First of all, I want to thank this board for the excellent discussion about what I should do for Thanksgivukkah here. By the way, I did get to the Marchés des Producteurs last weekend and picked up some beautiful chestnuts and drap d'or apples. I found a boucherie here that will order a 4-kilo dinde fermière for an OK price. So I'm ready to go.
Now for the menu. Here are my principles (Am I overthinking this? You bet! That's half the fun):
1. The dinner will pay tribute to three cultures: American/Thanksgiving, Jewish/Hanukkah-- both Ashkenazi(European) and Sephardi (Spanish-Middle Eastern)--and French. But it should work together as a meal.
2. I will try to keep the Jewish elements to foods that are appropriate for Hanukkah. So Brussels sprouts with pastrami (which has appeared on a few sites) is out. Pastrami is Jewish but it isn't really a Hanukkah thing.
3. The food will be "imitation kosher." This means that I'm not actually cooking in a kosher kitchen with kosher meat, etc., but I will not mix milk and meat (at least not on the same course), no pork, shellfish, etc. So goodbye smoked oysters and crème fraiche.
4. Most of our guests will be French. So yeah, I'm a little intimidated.
Here's what I've got so far. Comments, criticism, and (gentle) ridicule welcome. Oh yes, and as they say, pardon my French:
Appetizers: hareng fumé = smoked herring on endives
Les trois petites galettes:
de pommes de terre,
de chou de Bruxelles,
et des poireaux
=Two kinds of latkes (potato and Brussels sprouts)
and one Keftes de Prasa (a Sephardic leek fritter traditional for Hannukah).
Dinde fermière à la Ashkenaz/Normande
= Turkey with apples, chestnuts, and Cidre Normande gravy.
The idea here is to pay tribute both to poulet/pintade Normande and the traditional European Hannukah goose while still using a turkey. If I can find a small bottle of Calvados I might light it up. I'll put a few scallions and apples inside and scatter chestnuts and apples around it. If the bird will fit sideways in my oven I'll try rotating it on the thighs.
Sauce aux pommes et aux canneberge
= cranberry apple sauce (for the latkes as well as the turkey).
If I can get enough cranberries I might make a cranberry-orange relish, which is what I always do.
haricots aux amandes
salade de carottes rapees et raisins sec
= carrot tsimmes.
This is a raw tsimmes, not the traditional carrot, prune, and meat stew also called tsimmes.
Dessert: sufganiot/bimuelos/beignets à la crème de potiron.
I won't fry these myself. I'll buy them from the local sephardic bakery and top with a pumpkinesque creme.
My niece (the one with a culinary degree) also suggested a getting a big meringue and putting pumpkin or cranberry on it.
So. A couple of questions:
- If I make a dressing (not a stuffing--see above), it will be with apples, chestnuts, and dry challah. But isn't there enough starch with the latkes?
- What wines to serve with this? I usually go patriotic with American wine at Thanksgiving (e.g. Oregon pinot) but I'm here and besides American wine is expensive here.
Thanks again for the advice!