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Holiday Recipes: Dish ideas for Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanza

Holiday Recipes: Dish ideas for Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanza

No matter your religion or tradition, the holidays call for laughter, good company, and delicious food. With signature holiday recipes for each type of celebration, it’s time to experiment in the kitchen and give these classic staples a festive twist.

By playing with spices, herbs, and other garnishes, it’s easy to add some extra flavor and sophistication to really brighten that holiday table. Also, don’t forget to add some holiday cocktail recipes to the mix—it’ll only enhance your meal and overall dining experience.


If you’ve celebrated Hanukkah before—or even if you’ve just gone grocery shopping at Whole Foods during December—you’ve had to have had a latke. What’s that? A latke is a potato pancake that is essential to every Hanukkah meal. Usually fried in oil, the latke is extremely versatile, where it can take on different flavors, textures, and seasonings.

Our tip—cook the latke in chicken fat and top with crispy onion. As for the applesauce, which is basically the latke’s counterpart, infuse it with a crème fraiche or wasabi tabiko. You can also eat the latke and applesauce with a side of kimchi, consisting of fermented shrimp and cabbage.

Or, if you’re looking for something sweeter and less savory, you can make an apple, salted caramel spiced latke holiday recipe and serve with a little bourbon to wash it down.


Sure, you might look forward to ham and green beans on your Christmas dinner table, but the real treat is in the dessert, as Christmas is known for satisfying that sweet tooth. You can’t go wrong with a warm cookie bar or a Yule Log cake as holiday recipes, but there’s something really festive and nostalgic about donuts and cider during the holidays.

You can easily put together an apple donut or apple funnel cake to serve to guests. Simply fry the donut and use spices to kick up the flavor. Great spices include vanilla, nutmeg, clove, and ginger.

Then you can pair with a warming beverage. If cider doesn’t do it for you, try hot chocolate, adding caramel and condensed milk or smoked rum or calvados for some “adult” fun. Another option, you can always go with a sweet wine, like a Riesling. 


Kwanza is known for its integration of African creole and jerk seasonings in its holiday recipes, so you’ll likely find side dishes like slaw, grits, beans, okra, and rice, and main dishes, like catfish or jerk chicken on the table.

If you’re looking to experiment with a side, like Collard greens, add lamb “bacon” to the holiday recipe. Simply stew the greens in miso lamb juice and then cure the lamb bellies as you would cure pancetta. As this is pretty hearty and filling, it could be a main or side dish, really. As for booze, pair with a Sangiovese or malt liquor, or create a fancy cocktail, like a manhattan with split vermouth and amaro.

Interested in booking your holiday meal at the Albert? You can easily book a reservation.

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