Happy Thanksgivukkah (Root Vegetable Latkes and Cranberries with Red Wine)

Root Vegetable Latkes

Finally it’s November which means I can stop shielding my eyes from the way-too-early holiday decorations in stores, and start my holiday dreaming. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not as bad as tuning into the all-holiday music channel the first week of November, but I am already planning my holiday baking, and started my holiday shopping. Lets not rush things though. In my family there are still many, many birthdays and holidays to celebrate before we get through to the final New Year’s Eve anti-climatic finale.


This year there is even more reason to celebrate. Have you heard yet of Thanksgivukkah? It’s the big thing this year. The first night of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving. It hasn’t happened since 1888 and apparently won’t happen again for a mind blowing 77,798 years. I think once every 77,000 years counts as kind-of a big deal! All over the foodienet everyone is buzzing with holiday mash-up recipes. Here’s a few that peeked my interest…



To make things even more fun, I’ve decided to dub November Make-Ahead month! All month, I’ll be featuring recipes that are easy to make ahead of time for the big day. That way, come Thanksgiving, all you’ll need to do is pop the turkey in the oven and enjoy your family and friends (with a little bit of reheating to do).


Root Vegetable Latkes with Cranberry SauceSo, first up is my make-ahead nod to Thanksgivukkah. Latkes are delicious regardless if you are celebrating Thanksgiving, Hannukah or just an ordinary day. Good things happen when root veg meets hot oil; really good things. Instead of stopping at ordinary potato-style latkes, I pulled out every root vegetable I could find, shredded them up and fried them. Well, not every one; I didn’t think garlic sounded good here, and I didn’t use beets either, or turnips, or salsify – but you get the idea.


Traditional latkes are served with applesauce or sour cream. In place of the applesauce, I paired these latkes with a very simple, yet elegant recipe of cranberries in red wine. Growing up, all friends were welcome at our Thanksgiving table. If my mother thought there was a chance you were going to be alone on Thanksgiving, you were invited to join us. If there was a special recipe you had to have, it was also invited. One year, a good friend brought these cranberries, and they have never left the Thanksgiving table. Even though Imelda and Ralph Pope don’t join us for Thanksgiving every year anymore, they are always thought of warmly as we enjoy these cranberries; we call them Imelda Berries. They are so simple to make, but the flavor is unforgettable. I could eat these for breakfast lunch and dinner for days in a row; it is simply the best recipe for cranberry sauce I have ever had. It’s sweet, without being candy-like and sour enough to pair well with more savory options.


Together the root vegetable latkes and the cranberries will make a wonderful addition to your holiday table. It doesn’t matter if you are celebrating Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas or just having your family together at one table, these latkes with cranberries will fit the bill. Enjoy!

Root Vegetable Latkes

Yield: about 30 latkes

Root Vegetable Latkes

You can use any root vegetable you like. I use milder flavored ones, but match your ingredients to your tastes. These are not as starchy as ordinary latkes, so I added an extra egg and a little extra flour. If you find them falling apart on you, add an extra tablespoon or two of flour.

1 small celery root (celeriac)

1 large carrot

1 medium sweet potato

1 small onion

1 medium potato

1 large parsnip

1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

1 teaspoon thyme, dried or fresh

2 eggs

1/4 cup all purpose flour (or potato starch)

1/2 cup or more cooking oil (whatever you like to fry with; I used canola but you can also use olive oil)

Peel all the vegetables and grate using a fine grater or use a food processor fitted with the grater attachment. Working in batches, move a large handful of the grated vegetables into a clean kitchen towel. Ring as much of the liquid out of the vegetables as you can with your hands then place the squeezed vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Repeat the process until all the vegetables have been squeezed. Add the eggs, flour, salt and thyme and mix very well until all the vegetables are evenly combined. You can use the thyme as a guide; when it is evenly combined, everything is.

Heat half the oil in a large skillet or frying pan. Add the vegetables in two tablespoon-sized balls. Flatten them out with the back of a spatula. Allow the latkes to get very dark golden brown before turning. Press again with the back of the spatula to help compact the latke and help it stick together. When the latkes are thoroughly brown on both sides, remove to paper towels to drain. Lightly salt the finished latkes to taste. Repeat the process until all the latkes are cooked.

To serve immediately, heat an oven to 200 degrees. After letting the latkes drain on the paper towels, move to a rack set over a baking pan in the oven to keep them hot. Serve hot with lots of cranberry sauce or applesauce.

To freeze, layer the latkes between layers of waxed paper or parchment and wrap tightly. You can freeze these for up to a month in advance. To reheat, preheat an oven to 400 degrees. Spread the frozen latkes out on a baking sheet and cook for 7-10 minutes or until hot and crispy. Serve hot with cranberry sauce or applesauce.



Cranberries with Red Wine

Yield: makes about 2 1/2 cups

Cranberries with Red Wine

1 cup sugar

1 cup red wine

1 cinnamon stick (optional)

1-12 oz package fresh cranberries

Bring the sugar, red wine and cinnamon stick to a simmer over medium heat. Allow to simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the cranberries and bring back to a simmer. Cook for about another five minutes until the cranberries start to pop. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Serve, warm, cool or room temperature. Can be frozen up to a month in advance. Thaw before serving.

Recipe adapted from a recipe by Imelda Pope.


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