Hanukkah, Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, the “other” Christmas. Whatever you celebrate, if you’ve got an issue with gluten, you’ve got an issue with Hanukkah. Those delicious Jewish foods just loooove flour as an ingredient, so the celiac in league with Judah Maccabee has got to get creative.
Part one of my foray into the gluten-free Hanukkah goodness found me preparing a gluten-free kugel (sweet, of course) and a gluten-free brisket for an unsuspecting crowd of friends. Most of them weren’t even Jewish, but hey! What better mixed religious group to test out my gluten-free Hanukkah recipes than people who have never even had kugel before? (Tony, I’m looking at you.) Don’t they seem happy, and well-fed?
Which is my first piece of advice to you, if you’re preparing a gluten-free holiday meal. Serve lots of booze and no one will notice if there’s a weird xanthan gum after taste. Hell, they won’t even notice if you’re serving kosher meat or not. Suckas.
Kugel is actually super easy to make gluten-free if you just get a fantastic gluten-free pasta. The people at Swanson’s (not the turkey pot pie people, darn it) let me shop in their amazing online food stuffs store where you can browse by diet, and I came away with this gorgeous gluten-free pasta made by Casalare. Don’t they look totally normal?
This is where I mention I also made a brisket using 6 onions. SIX! I just swapped in my favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour for the browning of the meat and voila, gluten-free brisket. I skipped the garlic in this recipe because one of my friends who came over has a garlic allergy. Yeah, puts your little wheat thing in perspective, doesn’t it? Garlic allergy. How much would that suck? A lot.
But as you saw in the photo above, no one missed the gluten, nor the garlic. I did, however, have to break down and buy a traditional challah. I just don’t have the patience to make gluten-free challah anymore. But feel free to skip that as well, for your Hanukkah celebration. Serve more wine instead.
Here’s how you can g-free your Hanukkah. Stay tuned for gluten-free latkes!
adapted from All Recipes
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 1 hour
16 ounces Low Fat Cottage Cheese
16 ounces Sour Cream
1 cup sugar
5 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 (8 — 12 ounce) package gluten-free noodles, cooked, rinsed and drained (Kosher for Passover)
1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients except noodles and cinnamon sugar until well blended. Stir in gluten-free noodles.
2. Spoon into 13×9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
3. Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour or until center is set. Cool at least 10 minutes before cutting to serve.
Makes: 15 servings
adapted from Fresh Direct
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 3-4 hours
1 brisket of beef (5 to 6 pounds)
1 to 2 teaspoons all-purpose gluten-free flour
Coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup corn oil
6 onions, thickly sliced and separated into rings
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse (kosher) salt
2 cloves garlic, quartered
1 carrot, peeled
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Dust brisket very lightly with the flour. Sprinkle with pepper.
2. Heat the oil in a large heavy flameproof casserole. Add the brisket, and brown on both sides over medium-high heat until some crisp spots appear on the surface.
4. Transfer the brisket to a dish. Keeping the heat medium-high, add the onions to the casserole and stir, scraping up the brown particles left from the meat. Cook until the onions have softened and develop a handsome brown color, 10 to 15 minutes.
5. Remove the casserole from the heat, and place the brisket, along with any juices that have accumulated, on top of the onions. Spread the tomato paste over the brisket as if you were icing a cake. Sprinkle with pepper and the coarse salt. Add the garlic and carrot, and cover tightly. Place the casserole on the middle rack in the oven, and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
6. Remove the casserole from the oven, and transfer the meat to a carving board. Cut it into 1/8- to 1/4- inch thick slices. Return the slices to the pot, overlapping them at an angle so that you can see a bit of the top edge of each slice (in effect reassembling the brisket, slightly slanted). Correct the seasoning if necessary, and if absolutely necessary add 2 or 3 teaspoons of water to the casserole.
7. Cover, and return the casserole to the oven. Cook until the meat is brown and fork-tender, 1 3/4 to 2 hours longer.
8. Slice the carrot, and transfer the roast, onions, juice, and carrot slices to a heated platter. Serve at once.
Makes: 16 servings