Hanukkah food for all !!
I am not Jewish but that does not mean I can not honour Hanukkah by cooking up some delicious and authentic recipes that you find during this time. I chose two popular recipes and changed some of the ingredients around to make them gluten free and dairy-free (sadly not vegan as all three recipes have egg in them, will have to try this some day).
If you are unfamiliar or not entirely sure what Hanukkah is, let me tell the story and reason to celebrate this holiday:
The story of Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, starts with the rule of Antiochus IV who had won the Land of Israel after a war with King Ptolemy of Egypt. He began to oppress the Jews, massacring them, outlawing the practice of their religion and desecrating the Temple. In 168 BCE the Temple was seized by Syrian-Greeks and was converted to a temple to Zeus.
Once this happened the Jewish people realized that something must be done about this. Judah Maccabee gathered a group of people to fight back, and as the word spread more and more people joined their cause. Finally after years of fighting the Jews won and were able to return the Temple. However by this time the Temple had been so completely defiled that it had to be thoroughly and completely cleaned of the foreign Gods and the rituals performed within the Temple.
They meant to clean the Temple by buying ritual oil but to their dismay found that there was only enough oil to burn for one night. They decided to light the Temple menorah with what oil they had and were happily surprised to find that that small amount of oil was able to keep the menorah alight for eight full days.
Due to this miracle Hanukkah is celebrated every year. A special menorah called a hanukkiyah is lit for eight nights, one candle is lit on the first night, two on the second night, and so on until the eighth night where eight candle are lit.
Hanukkah is celebrated sometime between late November and late December depending on the changes go the Jewish calendar. Another aspect of Hanukkah is giving gifts to children on each night. Some other traditions that occur are spinning the dreidel, a popular Hanukkah game, and eating fried food because Hanukkah is the celebration of the miracle of oil, and food that is fried is symbolic of this.
I love the story of Hanukkah as it shows the perseverance, loyalty and faith that people can have. Hanukkah really is about being thankful and honouring those who fought for their rights.
The two recipes that I made are: Sufganiyot and Latkes.
Sufganiyot are basically jam filled doughnuts. Although jam is meant to be put in them, other flavours such as caramel or chocolate can also be used.
Latkes (which are a favourite of mine) are potato pancakes. They are grated and fried to crisp deliciousness. Latkes can be served with applesauce or sour cream. Other vegetables such as carrot or onions can be used, or parsnip which I decided to use.
Now I am going to go enjoy some homemade latkes for dinner and sufganiyot for dessert.
Makes 12 Cook time: 1-2 minutes Total time: 3 hours
1 Tsp sugar
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
3.4 Cups Lukewarm water
2 Cups gluten free flour
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp xanthan gum
2 Tsp baking powder
1 Large egg, room temperature
1 Tbsp butter ( I use soy butter), melted and cooled
Oil for frying
Filling for doughnuts like jam, caramel or chocolate
1. Mix 1 tsp sugar with water until dissolved. Add yeast and stir to dissolve. Set aside to proof in a warm draft free place like the microwave.
2. In a medium size bowl whisk the flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder and 1/4 sugar together.
3. By hand or in stand mixer (with paddle blade) beat the egg, butter and yeast mixture together on low. Add the dry ingredients and beat for 3-4 minutes.
4. Oil a large bowl and spoon the mix into it. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place. I heated up the oven on the lowest setting for about ten minutes that placed the bowl into the oven, let rise for an hour or until double.
5. Dust counter top with flour and drop dough onto it. Dust top of dough and a rolling pin. Roll dough out to about 1/8 inch. Cut out round circles, I used a glass, and place pieces on a wax paper lined tray. Make sure you have even numbers. Place back in warm place to proof for another hour.
6. Brush out any excess flour on each round. Scoop about 1/2 tbsp of filling, I used chocolate, fig cabernet jam and homemade caramel (which I will be posting sometime in the next week or so).
7. Dip finger in bowl of water and wet the edges of a circle. Set another piece on top and pinch together to seal. You may need to push back into a rounded shaped.
8. Heat up a pot of oil, you want enough to cover each doughnut, about 2 Litres of oil ( you can store for later use once cooled). Cook each side for 20-30 seconds, you want them to be just slightly golden brown ( I left mine in a bit too long) then transfer with slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Let cool completely then dust with powdered sugar and serve.
If you do not use all the uncooked dough it can be stored in refrigerator for 2 days.
Makes around 8-10 Cook time: 10 minutes Total time: 30 minutes
1 large Russet potato, peeled and grated
2-3 Large parsnips, peeled and grated
1/4 gluten free flour
1 Tsp baking powder
2 Large eggs, beaten
Salt and Pepper
Oil for frying (either olive oil or a mix of olive and vegetable oil)
1. Peel and grate the potato and parsnips, squeeze out excess water using a clean dishcloth or cheesecloth. Place in large bowl.
2. In smaller bowl whisk the eggs with flour, salt and baking powder until thoroughly mixed.
3. Add liquid mixture to potato and parsnips and fold together.
4. Heat up oil in a heavy bottom pan. To check if hot enough flick a drop of water in oil, if it begins to bubble then it is ready.
5. Scoop out palm sized circles and drop 3-4 patties into the oil. Use a slotted spoon to make sure oil does not splatter.
6. Cook on each side for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown.Using slotted spoon remove from pan and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Let drip for a minute and serve immediately with apple sauce or other condiments you prefer.