For eight days and nights, in the dark of winter, Jewish families around the world will celebrate the Festival of Lights, better known as Hanukkah. And each of those nights will be filled with traditional rituals and foods. For those of you looking for something beyond matzoh ball soup, potato latkes and brisket, we have a few ideas that can take Hanukkah to another level. For this, we may have to ignore a few kosher laws, which we hope you can excuse.
Let My People Eat Foie Gras
The Jewish people are credited with bringing the feeding technique that fattens the liver of ducks or geese out of the land of Egypt and into Europe. The rest, as they say, is history.
So it seems particularly appropriate to celebrate Hanukkah with a little foie gras. The terrine is a divine preparation of foie gras, which becomes an instant classic when sliced and served cold with cranberry port reduction as an appetizer. For a hot preparation that is impressive yet simple, sear slices of fresh foie gras in a hot pan, and complement with dried fruit flapjacks for a unique twist on the classic latke.
Leave the kasha varnishkes for Grandma, and instead try our easy-to-make pasta with foie gras and wild mushrooms. If you are feeling particularly guilty about playing fast and loose with this one, use farfelle (bowtie pasta) instead of gemelli pasta. You’ll get over it when you sink your teeth into a cube of sautéed foie gras, and then wipe the bowl clean of the luxurious sauce, redolent of foie gras and mushrooms.
Other Birds of Good Repute
In the old country, a Jewish family was always fattening up some birds for schmaltz (chicken fat, though we use duck fat with great results!) and the roasting pan. It was considered appropriate to slaughter a duck or goose for Hanukkah, roast it and use some of the rendered fat to fry the potato latkes. Banish the thought of the Dickensian Christmas goose, and have a Read more