recipe for sweet potato latkes with toasted marshmallows.
This year we are very much in the midst of menu planning, and can’t wait to make this new dish for challah stuffing stuffed acorn squash, made with classic Thanksgiving flavors like squash, dried cranberries, thyme and even pecans.
This dish has a great “wow factor” due to its eye-catching presentation but is quite simple to make. You can even make it ahead of time to save time the day of Thanksgiving. This dish also serves as a great vegetarian entree for your guests.
4 acorn squashes
½ leftover challah loaf (about 2 cups cubed)
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces white mushrooms, chopped
2 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbsp soy sauce
½ cup toasted pecans, chopped
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup to 3/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth, as needed
Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and set aside.
Cut challah into ½ inch cubes and place on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and use your hands to toss the challah pieces and distribute the oil evenly. Toast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, tossing once halfway through. Set the toasted challah cubes aside.
Cut 3/4 inch off the top of each acorn squash and carefully scoop out the seeds and strings of each squash. Cut a sliver off the bottom of each squash and place them on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, generously season with salt and pepper, and replace the top of each squash, leaving room for steam to escape. Bake for 40 minutes.
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-heat heat and sauté the diced onion until translucent. Add the mushrooms and thyme, stirring until the mushrooms brown. Add garlic.
Once no liquid is left in the pan, deglaze the pan with soy sauce. Add cranberries, pecans, challah and vegetable broth, stirring until the vegetable broth is absorbed and the mixture starts to come together. You can add additional broth if the mixture is too dry to come together. Add salt and pepper as needed.
Stuff the squash with the challah mixture until slightly mounded. Place the top of each squash next to its body. Bake the squash and stuffing for 25-30 minutes, until the stuffing is lightly browned and the flesh of the squash can be pierced easily with a fork. Place the top of each squash on top of the stuffing to serve.