'Jewish Holidays' on Serious Eats

Scooped: Charoset Sorbet

Sorbet really is a perfect passover dessert. Light and refreshing, it's a great palate cleanser after a heavy meal. It's dairy-free, and doesn't require matzo meal as a poor substitute for flour. This sorbet is incredibly simple, a delicious marriage of grape and apple, slightly sweeter and a touch more tart than the charoset on your Hillel sandwich. More

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut is kosher for Passover, and coconut macaroons are a cinch to make in the kitchen, so much so that you will never touch those stale Manishewitz things again. The trick: Mix shredded coconut with coconut flakes to get just the right texture. More

Matzo Toffee With Almonds

The trick to making matzo toffee impossible to put down is simple: generous sprinkling of fleur de sel. The salt combined with the bittersweet chocolate and butter pretty much spells doom for everyone who comes in contact with it. If you make this for your guests on Passover, I guarantee glee and gratitude all around. More

Tzimmes

I used to really, truly loathe this dish. It was the one thing I wouldn't touch on my Passover plate. Anyone else? But this version adds a touch of honey to highlight the carrots' natural sweetness and spices like cardamom to give the dish more dimension. More

Matzo Brei With Pear And Dried Sour Cherries

I like to think of matzo as a blank canvas; it can do pretty much anything you want it to. Here, it becomes a sweet and utterly delicious matzo brei with pears and dried sour cherries. You get a bite of sweet with a touch of sour—I wind up making matzo brei most of the days and I never tire of it. More

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

This might be my favorite part of the Seder—until we get to dessert that is. In this version, matzo balls are not heavy and doughy, but light, fluffy, and seasoned. The key is making them with seltzer and giving the batter a good rest before shaping and cooking—it makes all the difference. What are your matzo ball tricks? More

Cider Doughnuts

After a filling Hannukah meal, no matter how much I've eaten, I always want some dessert at the end. Sadly, I never took to sufganyot, the Sephardic jelly-filled doughnuts traditionally served during the holiday, but I've always, always had a soft spot for homemade doughnuts, especially the apple cider kind. More

Brandade Potato Latkes

Since I was on the prowl for Hanukkah recipes in Joan Nathan's Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous, a good latke was the first order of business. Nathan has three different potato pancake preparations in the book, but for me, these Brandade Potato Latkes truly capture the spirit of a French-accented Hanukkah celebration. The recipe combines brandade, a whipped cod spread popular in the South of France with a mashed potato latke. More

Potato Kugel

While I didn't grow up eating noodle kugel, potato kugel was always a staple at our house. My mother once said that if she could eat one thing every day, she would gladly eat potato kugel. I don't disagree. A hearty mix of potatoes, onion, and eggs, folded with some flour, makes for a substantive and filling meal. More

Pumpkin Potato Latkes

What's a Hannukah dinner without latkes? Exactly! While it's a little bit tricky to serve them all at once, and chances are you'll be cooking them as people are eating them (nothing like a fresh, hot, lacy-crisp latke in your hand!), you'll get rave reviews and demands for seconds, and maybe thirds. I decided to add pumpkin to these, and don't regret it. More

Maple Vanilla Applesauce

Applesauce, universally loved by both babies and adults, has a special place at the table during Hanukkah as an accompaniment to latkes. This version uses maple syrup in place of sugar to give the sauce a special fall flavor and enhance the taste of cooked apples. The addition of vanilla elevates it from an everyday treat to a real holiday dish. And while it seems easier to just pop open a jar of already-made applesauce, this version is incredibly easy to make, and is much more delicious. More

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