The Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Network received two stories from our RDNs that celebrate different winter holidays and a recipe from Unidine. Please join us in learning more about two of the many ways to celebrate the winter holidays.
Every Christmas Eve, my family gathers together over a hot raclette grill for hours, eating delicious food and recounting memories from days old and new.
The word, “raclette,” comes from the French word “racler” meaning “to scrape” and refers to the Raclette cheese and the traditional Swiss dish it is served with. Raclette has been said to have originated from the Swiss Alps region where my mom and her family used to live.
The meal itself includes its name-worthy raclette cheese (gruyere is also a good option if you can’t find raclette cheese) in addition to various meats, vegetables, and fresh bread. Traditionally, the meats served with raclette include charcuterie, such as prosciutto and pancetta, and the vegetables include boiled potatoes, cornichons, and pickled onions. Contemporary versions of raclette may also include meats such as steak, chicken, and shrimp and vegetables such as peppers, onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Preparing raclette is fairly simple. It involves prepping and slicing your ingredients and arranging them on the table around the heated raclette grill. When ready to eat, place the raw meat and vegetables on the top of the grill (keeping food safety in mind, cooking to proper temperatures, and using different tongs for turning raw meat and vegetables) and the cheese on the bottom portion of the grill. When ready to serve, scrape the melted raclette cheese on the bread and serve with the cooked meat and vegetables. A raclette dinner can easily take 2+ hours- cooking small batches of food at a time, eating it, and enjoying the communal dining experience. – Brittany Page, RD, Restaurant Associates
Over 40 years ago, when my mom first became a part of my dad’s family, she started participating in his family’s Hanukkah traditions. She had never seen so many latkes being made before. At that time, potatoes were being slowly hand-grated into a bowl. She witnessed how every bit of potato was not to be wasted.
Eventually, my mom volunteered to take over but only if she could do it with a modern twist. She started using a blender to grind up the potatoes! Over the years our family grew, so efficiency was key. We started using a food processor and two frying pans at a time. We fried pounds and pounds of potatoes, which took hours. Everyone waited anxiously for those golden, delicious patties of potato and onion with spoonfuls of homemade applesauce to top them.
Now that our family has grown, even more, I have the next answer to frying those patties even quicker. I bought a six-burner stove. This year I am hosting my first Hanukkah, so six frying pans can do the cooking at a time. I’m looking forward to spending time with family, eating latkes, and our tradition of lighting a dozen menorahs at one time to light up the room and fill it with holiday spirit. – Lauren Widawsky, RDN
- 2 quart water
- 3 tbsp dry yeast baker's
- 1-1/2 cup Honey
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 6 each egg large
- 3 tbsp kosher salt
- 19 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 each egg large
- 3 tbsp poppy seeds optional
- Heat water to 110F and add the yeast to the water and stir.
- Beat in honey, oil, 2/3 of eggs, and salt.
- Add the flour one cup at a time, beating after each addition, graduating to kneading with hands as dough thickens. Knead until smooth and elastic and no longer sticky, adding flour as needed.
- Cover with a damp clean cloth and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until dough has doubled in size.
Kneed and shape dough
- Punch down the risen dough and turn out onto floured board.
- Divide in half and knead each half for five minutes, adding flour as needed to keep from getting sticky.
- Divide each half into thirds and roll into long snake about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
- Pinch the ends of the three snakes together firmly and braid from middle. Either leave as braid or form into a round braided loaf by bringing ends together, curving braid into a circle, pinch ends together.
- Line sheet trays with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Place finished braid or round on sheet trays.
- Cover with towel and let rise about one hour.
Egg was and bake
- Preheat oven to 375 °F
- Beat the remaining 1/3 of eggs and brush a generous amount over each braid.
- Sprinkle with poppy seeds if desired.
- Bake for 40 mins.
- Bread should have a nice hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. Cool on a rack for at least one hour before slicing.