Give thanks for the bounty of Thanksgivukkah leftovers

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Thanksgivukkah: Talk about a culinary miracle. Not only do we get to feast, we get to feast on fried food. The opportunities are endless. But before you run out and purchase a FryDaddy big enough for your

16-pound bird, let’s take a deep breath and think about the realities of the holiday.

One of the best things about Thanksgiving is the leftovers, and Thanksgiving leftovers become even mightier with a nice Jewish influence. So does the intellectual discussion around the table when you take a moment to examine the origins of the holidays.

“When you look at the essence of both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, they align beautifully,” says Rabbi Batshir Torchio, senior educator at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. “Hanukkah is about bringing light into homes during the darkest time of the year, which is really the perfect expression of hope and gratitude.”

Turns out Thanksgiving, pilgrims aside, was created for the exact same reason.

The holiday was declared in October 1863, during the  Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Day proclamation drew attention to “the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies,” even in the midst of “a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity.” The Civil War saw three Thanksgiving Days before the 13th Amendment was ratified in December 1865, abolishing slavery.

On Thanksgivukkah, take a moment to think beyond the traditional Thanksgiving tale. Consider the Maccabees, the abolitionists, and the importance of embracing hope and gratitude when circumstances are grim and freedom seems out of reach.

And to prolong our Thanksgivukkah celebration, let’s talk leftovers. After all, come Nov. 29, you’ll have seven days of Hanukkah festivities ahead of you and a fridge full of turkey, potatoes and pie.

Sufganiyot with Cranberry and Brie

Serves 8

1 package refrigerated biscuits (1.2 oz. biscuits, not the big biscuits, sometimes known as “grands”)

1/4 cup leftover cranberry sauce

8 1-inch-square pieces of brie (about 1 1/2 oz. total)

Vegetable oil for frying

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Separate refrigerated biscuits in half along the mid-layer so each biscuit is now two thinner, equal-sized rounds. Arrange 8 of the thin rounds on the parchment. Spoon 1/2 tsp. cranberry sauce in center of each round. Top with a piece of brie. Top with remaining rounds. Pinch edges together to seal tightly. Each sufganiyot should look sort of like a flying saucer (but with thick outer edges).

In a 3-quart heavy saucepan, heat 1 inch oil to 375 degrees. Fry sufganiyot, 30-60 seconds per side until golden brown. Transfer sufganiyot back to cookie sheet. Bake 5 minutes in preheated 400-degree oven.

Mix sugar and cinnamon together on a large plate. Flip hot sufganiyot, fresh out of the oven, in cinnamon sugar to coat, and serve.

Turkey Shawarma with Lemon Tahini

Serves 4-6

3 Tbs. olive oil

1 yellow onion, cut in 1⁄4-inch-thick slices

3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. Hungarian paprika

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided

plenty of fresh black pepper

3 cups leftover turkey, shredded

3/4 cup tahini

1⁄3 cup meyer lemon juice

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup Italian parsley, roughly chopped

3-4 pita rounds, warmed, split in half, and opened

2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced

Heat a large skillet. Add olive oil. When hot but not smoking, sauté onions 1 minute. Add garlic, coriander, paprika, turmeric, cumin, 1 tsp. of the salt (reserve remaining salt for tahini), and plenty of fresh black pepper. Sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add turkey and sauté, stirring frequently for 3-4 minutes over medium-low heat until hot. Transfer to large bowl. Cover to keep warm.

In a separate bowl, whisk tahini, lemon juice, water, and remaining 1⁄2 tsp. salt. Add more water as needed to thin to a warm caramel type thickness. Stir in parsley. Spoon turkey shawarma into warm pita rounds, and snuggle the sliced cucumbers alongside. Drizzle lemon tahini sauce into pita. Serve.

Smashed Potato Curried Latkes

Makes 16-20 latkes

2 eggs

2 tsp. curry powder

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup chopped green onion

3 cups leftover mashed potatoes

2 Tbs. all-purpose flour

Vegetable oil for frying

1 cup sour cream

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, curry, salt and pepper. Add the green onions. Add leftover mashed potatoes, scooping into bowl 1/4 cup at a time to break up the clumps. Stir with a fork until egg is absorbed into potatoes and green onions are distributed. Add flour and stir vigorously until incorporated.

In a 3-quart heavy saucepan, heat 1 inch oil to 375 degrees. Fry mashed potato latkes in 1/4-cup mounds, being careful not to crowd pan. Once in the pan, flatten potato mounds lightly with spatula to form into patties. Cook on medium-low 2-3 minutes until golden. Flip and cook until the other side is golden brown, 1-2 more minutes. Serve with sour cream.

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream with Pomegranate Caramel

Serves 4

1/4 cup pomegranate molasses

1/4 cup bottled caramel sauce (Trader Joe’s Salted Caramel sauce works great)

1 pint vanilla ice cream

1 heaping cup leftover pumpkin pie

(about 1/8 of a 9-inch pie)

4 Tbs. toasted pumpkin seeds

or shelled pistachios

In a 1-cup glass measuring cup, combine the pomegranate molasses and room-temperature caramel. Stir to combine. Store at room temperature.

Let ice cream sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to soften slightly. Scoop ice cream in 1/4-cup scoops into a food processor fitted with paddle attachment. Spoon pumpkin pie on top of ice cream. Mix on low just until pie is folded into ice cream. Refreeze or if you don’t mind slightly goopy ice cream, scoop into bowls.

Serve drizzled with pomegranate caramel. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds or pistachios.

Josie A.G. Shapiro

Josie A.G. Shapiro won the 2013 Man-O-Manischewitz Cookoff and is the co-author of “The Lazy Gourmet.”