We Jews celebrate with food. At Hanukkah time, potato latkes fried in oil are center stage. To many, eight days of potato latkes may not sound so bad — one or two or five or six are never enough. My family of four could easily put away a 5-pound bag of potatoes’ worth of latkes in one sitting. Still, I don’t think we ever did eight straight days of no OPL (other people’s latkes).
The good news is that while you likely already have a favorite latke recipe (late Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold loved this one), our cooking website can keep you in latke variations — from apple latkes to zucchini latkes — for the duration of the holiday.
The even better news is that Hanukkah food is not really about latkes. Rather, it is about oil. And yes, that does mean a lot of fried foods. Our cooking website has plenty to offer on that front as well. How about some down-home crispy fried chicken, Korean fried chicken, chicken katsu or keftes de gallina (Sephardic chicken patties)? Add some green vegetables with shishito tempura peppers, and a big salad with pan-fried goat cheese or fried ricotta.
For dessert, there are bumuelos, sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) and Hanukkah beignets. There is also olive oil cake. When pastry chef Nancy Silverton first heard of olive oil cake while traveling in Italy, she thought that it sounded weird and unappealing, but on tasting it, she “realized that it wasn’t some modernist concoction but a natural byproduct of the olive oil-producing region.” Her restaurants have since featured olive oil cakes and her olive oil gelato, which pairs well with fresh citrus olive oil cake or chocolate olive oil Bundt cake.
The best news is that while you may feel stuck at home, you can fake an escape. Hanukkah has been celebrated in every corner of the planet, so transport your spirit by cooking a panoply of Hanukkah foods from around the world.