Hanukkah is an 8-day celebration commemorating the victory of the Jews over the Syrians and the rededication of the temple in Jerusalem.
To celebrate this holiday in November or December, our Test Kitchen created a memorable menu featuring traditional foods such as Savory Beef Brisket, Festive Tossed Salad, Latkes (crispy potato pancakes), Challah (braided bread) and Glazed Lebkuchen (honey spice bars).
Tables are typically decorated with the colors of blue, silver and gold, menorahs (candelabra with nine candles, used in Jewish worship) and dreidels (four-sided toy tops marked with Hebrew letters that children play with during Hanukkah).
Timetable for Planning Dinner
A Few Weeks Before:
- Order a 5- to 6-pound fresh beef brisket from your butcher.
- Prepare two grocery lists-one for nonperishable items that can be purchased now and one for perishable items that need to be purchased a few days before your Hanukkah meal.
The Day Before:
- Buy remaining grocery items, including the beef brisket.
- Set the table.
- For the Festive Tossed Salad, make the dressing; cover and refrigerate. Cut up all the salad ingredients; place in separate airtight containers or resealable plastic bags and refrigerate.
- Bake the Challah and Glazed Lebkuchen; cover and store at room temperature.
The Day of Hanukkah Dinner:
- In the morning, peel the potatoes for the Latkes. Place in a bowl; cover with cold water and refrigerate until ready to grate.
- Make the Savory Beef Brisket and Latkes.
- Remove the salad dressing from the refrigerator. Just before serving, assemble the Festive Tossed Salad; shake the dressing and pour over the salad.
- Set out the Challah.
- Serve the Glazed Lebkuchen for dessert.