8 Ways to Win Hanukkah

Here are eight ways to show some love for the Festival of Lights — one for each crazy night.

With Christmas lights, Santa mall stations and red coffee-shop cups appearing before Thanksgiving, Hanukkah often gets overlooked, even though it starts tonight, two weeks before December 25. Here are eight ways to show some love for the Festival of Lights — one for each crazy night. 

There are dozens of ways to make latkes, the potato pancakes that are without a doubt Hanukkah’s most-beloved dish. Some swear by grating the potatoes by hand, others use a food processor, and some even claim a mandoline is the key to the crispiest latkes around. Check out seven ways to make them and take your pick from classic latkes, sweet potato latkes (inspired by the epic Thanksgivukkah of 2013), potato-carrot latkes and even oven-baked latkes.

Food stylist: Anne Disrude
Prop Stylist: Alistair Turnbull


Food stylist: Anne Disrude Prop Stylist: Alistair Turnbull

Central to the Hanukkah story is the “miracle of the oil,” when a single day’s worth of oil kept Jerusalem’s temple flame alight for a full eight days. Thus, foods fried in oil are an appropriate way to celebrate, and who doesn’t love an excuse to eat fried food? Doughnuts — especially jelly-filled sufganiyot — have become a Hanukkah staple. Break out the oil and try your hand at homemade doughnuts with one of these 20 tempting recipes.

Photo by: Scott Suchman ©Scott Suchman

Scott Suchman, Scott Suchman

If you’re not up for deep-frying at home, you’re in luck, because doughnuts have unseated cupcakes as the “it” dessert across the country. Lines often stretch around the block for these popular doughnut shops from coast to coast, and once you bite into a decadent, deep-fried ring of dough, you’ll understand why. Show up with a box from any of these shops and you’ll instantly be a Hanukkah party hero.

Classic Jewish comfort food — think bagels, smoked fish, matzo ball soup — is making a comeback in the restaurant world, and not just in the Big Apple. Across the country, chefs trained in fine dining are opening personal delis that take Bubbe’s specialties to a whole new level. Make a reservation or line up early (seriously, these places are in demand!) for lunch or dinner to celebrate Hanukkah — many are offering holiday specials throughout the eight days.

Brisket is a staple of any Jewish holiday, but it’s not exactly a dish you can throw together on a busy weeknight. That’s where the slow cooker comes in to save you. Get the ingredients going in the morning and come home to fork-tender meat for a classic Hanukkah dinner.

Rich, eggy challah seems intimidating to make from scratch — especially braiding the loaves! Food Network Magazine’s how-to guide shows the super-simple process of making round challah crowns, no braiding required. The bread tastes just as delicious in a beautiful spiral shape.

Everyone knows challah is the best French-toast bread on the planet. Whether you’ve made your own or picked up a loaf, slice the leftovers for an indulgent breakfast the next morning. Who says Hanukkah can be celebrated only at night?

If you're celebrating Hanukkah, you can still get in on the holiday cookie swap action. Try Duff Goldman’s take on a classic New York City black-and-white cookie, subbing in blue and white hues for Hanukkah.

Check out more Hanukkah recipes and ideas from Food Network.

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