A belated Hanukkah celebration with recipes

menorahSince I was at Esalen at Big Sur California during most of Hanukkah, I promised my son and daughter-in-law we’d have a belated Hanukkah celebration after I got home, complete with my home-made potato pancakes – Latkes – a recipe I’ve been making for years.

So to get into the Hanukkah spirit I’m going to share tomorrow’s menu with recipes for the chicken dish and the pancakes. I plan to serve cheese and crackers and an olive tapenade as appetizers, a spinach salad, and a broccolini side dish to go along with the chicken and Latkes. I don’t yet know about dessert since my husband is in charge of that. Since I’m both lactose intolerant and gluten-free I can’t eat the dessert anyway, so he’ll choose something he likes.

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The following recipe for potato pancakes comes from a year’s old issue of the now defunct Gourmet Magazine.

Lacy Potato Pancakes

2 large eggs
1/3 cup beer
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh pepper to taste
1 onion halved lengthwise and sliced thin
2 large russet (baking) potatoes (1-1/4 lb) peeled
Vegetable oil for frying

  1. In large bowl whisk together eggs, beer, flour, salt and pepper. Add onion
  2. Julienne potatoes in Cuisinart (use grating blade)
  3. Drain potatoes well (I use a clean dish towel). Add to batter and toss well to combine
  4. Heat ½ inch oil in heavy skillet over moderately high heat. Working over the bowl, form a handful of the mixture into a loose patty and add it to the oil
  5. Fry in batches, turning them once until they are golden (4-5 min.) and drain on paper towels
  6. May be made in advance and reheated on cookie sheet. 350 deg for 10-15 min or until hot

Makes 12 pancakes, serving 4-6 people
Prep time: 45 minutes

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I must admit I’ve never made this chicken dish, but I ate it at my godson’s birthday party a few week’s ago. Developed by Christine Ferrare (Wife. Mother. Chef. New York Times Best-Selling Author. Host of Hallmark Channel’s Emmy-nominated Home and Family.). It is delicious.

Fall off the Bone Chicken Thighs

3 cups chicken stock, homemade or store-bought organic chicken broth
12 chicken thighs, washed and dried
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fines herbs
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
Kosher salt
cracked pepper
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig rosemary

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Place chicken thighs in a baking dish.
  3. Combine Dijon mustard, lemon juice, soy sauce, and olive oil, and pour over the chicken. Turn the thighs to coat evenly.
  4. Sprinkle on the fines herbs and the fennel seeds; then sprinkle on several pinches of kosher salt and plenty of cracked pepper. Lay the thyme and rosemary on top of chicken.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil, and roast for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and baste with a bulb baster. Add 2 cups of chicken stock and stir to turn up any of the bits that have formed at the bottom of the roasting pan.
  6. Continue to roast with out the foil for 60 minutes more, basting every 15 minutes to keep the chicken super moist. The thighs will turn a beautiful caramel color. If you find that the bottom of the roasting pan is dry, add the rest of the chicken stock.
  7. Serve with mashed potatoes, rice, or Israeli couscous if you’re not making Latkes.

NOTE: I will also marinate the chicken for several hours before I cook it.

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I hope you’ll try these recipes and let me know what you think. Happy Belated Hanukkah!

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