hanukkah recipes

I’m not Jewish but several of my closest friends are. I’ve always been impressed with their traditions, faith, and of course how this culture bonds over food (something I always related to being Italian). Our one friend in particular, Jimmy (who has contributed to this blog on several occasions) always shares the best family stories and often talks about a lot of these dishes and how his mom and grandma approached them.

Whether you’re celebrating Hanukkah or not, which starts this Friday at sundown, here are a few recipes that would tempt  anyone. The recipes are courtesy of Jacki Novotny, head chef for Heinen’s. Also, there are some good recipes from yesterday’s New York Times plus a good article on chefs and Hanukkah (love the latke assembly line).

Apple Cinnamon Noodle Kugel

12 oz. egg noodles
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 large gala apples
1 cup large curd cottage cheese
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
1 cup raisins
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Cook the noodles in salted boiling water according to the directions on the package, or until just tender, then drain. Melt the butter, then in a large mixing bowl toss with the noodles.  Coarsely grate the apples and add to the noodles, then stir in the cottage cheese, eggs, cinnamon, sugar, raisins, baking soda and salt. Pour the noodle mixture into a 9×13 baking dish and bake for 1 hour or until browned and crisp. Serve immediately.Note:  Kugel is also great the next day.

Potato Latkes with Cranberry Apple Sauce


3 large baking potatoes, peeled
2 onions
4 tbsp. matzo meal
1 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying

Cranberry Apple Sauce:

5 medium granny smith apples
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups fresh cranberries

To make Cranberry Apple Sauce: Peel, core and roughly chop the apples and place in a heavy pan with the cinnamon stick.  Add lemon juice and sugar, cover and cook over low to medium heat for 15-20 minutes, or until they are just tender.  Stir occasionally so that the apples do not burn. Add the cranberries to the pan cover again and cook for 5-8 minutes more or until the cranberries pop and are just cooked.  Taste for sweetness and leave to cool.

To make Latkes: Coarsely grate the potatoes and onions and squeeze out as much of the moisture as possible. Transfer grated potato and onion mixture to a mixing bowl, add the matzo meal, baking powder, eggs, sugar, salt and pepper and mix together until well combined. Heat oil in a heavy frying pan.  Drop spoonfuls of the batter, depending on the size you want the latkes, into the pan.  Fry over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the underside is brown and crisp.  Turn and fry the second side. When cooked, remove from pan and drain on a paper towel.  Serve at once or keep warm on a baking sheet in the oven for 20 minutes.  Serve with the cranberry apple sauce.

Two Brothers Seasoned Brisket

2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. ground black pepper
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. Two Brothers Seasoning
1 – 4 lb. Heinen’s Own Beef Brisket
1 ½ cups Kitchen Basics Beef Stock

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, ground black pepper, sugar, and Two Brothers Seasoning in a mixing bowl and blend thoroughly.  Apply rub to surface of the brisket. Place brisket in a roasting pan and cook 1 hour.  Remove from oven and add beef stock to the roasting pan.  Lower oven temperature to 300°F. Cover roasting pan tightly with foil and cook an additional 3 hours. Let brisket rest for 30 minutes before slicing. 

Salmon Wrapped in Phyllo with a Zesty Tomato Sauce

1 lb. salmon fillet, cut into 4 – 4 oz. servings
1 lemon, cut in half
2 tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for brushing
1 onion, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1green bell pepper, diced
5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp. ground all spice
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Pinch of sugar
8 large sheets of phyllo pastry
Ground black pepper

Sprinkle the salmon fillets with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Set aside while you prepare the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a pan; add the chopped onion, celery, pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are softened.  Add the garlic and cook for a further 1 minute, then add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are of a sauce consistency.  Stir in the parsley then season with all spice, cayenne pepper, sugar, salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 400°F.  Take a sheet of the phyllo, brush with a little of olive oil and cover with a second sheet.  Place a piece of the fish on top of the phyllo, towards the bottom edge, then top with 1-2 spoonfuls of the sauce, spreading it evenly. Roll the fish in the pastry, taking care to enclose the filling completely.  Arrange on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining fish and phyllo.  You would have about half of the sauce remaining, to serve with the fish. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden.  Meanwhile, reheat the remaining sauce.  Serve fish and sauce immediately.