Foodie Friday: The Festival (And Feast) Of Lights

We use this beautiful Nambe Menorah

We use this beautiful Nambe Menorah

Today is Hanukkah Eve and over the next 8 days, many presents will be opened, many candles will be lit, and many calories will be consumed. Hanukkah is a very happy holiday, especially for the little ones! The traditional food served makes it an especially fun (and fattening) one.  Even if you don’t light a menorah, you can still enjoy the delectable treats traditionally served during this wonderful time of year.

When I am preparing a Hanukkah feast, or any other Jewish holiday meal, there are two places I go to for recipes and ideas. The first is my mother-in-law. She is a fantastic cook and has shared many of her delicious family recipes with me over the years.  My other recipe resource is the cookbook Fast & Festive Meals for the Jewish Holidays by Marlene Sorosky. You don’t have to be Jewish (or even a Cashew) to love and appreciate these recipes.

I will feature my Hanukkah feast in the next segment of Foodie Friday. Until then, enjoy these recipes from my mother-in-law’s kitchen and mine:

Mini Potato Latkes (adapted from Karen Emmer)

  • 6 medium white (baking) potatoes
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped fine)
  • 2-3 tablespoons matzo meal
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying

In mixing bowl, combine beaten eggs and onion. Cut cleaned potatoes and grate or shred in the food processor. Add to egg mixture and add matzo meal, baking powder, salt, and pepper.

Using a large skillet, heat small amount of oil and drop the mixture in by the tablespoon. Brown well and drain on paper towels. Recipe makes 3-5 dozen latkes, depending on your definition of “tablespoonful.”

Serve with sour cream or apple sauce!


Preheat oven for 300 degrees.

  • 3-4 lbs of first-cut flat-piece of brisket.
  • 1 cup of ketchup
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon of white horseradish

Combine the ketchup, water, mustard, wine vinegar, dried minced onion, and horseradish and whisk together. Place the brisket in a roast pan or glass dish and cover the meat with the combined mixture.  Cover the brisket loosely with foil and cook slowly at 300 degrees. It takes about 4 hours to cook, depending on the size of the brisket and your oven. It’s done when the meat is tender enough to be cut with a fork. If it’s too tough, keep cooking!

The brisket can be cooked the night before and refrigerated. To reheat, first discard the solidified fat and carve the meat. Slice brisket thinly against the grain.  Bake in the oven at 325 or 350 degrees, covered, for about 40-50 minutes.

Happy Hanukkah!