8 Meals Fit For A Festival: Hanukkah Main Dishes
Latkes, sufganiyot, and chocolate gelt may be the traditional foods on the Hanukkah menu, but you still need a main course for dinner. We've got a roundup of our favorite Hanukkah recipes to help you create the perfect centerpiece for your holiday table.
While the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah is known for potato latkes, jelly doughnuts, and other fried foods, man cannot live on potato pancakes alone for eight days. All that fried food and sugar can make the Festival of Lights seem anything but ... light. The trick is to balance the Hanukkah treats with some "real food" like these hearty winter dishes. The holiday recipes below are elegant enough to delight your friends and family while letting the traditional foods on your Hanukkah menu shine brightly.
Beef Brisket with Slow Cooked Onions
Beef brisket is a welcome centerpiece at many a Jewish holiday table, from Passover to Rosh Hashanah to Hanukkah. This traditional recipe is as simple as they come (and tastes even better the next day), so you'll have plenty of time to tend to your potato pancakes and prep the rest of the meal.
Chicken with Apricots, Prunes, and Carrots
Don't let the lengthy ingredient list scare you away from this delicious and filling main course; it's mostly spices and liquids that are tossed together to make a sweet honey and dried fruit sauce that covers the easy-to-clean sheet pan meal. The recipe is also easily halved if you've got a smaller crowd around your holiday table.
Bourbon Coffee Beef Brisket
For a less traditional take on beef brisket, check out this Thanksgiving-inspired recipe with a double shot of bourbon: one for the brisket and one for the cranberry sauce (OK, fine, triple shot if you need one too). Rubbed with coffee and fennel, this Hanukkah recipe is sure to wake up your guests and have them asking for more.
Slow Cooker Beef Cholent
Cholent, a classic Jewish stew of hearty beans, potatoes, and short ribs for Shabbat, will warm up any cold December night. While it spends 12-15 hours in the slow cooker, you'll have nothing left to do but sit back, relax, and pop a couple jelly doughnuts.
Olive Oil Confit Chicken with Cipollini Onions
Confit chicken is a delightful way to celebrate the miracle of the oil. These chicken thighs are baked with rosemary in four cups of olive oil; when you're finished cooking, you're left with a delicious rosemary, lemon, onion, and fennel-infused oil that you can use to fry up latkes the next day. This is yet another recipe that can be made mostly in advance and finished off in 10 minutes the day you serve it.
Citrus and Herb Oil Poached Salmon
The bright flavors of lemon and orange combine with fresh herbs for a light and elegant centerpiece that provides balance to richer side dishes. Poaching the salmon in olive oil not only allows you to keep with Hanukkah traditions of cooking with oil but also results in a tender, delicate fillet. Use blood oranges to add an extra pop of color to your Hanukkah celebration.
Moroccan Style Beef Brisket with Dried Fruit and Capers
This brisket recipe is replete with spices, fruits, and winter vegetables for a savory meal that you'll want to keep on your holiday table year round. This spin on the Jewish favorite would be wonderful served with these low-carb cumin and sweet potato latkes.
Lamb Shanks With Pomegranate And Walnuts
Lamb shanks are decadent in and of themselves, but when combined with pomegranate molasses, walnuts, wine, and spices create a rich flavor worthy of any holiday meal. Save the doughnuts for another day — this recipe is best followed by a bite of Hanukkah gelt.