The rebbitzin’s recipes: Add great food to your Chanukah celebration

The rebbitzin’s recipes: Add great food to your Chanukah celebration


The eight-day celebration of the holiday of Chanukah is quickly approaching. The excitement is in the air, regardless of age or background. Just ask my children, “How many days are left until Chanukah?” and they will tell you the countdown!

This year, the 25th of Kislev, the first candle is kindled in the menorah on Sunday evening, Dec. 18 .

The miracle of Chanukah commemorates the finding of the holy flask of oil in the Holy Temple with the seal of the Cohen Gadol, the high priest, which burned for eight days, in the Temple Menorah, instead of only for one day. Additionally, we remember the victory of the Maccabees, led by Judah Hamaccabee, over the Greeks. Furthermore, Yehudit, the daughter of the Cohen Gadol, risked her life in order to save the Jewish people by seducing the Greek general, tiring him with rich dairy foods, and then killing him. Miracle after miracle, we have witnessed the hand of Hashem, our G-d, save us from persecution.

It is customary to enjoy dairy cuisine, along with foods cooked in oil, such as latkes, on Chanukah in commemoration of the miracle of oil. It is my hope and blessing that we, the Jewish people, merit witnessing again light amidst the darkness in our world and see the rebuilding of our Holy Temple in Jerusalem speedily in our days.

1 sweet onion, peeled
1 medium zucchini
3 medium baking potatoes,
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbs. sage
2 Tbs. canola oil

Grate all vegetables with the medium shredding blade of a food processor. Squeeze out any excess liquid. Add eggs and mix together in large mixing bowl. Add seasonings and oil. Toss until well-combined.

Spray a 12-inch skillet with oil spray—lightly coated. Heat pan over moderately high heat. Add the entire potato mixture in order to form one giant latke. Fry for approximately 6-8 minutes, or until the bottom of the latke is golden brown. Lift with a spatula and flip latke (or place a platter over the top and invert it onto the other side) in skillet. Fry for approximately 6-8 minutes until golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve with applesauce (recipe follows), if desired.

6 tart apples
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Peel, core, and quarter apples. Place in ice cold water to prevent discoloration. Cook covered in 3-quart saucepan in 1/3 cup water for 30 minutes, or until soft. Add sugar and cinnamon and stir. Simmer 5 minutes. When cool, mash with a spoon if chunky applesauce is desired. A second option is to place a hand blender into saucepan and puree until a fine mixture is achieved.

Yields 4-5 servings.

1 head Romaine lettuce, torn
into pieces
2 Roma tomatoes, cubed
1 cucumber, sliced thin
1 red onion, peeled & sliced
1 5-oz. jar black Kalamata
2 Tbs. capers (optional)
8 oz. feta cheese, cubed
3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. dried parsley
1 Tbs. dried oregano
1/4-1/2 tsp. sea salt

Place all vegetables into a large mixing bowl. Combine vinegar, oil, and spices in a small mixing bowl. Pour dressing over salad, add feta cheese, and toss together. Transfer to serving bowl.

Makes 6-8 servings.

16 oz. Fettuccine pasta (I
prefer the thicker size)
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
8 oz. low-fat mozzarella
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped

Boil and drain pasta, and set aside. In a 3-quart saucepan, over a low flame, combine 2 Tbs. of flour and 2 Tbs. of olive oil. Add milk and cheese, mixing continuously until bubbly.

Saute mushrooms and garlic in 2 Tbs. olive oil in an 8-inch skillet.

Add seasonings and mix altogether. Place pasta onto large serving platter and pour cheese and mushroom mixtures on top. Toss together and serve immediately. Serves 4.

[email protected]