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A Holiday for Children of All Ages : Hanukkah Recipes Focus on Trend Toward 'Diner Food'

December 18, 1986|JUDY ZEIDLER | Zeidler is a free-lance writer who teaches Jewish and other ethnic cookery. and

No wonder children love Hanukkah. There are eight days of giving and receiving gifts. This year candles will be lighted from Dec. 26 through Jan. 2, a new one added each night; some lucky children will also receive a small gift on each day of the holiday.

The candles are placed in a special candle-holder called a Hanukkiah (candelabrum), to symbolize the rededication of the ancient Temple of Jerusalem, when its menorah miraculously burned for eight days, fueled only by a tiny vial of oil. Oil is symbolic of the food served on Hanukkah, too, with foods fried in oil a tradition. One of the most popular of these is potato latkes (pancakes), a must for this holiday.

This year, I am planning a party for children, grandchildren and their friends. The menu will accent the new trend toward "diner food," all-American favorites like meat loaf, chili, pies and chocolate desserts and shakes. Naturally, children of all ages enjoy this type of food.

An Interesting Glaze

My meat loaf combines veal, beef and some crisp vegetables and has an interesting glaze. With this we'll have Mini-Potato Latkes and bowls of Candied Apple Slices and Homemade Chili Sauce. Three Cs Slaw gets its name from cabbage, carrots and cucumbers. The perfect desserts are other favorites--Chocolate-Nut Brownies and Diner Oatmeal Cookies. And because it's Hanukkah, we'll make some Instant Hanukkah gelt wafers--chocolate candies wrapped in gold and silver foil to look like the traditional Hanukkah gelt (money). Adults will drink a kosher California Burgundy and the children will fill their glasses with apple cider.

My family loves holiday decorations, so my Hanukkiah will make a pretty centerpiece; paper "Happy Hanukkah" banners will decorate the walls, and the candlelighting will be part of the festivities. We found some attractive Hanukkah gift wrapping, which is available in many stores. I even bought cookie cutters in traditional Hanukkah shapes of stars and dreydles (spinning tops), which I used to shape the cookies.

Remember, Hanukkah is not just for children, so plan some events the whole family can enjoy.

HANUKKAH MENU

Three Cs Coleslaw

Down-Home Glazed Meat Loaf

Homemade Chili Sauce

Candied Apple Slices

Mini-Potato Latkes (Pancakes)

Chocolate-Nut Brownies

Diner Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Hanukkah Gelt

Burgundy Wine, Apple Cider

THREE Cs COLESLAW

1 large head cabbage

2 large carrots

1 large cucumber

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sugar, about

1/4 cup lemon juice, about

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Cut cabbage lengthwise into wedges small enough to fit in feed tube of food processor. Remove core. With slicing disk in place, slice cabbage using moderate pressure on pusher. Or, using sharp knife, slice cabbage as thin as possible. Transfer sliced cabbage to large bowl.

Peel carrots. Grate carrots and cucumber with food processor or hand grater. Toss carrots and cucumber with cabbage. Set aside.

Blend mayonnaise, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup lemon juice in small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Adjust sugar or lemon juice to taste. Toss thoroughly with cabbage mixture. Makes 10 to 12 servings. DOWN-HOME GLAZED MEAT LOAF

2 pounds ground veal

2 pounds ground beef

3 eggs

1 medium onion, grated

1 medium potato, grated

1 medium zucchini, unpeeled and grated

8 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup dry red wine

3 tablespoons uncooked rice

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons oregano, crushed

1 1/2 teaspoons basil, crushed

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons oil

2 large onions, sliced

3/4 cup catsup

4 hard-cooked eggs

Combine veal, beef, eggs, grated onion, potato, zucchini and 6 minced garlic cloves in large bowl. Mix well. Add 2 tablespoons red wine, rice, cumin, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.

Heat oil in skillet and saute remaining 2 minced garlic cloves and sliced onions until tender. Place mixture in large roaster. Shape half of meat mixture into flat loaf 12x5-inches and place over onions.

Place hard-cooked eggs lengthwise down center of meat. Mold remaining meat mixture and place over eggs, pressing to make firm loaf. Blend remaining wine with 2 tablespoons catsup. Pour mixture around meat loaf. Cover loaf top with remaining catsup.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees 1 1/4 hours or until baked through. Makes 10 to 12 servings. HOMEMADE CHILI SAUCE

6 large tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 large sweet red pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped

1 large green pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped

1 serrano chile, seeded and minced

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Salt, pepper

Place tomatoes, red and green peppers, serrano chile, onion, garlic, sugar, vinegar and tomato paste in large heavy pot. Mix well. Bring to boil and simmer, partially covered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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