The following recipes for our Hanukkah Party were provided by Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen.
Makes approximately 12 potato pancakes
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
1 large yellow onion
2 eggs, beaten
1½ T matzo meal or all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
Vegetable oil for shallow frying
Cut half of the potatoes into quarters, then boil in salted water until soft, about 15–20 minutes. Drain and mash until smooth. Combine the mashed potato with the matzo meal or flour and set aside.
With a box grater or food processor with a grater attachment, grate the remaining potatoes and the onion and mix to combine. Using a piece of cheesecloth or a fine strainer, squeeze out any liquid from the grated potato–onion mixture, then transfer to a large bowl.
Add the egg, salt, pepper and mashed potatoes and stir well to combine. Form the mixture into patties, each approximately 3 inches in diameter by ¼ – ½ inches. Heat ½ inch of vegetable oil in a heavy frying pan over medium–high heat. When the oil is hot, add some of the latkes, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Cook until golden brown on one side, about 3–4 minutes (if they are browning too quickly, reduce the heat), then flip and cook until golden brown on the second side, about 2–3 minutes more.
Drain the latkes on paper towels, seasoning with salt while still hot. Repeat with remaining latkes until they've all been cooked. Serve with applesauce and sour cream.
Black Cherry Applesauce
Makes approximately 8 cups
10 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
½ cup fresh lemon juice
3 T black cherry soda
3 whole cloves
1 large cinnamon stick
One 2–inch piece peeled, fresh ginger, cut in half lengthwise
¼ tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in large, heavy bottomed sauce pan and stir to combine. Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until apples are soft, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Stir the mixture to break up any large pieces of apple and discard cloves, cinnamon and ginger. This can be made a few days ahead; let cool, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Beer & Onion Braised Brisket
Makes 12 servings
One 5–6 pound brisket, trimmed of some fat
1 T salt
1 T deli–style brown mustard
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp dried thyme
2 T vegetable oil or schmaltz
4 cups chicken stock, divided
One 12–ounce bottle dark brown ale
6 whole dry pitted prunes
1 T brown sugar
6 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (about 2 ½ pounds)
8 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 pound medium carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 2–inch lengths
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, mix the salt, mustard, black pepper and thyme. Rub the mixture on the brisket.
In a large roasting pan heat oil or schmaltz over medium–high heat. When the oil is hot, add the brisket and cook, turning once until well browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer brisket to a rimmed baking sheet.
Add 3 cups of chicken stock to the now–empty pan and, with a wooden spoon, scrape any browned bits from the pan. Stir in the beer, prunes, and brown sugar and return brisket to pot, fat side down. Cover the meat with onions and garlic.
Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid or aluminum foil and place in oven. After 1 hour, uncover and flip brisket. Return to oven and cook uncovered 30 minutes more. Cover again and continue to cook 1 hour 30 minutes. Add 1 cup stock to the pot, then add carrots. Cover and cook until carrots are tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool and refrigerate overnight. This will keep up to 3 days.
When ready to serve, preheat oven to 350°F. Skim off any fat from surface of brisket pan juices and discard. Transfer brisket to cutting board and thinly slice across the grain. Bring braising liquid and onions to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Return the meat to the pan, cover tightly and cook for 1 hour until heated through. Serve Immediately.
Sauteed Beet Greens
Makes 12 servings
8 cups beet greens (or spinach, chard or any other leafy green), rinsed and roughly chopped
1 T olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tsp dried red chili flakes
1 tsp salt plus more for salt water
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add greens and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Remove from pot and strain.
In a large, heavy sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium–high heat. Add garlic and cook until light golden brown, stirring frequently, about 30 seconds. Add chili flakes, the blanched greens and the salt. Cook 5–6 minutes, stirring , until most of the liquid in the pan has evaporated.
Butter Lettuce with Pickled Beets
Makes 12 servings
½ cup low–fat buttermilk
1⁄3 cup mayonnaise
2 T fresh dill, chopped
½ tsp salt
4 slices stale caraway bread
1 T olive oil
1⁄8 tsp salt
2 large heads butter lettuce, leafed, rinsed and dried
1 small bulb celery root, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 cup store–bought pickled beet slices
Salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl, combine buttermilk, mayonnaise, dill and salt, and whisk well to combine.
Preheat oven to 350°. Cut the rye into thin strips and toss in a bowl with olive oil and salt. Cook on a sheet pan for 10 minutes until golden brown, rotating and shaking the pan midway through. Let cool.
In a salad bowl, combine lettuce and celery root. Pour dressing over and toss to coat, then season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Plate each salad with a few slices of pickled beets and a few coutons, spooning a little of the pickle juice over each plate.
Sufganiyot (Jelly Donuts)
Makes approximately 20 donuts
1 T active dry yeast
1⁄3 cup lukewarm milk, around 110°
3½ cups all purpose flour
6 T granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
2 egg yolks
½ tsp orange zest
1 T whiskey
6 T butter, softened
Vegetable oil for frying
Raspberry or Strawberry jam for filling
Granulated sugar for dusting
Dissolve the yeast in warm milk with 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Let it sit for 5 minutes until the mixture is bubbly.
In a stand mixer, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, and orange zest. Make a well in the center and add in the yeast mixture and eggs and egg yolks. Using the dough hook, mix on medium–low speed until the dough forms a ball, about 4–5 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly add the butter until it is fully blended. Knead the dough for 8–10 minutes on medium until smooth.
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with a towel. Leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 — 1 ½ hours.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough until about ¼ inch thick. Cut into circles using a 2–inch cookie cutter or drinking glass. Let cookies rest until they have doubled in size.
Heat at least 3 inches of oil to 375°. Gently brush any excess flour off of the donuts so that it doesn't burn in the oil. Gently place the donuts into the hot oil a few at a time. Fry until golden–brown, about 2 minutes on each side and drain on paper towels.
Make a small incision in the side of each donut. Using a pastry bag or a plastic zipper bag with the corner cut off, fill each with about 2 teaspoons of jam. Roll in granulated white sugar and serve hot.
To make Jeffrey Moss' gift bag, fold half a piece of blue construction paper in half and write guests' names on them in silver or gold pen. Place a donut on top of a paper napkin or piece of white paper inside of a small cellophane bag. Punch a hole in the name card and the bag; secure with a blue ribbon.