A Taste of Catskills Kitsch for Hanukkah

New York City's Kutsher's is successfully breathing new life into Jewish classics like latkes. Get their recipe.
By: Sara Levine
Related To:
Kutsher's Latkes

Having visited the original Kutsher's — the campy Catskills resort said to be the inspiration for Dirty Dancing, dance lessons and talent shows and all — with my grandparents as a kid, I wasn't sure what to expect a year ago when the founders' great-grandson opened up a swanky homage to the place in New York's trendy TriBeCa. Turns out, the urban Kutsher's is successfully breathing new life into Jewish classics like gefilte fish (transformed into delicate quenelles of halibut) and borscht (with the addition of roasted duck, their elevated beet soup made me a borscht believer).

For Hanukkah, I'm turning to Kutsher's for some latke inspiration. They're serving up eight nights of latkes, each night offering different toppings that go far beyond the traditional applesauce-and-sour-cream combo. The first night (December 8) kicks off with pastrami, pear butter and sour cherry. Lox lovers should zone in on the fourth night for chili-cured belly lox, pickled peppers and chipotle cream. Latkes take on an Asian accent on the final night of celebration: think Peking duck, cucumber, scallion and hoisin.

This got me thinking about all the possible ways to top off latkes and take them to a new level at home. Sauteed mushrooms and a dollop of creme fraiche, perhaps? Maybe a spiced fruit compote for a sweet-salty bite? A schmear of fresh pesto with shaved Parmesan on top? Kutsher's shared their basic latke recipe — it's worth the extra time and effort to julienne potatoes on a mandolin if you want them super-crispy — so you can start there and get creative with your toppings. In my mind, there are very few things that wouldn't taste delicious atop a fried potato cake.

Check out 20 top Hanukkah recipes from Cooking Channel. We've got brisket, blintzes, fried doughnuts, lots of latkes and more for eight days of celebration.

Next Up

Heat the Oil for Latkes

Live in New York City? Here are Eden Grinshpan's favorite places you can go to get latkes or jelly donuts (and why you should seek them out).

Hump Day Snack: Sufganiyot (AKA Jelly Doughnuts)

Celebrate Hanukkah -- or any holiday this winter season! -- with these irresistible jelly doughnuts (also called sufganiyot) that are fried until golden brown and filled with raspberry jam.

Hanukkah, Mexican-Style

For a new spin on Hanukkah favorites, try Chef Julian Medina's recipes for Potato-Jalapeno Latkes and Tacos de Brisket.

Sifted: Thanksgiving and Thanksgivukkah Planning

Get Cooking Channel's take on the best in food news, recipes and more from around the web, including pecan pie cheesecake and the best Thanksgivukkah recipes.

Hanukkah Recipes from Cooking Channel

Celebrate the Festival of Lights with Hanukkah classics like potato latkes, brisket and doughnuts.

Hanukkah Menu

Celebrate the Festival of Lights with Hanukkah classics like potato latkes, brisket and doughnuts.

How to Have the Best O.C.-Style Chrismukkah Celebration Ever

Get Chrismukkah recipes and ideas for a Christmas and Hanukkah party like The O.C.


Crazy Cakes

8am | 7c

Crazy Cakes

8:30am | 7:30c

Cake Hunters

9:30am | 8:30c

Cake Hunters

10am | 9c

Cake Hunters

10:30am | 9:30c

Cake Wars

11am | 10c

Cake Wars

12pm | 11c

Cupcake Wars

1pm | 12c
6pm | 5c
7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight
8pm | 7c
9pm | 8c
10pm | 9c
11pm | 10c
12am | 11c
1am | 12c
2am | 1c
3am | 2c
What's Hot
What's Hot

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Sundays 10|9c

So Much Pretty Food Here