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In the Joy of Kosher Kitchen with Stella **WIN**

 

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Who is Stella? A remarkable woman from across the world who recently published the most stunning coffee table cookbook with tasty recipes and fascinating stories titled, Stella’s Sephardic Table.   I asked Stella a few questions to help you understand what kind of book this is and she eagerly shared a few of her favorite recipes with us too.

I was fascinated by your rich history that you shared in the book, can you give our readers a quick little teaser of where you come from and why you wrote this book?

I grew up in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, a world away from Rhodes Island, Greece and Turkey – the birthplaces of my parents. From an early age I was immersed and deeply drawn to the soulful cuisine and enduring culture of the Jews of Rhodes – the Rhodeslis.

I was further inspired by the tales of my great grandfather, Yaacov Capouya, a Rabbi of Rhodes. Watching my mother cook I became fascinated by her Ottoman Sephardic prowess. I was also prompted by the successful multiple reprints of a concise cookbook I co-authored – “Sephardi Cuisine”, published by our Community in Zimbabwe.

In the 1980s my children Claude and Monique Levy left Zimbabwe to further their studies in the US, where they still live and are blessed with children. On my frequent visits they urged me to document and update our Rhodesli family recipes more fully and include our customs that are slowly vanishing.

My intention in writing this book was to dedicate it as a tribute to the Jewish women of Rhodes who were exterminated by the Nazi genocide in 1944.

When did you first learn to cook?

Ironically it was only as a newlywed that I frantically learned to cook. Until then I had been pursuing a career in economics!

What is your earliest cooking memory?

My earliest cooking memory was as a young child, sharing mealtimes with three generations of extended family and often friends. As my sister and I entered our house back from school, enticing aromas of our Ottoman Sephardic cuisine permeated with smells of a simmering lentil stew or fragrant cumin from sizzling kebabs being char grilled. The heady scent of rosewater wafting from a sublime rice pudding bubbling on the stove would also often greet us. These familiar smells could have been from the kitchen of my ancestors from the old city of Rhodes. It was however, that of my home set in tropical Africa.

meatballs-poached-in-a-fresh-tomato-sauce

Meatballs Poached in a Fresh Tomato Sauce

What is your favorite recipe? Will you share it with us?

It is impossible to have one favourite recipe from such a culinary wealth that dates back from Medieval Spain and that of the Levant. A family favourite, loved by my 86-year old mother right down to her great grandchildren, is meatballs poached in a fresh tomato sauce. This makes a wonderful dish for a casual family gathering, served with a Spanish fried rice pilaf and a green salad.

Turnovers with Vegetable Filling

Turnovers with Vegetable Filling

What do you feel is the most important recipe for it’s historical significance? Will you share it?

From a historical significance the scrumptious array of savoury pastries that hark back to Medieval Spain showcase an important section of our home cooking. In particular are the crispy turnovers, called bourekas. These enticing pies are made with a cheese pastry encasing a variety of delectable vegetable fillings evolved from the empanadas of the Spanish Moors. In the 15th Century the Jewish Iberian exiles blended this pie with the Turkish borek to create the popular and acclaimed bourekas, now found throughout the Middle East and Israel. Of all the savoury pie
making they are the quickest and easiest to prepare.

Spicy Fish

Fried Marinated Fish

For someone new to Sephardic cooking, what is a good dish to start with? 

The pea stew, eggs poached with tomatoes, or fried marinated fish may be good Sephardic dishes to begin with.

Here is a recipe of pan fried fish fillets marinated in a lemon, garlic and fresh herb sauce which is an easy dish that can be made hours or even a day ahead. Chill in the fridge to allow the flavours to meld and return to room temperature before serving. I like to prepare this on a Friday ready to be served for the Saturday Sabbath lunch with a potato salad.

Thank you so much to Stella for sharing this amazing story and cookbook with all of us.  I know we will all enjoy this sampling of recipes, but to really get the full experience, I recommend buying the book -Stella’s Sephardic Table.

Fried Marinated Fish

Turnovers with Vegetable Filling

Meatballs Poached in Tomato Sauce

****Now is your chance to win a copy!!!  I still recommend buying it, because it makes a fantastic gift.  Let us know what Sephardic recipe you are interested in trying in the comments below and enter with all the options here with rafflecopter with many chances to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About Tamar Genger MA, RD

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Tamar lives in New York and is the mother of three amazing children, a Registered Dietitian, professor of Nutrition, and as you can probably guess, a foodie! Tamar loves to travel with her family and visits kosher restaurants wherever she goes. Although she loves the sights, she spends more time talking about the restaurants and food she ate! As a mom and a nutritionist, Tamar tries to balance her passion for healthy cooking with her insatiable desire for chocolate!

 

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42 Responses to In the Joy of Kosher Kitchen with Stella **WIN**

  1. avatar says: shoshanak

    I’d love to win this book. I absolutely adore Sephardic cooking.

  2. avatar says: isrmss91

    would love to try the meatballs poached in tomato sauce. sounds delish!

  3. avatar says: mink

    I don’t cook fish often but the Fried Marinated Fish looks delish and she says it’s easy?

  4. I would love to have this book. The meatballs look awesome!

  5. Meatballs poached in tomato sauce.

  6. All the recipes sound delicious, but I love fish, so it’s the fried marinated fish for me!

  7. avatar says: Peter

    Hoping to win a book of great recipes!

  8. avatar says: frippie

    I have seen so many different recipes for Moroccan Fish, but none of them seem authentic to me. I would love to learn how to make fish in true Sephardi style!

  9. avatar says: dkny

    I would like to see an easy recipe for authentic meat cigars

  10. avatar says: Lynne

    Meatballs Poached in Tomato Sauce sounds like my type of recipe. I can’t wait to try it.

  11. avatar says: barbara

    Im Ashkenazi but would love to expand and have some Sephardi recipes in my repertoire.

  12. avatar says: Nechama

    wow!i’m excited about sephardic cookbook. i dont have one yet. i love trying new recipes and cant wait to try them all out and see which one is my fave.

  13. avatar says: betty

    I recently tried a few sephardic recipes and my family loved the flavors. I would like to explore more recipes and this book would be perfect

  14. One recipe I’d like to learn to make is Turnovers with Vegetable Filling…especially since it looks like my veggie garden might be a success! Thanks for the chance!

  15. Can’t wait to try the meatballs poached in tomato sauce nd the fried marinated fish. yum!!

  16. I’d love to try the fish dish!

  17. avatar says: e.s.

    I would like to know how to make moroccan chulent,but really I love Sephardi food in general and would love to learn anything…those meatballs look great !!

  18. avatar says: Ruth J.

    I want to learn how to make bourekas. We sometimes go to a Sephardic family for Shabbos and she makes amazing bourekas.

  19. avatar says: Bia Klein

    I want to make them all? I’m always up for a new Sephardi cookbook. DH is a Sephardi wannabee.
    wife boostsW

  20. These sample recipes look wonderful….a nice variety of flavors and ingredients…and we would really welcome some new dishes for a change…thank you

  21. avatar says: Susan

    I am looking forward to making the fish fillets.

  22. avatar says: Susan

    Anything fingerfoods you can make with dough or phyllo.

  23. avatar says: JoAn

    okra, rice, and beef combo

  24. avatar says: Debby

    Yemenite soup tops the list but I also love sephardic rice dishes.

  25. avatar says: Sam

    What a fascinating story

  26. avatar says: Marianna

    I would love try her Spanish fried rice pilaf because I am Sephardic myself and we have our own way of making Rice Pilaf so I wonder how similar/different Spanish Pilaf would be. The meatballs also look delish!

  27. avatar says: sarah

    I would love to try to make the turnovers with vegetable filling .

  28. I would love to try the turnovers with vegetable filling!!!

  29. Morricean fish please

  30. as a sephardi, i just love sephardic cookbooks! this one looks beautiful. thanks for sharing :)

  31. avatar says: Raizie

    I’d love to make the fish. Fish is one of my husband’s favorites.

  32. This cookbook looks fantastic. I want to learn more sephardi fish recipes!

  33. avatar says: Dani Lent

    I would love to learn to make lahmagine and kibbeh

  34. Although I am Sephardi and my ancestors are also originally from Spain, I find it SO interesting to read about how the Jews of Spain were scattered to different countries and how their culinary traditions evolved over the generations.

  35. avatar says: Esther

    I’d like the sephardic fish recipes.

  36. avatar says: kne

    I love Sephardic cooking, especially kibbeh hamda. I always enter these contests hoping to win the beautiful cookbook that I would never fargin myself to purchase. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m still trying!

  37. Since marrying into a sephardic family, I have started to really appreciate sephardic cuisine. I have learned to make a few dishes, and I would love to expand my repertoire with this cookbook!

  38. Fried marinated fish sounds very interesting !

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