Green Divas Favorite Family Holiday Recipes

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This is truly the best time of the year! Yes, the decorations are beautiful and yes getting presents is always fun. But Green Diva’s love the holidays because it is just the excuse we need to EAT! We all come from different backgrounds, some of us are Christian and some Jewish and we decided to share with you our favorite holiday meals.

GD Jamie’s  Famous Hanukkah Latkes

My father has been making Lakes every Hanukkah since before my sisters and I were even born. They have become somewhat famous between my friends and roommates who beg for them every year. Be warned- they are delicious and you will want to eat the entire thing yourself…

Ingredients 

1 pound potatoes

1/2 large onion, grated

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

salt and pepper to taste

Enough vegetable oil to fry

Instructions
  1. Peel and grate potatoes
  2. Keep grated potatoes in bowl of cold water.
  3. Let the potatoes soak fora  little, then drain and squeeze out as much water as possibly with paper towels
  4. Over a large mixing bowl, add grated onion, shredded potatoes, egg and salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  5. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  6. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the potato mixture into skillet. Flatten slightly with spoon.
  7. Fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes, then flip over and finish frying.
  8. Remove latkes from skillet to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb some oil
**They are best eaten immediately and with a lot of applesauce and sour cream!
Happy Hanukkah!

GD Mizar’s Creme Caramel

This is probably my all time favorite dessert … ever!  It was my father’s favorite as well.  In fact, every time I or my mom made it, Dad would somehow find a way to take credit for it … like it was HIS idea!

Our entire family enjoys this dessert, so much so that while the recipe below serves 6-8 … in our house, it’s more like 4-6.  Yum!

**Make one full day before serving

Ingredients

1 quart whole milk

8 Eggs

1 1/4 cups + 3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon Vanilla

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Over medium heat, melt the 3/4 cup of sugar in a deep, oven proof round bottom (custard) pot.  Melt it until it’s a dark golden brown … DO NOT BURN.
  3. When the sugar is caramelized, swirl it to coat the entire pot. Do this quickly before the melted sugar begins to harden. Then Set aside.
  4.  Beat the eggs with the sugar & vanilla. Set aside.
  5. Scald the milk – do not boil.  Take the milk off the heat and slowly pour into the egg/sugar mixture, stirring constantly.
  6. When well blended, pour the entire mixture into the caramel coated pot.  Place the pot into a bain-mare and into the oven.
  7. Bake 45 minutes – 1 hour. (You’ll know it’s done when a fork comes out clean)
  8. Cover & refrigerate one full overnight before serving.
  9. When ready to serve, run a butter knife around the inside rim of the pot to separate the custard from the edge.
  10. Place a deep dish on top of the custard pot and flip them over.  MAKE SURE TO KEEP A FIRM GRIP ON THE PLATE & THE POT.
  11. Lift the pot and there’s your creme caramel.

GD Meg’s Wilted Red Cabbage Salad with Pine Nuts,
Capers & Feta Cheese

This delicious family favorite came from my dear friend Peg Rosen, who is an amazing cook. It is colorful, easy and YUM. I’m not sure what the original recipe actually is, but I’m hoping what I do every year is close. Sorry if I changed it Peg . . .

Ingredients

¼ cup good olive oil

1 medium head red cabbage shredded and tough bits removed

1 – 2 good sized shallots finely chopped

1/3 cup pine nuts (roasted as per instructions)

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt

Fresh ground pepper to taste
2 – 3 tablespoons of good capers (drained of juice)

4 oz. feta cheese crumbled (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and get the pine nuts on a single layer on a baking sheet (with a slight lip of course). Roast the pine nuts for about 5 – 7 minutes, stirring and moving them around a bit. WATCH them closely because when the burn, they go fast and they taste horrible. I’ve had to toss out burned batches of pine nuts more than once. ouch. Remove them from the oven and let them cool while you make the rest of the recipe. 
  2. In a large skillet or sauce pan, heat oil and sauté shallots for a couple of minutes, then add the cabbage, stirring frequently and making sure the oil covers everything. Saute for a few minutes until the cabbage begins to wilt and get a little soft.
  3. Turn off the heat, add the vinegar, salt, pepper, pine nuts and capers and toss thoroughly.
  4. Put it all into your serving dish, sprinkle with feta cheese (if you are using the cheese, we usually make this without the cheese, but it is good both ways).

About the author / 

Green Diva Jamie
jbachar@ramapo.edu'

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