This year, I had the opportunity to host a Hanukkah celebration with my family. Although, I am not Jewish, I wanted to make it as traditional as possible.. I also wanted to make it as gluten free as possible so that I could enjoy it just as much as everyone else! Unfortunately, a lot of the traditional Hanukkah dishes contain a lot of gluten (i.e. pastries, matzo meal, breads, etc.) so I decided that some of the dishes that would be difficult to make gluten free (i.e. challah, knishes, Sufganiyot/jelly doughnuts) would simply be purchased from a bakery.
There are many things I have learned through having Celiac disease and one of the lessons is to not stress over making every single dish gluten free and just as delicious. No matter how hard you try, you will never get a gluten free challah as soft as the gluten version! So, except this fact and move on to dishes that you can make just as delicious as the original.
My menu for Hanukkah dinner included:
- Matzo ball soup (I took out a serving of soup for myself before cooking the matzo balls in the broth)
- Gluten Free Cinnamon Noodle Kugel
- Potato Latkes
- Orange Glazed Carrots
- Broccolini with lemon vinaigrette
- Dessert: chocolate marshmallow dreidels
- Items purchased at the bakery that aren’t gluten free: challah, knishes, jelly donuts and rugelach
AND here are the recipes……
1) Matzo Ball Soup: Serves 8
Ingredients for Stock:
- 8 cups chicken stock (make sure it’s gluten free – no flour/wheat)
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 2 tbsp chopped white onion
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Ingredients for Matzo Balls: warning – these are not gluten free. Take out a serving of soup before putting these into your soup to cook
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup matzo meal (note: contains wheat)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- dash of pepper
- 1 tbsp water
- olive oil for rolling matzo balls
- In a large saucepan heat olive oil and saute carrots, celery, white onion and parsley until softened
- Add chicken stock and simmer for one hour
- In a medium bowl, combine eggs, butter, parsley, matzo meal, salt, pepper and water. Roll into small balls – put a bit of olive oil on your hands to make it less sticky.
- Remove a serving (or more if needed) of soup for those individuals who will be eating gluten free.
- Drop matzo balls into soup, cover and simmer for 40 minutes
2) Gluten Free Cinnamon Noodle Kugel – serves 8 – 10
- 2 cups rice or corn rotini pasta noodles
- 1/4 cup butter
- 6 eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 cups cottage cheese
- Topping: 3 tbsp melted butter, 1/4 cup white sugar and 1/3 cup gluten free graham cracker crumbs (I use Kinnikinnick’s Graham Style Crackers available in the gluten free grocery section of many grocery stores or Nut N’ Gluten)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 baking dish.
- Cook noodles in a large pot of salted, boiling water – drain, stir in 1/4 cup butter and set aside
- In a medium bowl, mix egg yolks, sugar, cream cheese, sour cream and cottage cheese. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into mixture.
- Mix the noodles with the cheese mixture and pour into baking dish
- In a small bowl, combine ingredients for topping and sprinkle over kugel
- Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. This dish can be made the day ahead. Just leave the topping off until you want to cook the kugel.
3) Brisket – marinate for 24 hours – serves 8 – 10
- 4 lbs beef brisket
- 2 tbsp liquid smoke
- 1/2 tbsp onion powder
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- Mix together liquid smoke with onion and garlic powder
- Spread mixture over beef brisket (note: leave the layer of fat on the bottom of the brisket while cooking – simply cut it off once the brisket is cooked. This will help the mixture retain moisture while cooking)
- Roll brisket in foil and place in fridge overnight
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Remove brisket from fridge one hour before cooking to bring to room temperature. Place brisket in a large roasting pan (fat side down), cover and cook for 5 – 6 hours. Brisket will be done when the internal temperature reaches 165 to 170 degrees.
- Suggestion: I bought two packets of Clubhouse Onion Gravy Mix (the only Clubhouse gravy that doesn’t contain gluten) and poured over brisket when I was ready to serve.
4) Potato Latkes - makes about 12 latkes
- 2 cups shredded potatoes
- 1 tbsp grated white onion
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2 tbsp all-purpose gluten free flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill - available at most grocery stores)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup peanut oil
- Place shredded potatoes in paper towel and remove the excess moisture
- In a large bowl, combine potatoes, onion, eggs, flour and salt
- Heat peanut oil in a large frying pan at medium heat. With a large spoon, drop spoonfuls of mixture into pan and flatten slightly. Brown on both sides (about 5 minutes per side), remove and place on a plate lined with paper towel
- Serve hot with sour cream and apple sauce. If you want to make ahead, simply warm in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes with kugel or brisket
5) Orange Glazed Carrots – Serves 8
- 3 cups carrots, peeled and cut into slices
- 3 tbsp butter, melted
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add carrots and cook until slightly tender (about 5 minutes).
- In a large bowl, combine butter, orange juice, sugars and cinnamon. Toss carrots into mixture.
- Place carrots into a baking dish and bake in preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes (until tender).
6) Broccolini with Lemon Vinaigrette – serves 8
- 4 bunches of broccolini
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 4 tsp finely chopped red chili pepper
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- In a large pot of lightly salted boiling water, add broccolini and cook for five minutes (or until tender). Drain and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Heat in microwave for 45 seconds and toss with broccolini
7) Chocolate Marshmallow Dreidels – Dessert – Makes 12
- 12 Hershey Kisses, unwrapped
- 12 marshmallows
- 1 cup melted semi-sweet chocolate
- 12 gluten free pretzel sticks (I use Glutino’s gluten free pretzels)
- White decorating icing
- Dip the bottom of each Hershey Kiss with melted chocolate and place on top of marshmallow. Rest on a plate lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for 10 minutes until set.
- Cut a small hole in the bottom of each marshmallow and twist a pretzel stick into each dreidel. Dip each one into the melted chocolate until covered completely. If possible, use a piece of styrofoam to help stand each dreidel up in order to let the chocolate set properly. I used a plate and one of the sides of each dreidel was flat (not ideal!). Refrigerate for 15 minutes until set.
- Use white decorating icing to decorate each dreidel with Hebrew letters. Return to refrigerator until ready to serve.