Happy Hanukkah begins at sunset Friday and runs through Dec 16. This beautiful Festival of Lights is celebrated by Jewish people worldwide, and is observed by the lighting of candles each night in a special menorah, and with foods fried in olive oil, such as latkes (potato pancakes), and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts).
Ethyl S. of Andover, a reader for many years, was gracious enough to send me her comments on her family’s celebration. I share them with you.
“Hanukkah is a holiday that commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over Antiochus of Syria. It is traditional to light the menorah, sing songs, eat fried foods and play with the dreidel (a four-sided top).
“Since I come from Colombia and my husband is originally from Israel, we tend to ‘include’ our backgrounds in the foods that we eat during Hanukkah. We fry every day (oy vey!), mostly latkes which are traditional among Eastern European Jews. We also fry yucca and plantains, usually eaten in Colombian households on a daily basis. And many nights we make sufganiyot for dessert. There is nothing like eating a sufganiya as soon as it is done!”
Whether celebrating Hanukkah or Christmas, you will be proud to serve this lamb roast with deliciously flavored roast vegetables. Round out your menu with potato latkes, fresh applesauce, and bimuelos (sweet fritters).
Herb Crusted Lamb
Serves 6, 2 chops per person.
Two, 6-rib lamb rib roasts, about 2 pounds each
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 large shallots, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
Mix olive oil and Worcestershire sauce with salt, pepper, shallots, garlic, thyme and rosemary. Using your fingers, gently rub and press herb mixture onto all meaty sides of the lamb. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
When ready to roast, place lamb, meaty side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast in a 325-degree oven until meat thermometer inserted in a meaty portion of lamb registers 140 degrees for medium-rare, about 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
Transfer lamb to cutting board. Cover loosely with foil, let stand 15 minutes before carving. To carve, cut into chops by slicing between the rib bones.
Roasted Vegetables with Honey and Fresh Sage
4 medium parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 medium turnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 small Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters or 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium yellow onions cut into 1 inch wide wedges
8 leaves of fresh sage, slivered
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup honey
2 leaves fresh sage, snipped- for garnish
In a large greased roasting pan, combine all vegetables and slivered sage.
Combine oil, salt and pepper. Drizzle over vegetables; toss.
Roast, uncovered, in a 425 degree oven for 35 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned and tender, stirring twice.
Drizzle with honey; stir gently. Bake for 5 minutes more. Serve sprinkle with snipped sage.
Patricia Altomare invites feedback. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write care of Gloucester Daily Times, 36 Whittemore St., Gloucester, MA 01930.