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Festive Foods for Thanksgivukkah

thanksgivukkah1f-2-webFor passionate foodies like ourselves, it really doesn’t get much better than Thanksgiving.  Because what other federal holiday can you think of that’s so entirely focused around eating?  And this year’s meal promises to be the best one yet, as the once in a lifetime overlap of Thanksgiving with the first night of Hanukkah (literally, it only happens once every 70,000 years), has led to a super celebration known as Thanksgivukkah – a delicious convergence of Turkey and Gravy with deep-fried Potato Pancakes known as Latkes and Applesauce.  And as you can imagine, plenty of restaurants are embracing this unique marriage of culinary traditions, starting with the Kutsher’s Tribeca, who’ve planned an elaborate Thanksgivukkah feast.

This hip, “modern Jewish American bistro” is offering a special, four-course menu on both November 28th and 29th, starting with Pumpkin Shlishkas (gnocchi-like dumplings), made with Amaretto Matzoh and Sage Brown Butter.  You’ll have to choose between either Turkey or Brisket for your main meal, though family-style sides draw equal inspiration from both holidays.  Think Challah Chestnut Stuffing, Cheesy Spaetzle Kugel, and Sweet Potato Latkes with Sour Cream and Cranberry Compote. Oh, and there won’t be Apple or Pecan Pie for dessert, but you’ll hardly be hurting for appealing sweet options, which include Cranberry-Raspberry Sufganiyot (donuts) with Chocolate “Gelt” Sauce, and gooey Babka Sticky Buns.

SONY DSCFarm-to-table pioneer Bill Telepan always serves Thanksgiving dinners at his Upper West Side restaurant, with unique autumnal items, like Foie Gras-Stuffed Apples, Smoked Brussels Sprout Pasta and Quince Granita Parfait.  And he offers excellent Latkes for all eight night of Hanukkah too, either topped with Smoked Salmon as an appetizer, or served as a side dish.  But for one night only this year, you’ll be able to order succulent Roast Organic Turkey with traditional Thanksgiving trimmings… that just happen to include a heaping platter of crispy Potato Pancakes.

Since Toloache has already demonstrated how well Mexican and Jewish flavors mix (case in point, their Jalapeno Potato Latkes with Horseradish Crema), we’re stoked to try the Thanksgivukkah-inspired Taquitos at the new, Lower East Side eatery, Taquitoria.  Owned by alums of Restaurant Marc Forgione, the single-concept hotspot is offering festive rolled tacos on Thanksgivikkuh Eve (November 27th), one stuffed with Deep-Fried Turkey and Brussels Sprouts, and served with Cranberry Sauce and Gravy for dipping, and a Potato Latke Taquito, topped with Apple Sauce and Sour Cream.

1424433_645336005507201_673398695_nWee’ve gotten used to seeing hamburgers sandwiched between unusual buns, like Keizo Shimamoto’s Ramen Burger at Smorgasburg, or the artery-clogging Donut Burger at Burger Bistro (swap in a turkey patty, and that’s actually a great choice for Thankgivukkah, too).  And at Delicatessen in Nolita, chef Michael Ferraro is adding his own, unique contribution to the craze, making sliders out of ground Brisket, topped with Roasted Apple, Black Pepper Crème Fraiche and Cranberry Chutney, served between Sweet Potato Latkes – a very clever Thanksgivukkah dish.

In Brooklyn, Shelsky’s Smoked Fish can provide everything you’ll need to throw the ultimate Thanksgivukkah party at home.  You’ll love the traditional Schmaltz-Fried Latkes (or even a vegetarian, gluten-free version), although the special Sweet Potato and Celeriac Pancakes are a must for any self-respecting Thanksgivukkah table, topped with Horseradish Crème Fraiche or Grandma Yetta’s Homemade Chunky Apple Sauce.  (How good does that sound?)  And you’ll be able to dress your holiday bird with Potato Latke and Homemade Turkey Sausage Stuffing as well.  What’s for dessert?  The flaky Jewish cookies called Rugelach in flavors, like Cranberry Sauce and Chestnut, Salted Caramel Apple, or Pumpkin Pecan Pie.

TurkeyCranberry-homeProbably one of the most ingenious expressions of Thanksgivukkah are the limited-edition donuts at Zucker Bakery, which combine the best of both holidays into one delectable handheld pastry.  They come in four flavors, ranging from savory to sweet; Spiced Pumpkin Donuts with Turkey and Gravy filling, Spiced Pumpkin Donuts with Turkey and Cranberry filling, Spiced Pumpkin Donuts with Cranberry Sauce filling, and Sweet Potato Donuts with Toasted Marshmallow Cream filling.  They’re available now until January, so be sure to stock up… because it will probably be another 70,000 years before you’ll see them again!

Kutsher’s Tribeca
186 Franklin St., btwn. Hudson & Greenwich Sts.
(212) 431-0606

72 W 69th St., btwn. W Central Park & Columbus Ave.
(212) 580-4300

168 Ludlow St., btwn.Houston & Stanton Sts.
(212) 780-0121

54 Prince St.,between Mulberry & Lafayette Sts.
(212) 226-0211

Shelsky’s Smoked Fish
251 Smith St., btwn. Douglass & Degraw Sts.
(718) 855-8817

Zucker Bakery
433 E 9th St., btwn. East 9th St & Avenue A.
(646) 559-8425

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