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:
- Sephardic style chicken with dried fruit and almonds (thank you again, Cara, for all the recipe suggestions!)
- Two-potato (baked) latkes (as seen on Pink Apron)
- Roasted haricot verts
- Rugelach (from the new Weight Watchers cookbook)
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!
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.