In the Kitchen Jewish Food

Thanksgivukkah is back, sort of — and here are 4 recipes to go with it

By Shannon Sarna

These recipes originally appeared on The Nosher.

Way back in 2013, American Jews got the ultimate holiday gift: the convergence of Thanksgiving and Chanukah.

Sweet potato kugel, cranberry filled sufganiyot, turkey-shaped challah and, of course, the menurkey (Turkey menorah) became delicious expressions of our Americanness and Jewishness. We were able to gather with family and get double our return on that family time: We did two holidays in one.

This year, Thanksgiving is Thursday, Nov. 25 and Chanukah starts almost immediately after, on the evening of Sunday, Nov. 28. It’s not quite another Thanksgivukkah, but it’s close. Add the pandemic into the mix, and the fact that many families may not have taken the opportunity to gather together, and this year’s holiday weekend presents a very special chance to celebrate twice as hard.

And so, here is a list of recipes perfect for this year’s Thanksgiving-Chanukah convergence. Enjoy!

Latkes with Leftover Stuffing

By Stephanie Ganz

The perfect recipe or diehard Thanksgiving stuffing fans and a devout latke lovers. Makes approximately 10 latkes.

Ingredients:

• 2 cups leftover stuffing of your choice

• 1 large russet potato, peeled, shredded, and stored in cool water

• 1 egg, beaten

• 2 Tbsp fresh herbs (any combination of parsley, dill, chives, or sage), finely chopped

• Vegetable oil for frying

• Salt, to taste

• Sour cream and chopped fresh herbs for serving (optional)

Directions

• Line a baking sheet with a layer of paper towels.

• In a large sauce pan, heat about a cup of vegetable oil over medium heat until a small piece of stuffing sizzles and bubbles when it’s added to the oil.

• Remove the shredded potatoes from the water, and use a kitchen towel to wring out any excess moisture. 

• Combine stuffing, potatoes, egg, and herbs, and combine. Depending on the moisture level of your leftover stuffing and potatoes, you may need to add a little more egg to make the mixture come together so that you can shape the latkes with your hands. (approximately 10-12). 

• Fry each latke in oil for about 5 minutes, flipping once, until golden brown and crispy. Remove to the sheet tray, and sprinkle with salt on both sides. 

• Serve warm with sour cream and chopped, fresh herbs if desired. 

Sweet Potato-Pecan Kugel 

By Leah Koenig

A good example of how Jewish communities in the American South incorporated local ingredients and flavors into traditional Ashkenazi dishes. Yields 6 to 8 pieces of kugel.

Reprinted from The Jewish Cookbook, by Leah Koenig (Phaidon Press, 2019).

Ingredients:

For the kugel:

• 3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 medium)

• 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater

• 2 Tbsp light brown sugar

• 3 eggs, lightly beaten

• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

• 1 tsp finely grated orange zest

• 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

• 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the topping:

• 4 Tbsp unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted

• 1 1/2 cups pecans, roughly chopped

• 1/2 packed cup light brown sugar

• 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour

• 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Directions:

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prick the sweet potatoes in several places with a fork and roast until the flesh can be easily pierced with a knife, about 1 hour. Remove from oven, let cool to the touch, and scoop flesh into a large bowl, discarding the skin, and mash well with a potato masher. (This step can be completed up to a day in advance.)

• Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F and grease a 9-inch square baking pan. Combine mashed sweet potato, apple, brown sugar, eggs, flour, orange zest, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix well. Spread mixture into the prepared baking pan.

• Stir together the melted butter, pecans, brown sugar, flour, and salt in a medium bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the kugel. Bake, uncovered, until kugel sets and lightly browns around the edges, 35 to 40 minutes.

Mashed Potato, Turkey and Cranberry Knishes with Cranberry Mustard

By Shannon Sarna

Combine these bit-sized Thanksgiving knishes with some cranberry mustard dipping sauce and leftovers never sounded so good! Yields about 18 knishes.

Other variations:

• Substitute the mashed potatoes with leftover stuffing or mashed sweet potatoes.

• Substitute the cranberry sauce inside the knishes for leftover gravy.

Ingredients:

• 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed for 30 minutes

• 1 cup cranberry sauce, divided

• 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

• 1/2 tsp whole grain mustard

• 1/2 cup leftover mashed potato

• 1/2 – 3/4 cup leftover turkey, diced

• 1 egg, beaten

• All purpose flour for rolling out puff pastry

Directions:

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

• On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry on all sides so that dough stretches slightly. Cut into 9 even squares.

• Using fingers stretch each square just a little bit more. Add tsp of mashed potatoes, a few pieces of turkey and tsp of cranberry sauce on each square.

• Fold each point of the puff pastry up and pinch at the top. Twist puff pastry and then push down. Repeat.

• Brush each knish with beaten egg.

• Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.

• While knishes bake, mix ½ cup cranberry sauce with 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard and ½ tsp whole grain mustard. Spicy brown mustard can also be substituted. Whisk together until smooth.

• Serve knishes while warm with cranberry mustard.

Cranberry Applesauce

By Emily Paster 

Applesauce is one of the best-known and best-loved Jewish preserves, because it is one of the two traditional toppings for latkes. (The other being sour cream. Let’s not argue over which one is better.) In Europe, Ashkenazi Jews often made a version of applesauce that included foraged berries, such as raspberries or blackberries. I have updated that tradition by adding cranberries, that quintessential North American berry, to my applesauce. The cranberries add tartness and a beautiful rosy color. Make this crimson-hued applesauce in October or November, when whole cranberries and heirloom varieties of apples are readily available at farmers’ markets, and put up several jars to accompany your Chanukah latkes in December or as a side dish for your Thanksgiving celebration. Yields 3 to 4 pints.

This recipe is excerpted with permission from The Joys of Jewish Preserving by Emily Paster. 

Ingredients:

• 4 lb (1.8 kg) apples, preferably a mixture of sweet and tart varieties

• 2 cups (200 g) whole cranberries (fresh or frozen)

• 1/4cup (59 ml) lemon juice

• 1 1/4 cups (250 g) sugar

• 1/2 tsp cinnamon

• 1/4 tsp cloves

Directions:

• Peel, core, and roughly chop the apples. Combine the apples, cranberries, ½ cup (120 ml) water and lemon juice in a large saucepan.

• Bring the liquid to a boil, turn down the heat to low and simmer the apples, covered, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, prepare a boiling water bath and heat four pint-sized (473 ml) jars.

• When the apples are tender, about 30 to 45 minutes depending on the varieties you use, remove from the heat. Mash the apples with a potato masher. For a smoother texture, purée with an immersion blender but leave some chunkiness.

• Add the sugar and spices and return mixture to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar and distribute the spices. Ladle the sauce into the clean, warm jars, leaving ¾ inch (2 cm) of space at the top.

• After the jar is filled, run a thin plastic utensil around the inside of the jar to release any air bubbles. This is known as “bubbling the jar.” Wipe the rims with a damp cloth.

• Place the lids on the jars and screw on the rings just until you feel resistance.

• Keep the jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Allow to cool in the water for 5 minutes before removing. Store in a cool, dark place for up to one year.

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