Three tasty and scholarly Sephardi Jewish recipes J. – The Jewish News of Northern California

Posted By on August 1, 2021

To eat is to remember. That phrase from Hlne Jawhara Piers Sephardi: Cooking the History sums up the theme of this new book about the culinary heritage of Iberian Jews (before and after the Spanish Inquisition) and their diaspora.

Pier, a historian specializing in medieval history and the history of food, focuses on Sephardic Jewish ingredients, recipes and customs that she has uncovered in sources ranging from Arabic cookbooks to legal documents from the 13th century to today.

These recipes from the book are adapted for style and space, as well as my experience cooking them.

Wash eggplants, prick with a fork and bring to a simmer in a large pot of salted water. Simmer for 20 minutes or until very soft. If the eggplants rise to the surface, place a plate on top to keep submerged. In a saucepan, simmer the onion in salted water for 20 minutes or until very soft.

Drain vegetables and press out as much liquid as possible. Remove eggplants skin. Discard skins, place flesh in a bowl. Add cooked onion. Mash well with a fork. Set aside 5 minutes. Discard any liquid.

Add garlic, oil, 1 tsp. salt and vinegar to eggplant-onion mix. Sprinkle with cheese. Gently mix. Taste and add remaining tsp. salt if desired.

Serve on toast with a drizzle of additional olive oil, or serve warm or cold as a dip or side dish.

Wash chard. Trim stems and chop into -inch pieces. Remove any hard white veins from leaves. Chop leaves into -inch pieces. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Simmer leaves until tender (about 10 minutes). Scoop out of water and drain. Bring water back to boil and simmer stems until tender (about 10 minutes). Drain. Press any excess water out of stems and leaves

Put oil, onions, garlic, salt and pepper into a large skillet. If using meat, add to the pan now. Add the chickpeas and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add chard leaves and stems. Cover pan and cook on low for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Notes: I browned the steak in oil before adding onions. This is the first recipe Piers grandmother taught her.

Put olive oil, onions and garlic in large skillet. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes until golden. Add fish and pour in the lime juice. Add salt and pepper. Cover pan and cook on low for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and chives.

While the fish is cooking, heat the tortillas as desired and keep warm. Serve the fish and vegetables in the tortillas.

Notes: Piers recipe shows how to make homemade tortillas. This is a Passover dish from Mexico.

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Three tasty and scholarly Sephardi Jewish recipes J. - The Jewish News of Northern California

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