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A Thread That Binds: Intro to Sephardic Food

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 April 2017 at 08:40
I had her try a "finger-tip" sample of the Aleppo pepper last night, and she said that it should be good, indicating that there were no troubles with it. I'll be sure to give it a little more grinding before adding it.

With that in mind, there's probably no actual need to cut the pepper with paprika, but I might do it anyway, just to be safe.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 April 2017 at 06:18
Ron, here's a variation on the theme from Stella's Sephardic Table. It's a bit more complex, but might be well worth the effort; particularly as a side dish for the fish cakes.

Personally, I'd season the flour with salt and white pepper for sure, and might even add some Aleppo pepper just to kick it up a notch.

BTW, something I should have known from my childhood, but which the Sephardic research has highlighted, is that matzoh meal makes a much better breading than plain flour. So, if it's available by you, give it a try.

KARNABIT FRITA
(Cauliflower Florets Stew)

     
1 large cauliflower, about 2 14 pounds

For coating:
½ cup all-purpose flour or matzoh meal
3 eggs, lightly beaten

For shallow frying:
Vegetable or grape-seed oil

For the vegetable base:
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
Reserved cauliflower leaves and stalks
1 large carrot, diced
1 large potato, diced
4 spring onions (scallions), sliced
1 cup peeled, seeded and chopped ripe tomatoes or canned chopped tomatoes
½ tsp sugar
Sea salt and finely ground white pepper
1 cup hot chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbls fresh lemon juice
½ cup hot water

Prep the cauliflower: Cut off the green leaves and stalks from the cauliflower, slice them and reserve for the vegetable base. Break the cauliflower florets off the stem and clean thoroughly by soaking in cold, salted water for 15 minutes. Rinse well and drain. Steam the florets over boiling salted water for about 7 minutes or until just tender. Be careful not to overcook the cauliflower. Refresh with cold water and drain in a colander.

Heat one inch oil in a deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Coat the florets with flour and then with beaten egg, a few at a time. Cook the florets in batches until they are crisp and golden on all sides. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Make the vegetable base: Heat the oil in a large, shallow, oven-to-table casserole over a medium heat. Toss in the onion, reserved cauliflower leaves and stalks, carrot, potato and scallions, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring. Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper and pour in the hot stock. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 39 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the lemon juice and hot water. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Arrange the cauliflower on top of the vegetable base. Cover and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.

To serve: Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until the cauliflower floret tops are crisp and golden brown. Serve piping hot.

But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 April 2017 at 08:26
Excellent, Brook - thanks!

I'll present both to The Beautiful Mrs. Tas, and see which way she wants to go ~
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 April 2017 at 08:58


Lovely soup / starter recipe Brook .. And may I add, extraordinarily healthy too ..

Thank you for posting ..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 April 2017 at 04:18
Well, ya know, Margi, Sephardic food is essentially Mediterranean. Which, by and large, is inherently healthy.

This particular dish originated on the Isle of Rhodes, where it was often served as a vegetarian main dish.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 April 2017 at 04:52
Brook, 

Definitely Mediterranean and simply such a varied versatile and  an amazingly aromatic group of cuisines too.  Spanish Sephardic,  Moroccan Sephardic, Italian, Greek, Turkish, Egyptian,  Southern  French, Portuguese, Lebanese, Syrian, Israeli etcetra ..

It has been making a huge comeback particulary in  Toledo, Spain, 50 kilometres south of Madrid.

The common factors that link these Sephardic Dishes are:  The Combining of a protein source with fresh fruit. 

Another is the use of dried fruits and protein ..  ( Figs, Dates, Walnuts, Almonds, Pistachios etcétera.)


Of course the avoidance of Pork Products, or combining dairy products with meat products.


I would love to do the Dried Apricot & Apple Chicken ..  Gorgeous recipe  ..  

It is on the list ..  I shall let you know when I prepare to make it .. For May 15th, a bank holiday celebrating " The Homage to Farmers & Shepherds " ( Saint Isidore / Saint Isidro ) .. 

Dried apricots are a staple here .. I have to re-read your recipe !! 

Truly an amazingly spectacular grouping of récipes. You should really author a book !  And you could  put on PDF in Spanish, French,  Italian and German as well / and any other Language you have preferences for ..

The selling on Amazon shall always produce income ..

   
Have a wonderful Holiday.

Kind regards.
Margi.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 April 2017 at 09:06
Originally posted by HistoricFoodie HistoricFoodie wrote:

Although I’ve continued exploring Sephardic cuisine, I admit to being remiss in posting recipes. Partly I’ve been busy, and partly I’m not sure if members are finding them useful.
     
However, I just made Keftes De Peshkado; Sephardic fish cakes from the Island of Rhodes. And I can state with no fear of contradiction that these are the best fish cakes I’ve ever eaten. So figured I better share.

Given the current prices of fish, not only are these incredibly tasty, they’re affordable as well. Using salmon and cod as the fish, the protein cost came to only 62 cents each. Being generous, with the other ingredients, we’re probably talking 75 cents each for the finished cakes.

Two comments: Using the author’s suggestion, I measured with a 1 ¾” disher. Three of them make a reasonable portion (although Friend Wife and I were content with just two each). I also seasoned the dusting flour with salt and white pepper.

Here’s the recipe:

KEFTES DE PESHKADO
(Rhodian Fish Cakes)


1 stalk celery in chunks     
½ carrot in chunks
1 ½ tsp fresh lemon juice     
3 black peppercorns
1 tsp salt     
Handful of parsley stems
1 lb 2 oz mixed fish filets (hake, salmon, cod, etc.)
5 oz potatoes     
A few fresh dill stalks
1 tbls olive oil     
1 egg lightly beaten
1 tbls scallion, finely chopped     
1 ½ tbls finely chopped parsley
1 tbls finely chopped dill     
½ tsp salt
Pinch white pepper

For coating:     
½ cup white flour     
1-2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup bread crumbs or matzoh meal

Oil for frying plus 1 tbls butter

Put the celery, carrot, lemon juice, peppercorns, salt and parsley stalks in a pan of boiling water. Reduce to a simmer. Add the fish and cook for 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily. Flake fish with fingers, discarding any skin or bones. Chop carrot finely.

Simmer the potatoes with dill stalks in salted water until they are tender. Drain, remove dill, and mash or pass through a ricer. Mix in the olive oil.

Combine fish with the potato, carrot, egg, scallions, dill, parsley, salt and pepper.

Shape the fish into balls about the size of an egg and flatten slightly. Or use a 1 ¾” disher. Dip cakes into flour, then egg, then matzoh meal. Transfer to a tray and chill, covered, until ready to fry.

Heat 1” of oil and the butter. Fry cakes, in batches, until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on a rack or paper towels. Serve hot.


We had this for supper last night - and yes, you folks do need to try it!

We prepared ours with cod and tilapia, and the results were very good. My #3 son, Mike, made them while The Beautiful Mrs. Tas and I were on our way home from work, and he did a pretty good job.I really liked the way that the carrot and celery provided a nice balance to the fish; the dill, lemon, pepper and scallions were also a very nice touch. This dish comes together really nicely, and I can't help but continue to think that Sephardic cuisine is among the best undiscovered cuisines that one could hope to find.

The rest of the family really enjoyed them, as well - their only criticism was that the fish cakes could have had a little salt and/or lemon at serving. My solution: a salt and pepper shaker, and lemon wedges.

Very, very good stuff, Brook - thank you for the introduction to this!

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 April 2017 at 06:28
Ron,  

What did you use to bread your fish ?

Yes, I believe, a couple of pinches of salt / black pepper options, would be obvious .. 



Have a lovely weekend.

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2018 at 08:34
Hi, Margi -

We purchased some Matzoh meal so that we could use that to bread the fish; it worked pretty well!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2018 at 08:41
Chraime (Aharaime)

I recently came across yet another Sephardic dish that looks really good; one that will most likely be attempted during Lent, this year.

Author and food columnist Joan Nathan introduced this dish to me:

Quote On my last trip to Israel, I spent a few days at Uri Buri’s Efendi Hotel, renovated from two Pasha’s palaces in the old city of Akko. I had heard of the legendary Uri Buri, a larger-than-life presence whose name is synonymous with seafood and fish.... While we ate, he came to join us, sharing stories about the comings and goings from the port of Akko, from the Bible to modern times.

One of the tastiest dishes was what [he] calls “Uri Buri’s Chraime.” Chraime, also called Aharaime, is a spicy fish dish served by Libyan Jews, and many other North Africans from Tunisia and Algeria, almost every Friday night for Shabbat dinner.


Here is the recipe, straight from Akko:

Quote Uri Buri’s Chraime

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large carrots, cut in rounds
8 celery stalks with leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 hot green pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 hot red pepper, thinly sliced
10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon paprika (hot, sweet, or a blend of both)
3 cups fish stock, approximately
2 pounds red grouper, snapper, sea bass, arctic char or salmon filets, cut into 4 to 6 pieces
Pinch of coarse salt
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy frying pan with a cover and add the carrots and celery. Stir for about 5 minutes then add the hot peppers, garlic, salt, turmeric, and paprika.

2. Add 1 cup of the fish stock and the fish filets, making sure that each piece of the fish has enough room to lie on the bottom of the pan.

3. Add enough stock to cover the sides of the fish, without covering them completely, and bring to a boil. Then, cover and simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes or until almost cooked. Check periodically to ensure there is still liquid in the pan. If necessary, add a little more fish stock.

4. When the fish is nearly done cooking, remove fish to a plate. Reduce the sauce, until it becomes thicker, by about half. Then, add the fish back to the pan, garnish with the chopped cilantro, and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

http://www.tabletmag.com/recipes-2/251277/uri-buris-chraime
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2018 at 08:57

My my  Brook ..

I am speechless ..  

You must write a book !

This is simply incredibly amazingly astonishly ..

Thank you for posting it ..  

The récipes are awe inspiring especially the chicken with yogurt ..  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2018 at 10:11
Thanks for the compliment, Margi.

But.....(there's always a "but")

Ron actually posted it.

I do, however, agree. It sounds fantastic, and is going high on my to-try list. Soon as I finish my exploration of Georgian food.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 March 2018 at 06:48
Brook and Ron,

Please convince Brook to write a book on subject perhaps divided by parts of the world or countries ..

Amazing !

Have a lovely day ..  Must try a few of these ..

I really only cook at the weekends as I work the rest of the week and do lunch out on laboral days most of the time ..  

As you know a 3 course, pre fixe lunch runs approx.  10 euros to 13 or 14 euros (Depends on where one goes ) ..

And I am not home after 12pm or 13.00 so it is difficult to prepare a lunch at 10.30am !  I eat very very light. to hold me over until I return home ..  And usually only a protein source and salad ..  


 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 September 2018 at 14:02
Brook -

I found this recipe on Tori Avey's blog; it's quite similar to a couple of other recipes you have, but also unique in its own right, so I am including it here. I think it's one that you might like. I am including the link at the bottom of the recipe, which leads to a nice write-up and photos.

Originally posted by Tori Avey Tori Avey wrote:



I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “walking encyclopedia” to describe someone with a vast amount of knowledge. You’d be hard pressed to find somebody more suited to this moniker than Gil Marks, author of The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. Gil may be considered the world’s foremost expert on the history of Jewish cuisine. He has made culinary history his life’s work, studying the origins and evolution of the foods we eat....

Here is Gil’s recipe from the Encyclopedia of Jewish Food for Keftes de Prassa – Sephardic Leek Patties. These fried patties are a traditional Rosh Hashanah food in Sephardic communities in the Middle East and Mediterranean. They are seriously tasty! Of the dish, Gil says:

Sephardim serve keftes as an appetizer, side dish, or main course as both weekday fare and holiday food. Keftes, being fried, make an ideal Hanukkah food. Leeks, or spinach keftes, are traditional on Rosh Hashanah or Passover.


Gil Marks' Keftes de Prassa
Sephardic Leek Patties



Ingredients

2 lbs leeks (6-10 medium sized, white and green parts only)
1 cup mashed potatoes or 1 lb. ground lamb or 1/3 cup ground walnuts
1/2 cup matzo meal or bread crumbs (or more if needed - use matzo meal if making for Passover)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
2-4 cloves garlic, mashed
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper, or more to taste
1/4-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, chili flakes, or cayenne (optional)
Lemon wedges (optional)


Halve the leeks lengthwise.

Slice the halved leeks thinly.

Rinse the sliced leeks thoroughly.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the leeks, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until very tender, about 20 minutes.

Drain the leeks and let cool. Squeeze out excess liquid.

In a large bowl, combine the leeks, potatoes, and matzo meal.

Add the eggs, 1 tbsp of oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and additional seasoning (if using). If the mixture is too soft to form patties, add a little more matzo meal or form the loose mixture into clumps and dredge them in matzo meal or bread crumbs to flatten.

For each patty, shape 3-4 tbsp of leek mixture into an oval 2 1/2 inches long, 1 inch wide, and 1/2 inch thick, with tapered ends (like a football).

In a large skillet, heat about 1/2 inch oil over medium-high heat till hot enough for frying. Fry the patties in batches, turning once, until golden brown on both sides-- about 3 minutes per side.

Drain the fried patties on paper towels.

Serve hot or at room temperature, accompanied, if desired, with the lemon wedges.

https://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/gil-marks-keftes-de-prassa-sephardic-leek-patties/
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