Ask A Detroit Chef: 5 Traditional Chanukah Recipes

December 1, 2015 4:38 PM

Chanukah falls under Chef Cari’s expertise, as she runs Chef Cari Kosher Catering, providing great Kosher recipes for the Jewish holidays and for everyday meals too. Check out this list of her five favorite Chanukah recipes.
Chef Cari Herskovitz
Chef Cari Kosher Catering
6800 Drake Road
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
(248) 770-6521
www.chefcari.com

Chef Cari Kosher Catering is operated by Chef Cari Herskovitz, owner and head chef. She is a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute of Food and Healing (NYC). Chef Cari Kosher Catering was started when she felt the need for a “healthful modern option” for kosher food in Detroit. Her catering company is supervised under the Orthodox rabbis of Detroit.

Traditional Latkes

  • 2 1/2 pounds Idaho, russet or baking potatoes (about 4 large), scrubbed
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 3 tablespoons matzoh meal
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt and fresh pepper
  • Corn, canola or vegetable oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Shred potatoes and onions in processor or grate on large grate on box grater.
  2. Place in colander over large bowl and squeeze as much liquid out as possible.
  3. Add eggs, matzoh meal and salt
  4. Heat oil, about a 1/2 inch deep, and add mixture a tablespoon at a time without crowding the pan.
  5. Cook for 4-7 minutes until brown and crispy then turn over and cook 3-4 minutes more.
  6. Remove; transfer to paper towel.
  7. Serve with applesauce and sour cream
Sweet Potato Pancakes

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and coarsely shredded
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup corn, canola or vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients.
  2. Heat oil and add mixture one tablespoon at a time.
  3. Press down to create a flatter circle and cook for 2-4 minutes and turn, continuing to cook for 1 1/2 more minutes
  4. Transfer to paper towel.
  5. Serve with applesauce seasoned with cumin and curry powder or sour cream with cinnamon and brown sugar
Mixed Vegetable Latkes

  • 1 pound carrots, peeled
  • 1/2 pound zucchini
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons gf flour mix
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • Fresh chopped dill
  • Corn, canola or vegetable oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Grate carrots, zucchini and onion on large grate on box grater. Transfer into cheesecloth or thin kitchen towel and drain liquid by twisting out the veggies.
  2. Place veggies in a bowl and add all other ingredients except oil, and mix well.
  3. Heat oil and add mixture one tablespoon at a time. Press down to create a flatter circle and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  4. Transfer to paper towel.
  5. Serve with sour cream with fresh chives.

Related: Best Ways To Celebrate Rosh Hashanah In Detroit

Soufganyot(Israeli doughnut)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the baking sheet and rolling out the dough.
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt.
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup warm whole milk or non dairy alternative (105°F to 115°F)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine (1/4 stick), at room temperature
  • 6 cups (1 1/2 quarts) vegetable or canola oil for frying, plus more for coating the bowl
  • 2/3 cup smooth jam or jelly
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Directions:

  1. Place the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine.
  2. Add the yolks and milk and mix, using the hook attachment, on medium-low speed until a shaggy dough forms, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the butter, increase the speed to medium high, and mix until the dough is smooth, shiny and elastic, about 5 minutes.
  4. Coat a large bowl with oil. Form the dough into a ball, place in the bowl and turn to coat in the oil.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Lightly flour a baking sheet; set aside. Punch down the dough, transfer to a lightly floured work surface and roll until about 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Using a 2-inch round cutter, stamp out as many dough rounds as possible and place on the prepared baking sheet about 1/2 inch apart.
  8. Gather the dough scraps into a ball and roll out again, stamping rounds until you have 30 total on the baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let rise in a warm place until puffy and about 1/2 inch thick, about 30 minutes.
  9. Place the vegetable or canola oil in a Dutch oven, or a large, heavy-bottomed pot, and set over medium heat until the temperature reaches 350°F on a candy/fat thermometer. Meanwhile, line a second baking sheet with paper towels and place a wire rack over the paper towels; set aside. Place the jam or jelly in a piping bag fitted with a 1/4-inch round tip; set aside.
  10. Using a flat spatula (don’t use your hands—this will deflate the donuts), carefully transfer the dough rounds, one at a time, into the oil. You should be able to fit about 6 at a time, leaving at least 1 inch of space in between and keeping the oil temperature at 350°F. Fry until the bottoms are golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Carefully flip with a fork and fry until the second side is golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes more. (If air bubbles appear in the donuts, pierce with the tip of a paring knife.) Remove with a slotted spoon to the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining dough rounds.
  11. When the donuts are cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to puncture the side of each to form a pocket in the center. Place the tip of the piping bag into the pocket and pipe about 1 teaspoon of jam or jelly inside. Dust with powdered sugar before serving. 
Homemade Applesauce

  • 4 pounds of apples, peeled, cored and sliced into large pieces. Any mix of apples is good including granny smith, macintosh, golden delicious, jonagold.
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a large pot and bring to boil, turn down heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat, remove cinnamon and mash with a masher until desired consistency.

Related: Best Bakeries In Metro Detroit For Passover Desserts

Liz Parker is a freelance writer and a University of Michigan graduate with a degree in Creative Writing and Literature. Her work can be found at Examiner.com and yesnofilms.com.