This year the Jewish and Roman calendars cross paths in such a way that Thanksgiving coincides with Hanukkah. We invited four writers to each offer a recipe for a meal appropriate for both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.
Main: Mexican Thanksgiving Turkey With Chorizo, Pecan, Apple, And Corn Bread Stuffing
Pati Jinich is the author of Pati’s Mexican Table: The Secrets of Real Mexican Home Cooking.
“I chose that recipe because it brings my two homes together: Mexico, my home country (with the colorful flavors from the Yucatan Peninsula in the marinade of the turkey), and the U.S. (with the corn bread base of the stuffing), my family's new country. It showcases tradition, cooking techniques and ingredients, from both lands, that I am deeply grateful for. This recipe brings them all together and shows how bridges can be built and shared at the table: and just how tasty they can be.”
Serves 10 to 12
Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus marinating time
Cooking time: at least 4 hours, plus resting time
Marinade can be made up to a day ahead, covered, and refrigerated
The turkey is marinated and cooked in a paste based on the flavors of the Yucatán Peninsula—charred onions and garlic, bright citrus, and pungent achiote, or annatto seed. It is roasted to crispy succulence, then bundled in mysteriously fragrant banana leaves (increasingly found in the frozen sections of international or Latin supermarkets) and/or aluminum foil for a final cooking that makes the meat so tender it practically falls off the bones.
12 garlic cloves, unpeeled
6 tablespoons seasoned achiote paste, from a bar
4 cups broth from Mexican Chicken Broth (below) or canned chicken or vegetable broth
4 cups bitter orange juice or a mixture of 1 cup each freshly squeezed orange juice, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Turkey, Stuffing, And Gravy
16- to 18-pound turkey, patted dry
A heavy-duty plastic bag large enough to hold the turkey
Unsalted butter for the baking dish
4 red onions, sliced
8 ripe tomatoes (about 2 pounds), coarsely chopped, or one 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
Chorizo, Pecan, Apple, and Corn Bread Stuffing (below)
2–3 banana leaves (optional)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1. To Make The Marinade: Place the garlic on a baking sheet or in a broilerproof skillet. Broil, turning halfway through, until the papery skin of the garlic is burned and the cloves soften, about 6 to 9 minutes. Peel. In a blender or food processor, working in two batches, combine the garlic with the achiote paste, chicken broth, bitter orange juice, oregano, cumin, allspice, salt, and pepper and puree until smooth.
2. To Marinate The Turkey: Slide the turkey, breast side down, into a heavy-duty plastic bag large enough to hold the turkey. Pour the marinade into the bag and massage it into the bird, working it into the cavity and all the crevices. Place the bag in a roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, or up to 48 hours, turning the bird a couple of times to redistribute the marinade.
3. Set an oven rack in the lowest position and preheat the oven to 450°F. Butter a baking dish.
4. Spread the onions and tomatoes in a large roasting pan. Set the turkey, breast side up, on top of the vegetables in the pan (reserve the marinade). Stuff the main cavity with as much stuffing as it can hold. Place the rest of the stuffing in the baking dish; cover and refrigerate. Close the cavity by crossing the legs and tying with butcher’s twine. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey. Pour the remaining marinade over the turkey.
5. Roast the turkey for 30 minutes.
6. Cover the turkey with the banana leaves, if using. Cover the top of the pan with aluminum foil, sealing it as best as you can. The less steam that escapes, the better. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F, place the turkey back in the oven, and roast for 3ó hours (or for at least 12 minutes per pound).
7. Remove the turkey from the oven and carefully remove the foil and leaves, being careful, as the steam is hot. Baste the turkey generously. Raise the temperature to 400°F and return the turkey to the oven and roast for 15 minutes more. The meat should be completely cooked through and nearly falling off the bone. Remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest, loosely covered with aluminum foil, while you make the gravy. Leave the oven on.
8. Meanwhile, strain the cooking juices into a medium saucepan, pressing on the solids with the back of the spoon to get as much liquid as possible; discard the solids. Set aside 1 cup of the liquid for the reserved stuffing. You will make gravy with the rest. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour on top, mixing well with a wooden spoon, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, letting it gently bubble, until the roux is golden brown. Add the rest of the liquid and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is a brick color and has thickened to the consistency of light cream.
9. While the sauce thickens, pour the reserved 1 cup liquid over the stuffing in the baking dish and bake for 20 minutes, or until it is hot throughout and the top is crisped.
10. Carve the turkey and serve with the stuffing.
Sides: Potato Pancakes, Two Ways
Latke #1: Oat Groat and Potato Pancakes with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche
Mark Scarbrough, author Grain Mains.
“This recipe is a torqued take on the traditional potato pancakes. It's familiar innovation--sort of like Thanksgivukkah. Make the pancakes as a new take on latkes, the autumnal heft of whole grains in every bite. Or serve them up under smoked salmon for a new take on brunch for the other days celebrating the light this weekend.”
Active time: 35 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes plus soaking the groats for at least 8 hours
2/3 cup oat groats
3 medium Russet potatoes (about 1 pound 12 ounces)
1 small yellow onion, peeled
4 large eggs, well beaten in a small bowl
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
8 thin slices smoked salmon
About 1/2 cup crème fraîche, regular or low-fat sour cream, or regular or low-fat thick Greek yogurt
1. Place the oat groats in a large bowl and cover with cool water. Set aside to soak for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain the groats in a fine-mesh sieve or a colander in the sink. Scrape the groats into a large saucepan, fill it about halfway with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook until tender with a nut-like chew, about 45 minutes. Drain again in a sieve or colander in the sink.
2. Grate the potatoes and onion through the large holes of a box grater and into a large bowl. Pick the mixture up by handfuls and squeeze them almost dry over the sink. Put them all back in the bowl and stir in the drained groats, beaten eggs, caraway seeds, salt, and pepper.
3. Heat a large skillet, preferably a nonstick one, over medium heat. Swirl in 2 tablespoons oil. Spoon up 1/2 cup of the oat groat mixture and slip it into the oil. Press down to create a pancake about 4 inches in diameter. Make three more pancakes in the skillet. Cook until crisp and well browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the cakes and continue cooking until the other side is equally crisp and browned, 3 to 4 more minutes. Transfer the pancakes to a serving platter and add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet. Make the remaining 4 pancakes as you did the first batch. Once they’re all on the platter, top each with some slices of smoked salmon and a small dollop of crème fraîche or one of its stand-ins.
Latke #2: Potato Celery Root Skillet Cake
Alana Chernila, author of The Homemade Pantry.
“This potato celery root cake has all the great qualities of a latke, with no need to stand over hot oil at the stove. The combination of potato, celery root, and leeks is perfect alongside roast turkey or chicken, or let it shine alone with a salad for post-Thanksgiving brunch.”
1 celery root (about 1 pound), peeled and grated
1 pound potatoes, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon salt, plus more, for sprinkling
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 large leek (all the white and half the green), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Combine the celery root, potato, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cover the vegetables with cold water and let them soak for at least 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat in a large (at least 12-inch) cast iron frying pan. Add the leeks and cook, stirring often, until they are soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and transfer the leeks to a bowl.
3. Line a large colander with a clean dishtowel and pour the potatoes and celery root into it. Let the liquid drain, and then gather the edges of the towel together in a tight bundle and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
4. Melt another tablespoon of butter in the frying pan over medium heat, spreading it around the sides of the pan as well. Pack 1/2 of the potato mixture into the pan, making sure to press it down with your hands as you go. Spread the leeks over the potato layer. Sprinkle half the cheese over the leeks. Pack the rest of the potato mixture into the pan, again compressing it with your hands. Top with the final ½ cup of Parmesan and a few small pats of butter. Let the pan sit, untouched, until you see the cheese start to bubble up. This will take a few minutes, but stay watchful to avoid burning.
5. Remove the pan from heat and transfer to the oven. Bake for 40 minutes, then put under the broiler for a few minutes until the top is golden brown. Let cool for at least ten minutes–then turn out of the pan and cut into slices.
Simple Apple Sauce
“I'm a traditionalist. I can't do latkes without applesauce, and if I'm at the stove already, it's easy to get a few apples simmering for sauce.”
Makes 1 quart
3 pounds apples, cored and quartered, unpeeled
1½ cups water
Optional: 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, or maple syrup, to taste
1. Combine the apples and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the ginger, if using. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, or until the apples start to fall apart.
2. Remove the sauce from heat. Pass the cooked apples through a food mill with a mixing bowl catching the puree. Stir in the cinnamon or maple syrup, if using.
Salad: Simple Shaved Fennel
Mollie Katzen is the author of Heart of the Plate.
“It's seasonal but different and unexpected. And completely festive and delicious!
The fennel, grapefruit, and pomegranate can all be prepared ahead, and assembled just before serving. So both of these dishes are preparer-friendly, and will keep the cook happier and less stressed.”
Choose a fennel bulb that is tight and smooth and ranges from white to light green, with no brown areas. Please use your best olive oil. Attention to these details will make all the difference.
2 medium fennel bulbs (1 pound)
2 tablespoons high-quality extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch of finely ground black pepper
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Pink grapefruit sections, removed from membranes
Torn or chopped watercress
1. Remove the stalks and fronds from the fennel bulbs, saving some of the fronds for this salad and reserving the rest for another dish.
2. Slice the bulbs paper thin on a mandoline or in a food processor fitted with a very thin, precise slicing blade. You can also try getting this effect with a very sharp knife. You should end up with about 4 packed cups.
3. Transfer the fennel to a medium bowl, drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Toss to coat, then cover tightly and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to a day. (Not longer, as it will start to fade.)
4. Shortly before serving, drizzle with the lemon juice, and then artfully layer, place, and/or sprinkle the other ingredients around and on. (The contrasting salad greens, especially, can bring a light final touch.) Serve cold or at cool room temperature, topped with a few of the most delicate fronds.
Dessert: Black & White Chocolate-Dipped Chanukah Cookies
Jamie Geller is the author of Joy of Kosher.
“Our go‑to Chanukah activity is cookie decorating. The kids love to pile on mountains of sprinkles, fluff, licorice, chocolate chips, mustard, and glue. (I threw those last two in to see if you’re listening.) But we grown-ups deserve our day, too, so I recently added this slightly more refined chocolate ganache version to the mix. I mean, how many rainbow sprinkles can a person eat? Sweet and spicy Cardamom so nicely complements all the traditional autumnal foods and flavors at the Thanksgiving table—allspice, ginger, cinnamon, pumpkins, yams.
Cardamom-Scented Chanukah Cookies
Kosher Status: Dairy • Prep: 10 minutes • Chill: 30 minutes • Bake: 12 minutes • Cool: 10 minutes •
Total: 1 hour, 2 minutes • Yield: About twenty-four 2-inch cookies
11⁄2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter,
at room temperature
1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
1⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Blue sugar or sprinkles, for decorating
1. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and ginger in a small bowl. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugars with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and orange juice and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated.
2. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly flour your work surface.
4. Flour your rolling pin and cookie cutters. Roll out the dough to . inch thick on the
work surface. Cut into desired shapes and place them on the prepared baking sheets. Reroll the scraps as needed. Bake until the edges are just golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then move to a wire rack.
5. Place the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and whisk until a smooth, thick, but pourable consistency is reached. Drizzle the frosting on the cookies and decorate them with blue sugar or sprinkles.
Make It Pareve
“These are so easy to make nondairy: just sub in margarine for butter. Because it’s traditional to eat dairy delicacies on Chanukah, and I rarely have occasion to make dairy desserts, I seized the opportunity to use butter in this recipe. But it’s a great quick cookie recipe and shouldn’t be relegated to Chanukah—just use cookie cutters that are not holiday themed.”
To make Chocolate Ganache, bring 1 cup heavy cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Place 4 ounces chopped milk chocolate in a small bowl and 4 ounces chopped white chocolate in another small bowl. Pour half of the warm cream into each bowl. Let sit for a few minutes, then stir with rubber spatulas to melt the chocolates. Let cool slightly before dipping your cookies. Divide the cookies into two equal batches. Dip the cookies in one batch in the milk chocolate, covering each cookie halfway; dip the cookies in the second batch in the white chocolate, dipping each cookie halfway. Sprinkle the frosted parts of the cookies with gold and silver decorating sugar.