Beetroot latkes: the perfect recipe for Thanksgivukkah
The idea of Thanksgivukkah - a once-in-a-lifetime simultaneous celebration of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah - has really caught on. Caterer Elly Curshen of Bristol's Pear Café comes up with her perfect starter.
Elly writes: "This year, the first day of Hanukkah and the American holiday of Thanksgiving fall on the same day.
Because the Gregorian and Jewish calendars are worked out in different ways, and have slightly different average year lengths, over time they drift out of sync with each other. Thanksgiving Day will not fall entirely within the eight days of Hanukkah again in any of our lifetimes (It has been calculated that, if the Jewish calendar is not revised, Thursday, November 28 will not fall during Hanukkah again for another 77,798 years!).
Both these holidays are basically incredibly food-centred so for a once in a lifetime event, what do you serve?
North American/Thanksgiving favourites such as pumpkin, cranberries, sweet potatoes and turkey can happily appear on Thanksgivukkah menus alongside the Hanukkah essentials.
According to my grandma Angela, for a traditional Hanukkah dinner latkes [think of them as Jewish hash browns!] and doughnuts are a must. Anything else is up to you'. Basically the Jewish festival of lights calls for fried stuff. Suits me.
Due to it being such a rare occasion, celebrating Thanksgivukkah is a chance to create new 'classics' - there's no right or wrong here. Doughnuts with a spiced pumpkin filling? Sweet potato latkes with apple sauce? Turkey with challah stuffing? YES to all of it!
Here are a couple of ideas if you fancy celebrating. Any excuse for fried things and booze, in my opinion.
Beetroot latkes with horseradish sour cream, smoked salmon, red onion and rocket
Makes 12 canapé-sized latkes, or 6 bigger starter-sized ones.
Peel and grate a largish raw beetroot and a largish raw potato using a food processor or by hand.
Squeeze out as much liquid as possible. When you think you're done, squeeze the rest out. You want the mixture as dry as possible.
Put into a large bowl and add salt, pepper, one beaten egg and enough cornflour so that you have a stiffish mixture. About half a cup as a guide.
Leave for 10 to 20 minutes and then using a spoon, dollop piles of the mixture into hot oil, 1cm deep. You can make them mini, canapé sized or larger - don't go bigger than the size of your palm though or they won't cook through.
Flatten them down in the pan and flip over when well browned. Cook on both sides then drain on kitchen roll. Serve hot, topped with horseradish flavoured sour cream, smoked salmon, very finely sliced red onion and a bit of rocket.
* Use sweet potato instead of the beetroot/potato mix. This won't need to be squeezed as much as it is naturally a lot drier. Add some very finely diced red onion to tone down the sweetness and season very well with salt and black pepper.
* Try topping with apple sauce (chopped Bramley apple, a little water, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, a little sugar, slowly cooked down over a low heat) and sour cream.
And how about making doughnuts and dusting them with granulated sugar and the traditional pumpkin pie spice blend (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice) while still hot? My friend Sig (aka Signe Johansen of Scandilicious) has a great recipe. Just make up your own spiced sugar mix to taste.
What to drink with the latkes: Fried stuff calls for chilled fino sherry in Elly's and my book but I know that's not to everyone's taste. A sparkling wine like cava or prosecco or even champagne would be great as would a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or the Barkan Fusion White 2012, a zesty blend of Sauvignon, Colombard and Chardonnay from Israel (£9.49 Marks & Spencer) FB
If you found this post helpful and would like to support the website which is free to use it would be great if you'd make a donation towards its running costs or sign up to my regular Substack newsletter Eat This, Drink That for extra benefits.