Belated Hanukkah dinner

After a weekend spent celebrating Christmas, last night I had my parents over for a belated Hanukkah dinner (yup, we celebrate both!). My dad is trying to lose some weight so he didn’t have a proper dinner on the actual holiday, so I figured I’d make a healthy-ish dinner with similar flavors.

The idea actually came to me after seeing Cara’s posts on fun latkes variations. She assured us all that it was ok to eat them even after the holiday, so I took her word for it and planned a whole meal around latkes.

On the menu:

I started with making dessert first… of course! I can’t find the recipe online so here are just some pictures of the process that will hopefully inspire you to get in the kitchen. The rugelach were really fun (and easy!) to make and while I didn’t love the outcome (we all unanimously rated these 3.5/5 – they needed more butter!) given my love for the full-fat version, I know I’ll be trying again. Next year, if not sooner! :)


Easy, right?

Now fast-forward to dinner. I originally wanted to make brisket (the most traditional protein served for Hanukkah) but Whole Foods didn’t have any (maybe they only have this cut during the holidays? not sure…) so chicken it was. I LOVED the sweet dried fruit in combination with the chicken. I used 2 lbs of chicken drumsticks (skinned) + 1.5 lbs of skinless chicken breasts and only 1/2 of the spices, oil/water, prunes and apricots called for in the recipe. I also omitted the onions and any additional sugar the recipe called for. This was super sweet as is. Consider yourself warned. Oh and it only took 40 minutes in total (15 minutes covered, 25 uncovered). I was pretty proud of myself at the end! 😀

[My dad and Adam thought it was too sweet. Don’t listen to them… they’re just silly. My mom and I were all about this dish. 😆 ]

The two-potato latkes gave me some trouble. The first batch stuck to the foil with no way to salvage the cakes without breaking them apart (still yummy though, you know I ate them! 😉 ). The next 2 batches went on silpats which worked beautifully. I loved the sweet addition of the sweet potatoes and I didn’t miss the extra grease from the traditionally fried version.

Sweet chicken + sweet latkes needed some salty roasted green beans. Salt, pepper, EVOO at 400* for about 20 minutes. Finished with a bit of soy sauce. Yum!

I was kind of nervous before dinner because I was serving recipes I’ve never tried before (and made modifications, like chicken pieces vs. whole) but it all came together wonderfully. We finished the meal with some rugelach, plus some dessert my mom brought over.

Sour cherry tea cake

… and rabbit shaped coookie sandwiches. Because 2011 is the year of the rabbit. Yes, my family is cheesy like that. 😀

Do you ever try to healthify traditional holiday meals or indulge in the “real thing?”

PS – If you haven’t already, check out my post on sustainable seafood and enter the RainCoast Trading giveaway. Also I forgot to mention that RainCost Trading is also hosting a giveaway on their site. Enter here for a chance to win a year’s worth of canned seafood for 2.

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12 comments to Belated Hanukkah dinner

  • Your Hanukkah dinner came out great! I cooked my first Hanukkah dinner this year and I was super proud of how it went!

  • That is too bad that the WW rugelach wasn’t great. I LOVE regular rugelach made with a chocolate filling…

  • i just made rugelach the other day. i was surprised at how easy they were to make! i was not at all surprised at how easy they were to eat. simply delicious!

  • fattyfile

    YUM! This looks super delicious. I have never roasted green beans in the oven and now I really want to try.

  • That looks great! My family always had healthy dishes because my mom is insanely scared of getting fat. They tasted bland and gross. Now that I’m older and don’t go to my parents for holidays dinners, I cherish the real thing on the holidays.

  • amy

    yum! your food always looks so delicious!

  • Looks like a great spread of festive foods! When asked to contribute, I do indeed lighten up heavy holiday dishes, but I indulge in traditionally-prepared foods as well. It’s all about balance, right?!

  • oh my gosh, everything looks INCREDIBLE!!!

  • Happy belated Hanukkah! Glad you liked the chicken recipe and that it worked out for you. Personally the caramelized onions are a must for me but I think it made sense to cut down on the fruits, for sure. When my MIL made it there was so much of the onion/fruit mixture that I asked if she had doubled what the recipe called for. Nope! But no real complaints from me, as I can never have too much sweetness :)

  • Look at all these Hanukkah dishes! Your chicken looks fab… I still have never really made many hanukkah dishes because my mom does such a good job. You gotta try that brisket at some point- its amazing.

  • wow, great meal!! i have a tendency to lighten certain things, but there are definitely classics that i don’t mess with :)

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