Frying Feast for Hanukkah

Frying Feast

Celebrate Hanukkah with lots of fat

By Sara Dickerman

Even with eight nights of presents and pretty candles, Hanukkah has a hard time competing with Christmas in the rush of December holidays. (Why should it have to compete at all, you say? We don’t know. It just does.) But there’s a secret weapon that might help make your Hanukkah party twice as delicious as your neighbors’ Jingle Bells blowout: fat.

Hanukkah celebrates the 165 BCE rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem following Antiochus IV’s occupation of Jerusalem; when the temple was reconsecrated, there was only a one-day supply of oil left to light the temple lamps, but the measly amount somehow lasted a full eight days. To celebrate that miraculous oil, Jews are encouraged to eat greasy foods during the holiday, hence the roasted geese, the latkes, and the sufganiyot (Israeli jelly doughnuts). So for this season, we’ve created an all-fried menu to celebrate the Festival of Lights.

Frying food is pretty damned messy but also a whole lot of fun—you might decide to make everything here (all the dishes but the duck-fat latkes are pareve, and could be mixed into another meal) or to just add one or two new recipes to your holiday repertoire.

Potato-Turnip Duck-Fat Latkes Potato-Turnip Duck-Fat Latkes

The turnips and the duck fat add great flavor.

Radicchio, Apple, and Squash Tempura Radicchio, Apple, and Squash Tempura
Fall flavors and different textures are nice; they’re even better when battered and fried.

Fried Chickpeas with Sage Fried Chickpeas with Sage
It’s impossible to eat just one of these salty, creamy, delicious snacks.

Sole in Saor Sole in Saor
Venetian fried fish marinated in vinegar and red wine.

Honey Fritters with Blood Oranges Honey Fritters with Blood Oranges
Fluffy fritters tinged with citrus.