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A heavenly Hanukkah meal

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Steamed Zucchini and Green Beans with Crunchy Toasted Topper

This exceptional meal is perfect for your Hanukkah celebration. Paired with your favourite crispy potato latkes and a vibrant Chardonnay, it is everything you need for a heavenly Hanukkah.

Steamed Zucchini and Green Beans with Crunchy Toasted Topper

Steamed Zucchini and Green Beans with Crunchy Toasted Topper

Vegetables

o 4 large zucchinis, ends removed and sliced (use a wavy crinkle cutting tool, if you have one)

o 1 l (4 cups) green beans, stems removed

Topper

o 250 ml (1 cup) toasted walnuts

o 1 bunch chives

o 10 ml (2 tsp) dried tarragon

o 45 ml (3 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil

o zest of one large lemon

o zest of 2 limes

o 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) salt, or to taste

To make the topper: Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F). Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix together all topper ingredients and spread them evenly over prepared baking sheet. Bake until the nuts are toasted, watching carefully, for about 5 minutes.

To make the vegetables: Steam zucchini and beans in a vegetable steamer, or in the microwave, until fork tender.

Place vegetables on a serving platter. Sprinkle topper over steamed vegetables before serving.

Orange Chicken with White Beans

Orange Chicken with White Beans

o 6 chicken breasts, skin and bones removed

Marinade

o 1 onion, finely chopped

o 2 garlic cloves, minced

o 125 ml (1/2 cup) honey

o 60 ml (1/4 cup) Canola oil

o 15 ml (1 tbsp) fresh ginger, minced

o Canola oil spray

Sauce

o 125 ml (1/2 cup) orange juice

o 30 ml (2 tbsp) cornstarch

o zest of one large orange

o 30 ml (2 tbsp) Grand Marnier or Cointreau liquor

o 1 can white beans

Mix the marinade ingredients. Place the chicken breasts in a large freezer bag and pour the marinade into the bag. Seal the bag and work the marinade into the chicken with your fingers, making sure the chicken is coated well. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or overnight, turning the bag occasionally.

To bake the chicken: Prepare a Pyrex baking dish by spraying it with Canola oil spray. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F). Drain off half of the marinade from the chicken and place the chicken and remaining marinade in the prepared pan. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes.

In a saucepan, cook orange juice and cornstarch, stirring constantly, until it thickens. Add in orange zest, liquor and white beans. Pour sauce over the chicken and continue baking for 15 minutes. Plate chicken with sauce and beans on top. Serves 6.

 

READ: HANUKKAH – A BERRY SPECIAL TIME OF YEAR

Extraordinary Chocolate Babka

Extraordinary Chocolate Babka

Dough

o 1 pkg active dry yeast

o 5 ml (1 tsp) sugar

o 60 ml (1/4 cup) warm water

o 750 ml (3 cups) flour

o 125 ml (1/2 cup) butter

o 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

o 75 ml (1/3 cup) sugar

o zest of one lemon

o 5 ml (1 tsp) pure vanilla extract

o Canola oil

Filling

o 125 ml (1/2 cup) sugar

o 175 ml (3/4 cup) heavy cream

o pinch of kosher salt

o 250 ml (1 cup) bittersweet chocolate chips

o 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces

o  5 ml (1 tsp) pure vanilla extract

o 2 eggs

Topping

o 125 ml (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour

o 45 ml (3 tbsp) sugar

o 15 ml (1 tbsp) unsweetened cocoa powder

o pinch of kosher salt

o 60 ml (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature

o 75 ml (1/3 cup) mini chocolate chips

Finishing

o Canola oil spray

o 60 ml (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature

To make the dough, sprinkle the yeast over the water in a liquid measuring cup. Add 5 ml (1 tsp) sugar, mix and set aside until bubbly, about 10 minutes. Combine the flour, butter, the remaining 75 ml (1/3 cup) of sugar, salt and lemon zest in a food processor, pulse until combined. Add in vanilla, eggs and yeast mixture. Pulse to combine. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead until soft and smooth, about 5 minutes, dusting the dough with flour if it’s too sticky. Transfer the dough to a large bowl brushed with Canola oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature, about 1.5 hours. Punch down the dough.

To make the filling, heat the sugar, heavy cream and salt in a saucepan until scalding. Pour over the bittersweet chocolate chips, butter and vanilla in a bowl. Whisk until smooth and shiny. Let cool to room temperature.

To make the topping, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and salt in a separate bowl. Work in the butter with a fork until the mixture is sandy and chunky. Stir in the mini chocolate chips. Set aside.

To form the babka, cut the dough in half with a bench scraper or chef’s knife. Using a rolling pin, roll each half into a 30-by-40-cm (12-by-16-inch) rectangle. Using an offset spatula, spread the filling on both dough rectangles, all the way to the edges. Starting from a long side, tightly roll each rectangle into a log. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Unwrap the logs, cut each in half lengthwise with a bench scraper or chef’s knife. Twist the halves together a few times, starting from the middle.

Baking method #1: Coat two 23-by-13-cm (9-by-5-inch) loaf pans with Canola oil spray and line with parchment, then spray the parchment. Place a dough twist snugly in each pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1.5 hours.

Baking method #2: Using a Bundt pan or sponge cake pan, spray generously with Canola oil, place both dough twists in pan and secure the ends evenly together with a pinch. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1.5 hours.

To finish and bake the babka: Preheat the oven to 180 C (350°F). Brush each loaf with butter and sprinkle with the topping. Bake until browned, about 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let sit for 10 minutes, then remove the babka from the pans, remove the parchment and let cool completely on a rack. Serves 10-12. Freezes well.