Light Up the Night with a Catered Hanukkah party
For eight consecutive days starting at sundown Sunday, December 22, the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah will take place. A Hebrew word meaning “dedication,” Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights, and commemorates the Maccabees’ victory over the army of Syrian Greeks, and the miracle of re-dedicating the Holy Temple in Jerusalem that followed.
During this re-dedication, the menorah was restored in the Holy Temple. There was only one container of oil found in the Temple with enough oil to light the lamp for one day. It lasted eight days, however, which is why Hanukkah is an eight-day celebration.
Typical Hanukkah celebrations today including lighting one candle of the menorah each night, playing games such as dreidel, exchanging gifts and eating traditional foods.
While some Hanukkah celebrations are small intimate gatherings, others are larger and include extended family, friends and members of the community. If you’re hosting one of these special celebrations this year, a great way to thrill your guests is to throw a catered Hanukkah party.
Celebrate the Oil with Fried Goodies at your Hanukkah party
One tradition of Hanukkah celebrations is to serve fried foods. This symbolizes the oil that was used to light the menorah in the Holy Temple. The most popular Hanukkah fried favorite is latkes, also known as potato pancakes. It’s often served with sour cream or apple sauce on the side for dipping.
For a holiday as traditional as Hanukkah, it’s best to not stray from this staple menu item. However, one great way to liven things up is to integrate new ingredients at your catered Hanukkah party.
For a twist on the usual, try using pumpkin or cauliflower, or Middle Eastern herbs and spices to infuse new flavors. Your NY catering company might offer sweet potatoes as the base for the latkes and serve them with a different dipping sauce other than the traditional apple sauce.
Another creative twist would be adding toppings to dishes such as latkes to transform them into more of a main dish than a side. An example would be topping latkes with smoked salmon, scallions and a dallop of crème fraiche.
Offer a Cheese Course
Another tradition at Hanukkah celebrations is to eat dairy products. This is in commemoration of the heroine Yehudit, who aided in an important victory for the military with the help of homemade cheese.
One way to pay homage to Yehudit at your catered Hanukkah party is to serve an entire course that prominently features cheese. Each dish during this course could highlight cheese as the star ingredient.
Smoked salmon with cream cheese is always a popular option, but you may want to steer away from this if you opted for the smoked salmon topped latkes already. Other options would be a salad with candied pecans and blue or feta cheese. Goat cheese pairs well with berries and other fruits in puff pastry or as a spread for crackers.
Your NY caterer might offer a spinach pie that includes feta cheese and mushrooms in a nod to the victory over the Greeks.
Bring on the Meats
No Hanukkah celebration would be complete without a meat dish as the centerpiece of the meal. Beef brisket is often the most popular choice for this course, but roasted chicken is a common choice as well.
Again, sticking to the traditions with meat is best for Hanukkah celebrations, but there’s nothing that says you can’t present these dishes in a creative way. Your NY caterer could prepare a saucy beef brisket that’s slow roasted with celery, carrots, potatoes and onions and eats more like a stew than a traditional brisket.
For a twist on a basic roasted chicken, you could offer a nice Meditteranean sauteed chicken slowly cooked in a lemon butter sauce swimming with aromatic herbs, kalamata olives and capers.
Leave Room for Dessert
The sweet end to your catered Hanukkah party should continue with the theme of a twist on traditional menu items. Jelly doughnuts are a typical Hanukkah menu item, as they are fried foods. Your NY catering company can prepare homemade doughnuts filled with a variety of jams such as strawberry, grape, apple and apricot.
Another Hanukkah dessert that would work well is babka. By pairing apricot and herbed goat cheese in this filled pastry, you’ll be not only using traditional ingredients and paying homage to history, but you’ll be providing your guests with a new twist on an old favorite.
Choosing the Right NY Catering Company for Your Hanukkah Celebration
Hanukkah is one of the most important and celebrated holidays on the Jewish calendar. When you’re hosting a Hanukkah celebration, you want to know that all of the food and traditional tastes are cooked to perfection.
That’s why choosing the right NY caterer who knows the intricacies of Jewish cuisine is so important. Paul Evans Catering, an experienced New York caterer serving Manhattan to Montauk, can help you do just that.
Paul Evans Catering has locations in Long Island, The Hamptons and Manhattan, and can help you choose among endless menu options to help you curate a customized menu for your catered Hanukkah party. Visit their website or call Paul Evans Catering today to plan the perfect Hamptons party. Long Island (516) 889-4101, Hamptons (631) 288-5992, Manhattan (212) 321-1822.