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Special Recipes for Thanksgivvukah

November 17, 2013 | by Elizabeth Kurtz

Donut bread pudding, olive oil cake & getting into the Thanksgivvukah spirit!

Thanksgivvukah, have you heard of it? For those of you who are still in the dark (there is already a facebook and twitter account for Thanksgivvukah, t-shirts for sale in NYC, and lots of time off for the kids), it’s Thursday, November 28, 2013, when for the first time in my lifetime, maybe ever, the first day of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving fall on the same day. How fun is that? All those thanks can be directed to family, friends and also to the Maccabees. I’m ecstatic about it. It means one great meal and party and lots of happy people together. In the Thanksgivvukah spirit, I wanted to share recipes that combine fabulous fall flavors plus Hanukkah and Thanksgiving.

Spinach Salad with Fried Onions, Mushrooms, and Apple Vinaigrette

Spinach Salad with Fried Onions, Mushrooms, and Apple VinaigretteApple vinaigrette is a great fall dressing and the fried onions are perfect for Hanukkah. Feel free to fry fresh onions and add them to this salad when they are room temperature. It’s a great addition.

Serves 8 – 10

Apple Cider Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced red onion
  • 4 tablespoons frozen apple juice concentrate, defrosted
  • 2/3 cup olive oil

For the salad:

  • 6 cups spinach leaves
  • 1 apple, sliced thin
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ½ cup craisins
  • ½ cup dried fried onions (like French’s)

For the dressing, with an immersion blender, whirl the vinegars, garlic, Dijon mustard, red onion, and apple juice concentrate. Add the oil in a stream, while the blender is on to mix until incorporated and emulsified. Store until ready to use.

For the salad: In a large bowl, mix together the spinach leaves, apple, mushrooms, onion, and craisins. Toss with the dressing. Add the dried onions and mix in. Serve immediately.

Classic Roast Turkey

Classic Roast TurkeyTurkey is too classic to mess with. Luckily, I drizzle it with olive oil and that makes it the perfect turkey to serve on Hanukkah.

Serves 10

  • 1 (8 – 12 pound) fresh turkey
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 Spanish onion, quartered
  • 1 head garlic, slice off the top
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Paprika

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take the giblets out of the turkey and wash the turkey inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity. Place the thyme, lemon, onion and exposed garlic head in the cavity (unless you are stuffing the bird). Brush the outside of the turkey with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika (be generous). Tie the legs together with string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey.

Roast the turkey for 2 1/2 – 4 hours (approximately 20 minutes per pound or until the temperature reaches a minimum of 165 degrees. Baste it from time to time with pan juices, until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Remove the turkey to a cutting board and cover with foil; let it rest for 20 minutes. Slice the turkey and serve hot.

Green Beans Almondine

Green Beans AlmondineI like green beans at this meal because they are both simple to prepare and add great color to the fall table.

Serves 8

  • 2 pounds fresh green beans
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest of lemon
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add green beans and garlic and cook until crisp but cooked through, about 6 – 8 minutes. Add kosher salt and pepper. Scatter almonds over the top. Garnish with fresh lemon zest.

Cranberry Apple Sauce

Cranberries and apples are amazing together. The perfect sweet and tart combination. This one is great for both latkes and turkey and therefore is part of our Thanksgivvukah menu.

Serves 8

  • 6 pounds apples, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices (try a combination of Gala, Granny Smith, or any local apples you can find)
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 -7 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a large saucepan, combine apples, cranberries, cinnamon stick, sugar, and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender, 30 to 35 minutes. (If sauce begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, add 2 to 4 tablespoons more water.) Stir in lemon juice.

Butternut Squash Stuffin Muffins

Butternut Squash Stuffin MuffinsThese muffins are an easy and are a pretty way to serve stuffing. They have great Thanksgiving traditional flavors like butternut squash, sage and cornbread and I added some Jewish deli to it to Hanukkah it up. Kielbasa or salami give it extra heartiness too.

Makes 12 muffins

  • One 2-pound butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • Vegetable oil, for rubbing
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound prepared corn bread, cut into 1-inch cubes You can use a mix, make homemade corn bread, or use a store-bought corn bread or corn bread muffins)
  • 1/2 pound Italian kosher sausage or kielbasa or salami, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 celery rib, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped sage
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 350. Arrange the squash halves cut sides up on a large rimmed baking sheet and rub with oil. Season with salt and pepper and turn the squash cut sides down. Roast for about 1 hour, or until tender. Let cool slightly.

Increase the oven temperature to 375°. Spread the corn bread cubes on a large baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, until toasted. Let cool completely. Leave the oven on.

Generously grease a 12-cup muffin tin. In a medium skillet, cook the kosher sausage over moderate heat until browned. Transfer the kosher sausage to a paper towel–lined plate. Heat the fat in the skillet plus 1 tablespoon oil. Add the red onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the celery, garlic and sage and cook, stirring occasionally, until the celery is softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the kosher sausage.

Peel the roasted squash. Transfer 3 cups of the squash to a food processor, add the sugar and puree until smooth. Season the mixture with salt, add the eggs and process until incorporated. Add the chicken stock and process again.

In a large bowl, combine the toasted corn bread with the squash puree and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir lightly, add the onion-kosher sausage mixture and 1 teaspoon of salt and stir again. Mound the stuffing in the prepared muffin cups. Wrap any extra stuffing in a piece of heavy-duty foil.

Bake the muffins and any extra foil-wrapped stuffing in the upper third of the oven for about 40 minutes, until crisp on top and heated through. Unmold the stuffing muffins and serve hot.

Sweet Potato Latkes (serve with cranberry apple sauce)

Traditional latkes are great too. Potatoes work for both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. I figure everyone has a good traditional recipe so I tasted and tested (this has been a yummy week) and decided on this great Thanksgivvukah combo, sweet potato and latke mashup.

Makes 48 latkes

  • 2-1/4 pounds (3 large) red-skinned sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Prep: Finely grate potatoes in a food processor. Press to remove all liquid and place in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients, except oil, and mix well.

Fry: Coat bottom of a large skillet with oil and heat over medium heat. Drop batter, by tablespoonful, into the skillet. Press with a spatula to 1½-inch rounds. Fry until golden and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towel-lined plates. Continue until batter is finished, draining off liquid that accumulates in batter and adding oil to the skillet as needed. Serve hot.

Doughnut Bread Pudding

Doughnut Bread PuddingHow great is this combination for Thanksgivvukah? Doughnuts and bread pudding. This is so warm and satiating and seriously delicious. I love it with caramel sauce drizzled over the top.

Serves 10

This is not dietetic but is delicious and a fun alternative to sufganiyot for Chanukah.

Bread pudding:

  • 1 stick unsalted margarine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups pareve cream (to lighten it up use vanilla soymilk)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup raisins, (optional)
  • ½ cup pecans, toasted (optional)
  • 16 cake style doughnuts

Caramel sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups (packed) brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups pareve whipping cream
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted margarine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a food processor, combine margarine and sugar briefly, just until it forms into a ball. Add eggs, heavy cream, cinnamon, and vanilla, and process until blended.

Lightly grease a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Break up the doughnuts into 1-inch pieces and layer in the pan. Scatter the raisins and pecans over the top. Pour the egg mixture over the doughnuts; soak for 5 to 10 minutes. You will need to push doughnut pieces down during this time to ensure even coverage by egg mixture.

Cover with foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for additional 10 minutes to brown the top. The doughnut bread pudding is done when the custard is set, but still soft.

For Caramel Sauce:

Bring sugar, pareve cream, and margarine to boil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until sugar dissolves. Boil until caramel thickens enough to coat spoon thickly, whisking often, about 10 minutes. DO AHEAD Caramel sauce can be made 5 days ahead. Cover; chill. Whisk over low heat until warm before using.

Olive Oil Cake

Olive Oil CakeOlive oil cake is not only perfect for Hanukkah but also a big food trend. It’s rich and flavorful. I like to serve it with caramel sauce and some roasted or poached fruit and all its juices. You can make some baked apples or poached pears and serve them along side the cake for the ultimate Thanksgivvukah finale.

Serves 10

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup olive oil (use a mild extra virgin)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375°. Butter a 10-in. round and 2-in.-deep cake pan. Set a piece of parchment paper, cut to fit, inside, then grease parchment and dust pan with flour. Set aside.

Beat eggs in a large bowl with a mixer, using the whisk attachment, until frothy. Gradually add sugar and beat on high speed until mixture is pale and leaves a ribbon when you lift whisk, 6 to 8 minutes; scrape bowl halfway through.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Whisk non-dairy milk, oil, and lemon zest and juice together in a large measuring cup.

Add one-third of dry ingredients, then half of wet ingredients to egg mixture, beating after each addition until smooth; continue until all are added and stop a couple of times to scrape inside of bowl.

Pour batter into prepared pan and set in oven. Immediately turn down heat to 350°. Bake until cake pulls away from pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes.

Cool on a rack 15 minutes, then loosen cake from pan with a knife. Turn out onto a plate, remove parchment, and carefully flip cake back onto rack. Let cool completely. Serve with caramel sauce or some fruit compote.

Make ahead: Up to 2 days, wrapped airtight.


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