When Moshe Aelyon described his grandmother’s savory, leek infused meatballs to me, I was hooked even before I tasted them. Leeks impart a more interesting and nuanced flavor than other onions. These are a true Turkish specialty.
Kofte de Pirasa (Leek Meat Balls-for Passover)
These Turkish meatballs have been adapted for Passover. They were a much requested Sabbath specialty in Moshe's childhood home in Instanbul.
When guests exclaimed how much they loved them, his grandmother reminded them of how special they were by claiming, "You should have golden teeth to eat these!"
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 3 bunches leeks (9 stalks), washed and chopped
- 1 cup parsley, washed and chopped
- 1/2 cup matzo meal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup matzo cake meal
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Lemon wedges for garnish (optional)
- Cut off the bottom, very dark green, tough portion on each leek.
- Slit each leek vertically from top to bottom and rinse them through each layer.
- Slice the leeks vertically into thin strips and then chop them across finely.
- Place the leeks in a pan with a tight fitting lid. Add water to cover and steam the leeks for about 15 minutes. When they are tender, drain out all the excess water and let them cool completely.
- After the leeks are cool, squeeze out all the remaining water with your hands.
- Combine the steamed leeks with ground beef, 1/2 cup of matzo meal, parsley, and eggs. Season the meat ball mix with salt and pepper.
- Form about 25-27 golf ball size koftes. Roll each kofte in matzo cake meal seasoned with salt and pepper.
- Crack three eggs into a shallow dish and beat them.
- Preheat a large sauté pan and when it is medium high, add oil to about ¼ inch deep.
- Dip each kofte in beaten egg and then place them in the oil to fry until they are golden brown. Only turn each kofte once. Remove them from the oil and drain on paper towel.
- serve with a spritz of fresh lemon juice.
Helpful hints from Moshe:
Mud and grit cling to the inner layers of leeks so be thorough when washing them.
You can steam leeks several days ahead. Keep squeezed out leeks in a container in the refrigerator.
Before frying, roll all the koftes out first and coat all with the cake meal before you start frying. That way, you'll be less rushed and the oil won't overheat.
Lil’ Miss Cakes (aka Melissa Kaye) has outdone herself by creating peanut butter and jelly hamantaschen! Continue reading
I wrestled with my warmest waterproof boots, grabbed my camera and began to hunt for signs of spring last week. There were spots of snow everywhere but some sunnier patches in my yard made way for tufts of bright green shoots. Good thing I was looking then, since temps have plummeted into the Arctic zone in the Northeast this week.
Not even writing this post could prompt me to take off my gloves to click the shutter with bare finger tips when it’s ten degrees out there. Like everything in life, it’s all in the timing.
Since I started writing this blog, I have committed to this ritual of searching for unexpected growth pushing through the frozen land. I love hunting for these subtle early harbingers of spring as we prepare to celebrate Tu Bishvat, the Jewish birthday of the trees. Continue reading
I’m still abuzz from all of the new experiences I had last weekend at the Hazon Food Conference.
Over the course of four jampacked days, I met passionate, articulate and inspiring food, social and environmental activists, Rabbis, educators and students, chefs and home cooks, gardeners, farmers and food producers, writers and filmmakers. Continue reading
Giveaway is now CLOSED. BUT please keep on reading and find the scrumptious recipe at the end of this post.
Sometimes the mere suggestion of a twist on tradition is enough to get me going in the kitchen. And I wasn’t even thinking about Chanukah yet.
On the last day of the outdoor Westport Farmers’ Market in November, organic farmer, Patti Popp of Sport Hill Farm, beckoned me to come check out her pile of brussel sprouts still firmly attached to their stalks.
My focus shifted as I noticed the generous, fan shaped LEAVES fanning out at the tip of these nobby supportive stalks.
THE LEAVES? I had never given them a moment’s notice, and likely had never even seen them before. They were both dusty and vibrant and Patti encouraged me to experiment with these lovelies as wrappers for whatever filling I saw fit. Continue reading
Pumpkin Fritters Recipe and photo: Alessandra Rovati
“Man tracht un Got lacht”.
Man plans and G-d laughs. Sometimes stuff just happens.
After weeks of planning the perfectly timed Chanukah cooking demo and tasting, we needed to postpone it due to unforeseeable circumstances.
I love to share my experiences at compelling culinary events, so you might guess that I had a cool post sketched out. I was just waiting to perk it up with action shots of charming Alessandra barely breaking a sweat while she fried up 50 fritters, tempting close-ups of perfectly crisped, celebratory Italian treats, along with captivating descriptions of the Holy Pumpkin Fritters on the menu.
If the irristable aromas of traditional potato latkes (pancakes) or sufganiyot (doughnuts) reduces your will power to nil, you’ll love these novel and unfamiliar fritters from my blogging buddy, Alessandra Rovati.
contributed by Zachary Sussman.
Michel Murciano, wine maker at Hevron Heights Winery. photo: Bertrand Celce
Chances are that this isn’t the only “Thanksgiving Wine” post you’ll read this year. The yearly roundup of turkey-friendly tipples has become an inevitable fixture of the holiday season, perhaps even a bit of a cliché. And yet, with its nearly schizophrenic hodgepodge of textures and tastes— from sweet to salty and everything in between— the traditional Thanksgiving meal poses a notorious challenge for even the best-intentioned wine pairing efforts.
To wash down your kosher bird with an equally sanctified wine only increases the difficulty— particularly since the familiar regiment of big, tannic Cabs and buttery, oak-driven Chards will all but drown out the wide spectrum of flavors that miraculously cohere at the Thanksgiving table. Continue reading
Here’s the thing about giving a real pro a challenge. When you toss it to the right gal, she’ll take you up on it and even surpass your expectations.
I was wracking this little ol’ brain o’ mine trying to come up with some more edible wonders related to these Autumn holidays. I asked Melissa if she could drum up an idea for something scroll shaped to eat on Simchat Torah.
Scroll shaped treats? No problem!
It’s time to exhale deeply as we approach the joyful holiday of Sukkot. We are in the homestretch of the fall holiday series and the tenor has shifted to lighthearted celebration.
Sukkot punctuates the final harvest of the agricultural season with eight days and nights of celebration and shared meals with family and friends.
photo courtesy of RED BEE HONEY
I tried to avoid this. Really, I did.
I wracked my brain, rustled through my ever expanding kosher cookbook collection and finally through up my hands and yielded to Melissa Roberts, my go-to recipe writer, for a traditional Rosh Hashanah recipe with a twist.
Like you, I was thinking, aren’t there enough honey cake recipes out there, already?
Maybe so, but I’m feeling sentimental about honey cake and here’s why.
I clearly remember the first time I fell for it. D. brought S. home from Boston to share Rosh Hashanah with us. I could see that their love was deep and for real.