Keftes De Prasa and Keftes de Espinaca

Turkish Leek and Spinach Croquettes

By Gilda Angel

Published September 26, 2011.
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12 large leeks
3 matzas or 4 slices bread
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup shopped walnuts (optional)
matza meal
vegetable oil for frying
juice of 2 lemons (about 4 tablespoons)

1) Wash leeks well to remove sand. Cut off and discard roots and tough outer leaves. Cut remaining parts crosswise into thin slivers and place in large bowl of cold water. Change water several times. Drain well.

2) Place leeks in deep saucepan with water to cover. Cover and boil until tender, 45-50 minutes. Drain and set aside until leaks are cool enough to handle. Take handfuls of cooked leeks and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

3) Soak matzas in cold water about 5 minutes. Squeeze out as much water as possible.

4) In large bowl, mix leeks, matzas, eggs, salt, pepper, and nuts. Mixture should be thick enough to form into patties. If mixture is too mushy, add matza meal, one tablespoon at a time, until mixture is easy to handle.

5) Form into patties about 2 inches in diameter and ½-inch thick. Add in matza meal and fry in hot oil until golden on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Refrigerate until ready to serve, or sprinkle with lemon juice and serve at once.

6) To reheat, place keftes in baking pan and sprinkle with lemon juice. Put in oven at 250 degrees for 20-30 minutes at 250 degrees.

Variation: As an alternative to warming keftes with lemon juice, reheat in sauce made by combining ½ cup tomato cause, ¼ cup water, and juice of lemon. Pour sauce over keftes and heat in 250 F oven 30 minutes.

Keftes de Espinaca (Spinach Croquettes)

3 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
dash pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 cup matza meal or bread crumbs
vegetable oil for frying

1) Squeeze as much liquid from spinach as possible. (Reserve liquid for use in a soup or stew.

2) In large bowl, combine drained spinach, eggs, salt, pepper, onion, parsley, and matza meal. Mix well.

3) Form into croquettes about 3 inches in diameter. In skillet, heat ¼ cup oil. Fri several keftes 1 at a time in hot oil, turning to brown both sides. Add additional oil to fry remaining keftes. Drain on paper towels and serve warm. Note: Keftes may be reheated. Place in 250 F oven 20 minutes. Variation: For dairy meals, add 1 cup grated Cheddar or Muenster cheese to spinach mixture and fry as directed.


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