Tag Archives: Judeo-Arabic

The Seder gift that is (really) “Too Good To Passover!”

Now that Purim is over, the countdown for Passover has begun! If you are hosting a Seder or invited to one as a guest, don’t forget to make Too Good To Passover a part of your holiday.

Please spread the word to your friends, colleagues, and family.
(And thank you for leaving a book review! 🙂 )

CLICK HERE TO ORDER in the U.S.A.

For those of you outside of the U.S. you can order my book and have it shipped directly from the local Amazon in the following countries:

CANADA
FRANCE
SPAIN
ITALY
GERMANY
U.K. & IRELAND
NETHERLANDS

Thank you,

JenniferAbadi_small

Jennifer

About Too Good To Passover
Too Good To Passover is the first Passover cookbook specializing in traditional Sephardic, Judeo-Arabic, and Central Asian recipes and customs (covering both pre- and post-Passover rituals) appealing to Sephardic, Mizrahic, and Ashkenazic individuals who are interested in incorporating something traditional yet new into their Seders.

A compilation of more than 200 Passover recipes from 23 Jewish communities, this cookbook-memoir provides an anthropological as well as historical context to the ways in which the Jewish communities of North Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean, and Middle East observe and enjoy this beloved ancient festival.

In addition to full Seder menus, Passover-week recipes, and at least one “break-fast” dish, each chapter opens up with the reflections of a few individuals from that region or territory. Readers can learn about the person’s memories of Passover as well as the varying customs regarding pre-Passover rituals, including cleaning the home of all hametz or “leavening,” Seder customs (such as reenacting the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt), or post-Passover celebrations, such as the Moroccan Mimouneh for marking the end of the week-long “bread fast.” These customs provide a more complete sense of the cultural variations of the holiday.

Too Good To Passover is a versatile and inspiring reference cookbook, appealing to those who may want to do a different “theme” each Passover year, with possibly a Turkish Seder one year, or Moroccan one the next.

See inside my book! Sample Spreads:

TooGoodToPassover_InteriorSpread_Iraq_1

TooGoodToPassover_InteriorSpread_Iraq_2TooGoodToPassover_InteriorSpread_Iraq_3TooGoodToPassover_JAbadi_KINDLE_cover_AFRICA_blog_outlined

The following 3 e-booklets are
also available on Amazon
:
E-BOOKLET 1: Seder Menus and Memories from AFRICA
(Pages 1-223/Chapters 1-6:
Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia)

E-BOOKLET 2: Seder Menus and Memories from ASIA
(Pages 225-473/Chapters 7-13:
Afghanistan & Bukharia, India, Iran, Iraq, Syria & Lebanon, Turkey, Yemen)

E-BOOKLET 3: Seder Menus and Memories from EUROPE
(Pages 475-665/Chapters 14-18:
Bulgaria & Moldova, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal & Gibraltar)

Jennifer_WritingRecipe_3BW

About Jennifer Abadi
Jennifer Abadi lives in New York City and is a researcher, developer, and preserver of Sephardic and Judeo-Arabic recipes and food customs. A culinary expert in the Jewish communities of the Middle East, Mediterranean, Central Asia, and North Africa, Jennifer teaches cooking at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) and at the Jewish Community Center Manhattan (JCC). She also offers private lessons and works for a variety of clients in the New York City area as a personal chef. In addition, Jennifer provides Jewish food and culture tours on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Her first cookbook-memoir, A Fistful of Lentils: Syrian-Jewish Recipes From Grandma Fritzie’s Kitchen is a collection of recipe and stores from her family. Too Good To Passover is her second cookbook.

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“Too Good To Passover” Book-Signings and Talks

“Too Good To Passover” Cookbook
Talk, Signing and Haroset Tasting

WHEN:
Sunday, March 4
11:15 am-1 pm

WHERE:
Glen Rock Jewish Center
682 Harristown Road
Glen Rock, NJ

EVENT: 
$5 entrance fee for non-Sisterhood Members;
Food donations for the local shelter welcome.

Signed copies of my new cookbook
“Too Good To Passover:
Seder Menus & Memories from
Africa, Asia, and Europe”
will be on sale following the talk
(cash preferred;  payment by check
or Chase QuickPay also accepted)

The following 3 tastes will be served:
(KOSHER: Parve)

Moroccan Haroset
(Cinnamon Dusted Date-Raisin “Truffles”
with Walnuts, Rolled in Cinnamon

Syrian Haroset
(Apricot Spread with Pistachios,
and Orange Blossom Water)

Portuguese Haroset
(Raisin and Banana Spread with Pistachios,
Ginger, Allspice, and Sangria)

RSVP:
sisterhood@grjc.org

 

“Too Good To Passover” Cookbook
Talk & Signing

WHEN:
Sunday, March 11
2—4 pm

WHERE:
Kehila Kedosha Janina
280 Broome Street

EVENT: 
Entrance FREE!
Signed copies of my new cookbook
“Too Good To Passover:
Seder Menus & Memories from
Africa, Asia, and Europe”
will be on sale following the talk
(cash preferred; check and PayPal
also accepted)

Kosher refreshments will be served.

RSVP:
museum@kkjsm.org
516-456-9336

 

“Too Good To Passover” Sephardic Seder
Cooking Class
(Meat/NOT KOSHER)

Each student will receive a signed copy
of my new cookbook:
“Too Good To Passover:
Seder Menus & Memories
from Africa, Asia, and Europe!”

WHEN:
Monday, March 12
10 am-2:30 pm

WHERE:
ICE (the Institute of Culinary Education)
225 Liberty Street

MENU:
Syrian Haroset with Dried Apricots, Pistachios,
and Orange Blossom Water

Moroccan Haroset “Truffles” with Dates,
Raisins, and Walnuts

Iranian Chicken Soup with
Chickpea Dumplings

Moroccan Potato Pie
Stuffed with Spiced Beef

Algerian Fish Dumplings
with Tomatoes & Fresh Coriander

Moroccan Stewed Prunes with Onions,
Cinnamon, and Roasted Almonds

Persian Pistachio Cake
wtih Cardamom Syrup

Italian Macaroons with
Almonds and Pignoli Nuts

TO REGISTER:
recreational.ice.edu
800.522.4610

 

“Too Good To Passover” Cookbook
Talk, Signing and Haroset Tasting

WHEN:
Sunday, March 18
4—5:30 pm

WHERE:
SAJ (The Society for the Advancement of Judaism)
15 West 86th Street
(Between Central Park West & Columbus Avenues)

EVENT:
Entrance FREE!
(Donations welcome to support learning at
SAJ’s Makom and Pela family education programs.)
Signed copies of my new cookbook
“Too Good To Passover:
Seder Menus & Memories from
Africa, Asia, and Europe”
will be on sale following the talk
(cash preferred;  payment by check
or Chase QuickPay also accepted)

MENU: The following 3 tastes will be served:
(KOSHER STYLE: Parve/Non-dairy)

Moroccan Haroset
(Cinnamon Dusted Date-Raisin “Truffles”
with Walnuts, Rolled in Cinnamon

Syrian Haroset
(Apricot Spread with Pistachios,
and Orange Blossom Water)

Portuguese Haroset
(Raisin and Banana Spread with Pistachios,
Ginger, Allspice, and Sangria)

QUESTIONS:
thesaj.org

REGISTER:
SAJ Registration Page

 

Sephardic Vegetarian Seder
Cooking Class

(Kosher: Dairy/Vegetarian)

Signed copies of my new cookbook
“Too Good To Passover:
Seder Menus & Memories from
Africa, Asia, and Europe”
will be on sale following the talk
(cash preferred;  payment by check
or Chase QuickPay also accepted)

WHEN:
Monday, March 19th
7-9:30 pm

WHERE:
JCC Manhattan
(Jewish Community Center)
334 Amsterdam Ave @76th Street

MENU:
Greek Haroset with Black Raisins, Oranges,
Walnuts, and Apple Cider Vinegar

Turkish Matzah Spread with Feta Cheese,
Paprika, Garlic, and Mint

Italian Matzah “Lasagna” with Crushed Tomatoes,
Basil, and Pot Cheese

Sephardic Carrot Salad with Cumin,
Raisins and Saffron

Egyptian Macaroons with
Toasted Walnuts, Pecans, and Dates

TO REGISTER:
jccmanhattan.org
646. 505.5713

 

Egyptian Passover Tasting & Demo Fundraiser
for the JDC (Jewish Joint Distribution Committee)


EVENT:
Suggested donation: $180/person
(fully tax deductible!)
—Your donation for this event will secure
your registration, while allowing the JDC to provide
lifesaving support and food for one of the poorest
Jews in the world for 8 months!

A signed copy of my new cookbook
“Too Good To Passover:
Seder Menus & Memories from
Africa, Asia, and Europe”
is included with your donation/registration!

WHEN:
Monday, March 26th
6-7:30 pm

WHERE:
450 West 17th Street
Social Room on 14th Floor

MENU: The following tastes will be
served 
(KOSHER: Dairy/Vegetarian):

THE FOLLOWING WILL BE DEMONSTRATED
AND SERVED:
Beignets de Fromage:
Matzah-Cheese Fritters with Honey & Silan

THE FOLLOWING TASTES WILL BE SERVED:
Moroccan Haroset Date-Raisin “Truffles” Rolled in Cinnamon
Syrian Apricot Haroset with Pistachios and Orange Blossom Water
Italian Date-Banana Haroset with Oranges, Cinnamon and Cloves

TO REGISTER:
Donate.JDC.org

TO REGISTER:
Please contact Tarang Jagota
tarang.jagota@jdc.org

“Too Good To Passover” Cookbook Now Available!

Dear Friends,

Happy new year!

After 9 years of doing research, conducting interviews, and developing recipes, I am happy to announce that my new cookbook: Too Good To Passover: Sephardic & Judeo-Arabic Seder Menus and Memories from Africa, Asia and Europe is finally available!

I appreciate your support by following my blog these last few years.
Please help me to make this cookbook a success by ordering a copy on Amazon,
and spreading the word to your friends, colleagues, and family.
The more books I sell, the better ranking it will have!

CLICK HERE TO ORDER!

For those of you outside of the U.S. you can order my book and have it shipped directly from the local Amazon in the following countries:

CANADA
FRANCE
SPAIN
ITALY
GERMANY
U.K. & IRELAND
NETHERLANDS

I am now scheduling talks and book-signing events for the winter and early spring leading up to Passover. If any of you know any journalists I could send a review copy to, or have connections with any radio shows or TV networks for me to discuss my book, please let me know.

Thank you,

JenniferAbadi_small

Jennifer

About Too Good To Passover
Too Good To Passover is the first Passover cookbook specializing in traditional Sephardic, Judeo-Arabic, and Central Asian recipes and customs (covering both pre- and post-Passover rituals) appealing to Sephardic, Mizrahic, and Ashkenazic individuals who are interested in incorporating something traditional yet new into their Seders.

A compilation of more than 200 Passover recipes from 23 Jewish communities, this cookbook-memoir provides an anthropological as well as historical context to the ways in which the Jewish communities of North Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean, and Middle East observe and enjoy this beloved ancient festival.

In addition to full Seder menus, Passover-week recipes, and at least one “break-fast” dish, each chapter opens up with the reflections of a few individuals from that region or territory. Readers can learn about the person’s memories of Passover as well as the varying customs regarding pre-Passover rituals, including cleaning the home of all hametz or “leavening,” Seder customs (such as reenacting the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt), or post-Passover celebrations, such as the Moroccan Mimouneh for marking the end of the week-long “bread fast.” These customs provide a more complete sense of the cultural variations of the holiday.

Too Good To Passover is a versatile and inspiring reference cookbook, appealing to those who may want to do a different “theme” each Passover year, with possibly a Turkish Seder one year, or Moroccan one the next.

See inside my book! Sample Spreads:

TooGoodToPassover_InteriorSpread_Iraq_1

TooGoodToPassover_InteriorSpread_Iraq_2TooGoodToPassover_InteriorSpread_Iraq_3TooGoodToPassover_JAbadi_KINDLE_cover_AFRICA_blog_outlined

The following 3 e-booklets are
also available on Amazon
:

E-BOOKLET 1: Seder Menus and Memories from AFRICA
(Pages 1-223/Chapters 1-6:
Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia)

E-BOOKLET 2: Seder Menus and Memories from ASIA
(Pages 225-473/Chapters 7-13:
Afghanistan & Bukharia, India, Iran, Iraq, Syria & Lebanon, Turkey, Yemen)

E-BOOKLET 3: Seder Menus and Memories from EUROPE
(Pages 475-665/Chapters 14-18:
Bulgaria & Moldova, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal & Gibraltar)

Jennifer_WritingRecipe_3BW

About Jennifer Abadi
Jennifer Abadi lives in New York City and is a researcher, developer, and preserver of Sephardic and Judeo-Arabic recipes and food customs. A culinary expert in the Jewish communities of the Middle East, Mediterranean, Central Asia, and North Africa, 
Jennifer teaches cooking at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) and at the Jewish Community Center Manhattan (JCC). She also offers private lessons and works for a variety of clients in the New York City area as a personal chef. In addition, Jennifer provides Jewish food and culture tours on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Her first cookbook-memoir, A Fistful of Lentils: Syrian-Jewish Recipes From Grandma Fritzie’s Kitchen is a collection of recipe and stores from her family. Her second cookbook, Too Good To Passover is her second cookbook.

Searching for a Jewish past through recipes with Jewish roots.

HeleneJawharaPiner_4_blog_MohamedJawhara

Photo by Mohamed Jawhara

This past October, I received an email from HĂ©lène Jawhara-Piñer, a young French woman with Spanish roots (on her father’s side) who was preparing her doctorate in Bordeaux, a city with the largest Sephardic community in France. Helene explained to me that she was focusing on the Arab culinary heritage of 13th and 14th century Andalusian Spain, and by translating original Arabic and Spanish recipes and manuscripts from this same era she was hoping to trace the ways in which Arab Muslims, Catholics, and Jews once shared recipes and cooking techniques, finding where they diverged, and how they transformed dishes into ones still prepared today. I was very curious about HĂ©lène’s area of study, as it overlapped with my own personal and professional interests in Judeo-Arabic and Sephardic cooking, and as a result the two of us became instant pen pals, writing back and forth about recipes, ingredients, and cooking techniques. After corresponding for about six months, HĂ©lène decided to come to New York City to cook with me in the days leading up to Passover to learn some hands-on techniques of the Sephardic foods I was preparing for clients as well as for my own two Seders (which she also attended, along with her husband).

HeleneJawharaPiner_3_blog_MohamedJawhara
Photo by Mohamed Jawhara

While in New York City, HĂ©lène further related to me how a few years ago she learned from an uncle on her father’s side that they once had Jewish family living in 14th century Spain, changed their name to Piñer (likely based upon their agricultural business in pine trees), a common practice forced upon Jews at this time. This knowledge of her own Jewish past sparked a personal interest in recipes that like she, had Jewish roots. Now the detective, HĂ©lène began sifting through hundreds of recipes from this time period kept in the university’s library in search of those that either mentioned explicitly that they were Jewish (which was rare), inferred a Jewish origin according to ingredients used or more interestingly left out due to the laws of kashrut (such as using beef in a dish normally using pork, or vegetables like eggplant to replace meat all together, or olive oil in place of butter in a dish that also contained  meat), or used a particular technique (such as cooking a covered, single-pot dish for a long time in a low heat) indicating Shabbat.

During her visit, HĂ©lène and I decided to recreate one particular recipe that she had translated from Arabic into French. The recipe was very general, written more like a long paragraph, using vague words like “spices” and “aromatics” in the ingredients list. HĂ©lène explained that in her research she noticed that recipes from southern Spain and North Africa frequently used cinnamon, ground ginger, black pepper, and cumin, while aromatics likely referred to fresh coriander leaves (parsley was a later addition used mostly by Christians in places like Italy), bay leaves, onion juice, fresh mint, pine nuts, rosewater, and the leaves, skin, and pulp of an etrog — a Biblical fruit in the citrus family resembling a large bumpy lemon (something still used symbolically during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, an agricultural festival marking the end of the wheat harvest in the Land of Israel).

What fascinated me most was when Hélène explained that while Jews who remained in Southern Spain were forced to alter their dishes and ways of cooking so as to hide from the authorities of the Inquisition, those who fled to nearby Morocco were able to continue their original cooking techniques because they were protected (which ultimately preserved these recipes in exile). By examining traditional Moroccan recipes that continue to be prepared today by Sephardic Jews in the diaspora (outside of Spain), we can better learn about how these dishes were originally prepared then (before Jews, and ultimately Muslims, were forced to convert or leave).

The following is the recipe from which HĂ©lène and I based our own creation. For those of you who know Arabic, you will see the word Yehudiy’yeh in its title (the second word reading from right to left), which describes this style of dish as “Jewish”:

PlatoJudio_Recipe_Helene_1A_blog

Plato JudĂ­o Relleno Oculto
(Jewish Style Layered & Stuffed Omelet Cake with “Hidden” Meatballs)

Yield: Serves 10 / Makes one 10-inch pie

INGREDIENTS:

For Ground Meat Layer:
1ÂĽ pounds ground beef
ÂĽ cup coarsely chopped fresh coriander leaves
½ cup coarsely grated (not chopped) yellow or white onions
2 teaspoons rosewater
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons cold water
ÂĽ teaspoon ground cinnamon
ÂĽ teaspoon ground ginger
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt (if using kosher meat use only ¼ to ½ teaspoon)
ÂĽ teaspoon coarsely ground fresh black pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (for frying)
2 bay leaves

For Meatball Layer:
1ÂĽ pounds ground beef
ÂĽ cup finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
½ cup coarsely grated (not chopped) yellow or white onions
2 teaspoons rosewater
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons cold water
ÂĽ teaspoon ground cinnamon
ÂĽ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt (if using kosher meat use only ¼ to ½ teaspoon)
ÂĽ teaspoon coarsely ground fresh black pepper

ÂĽ cup matzah cake meal (for rolling meatballs before frying)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (for frying)

For Omelet Layer #1:
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
ÂĽ teaspoon kosher salt
ÂĽ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons reserved oil from fried meatballs (or use extra virgin olive oil), for frying

For Omelet Layer #2:
5 large eggs, lightly beaten

For Topmost Egg Layer:
1 dozen large eggs, lightly beaten
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon rosewater

For Serving:
Coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
Toasted pine nuts and pistachios, coarsely chopped
Ground cinnamon

STEPS:

Prepare the Ground Meat Layer:
1. Combine all ground meat ingredients (except the bay leaves and oil) in a medium mixing bowl, squeezing together with your hands until smooth and soft.

2. Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet (preferably nonstick) over high heat for 1 minute. Add the bay leaves and fry for 30 seconds.

3. Add the ground meat in small amounts, breaking it up with the edge of the spoon so that meat cooks evenly and without large clumps. Cook until brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour into a bowl and set aside to cool. Clean and dry the same skillet to use for the meatballs.

PlatoJudio_1_blog

Prepare the Meatballs Layer:
4. Combine all meatball ingredients (except the matzah cake flour and oil) in a mixing bowl, squeezing together with your hands until smooth and soft.

5. Scoop out 1 level tablespoon of the meat mixture and roll it into a smooth, even ball (you can lightly wet your palms with cold water to prevent balls from sticking to your hands). Place the ball onto a large tray or platter, and continue in this manner until all of the meat mixture has been used up.

6. Place the tray of meatballs and a small bowl of the matzah cake flour before you, just to the side of the stove where you will be frying. Warm 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet (preferably non-stick) over high heat for 1 minute, then roll a meatball in the matzah cake flour and gently place it into the hot oil. Fill the skillet with several meatballs and fry each one until dark brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. As each meatball is browned, place it onto a separate tray or platter until all the meatballs have been fried. Being careful not to splatter and burn yourself, pour the hot oil into a ceramic or heatproof glass bowl and set aside to reuse for the omelets.

PlatoJudio_2_blogPlatoJudio_3_blog

Prepare Omelet Layer #1:
7. Combine all the ingredients (except the oil) for the first omelet in a medium bowl.

8. Warm 2 tablespoons of the reserved oil from the meatballs (or fresh extra virgin olive oil if you prefer) in a nonstick 10-inch skillet over high heat. Pour the egg mixture into the hot skillet and fry until firm on top and slightly curled along the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off heat and using a spatula, gently slide the omelet out onto a dinner plate or platter and set aside until needed. (Keep the oil remaining in the skillet to be used for the second omelet.)

PlatoJudio_4_blog

Prepare Omelet Layer #2:
9. Reheat the pan with whatever oil remaining in it over a high heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Pour the 5 beaten eggs for this second omelet into the hot skillet and cook until firm on top and slightly curled along the edges, 3 to 5 minutes (like the first one). Turn off the heat, and leave this omelet in the skillet to serve as the bottom layer.

Prepare Topmost Egg Layer:
10. Combine all the ingredients for the topmost egg layer in a medium bowl and set aside.

Assemble the Pie Layers:
11. Pour cooked ground meat evenly over the omelet remaining in the bottom
of the skillet.

PlatoJudio_5_blog

12. Gently slide Omelet Layer #1 (that you have sitting on a plate on the side)
on top of this ground meat layer.

PlatoJudio_6_blog

13. Arrange each meatball on top of this second omelet layer so that the omelet
is evenly covered (it is okay if there are spaces between the meatballs).

PlatoJudio_7_blog

14. Pour the Topmost Egg Layer mixture evenly over the top of the meatballs
to serve as the final layer of the pie (meatballs will be poking out and visible).
Cover skillet tightly and steam over low heat until eggs on top have solidified
and fused with meatballs and rest of cake, about 30 minutes.

PlatoJudio_8_blog.jpgPlatoJudio_9_blog.jpg

Serve Cake:
15. Cool cake 20 to 30 minutes, then run a thin plastic spatula around the edges to dislodge it from the skillet. Place a round platter or plate (larger than the skillet itself) on top of the skillet and quickly flip skillet over so that the meatballs become the base of the layer cake and the omelet becomes the top.

PlatoJudio_14_MohamedJawhara

Photo by Mohamed Jawhara

16. Sprinkle the top of the cake with the chopped mint leaves and toasted nuts and serve warm or room temperature cut into wedges.

PlatoJudio_12_blog

Recipe_PlatoJudeoRellenoOculto_Helene_1_GodWilling

(God Willing, He Will Come.)

 

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