Several days ago, I asked Boston’s finest Jewish chefs about their favorite Hanukkah foods. Well, we couldn’t resist discussing fried foods, too. In fact, a few chefs were generous enough to share their recipes. Read on for crunch, sizzle and a buzz.
Avi Shemtov, The Chubby Chickpea and (forthcoming) Simcha: Making Sufganiyot the Family Way
“The real family memory I have of food and Hanukkah is making sufganiyot with my dad, who was a chef, and my sister. My mom used to work all the time. She was a social worker, and this one year she had her company holiday party on the first day of Hanukkah.
“We still make sufganiyout for catering jobs. The most memorable one we did was made with apple bacon jam.”
Alex Khitrik, Inna’s Kitchen: Meaty Memories
Alex Khitrik says he enjoys Belarus specialty kalduny during Hanukkah. Essentially a giant meat-stuffed potato latke, the traditional dish can be tricky to make. Khitrik says it only appears on the table at Hanukkah while he and his family celebrate his mom’s Belarusian heritage.
Kenny Hoshino, Alden & Harlow, Waypoint and the forthcoming Longfellow Bar: Beachy Bliss
Rebecca Arnold, Whole Heart Provisions: The Allure of Artichokes
“This recipe is time-consuming, but so worth it!” Arnold says.
Fried Artichokes With Lemony Aioli
- ½ lemon
- 8 artichokes
- 5 cups canola oil
- Lemony Aioli:
- 1 block tofu, silken
- ½ cup vegan mayo
- ½ lemon (for zest and juice)
- 2 tablespoons chives, thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch black pepper to taste
- Fill a large mixing bowl with cold water and add juice from half a lemon. Working one artichoke at a time, cut off a third of the top of the artichoke, pull away the rough outer leaves and peel the stem until you reach the softer inner core.
- Cut the artichoke in half lengthwise and use a teaspoon to scoop out the choke. Drop the artichoke halves into the lemon water and repeat until you have finished all eight artichokes.
- In a heavy cast-iron pot, heat the oil to 300 degrees. Remove artichokes from water and pat dry with paper towels.
- Fry the artichokes in three batches. Don’t overcrowd the pan, or they won’t cook evenly. Fry for 5-7 minutes depending on size until a paring knife slides in easily and they are just starting to turn golden.
- Remove artichokes from the oil using a slotted spoon or tongs. Drain on a sheet tray covered with paper towels.
- Heat the oil to 375, then fry again in three batches for about 1 minute, this time until crispy and golden brown. “I like to smoosh the artichokes a bit before frying them the second time, because it adds more nooks to get crispy,” she says.
- When golden, remove from oil and season with kosher salt or sea salt, and grate a bit of lemon zest over the top of them.
- Serve hot with lemony aioli.
- For Lemony Aioli: Place tofu and vegan mayo in a bowl and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Alternatively, you can put them into a blender and blend until smooth. Zest half a lemon into the mayo spread. Juice half a lemon into the mayo spread. Add chives, salt and pepper and whisk. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Naomi Levy, Better Sorts Social Club: Liquid Latkes
Last but not least, you might want a bracing drink to wash down all that fried food. Why not try a latke sour from the Better Sorts Social Club’s Maccabee Pop-Up Bar? Bartender Naomi Levy shared her recipe with us.
- 2 ounces Laird’s 100-Proof Straight Apple Brandy
- 1 ounce potato syrup
- ¾ ounces lemon juice
- Egg white
- Havana & Hide Bitters (garnish)
- To make potato syrup:
- 1 potato, grated
- 1 quart water
- 1 pint granulated sugar
- Combine grated potato and water and heat over medium heat until water has reduced by half.
- Strain out potatoes from the water and combine the water with sugar.
- Combine all ingredients and dry shake.
- Add ice and shake. Double strain into an old-fashioned glass.
- Garnish with a few drops of bitters and swirl.