Photo Credit: Jewish Press

When Chanukah is mentioned, cool weather, candles, gifts and latkes come to mind. I can’t really help with candles and gifts, but fried goodies are my specialty.

To warm you up, I offer my Celery Root Soup. Rich and creamy, and bursting with winter flavors, this soup is a great starter for any party.


The Sweet Potato Latka Pancakes are a lighter version of the traditional potato latka, and will leave you feeling a lot lighter without compromising on the flavor.

This month’s protein is my signature Smoky Chicken Nuggets. With a hint of smoke, they have a perfect crispy texture and are yet so tender.

Last, doughnuts! Crispy and tender, they are best dipped in chocolate, dusted with powdered sugar or filled with berry preserves or custard.

Hoping these recipes enhance and brighten up your Chanukah holiday!


Celery Root Soup

1 large onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
3 medium potatoes, diced
1 medium celery root, diced
2 ½ cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp kosher salt
Extra salt and pepper, to taste
1 can coconut milk
Oil, for sautéing


Preparation Steps

  1. In a large sauté pan, sauté onion until translucent.
  2. Add garlic, sauté for 25 seconds.
  3. Lower heat to simmer and then add the remaining ingredients, except for the coconut milk. Cook until tender.
  4. Transfer to food processor/blender. Begin blending and add coconut milk. Process till smooth and well puréed.
  5. Adjust seasoning if needed.


Serve warm.

Optional: Garnish with copped nuts, chili or extra virgin olive oil, and dill.



Sweet Potato Pancakes

3 sweet potatoes, approximately 3 lbs
2 tbsp onion powder
½ cup flour
½ tsp baking soda
2 tbsp baking powder
¾ tsp white pepper
6 eggs
2 ½ tbsp kosher salt
½ cup vegetable oil, plus more for frying


Preparation Steps

  1. Grate sweet potatoes.
  2. Mix egg and oil, then slowly add the flour while whisking.
  3. Add in the rest of the dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Add sweet potato. Mix well.
  5. Fill pan with ¼ inch of oil. Shape patties and fry for 2-3 minutes per side, until nicely browned and fully cooked.
  6. Serve with sour cream or applesauce.



Smoky Chicken Nuggets

3 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ cup of vegetable or Canola oil, plus more for frying
1 egg
1¼ tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp onion powder
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cornstarch


Preparation Steps

  1. Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together and then add all wet ingredients except for oil.
  3. Batter should be like a pancake batter; if necessary add small amounts of water to thin batter.
  4. Add chicken and mix until cubes are well-coated.
  5. Fill pan almost ½ way with oil and heat until it shimmers.
  6. Place one piece at a time into oil so they don’t become one large lump.
  7. Fry for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Place on rack or paper towel lined dish and let rest for a few minutes before serving.



Doughnut Dough

4 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar or sugar substitute
1 tbsp kosher salt
4 tsp dry yeast
2 eggs
¼ cup oil
1 + ⅓ cup milk


Preparation Steps

  1. Using a whisk or fork, mix first four ingredients together.
  2. Add wet ingredients, and mix well.
  3. Cover dough with a moist towel.
  4. Let it rise in a warm area for about an hour. Dough should double in volume.
  5. Coat dough with a dusting of flour so that it is manageable. Apply a dusting of flour to the rolling pin and work surface.
  6. Remove a third of the dough. Roll out to approximately ⅓-inch thickness. Dust with flour as necessary.
  7. Using a cookie cutter, cut circle shapes in dough.
  8. Heat ½ -inch oil till shimmering (between 320° and 360° F).
  9. Place each doughnut in oil and fry until each side is well browned.  Place on cookie rack or paper towel to cool.
  10. Fill with your choice of jelly or custard. Top with confectioners sugar or melted chocolate.

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ChefShaul was classically trained at the CKCA in Brooklyn, NY and has experience at some of NY's finest food establishments. Though ChefShaul has an affection for all types of cuisine he has a special soft spot for French and Mediterranean cuisine. Currently, he concentrates on recipe development, including public demos and restaurant consultations. Follow him on Instagram @ChefShaul or Twitter @ChefShaul. You can email him at [email protected].