Sephardi Recipes in the Sultan's Shadow

In this week’s Forward, food writer Katherine Martinelli travels to Turkey to cook with Selin Rozanes. Her family, like many other Jewish families, likely immigrated to Turkey in the 15th century. Today she preserves the recipes of the Jewish Turkish community by offering cooking classes and leading culinary tours. (Read the complete story here and read about Turkish Shabbat dishes here.)

Below, Rozanes shares her recipes for Beef and Leek Patties and for a zucchini flan below.

Köftes de Prasa
Beef and Leek Patties

3 1/3 pounds of leeks
½ pound minced meat
4 eggs
Salt and pepper

1) Peel the leeks, wash them well, chop and boil them until they are very soft.

2) After they are boiled, press them between your palms as hard as you can to get all the water out. This is very important in order to make the meatballs firm.

3) Put the leeks into the food processor and blend to a soft paste. Then mix together with the minced meat, 2 egg yolks, salt and pepper.

4) Shape into little round flat cakes of about 2 inches wide and dip them in flour on a plate.

5) Dip each patty into beaten egg and lower gently into sizzling oil. Lower the heat, so as not to brown them too quickly, and turn over once.

6) Drain on paper towels and serve hot.

Almodrote de Kalavasa
Zucchini Flan

4½ pounds of zucchini
4 tablespoons on flour
2 eggs
4 tablespoons on olive oil
3½ ounces white (feta) cheese
5 1/3 ounces grated kashar cheese or gruyere
A bunch of dill

1) Peel and grate the zucchini. Press with your hand to squeeze out as much of the juice as you can.

2) Add the mashed feta, grated kashar cheese, finely chopped dill, eggs, salt and oil. Mix well. Add the flour and mix well.

3) Pour the mixture into an oiled 9 by 13 inch baking dish, sprinkle the top with some more grated cheese.

4) Bake at 350ºF for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until lightly colored.

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Sephardi Recipes in the Sultan's Shadow

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