Hanukah dinner party tips n tricks
December 10, 2016 8:24 AM   Subscribe

Let us now festivate these lights.

Folks are coming over for Hanukah. There will be kids. There will be grownups who want to eat and drink and chat at length. Here are some specific questions:

1. What is your favorite latka recipe/method? Must serve 8-10.

2. What reheating method is best to have a bunch ready to serve hot, yet not overcrisped & dried out?

3. What vegetarian accompaniments can I serve with latkes to round out the meal? Even at their best latkes are kinda heavy and bland so I'm feeling like a bright salad is the thing, but I don't much care for salad. What's a super tasty bright salad I can make in winter? What else should I offer? Sour cream already on list.

4. what is best source for decent tasting Hanukah gelt or is it all the same waxy junk?

5. Wine with latkes... mmm probably not? But beer hurts my stomach these days. Let's invent a Hanukah cocktail. What should go in it?? Maybe build on an apple cider base?

6. What else can we do to fest it up?

BONUS QUESTION have you ever used frozen hash brown potatoes for latkes? I am intrigued, yet skittish.

BONSU QUESTION 2 does anyone else thing canola oil is gross to fry in? It always smells fishy to me at high temps. What do you like to fry in?
posted by fingersandtoes to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Pomegranate syrup is an ingredient in some Sephardic charoset recipes, and it's delicious- sweet and tangy. Would be great added to a cocktail. You can find it in Middle Eastern / Iranian / Persian grocery stores.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 8:40 AM on December 10, 2016


Smitten Kitchen's Parsnip Latkes.
posted by dizziest at 8:49 AM on December 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I find latkes reheat well in the oven on a cookie sheet. It even works if you make them ahead and freeze them, then reheat.

For salads, I would suggest a grated carrot and/or beet with a bright, citrusy vinaigrette. Colorful, festive, and nice contrast to the latke.
posted by gateau at 9:11 AM on December 10, 2016


My friend's mom puts foil on the stove and counters around the burners with the latke pans to make clean up easier. Wasteful, but she's not spending time cleaning up oil splatters from every surface.
posted by cecic at 9:19 AM on December 10, 2016


Divine chocolate makes non-gross gelt in both milk and dark varieties. And they are organic and fair trade.
posted by rmless at 9:32 AM on December 10, 2016


Smitten Kitchen potato latkes are my go-to and they reheat well. I also think an unusual bright and crunchy salad like the marinated fennel and persimmon one in this Blue Apron recipe would be a great pairing with latkes.
posted by tatiana wishbone at 9:45 AM on December 10, 2016


My mom would store cooked latkes in her warming drawer on layers of foil, like
Foil
Latke layer
Foil
Latke layer
Foil
Cookie sheet

I don't have a warming drawer but have had great results in an oven set to its lowest temp (I think mine claims to be 170?) By doing the foil sandwich things get protected from drying out somehow, idk, tradition. For reheating from cold it's toaster oven city - can't do that for a lot of folks at once but why make them ahead of time when half the entertainment is people arguing about the best way to cook them in the first place?

An herb-heavy tabbouleh would be good to make ahead as a salad option, maybe on a bed of marinated chickpeas.

For additional festing it up, what about crafts for the kids? (And let's be real, also the adults.) This is pretty dependent on kid age and preference but you can hanukkahficate any craft with extra blue and yellow markers/crayons/tissue paper squares/pipe cleaners and an emphasis on candles. I think my mom still has a truly seussian "menorah" I twisted out of way too many pipe cleaners with little tissue paper candles when I was little.

Drinks - vodka cocktails are the way to go, I think.
posted by Mizu at 1:23 PM on December 10, 2016


My favorite latke trick is to shred half the potatoes and mash half the potatoes. The mashed potatoes do an amazing job of maintaining latke integrity throughout preparing and frying and you still get the hash brown texture from the shreds.
posted by gnutron at 2:11 PM on December 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Festing it up...you are going to play Dreidel, right?

And you can sing Hanukkah songs.
posted by SisterHavana at 6:21 PM on December 10, 2016


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