Part of what makes the traditional Thanksgiving stuffing so irresistible is its delicious blend of lightly crisped top and sides with a tender and moist inside.
Turns out that combination also happens to be the mark of a great fried potato latke, one of the most iconic foods of Hanukkah.
And since this year marks the rare convergence of Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah, we decided to see whether we could unite these classic comfort foods in one dish.
The result is a wonderfully rich stuffing topped by a crispy layer of fried latkes.
And it's good enough that you may want to make it for years to come, regardless of when Hanukkah or Thanksgiving fall on the calendar.
LATKE-CRUSTED APPLE STUFFING
Start to finish: 1 hour 10 minutes (30 minutes active)
2 large russet potatoes
4 eggs, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
Salt and ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored and roughly chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
2 medium apples, peeled and diced
1 large loaf (about 1 pound) challah bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and toasted
2 cups low-sodium chicken or turkey broth or stock
Heat the oven to 350 F. Coat a large casserole dish or a 9-by-13-inch pan with cooking spray.
Into a medium bowl lined with several layers of paper towels or a clean kitchen towel, shred the potatoes. Gather the towels with the potatoes inside and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Discard the liquid, dry the bowl, then return the potatoes to the bowl, removing the towels. Stir in 2 of the eggs, the flour, sage and a hefty pinch each of salt and pepper.
In a large skillet over medium-high, heat 1/4 inch of oil over medium-high. Working in batches, drop the potato mixture in 1/4 cup mounds into the oil, flattening them with the back of a spatula. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the latkes to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining potato mixture.
In a food processor, combine the onion, celery, carrots and green pepper. Pulse until finely chopped.
Drain all but 1/4 cup of the oil from the pan used to cook the latkes. Set the pan over medium heat, then transfer the vegetable mixture to it and cook until lightly browned and tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, then add the chives, apples and challah. Season with a hefty sprinkle each of salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, whisk together the 2 remaining eggs and the broth. Pour over the stuffing mixture and mix well. Spoon the stuffing into the prepared pan. Arrange the latkes over the top. Wrap with foil or cover and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil or cover and continue baking for 10 minutes, or until 165 F in the center.
Nutrition information per serving: 260 calories; 50 calories from fat (19 percent of total calories); 6 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 80 mg cholesterol; 42 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 7 g sugar; 8 g protein; 330 mg sodium.