Are you getting so lit this week?
We're talking about your menorah, obviously. After all, who could forget that Hanukkah time is finally here? Break out the Manischewitz and go dig through your desk drawers for your dreidel, because we've got everything you need to celebrate the Festival of Lights.
First of all, what would any Jewish holiday be without a big pile of latkes to slather in sour cream? We've got three kinds for you: First, a basic recipe from Noah Bernamoff that will have you whipping out the lox and crème fraiche every night of the week. Secondly, Einat Admony—chef and owner of Taim Falafel, Balaboosta, and Bar Bolonat in NYC—shares her seasonally spectacular Sunchoke Latkes, which integrate the tasty sunflower tubers also known as Jerusalem artichokes. And once Mom, Dad, and Grandma Yentl have hit the sack, get weird on our Laid-Back Latkes, too. Let's just say the not-so-secret ingredient will put the "chronic" in "hanukkah."
What would latkes be without applesauce? Pretty dry, that's what. So Liz Alpern of Brooklyn's The Gefilteria showed us how to make a homemade version—way better than the lethally sugary stuff in a jar—of fresh apples and pears, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Did we mention that it's ridiculously easy?
For this short ribs recipe from Zahav's Michael Solomonov, you're going to want to start soon, because this savory seasoned beef cures in your fridge for a couple of days before being slow-roasted for six hours to tender, fall-apart-with-your-fork perfection. How's that for a Hanukkah miracle?
Onward ho. Let's talk drinks. For our Hanukkah Spectacular, Aaron Polsky, beverage director of NYC's Greenwich Project and Mulberry Project, graced our mantles with two Hanukkah-themed cocktails: a Hanukkah Manhattan and The Eight Night Stand. The former is a riff on the classic with a creamsicle-like twist, and the latter is a spicy and refreshing whiskey-based tiki cocktail to help you survive the winter chill.
If you've ever had the unusual compulsion to eat the candles on your menorah but are dismayed by the decidedly unexciting flavor of wax, look no further than mentalist and thought-reader Marc Salem's Edible Hanukkah Candles. This one's for the kids, folks. Set up a spread for little Elliot and Rachel to go ape on some faux-candle-making, and you won't have to spend a minute worrying about whether you'll have to call poison control. And come on—they're cute.
We know: It's a holiday, and you've been a good mensch all year. You're ready for some sweets. Is there anything better than a batch of freshly made, sugar-dusted sufganiyot? Sure, they require a little time and care to make at home, but it's the holidays. This is why we take time off—to devote more effort to making decadent celebratory foods. The other 357 days a year, you can eat plastic-wrapped powdered doughnuts from the gas station and let the sugar get all over your chest while you rest your chin on a roll of your own fat and binge-watch Storage Wars. But this week, make Uri Scheft's bitchin' sufganiyot with three different fillings: chocolate pastry cream, vanilla cream, and strawberry jam.
Continue the carb-loading with noodle kugel, a traditional Ashkenazi dish. But this is no normal casserole; it's a delicious, fattening synthesis of egg noodles baked in a mixture of eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, cinnamon, raisins, and more than a little bit of sugar. If you like visual instruction, watch as Barbra Streisand (well, "Barbra Streisand") shows us how to make it.
Finally, candy-making comedian Eliot Glazer showed us how to make edible chocolate gelt. It gleams and shimmers, sure, but then you can let it melt in your mouth. Make a bunch in case you want to get dirty with that dreidel. Or once those Laid-Back Latkes start kicking in.
A version of this article first appeared on MUNCHIES in December 2016.