Hanukka eating: Meaning and fun

Commemorating Yehudis' courage with coconut chocolate rugelach, southwestern quiche and salmon with Mexican yogurt sauce.

quiche (photo credit: courtesy)
(photo credit: courtesy)
For more great kosher recipes go to: www.gourmetkoshercooking.com
Not only do we commemorate the miracle of the victorious Maccabees and the oil in the Temple at Hanukah time, but we also remember Yehudis who fed the Assyrian general, Holfernes dairy products in order to induce sleep and then kill him. As we think back on her brave deeds, we eat dairy to remind us of her courage and conviction. Who knew eating could be so meaningful – and so much fun?
And if we’re already having fun, let’s begin with dessert.
Coconut Chocolate Rugelach                                        

1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened           
1 cup cream cheese, softened
¼ cup sugar
2 cups flour
½ cup raspberry jam
1-1/2 cups coconut
½ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons sugar
Cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in sugar and flour until blended. Divide dough into quarters. Shape each quarter into a 1-inch thick disk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 4 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat jam in microwave until melted.  Unwrap one disk of dough at a time; cover with another layer of plastic wrap and roll out into an approximately 10-inch circle. Brush with a very light layer of jam. Mix together coconut, chocolate chips and sugar and sprinkle ¼ of the mixture over dough. Cut circle into 12 wedges (this is a great use for a pizza wheel) and roll each piece up, starting with wide edge. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for about 18 – 22 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Repeat with remaining 3 disks of dough.
Southwestern Quiche

2 frozen 9-inch pie crusts, defrosted
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
2-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1-1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
8 eggs
2 cups whole milk or even half-and-half
2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chilies
2 (2-1/4 ounce) cans sliced black olives, drained
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle chili powder and cumin over pie crusts. Sprinkle cheeses on top. Whisk together eggs, milk, chilies, olives and cilantro. Pour over cheese. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes. Serve with salsa.
Salmon with Mexican Yogurt Sauce

1 cup plain yogurt
½ cup finely chopped cucumber
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons lime juice
4 teaspoons olive oil
8 (6 ounce) salmon fillets
Salt and pepper to taste
Stir together yogurt, cucumber, cilantro and lime juice. Refrigerate. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fillets with salt and pepper. Add to pan and cook until done – about 5 to 7 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. Remove from heat and serve with the yogurt sauce. Also good with fish at room temperature.
For more great kosher recipes go to: www.gourmetkoshercooking.com