This year, the Gregorian and Hebrew calendars have aligned in a very special way: Thanksgiving and Hanukkah are celebrated on the same night. This will not happen again until 2070.
In honor of this tandem celebration, I invite you to combine the essential ingredient of Hanukkah, olive oil, with foods that are native to North America. This is the perfect marriage of the two holidays.
3 Thanksgiving-Hanukkah recipes after the jump.
Baharat Fried Turkey Drumsticks
Turkeys are native to North America. This recipe flavors the American food with Middle-Eastern spices, and tenderizes it with fresh lemon juice. Frying the whole turkey is too daunting for me: I prefer to prepare a platter of fried turkey drumsticks.
Fried turkey, corn latkes and carnberry-apple sauce.
- 6 fresh turkey drumsticks
- Olive oil
- Baharat – Middle Eastern Spice Rub:
- 12 lemons
- 1 tablespoon ground garlic
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Measure all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
- Squeeze the lemons, and mix the fresh juice with the spices.
- Place the turkey drumsticks in the bowl and coat them with the spice rub.
- Seal the seasoned drumsticks in a plastic zipper bag, and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours.
- Heat the olive oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit in a heavy Dutch oven. Pour in enough oil to completely immerse the turkey drumsticks. Do not cover the pot, as this would create a fire hazard.
- Carefully place the turkey drumsticks in the hot oil. Do not crowd them.
- Cook the drumsticks for at least 20 minutes over medium heat in the uncovered pot.
- Check the temperature of the drumsticks by sticking a meat thermometer into the drumstick. It is cooked through when the meat’s internal temperature reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
Corn Latkes (Pancakes)
Potatoes, which originated in the Andes mountains, are customarily served with the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, and are the essential ingredient of traditional latkes (pancakes). This year, we can pay homage to the corn, a plant that originated in North America. Corn, a staple of the Native Americans, can be transformed into an ancient Israelite fry bread. This is a superb accompaniment to the Middle Eastern fried turkey legs.
- 4 cups frozen corn kernels
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon unbleached flour
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Olive oil
- Cook the corn in boiling water.
- Drain, and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Mix in the eggs, flour, salt, and black pepper.
- Heat some olive oil in a heavy skillet.
- Spoon the corn batter into the frying pan. Flip the fritters over when they turn golden-brown.
No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without cranberries, and no latke is complete without applesauce. Cranberries originated in North America, while apples came from Central Asia. For this special dinner, I combine cranberries and apples into a special sauce for the corn latkes.
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 cups fresh, diced apples
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup maple sugar
Combine all the ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 15 minutes.
I prepared a practice Thanksgivenukkah dinner for my family. The deep-fried turkey drumsticks were moist, delicately spiced, and had a delicious crackly, crunchy skin. The golden corn latkes were soft, chewy, and slightly sweet. The cranberry-apple sauce was a magnificent vermillion color, and had a perfectly balanced sweet-tart flavor.
I loved the sauce with the latkes, while others at the table preferred it with their turkey. Either way you choose, have a happy Thanksgivukkah!