Molly Yeh, cookbook author, blogger, and star of the Food Network series Girl Meets Farm, loves cooking food from her Jewish heritage, and this is especially true at Hanukkah. Here she shares some of her favorites to cook for family and friends. No Hanukkah celebration is complete without a platter of crisp latkes, and for a main course she likes to serve a roast chicken seasoned with baharat, a spice blend that’s popular in some Middle Eastern cooking. For dessert, sufganiyot—fried doughnuts—are a traditional favorite for Hanukkah, but she puts her own spin on them by serving them with a fresh tomato jam.
Molly, a recent Brooklyn transplant to the farmlands of the Minnesota-North Dakota region, has discovered that in the Midwest, she needs to run the Hanukkah show herself. No longer surrounded by latke-serving cafés, she makes her own. Since she loves to host and Hanukkah is eight days long, that essentially means one long party.
Yeh’s whole menu, which you can find at Williams Sonoma , is glorious, with little touches reflecting her Midwestern home and her heritage alike. Though the holiday is in December 2020, she’ll dine outside with her husband Nick and baby Bernie. Think: latkes eaten out of hand over a roaring fire. “The winters here, they are intense, but they force you to really prepare and invest in the heaviest winter coats.” She’s also excited to break out the “‘Chrismukah bush’—a little Christmas tree that we decorate with Hanukkah ornaments!”
Read on and click through to snag Molly’s best recipes, plus why she thinks each recipe is so delightful (though the weather outside might be frightful!) Then plan your own party with Paperless Post Hanukkah invitations.
Get Molly Yeh’s recipes at Williams Sonoma
“We always do latkes. I always every year have to have one classic potato latke with sour cream and apple sauce. And then after that we do tons of different variations like latke eggs Benedict or scallion latkes and all sorts of different kinds. We light our Menorah that Nick (Molly’s husband) made for us when he first got married and then the one he just made for Bernie (their child).“ In this recipe, Molly sticks to tradition, preparing the pancakes with potatoes and onions and serving them with sour cream and applesauce. A twice-fried latke is extra nice, so if you’d like to make these ahead of time, store in the refrigerator and then reheat by frying them again.
Roasted Spiced Chicken with Apples
“This concept kind of came about as a way to do more of a formal sit-down dinner because it feels a lot of times Hanukkah parties are super casual with everybody standing up and mingling—you have a beer in one hand you’re flipping a latke with the other hand—but we never did anything formal and sit-down. So, I thought a beautiful roast chicken where the schmaltz can sort of seep into the apples that are roasting around it and then that kind of creates a pan juicy apple sauce. And that’s served with beautiful latkes and then you put the apples that have soaked up all the chicken bath and chicken juices on top of the latkes and that’s just really delicious.“
Molly Yeh likes to celebrate Hanukkah with this easy roast chicken, which gets a double dose of flavor from baharat, a spice mixture that’s popular in Middle Eastern cooking, and a savory-sweet pan sauce.
“There are so many Christmas cookies around the holidays, but there need to be more Hanukkah cookies in the world. I had made my own gelt before. I mean, it’s just melting chocolate and making little round coins on waxed paper and then topping it. But I figured let’s put the gelt on the cookie. And, of course, chocolate and hazelnut are delicious and they’re fun to decorate because you could decorate your gelt however you want and then you have Hanukkah cookies to add to your cookie box!”
The result is a delicious combination of textures (soft cookie + snappy chocolate) and flavors (hazelnut + chocolate + orange) that is worthy of a prime spot in your cookie box. The recipe calls for ground toasted hazelnuts; you can grind them yourself or use hazelnut flour, such as from Bob’s Red Mill.
Rosemary Sufganiyot with Tomato Jam
“I love a savory sufganiyot. I feel like those aren’t made very often. So I’ve done a tomato jam one, I’ve done onion jam ones. I’ve dusted them with yogurt powder or cheese powder. They’re all really delicious. So it’s just a non-traditional take on those. There’s a lot of cozy good flavors there” she says. Molly puts her creative spin on sufganiyot, the fried donuts served as a treat during Hanukkah. She flavors the yeast dough with dried rosemary, then fills the finished donuts with a fresh tomato jam and sprinkles them with flaky sea salt.