Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cooking A Sephardic Dinner

A handful of people came last week to cook with me a Sephardic meal. Surprisingly all 7 of us stuffed into the kitchen quite well together, flour flying everywhere. I tried to do things from memory rather than follow historic recipes, and I think we wandered a bit into Turkish food, but that's where my grandmother's family was from. Of course there was raki. There were also yaprak - stuffed grape leaves (using those from my grapes which were old and tough, oh well) and great bourekas with spinach and feta, hummus and babaganouj, flat breads, and some fabulous kifteh made with hand chopped lamb and leeks. I love those. Baby artichokes were great too.

But this is the dish that sticks out in my mind. A sea bass actually from Turkey. I scaled and gutted him (THANK YOU PODESTO'S FOR CARRYING WHOLE FISH!) Lightly dusted with flour and fried in olive oil. Along with it onions were fried and golden raisins. A dash of cinnamon and then a good splash of white wine vinegar. It should marinate a few hours. My grandmother called it pesce in vinagra, though you might recognize it as escabeche.

Now what relationship this might have to the Medieval Baghdadi al-Sikbaj or to Peruvian ceviche, let alone to Tempura or English Fish and Chips, I wont speculate. But apparently they are all distant cousins.

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