Two Delicious Side Dishes for Hanukkah Perfect for Puree


As Hanukkah comes early this year I thought to include two fantastic recipes from the Jewish kitchen that are perfect for puree.

These are the side dishes that go along with a classically roasted turkey. The first is a chestnut stuffing that goes really well with roast turkey. The puree uses the classic gravy from the Guidebook or the recipe I am giving you from scratch with or without turkey drippings.

The second is a sweet potato latke that is perfect for the holidays.

I am connecting you to the Tori Avey website, for hers is the go-to spot for clean eating from the Jewish kitchen.

A heads up on the cooking method: Instead of frying these latkes, I oven fry them. 

I turn up the oven to 425 degrees, place the latkes on a baking rack so that the air circulates underneath them and they cook on the bottom, and I flash roast for ten minutes or until golden but not crisp. The cooking method does not create crisp edges which are difficult for the puree and the swallow. If you choose to shallow fry these, cook them until golden but not with crispy edges.

Tip: When I make sweet potato latkes, I include two tablespoonsful of sautéed scallions. I like the balance of the savory and sweet.

Also, the pecan drizzle calls for cayenne to spark up the flavor of the drizzle. You may leave out the cayenne if this is not approved by your healthcare provider or if your loved one does not like spice. Also, the drizzle is made from brown sugar. You may substitute maple syrup or even a good dark buckwheat honey for the base of the drizzle instead of the brown sugar. The trick is to make sure the pecans are not dried out in the preparation so that they puree very smoothly in the syrup. This tastes like pralines when done correctly, a sweet bite.

Tip: The recipe for the chestnut stuffing calls for baking the challah bread, the Jewish egg bread, until it is crisp. For the dysphagia patient, I recommend baking the break for less time, until it is golden but not yet crisp. This produces flavor, but the texture is better for the dysphagia patient and produces a better puree.

If you do not wish to roast and peel fresh chestnuts, you may order them from Amazon.


The instructions for the puree are simple.

You may puree the dish when the food comes from the oven and is slightly warmer than room temperature.

You may also prepare the puree from food that has been refrigerated and then warm up the puree in the oven or microwave. Food should be warmed gently, on low heat, say 200 degrees for the oven in an oven safe dish such as Pyrex or Anchor Hocking

You can make two dishes, the turkey, gravy, stuffing and a little cranberry sauce are the main dish puree with the latke puree on the side.

Or, you can puree the latke with the turkey and gravy. This is a nice leftover dish, with the latke taking the place of the bread.

Make these recipes according to directions, then come back to Essential Puree for the directions for the buzz.

For the Puree

Sweet Potato Latke

In the bowl of a food processor or the pitcher of a blender, tear up two slices of turkey, about four ounces. Add a sweet potato latke broken into pieces. Add a half cup of gravy. All these foods should be a little warmer than room temperature. If you like, you can add a teaspoon of your favorite cranberry dressing.

You can make this recipe with or without the pecan drizzle. 

If you make the pecan drizzle, you can puree the latke until smooth with a tablespoon of the drizzle. Make sure the nuts are complete smooth for the swallow.

With contents in the bowl or pitcher, pulse a few times to incorporate ingredients, and then adjust the amount of gravy and give it a buzz to get the desired smoothness and thickness.

Chestnut Stuffing

Shred two slices of turkey, or four ounces of dark meat, if you prefer, one half cup of chestnut stuffing and one quarter cup of gravy, adding enough gravy as you pulse to make a smooth puree of the desired consistency.

Swirl Away!

photo courtesy of Tori Avey