Hanukkah menu and wine pairings

Sep 28, 2007 at 9:29 p.m. ET

Hanukkah is one of the prettiest and most festive Jewish holidays. It's a time for family and friends to gather around the table to commemorate the rededication of the temple of Jerusalem by lighting a candle each night for eight days. Read more about pairing wines for the perfect holiday meal here!

Hanukkah food & wine pairings

Eating foods that are cooked in oil, such as the much beloved potato latke is also very much a part of the celebration. The following menu, centered around potato latkes, is provided by Louise Fiszer, a California-based cooking teacher and author of Jewish Holiday Feasts. Louise suggests that a crisp California Chardonnay partners well with latkes topped with tart apple sauce or sour cream and a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Merlot are a great match for the brisket.

Menorah and WineFor those who keep a kosher home, kosher wines are widely available and produced under rabbinical supervision in almost every wine producing region. Only kosher items may be used in the kosher wine making process. Since kosher wines are made from the same grape varieties as wines typically found in the marketplace, kosher wines do not differ in taste or quality. For more information on kosher wines, see Felicia Sherbert's It's Not Your Grandmother's Wine.

Spinach and Tangerine Salad

Serves 8

8 cups baby spinach, torn into bite sized pieces
1 bunch green onions, sliced
4 seedless tangerines, peeled and separated into sections
1 cup dried cranberries

1 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 teaspoons mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper

In large bowl, combine spinach, onions, tangerines and cranberries. In a small bowl whisk together vinaigrette ingredients. Toss with salad just before serving. Salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition information per serving: Calories: 190 Fat: 14 g Saturated Fat: 2 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 45 mg Carbohydrates: 17 g Protein: 1 g Fiber: 3 g

Potato Latkes

Makes 32

3 pounds baking potatoes, peeled
1 medium onion, chopped
1 whole egg, plus 1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons flour or matzoh meal
1/2 to 1 cup vegetable oil for frying

Grate potatoes and place in strainer or colander. Squeeze out as much moisture from potatoes as you can. In a large bowl, combine potatoes with all remaining ingredients, except oil.

Heat about 1/4 cup oil in large frying pan until very hot. Drop 2 to 3 tablespoons potato mixture into pan for each latke. Use back of spoon to flatten mixture so that each latke is about 3 inches in diameter. Fry over medium high heat about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in a 250 degree F oven. Continue, using more oil if necessary for each batch. Serve hot with applesauce if desired. Makes about 32 latkes.

Nutrition information per serving (one latke): Calories: 100 Fat: 5 g Saturated Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 5 mg Sodium: 80 mg Carbohydrates: 12 g Protein: 1 g Fiber: 1 g

Oven Braised Brisket with Onions and Tomatoes

Serves 8

1 piece brisket, 4 to 5 pounds
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh or canned tomatoes

Trim almost all of the excess fat from brisket and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Make a paste of the oregano, thyme, garlic and olive oil. Spread over both sides of brisket. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Place brisket in a roasting pan. Spread with onions and then with tomatoes. Cover pan tightly with foil.

Bake 3 1/2 to 4 hours, basting every hour with accumulated juices. Remove brisket and tomato mixture to a platter. Degrease pan juices and pour over meat. Refrigerate overnight for easy slicing. Slice and reheat with tomato mixture and pan juices and serve.

Nutrition information per serving (boneless): Calories: 480 Fat: 28 g Saturated Fat: 10 g Cholesterol: 155 mg Sodium: 125 mg Carbohydrates: 6 g Protein: 50 g Fiber: 1 g

Zucchini-Leek Soup

Serves 12

3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 leeks, white part only, cleaned and chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 1/2 pounds zucchini, (about 10 medium sized) trimmed, scrubbed and coarsely chopped
6-7 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped parsley

In a large sauce pan heat oil. Add celery, leeks, oregano and red pepper flakes and cook over medium heat until slightly wilted, about 4 minutes. Add zucchini and 6 cups of stock, bring to a boil, partially cover and simmer 20 minutes. Let cool slightly. Puree soup in blender or food processor. (You will probably have to do this in batches.) Return to pan. If soup is too thick, stir in additional stock to desired consistency. Heat through and taste for salt and pepper. Sprinkle each serving with parsley.

Recipe by Louise Fiszer and provided by wineanswers.com.

Apple-Onion Noodle Kugel

Serves 12

4 Tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
2 medium onion, chopped
2 medium Golden Delicious apples, cored and diced
1 cup golden raisins
5 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
12 ounces medium egg noodles, cooked and drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. In a medium skillet, heat oil. Cook onions and apples until slightly softened over medium heat, about 4 minutes. Stir in raisins and cook another 30 seconds. Let mixture cool slightly. In a large bowl beat eggs with sugar, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Stir in apple mixture and noodles until well combined. Pour into baking pan. Bake about 1 hour or until golden brown on top. Serve warm or room temperature cut into squares. Serves 12.

Recipe by Louise Fiszer and provided by wineanswers.com.