Old Fashioned Kitchen, Inc.: Hanukah Is Happening! Jewish Cooking Expert, Joan Nathan, Offers Quick Tips and Modern Toppings for Holiday Meals

Lakewood, New Jersey, UNITED STATES

LAKEWOOD, N.J., Dec. 6, 2001 (PRIMEZONE) -- Celebrating the Hanukah tradition with a special modern twist, Joan Nathan, world-renowned cookbook author, offers quick and easy recipes that enhance and update the holiday's traditional treat -- potato pancakes (or latkes) -- with unique, zesty and creative toppings.

Hanukah begins early this year -- on December 9 at sundown -- and continues for eight days. Often called "the Festival of Lights," this holiday is a direct reference to the "miracle of the oil" that defines Hanukah. During Hanukah, families gather together to light the menorah candles, recite blessings over the challah bread and play the traditional Hanukah game, dreidel.

Many people from a wide array of backgrounds, nationalities and religions are familiar with this holiday's well-known dish -- potato pancakes (or latkes), which are made from grated potatoes mixed with eggs, onions and matzos, and fried in canola oil. Potato pancakes, usually served hot, are crispy on the outside and tender inside. Traditionally, they are topped with applesauce or sour cream.

Jewish cooking expert Joan Nathan, author of "The Foods of Israel Today" explains, "Hanukah brings family and friends together to celebrate. Potato pancakes are such an important part of the holiday's traditions, and it's always fun to introduce new toppings that truly augment the taste of such a wonderful and delicious part of the holiday's meal."

To spend more time enjoying the holiday with friends and relatives -- instead of spending the entire time in the kitchen -- Jewish cooking expert Joan Nathan suggests some easy shortcuts and offers some savory and sweet suggestions that add a new twist to a favorite tradition using frozen potato pancakes.

Instead of bruising your fingers on the grater, Nathan suggests using prepared potato pancakes. Nathan tops the prepared pancakes with unique and delicious sauces that compliment the latkes' flavors and add the right amount of zest to the traditional holiday dinner.

These toppings (see note) include:

Cranberry-cinnamon applesauce -- Warm an 8 oz jar of applesauce in microwave for 15-30 seconds. Blend in 2 TBLS of cinnamon candies until melted. The applesauce will turn a festive pink color and have a tangy and sweet cinnamon taste.

Triple Citrus Marmalade -- 6 cups unpeeled, thinly sliced mixed citrus fruit (examples: lemon, orange, grapefruit) with seeds removed. 3 cups sugar. Put the fruit in a saucepan and add the sugar. Bring to a boil, then simmer slowly, uncovered, for about 45 minutes until the marmalade thickens, stirring constantly so that you do not caramelize the sugar. Pour into jars, cover and refrigerate.

Chipolte Cream -- 1 cup sour cream (or yogurt); 1 chipolte or jalapeno pepper; 1 tablespoon lime juice; salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Place all the ingredients in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and puree until ingredients are blended.

Note: Toppings are adapted from Nathan's "The Foods of Israel Today" (Knof).

Al Bonugli, President and CEO of Old Fashioned Kitchen says, "Busy consumers today are choosing to celebrate Hanukah by serving Golden's potato pancakes, which taste homemade and are much less time-consuming than making them from scratch. By introducing new and unique toppings, individuals can enhance the pancakes and create a new tradition, making the holiday extra-special."

Old Fashioned Kitchen, Inc. is based in Lakewood, NJ and produces high-quality kosher products including the top-selling Golden blintzes, potato pancakes, zucchini pancakes, sweet potato pancakes and black bean pancakes. Making latkes the old-fashioned way, by using all natural ingredients with no preservatives, Golden offers consumers a quick and convenient alternative to making the potato pancakes from scratch. For more information about Golden, visit the company's Website at www.oldfashionedkitchen.com.

Joan Nathan, the author of "The Foods of Israel Today," is the host of the nationally syndicated television series Jewish Cooking in America with Joan Nathan. As a well-known cookbook author, Joan travels frequently around the country lecturing about Jewish cooking. She also contributes to articles on international ethnic foods and special holiday features in publications such as The New York Times, Food and Wine, Gourmet and Hadassah Magazine. She is the author of six previous books, including "Jewish Cooking in America," which won both the James Beard Award and the IACP/Julia Child Cookbook of the Year Award. For more information, or to schedule an interview, please call Heather Dougherty at (215) 790-7826.


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