Holiday Food

The holidays are here, and the year is winding down. Where does the time go? Hanukkah begins this evening; Christmas and the Solstice are both next week. Happy Hanukkah for those who celebrate this holiday. Meanwhile, today's recipes. Enjoy!

HOLIDAY POTATO PANCAKES

This comes from FamilyTime, and starts off, “Our version of potato pancakes is so easy and delicious that you'll want to make them for special occasions or for any occasion.” Prep. time: 25 minutes, Cooking time: 30 minutes,
Serves: 36 pancakes. Source: Campbell's® Quick and Easy Cookbook

To view this online, click here.

Ingredients

8 medium all-purpose potatoes, (about 3 lb.), peeled and grated (about 7 cups)

2 cans (10 3/4 oz. each) Campbell's® Condensed Broccoli Cheese Soup or 98% Fat Free Broccoli Cheese Soup

3 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup vegetable oil

sour cream

Chopped chives

Directions

Wrap grated potatoes in clean dish or paper towel. Twist to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

Mix soup, eggs, flour, black pepper and potatoes.

Heat 1/4 cup oil in deep nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Drop scant 1/4 cup potato mixture into pan, making 4 pancakes at a time. Press on each pancake to flatten to 3 or 4". Cook 4 min. , turning once or until pancakes are dark golden brown. Remove and keep warm. Repeat with remaining potato mixture, adding remaining oil as needed. Serve with sour cream and chives. Makes 36 pancakes.

VEGAN LATKES WITH ONION AND FRESH PARSLEY

This is from Jolinda Hackett, About.com's Vegetarian food expert. She writes, “Did you know that you don't need eggs to make latkes? Yes, it's true. Vegan egg-free and dairy-free latkes will complete your meal! Whether or not its time for Hanukkah, vegan latkes are a yummy and easy fried potato patty to eat for breakfast or really for anytime, and just about everyone loves to eat latkes! These vegan latkes are made with an egg replacer so they are lower in fat than other latke recipes and are also cholesterol-free.” Prep Time: 5 minutes; Cook Time: 5 minutes; Total Time: 10 minutes; Yield: latkes

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Ingredients

1 large potato

1/2 yellow onion

Ener-G Egg Replacer for 1 egg

1/4 tsp thyme

1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1 tbsp flour

1 tbsp bread crumbs

2 tbsp lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

oil for frying

Preparation

In a food processor, process the potato and onion together until thinly grated. Press out the excess moisture.

In a large bowl, combine the grated potato and onion with the remaining ingredients, except oil.

In a large skillet, heat a thin layer of oil over medium-high heat. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the potato mixture into the oil and gently flatten to form a pancake. Fry for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Continue making pancakes until all the mixture is used. Serve with applesauce or sour cream if desired.

SPINACH NOODLE KUGEL

This is from Giora Shimoni, About.com's Kosher Food expert. He wrote, “This Spinach Noodle Kugel makes a nice side dish for the Sabbath or holiday table. The fresh spinach and onions give it an old-fashioned, wholesome taste. The fresh ingredients also make this an economical dish.” Prep Time: 20 minutes; Cook Time: 45 minutes; Total Time: 65 minutes

To view this online, click here.

Ingredients

16 oz. fine noodles

16 oz. fresh spinach

2 Tbsp. oil

2 onions, finely chopped

6 eggs, beaten

3/4 cup oil

1 1/2 tsp. salt

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9x13 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Cook noodles according to package directions (5-6 minutes). Rinse and drain. Place in a large bowl.

Wash spinach leaves. Remove stems. Place a small amount of water in a 4-quart saucepan. Add spinach. Cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Drain well. Chop spinach and add to the noodles.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Saute onions until golden. Add to the noodles and spinach.

Add eggs, 1/2 cup oil and salt. Mix well.

Cook at 350°F for 35-45 minutes, or until the top of the noodle has started to brown.

NOODLE KUGEL

This comes from Dave Lieberman of Food Network's Good Deal with Dave Lieberman. Total time: 50 minutes; prep: 5 minutes; cook: 45 minutes. Yields 6-8 servings. Level: Easy.

To view online, click here.

Ingredients

1/2 pound wide kosher for Passover egg noodles

1/2 stick butter, melted

1 pound cottage cheese

2 cups sour cream

1/2 cup sugar

6 eggs

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup raisins

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Boil the noodles in salted water for about 4 minutes. Strain noodles from water. In a large mixing bowl, combine noodles with remaining ingredients and pour into a greased, approximately 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Bake until custard is set and top is golden brown, about 30 to 45 minutes.

RUGELACH

This is from Ina Garten of the Food Network's Barefoot Contessa. Total Time: 1 hr 55 min; Prep: 10 min; Inactive: 1 hr 30 min; Cook: 15 min; Yield: 4 dozen cookies; Level: Easy

To view this online, click here.

Ingredients

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup granulated sugar plus 9 tablespoons

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 cup raisins

1 cup walnuts, finely chopped

1/2 cup apricot preserves, pureed in a food processor

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash

Directions

Cream the cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the salt, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and mix until just combined. Dump the dough out onto a well-floured board and roll it into a ball. Cut the ball in quarters, wrap each piece in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

To make the filling, combine 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar, the brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the raisins, and walnuts.

On a well-floured board, roll each ball of dough into a 9-inch circle. Spread the dough with 2 tablespoons apricot preserves and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the filling. Press the filling lightly into the dough. Cut the circle into 12 equal wedges—cutting the whole circle in quarters, then each quarter into thirds. Starting with the wide edge, roll up each wedge. Place the cookies, points tucked under, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Brush each cookie with the egg wash. Combine 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle on the cookies. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack and let cool.

CHALLAH

Years ago, right after getting hooked up to cable, I was channel surfing and discovered a show on the Food Network titled Breaking Bread With Father Dominic. The show is no longer on the Food Network (hey, Food Network people: how about bringing Father Dominic's show back!), but Fr. Dominic still has a website. Yield: 1 large loaf; about 20 to 25 slices

Ingredients:

2 packages Fleischmann's Active Dry Yeast

1 cup lukewarm water

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

6 to 7 1/2 cups bread flour, divided

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

3/4 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 egg, beaten, for glaze

Directions:

Combine yeast, 1 cup lukewarm water and 1 tablespoon sugar in medium bowl; stir to mix. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes, or until foamy. Stir in 2 cups of the flour; let stand about 30 minutes to let the yeast develop.

Combine 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, oil and 3 eggs in a large bowl; mix well. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar, salt, cinnamon and vanilla. Add the yeast mixture; mix well.

Add the remaining flour, about 1 cup at a time, until you get slightly firm dough. It will be a bit softer than ordinary bread dough because of the eggs. Knead in bowl about 5 minutes. Cover and let rise in warm, draft-free place about 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.

Punch down dough. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead briefly to work out the larger air pockets. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope, about 24 inches long. Braid ropes to form a loaf, tucking the ends underneath. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover with a clean towel and let rise until nearly doubled in bulk. The loaf will be quite large.

About 15 minutes before loaf has finished rising, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush loaf all over with beaten egg. Bake in 375-degree oven about 45 minutes, or until golden brown. If your oven doesn't bake evenly, be sure to turn the pan every 10 minutes or so. Remove loaf from pan and let cool on a rack.

Note:

A large, braided loaf is one of the traditional forms of challah. One also finds it shaped as a large braid with a smaller braid on top. I generally prefer to make two smaller single braids, as may be necessary if you have a smaller oven.