The Sephardic Table: The Vibrant Cooking of the Mediterranean Jews

Overview

Pamela Grau Twena's introduction to Sephardic culture began on a blind date. Her future husband came from a family of Iraqi Jews who had immigrated to Israel. She was a non-observant Jew from Hollywood whose encounters with Jewish food had been limited to her grandmother's matzoh ball soup, a semiannual brisket, and an occasional cheese blintz. Twena's mother-in-law ushered her into a world of flavorful dishes. Captivated, she coaxed out the recipes, which had been passed through generations but never written ...

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Overview

Pamela Grau Twena's introduction to Sephardic culture began on a blind date. Her future husband came from a family of Iraqi Jews who had immigrated to Israel. She was a non-observant Jew from Hollywood whose encounters with Jewish food had been limited to her grandmother's matzoh ball soup, a semiannual brisket, and an occasional cheese blintz. Twena's mother-in-law ushered her into a world of flavorful dishes. Captivated, she coaxed out the recipes, which had been passed through generations but never written down. Beginning with her husband's extended family, she went on to interview members of the Sephardic community (the term for Jews with ancient roots in Spain), persuading them to open their kitchens to her and divulge their coveted recipes. The result is a collection of 175 of Twena's favorite recipes from Morocco, Libya, Algeria, and Tunisia in North Africa; from the Ottoman communities of Turkey, Rhodes, and Greece; from Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, and Iran in the Middle East;

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Editorial Reviews

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New on the shelves, this collection of 125 recipes from the Sephardic Jewish community (Jews with ancient roots in Spain) was compiled by an American cook who married into an Iraqi Jewish family. With her first introduction to the light and spicy foods of her husband's family, Pamela Grau Twena began collecting Sephardic Jewish recipes from communities all over the world. In this book, the author shares her favorite kosher recipes from communities as far-flung as India and Morocco and as near as Hollywood, California. A great book for the adventuresome Jewish cook.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395892602
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 8/15/1998
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Pamela Grau Tewna spent nearly a year in Isreal, where she learned Sephardic traditions from he Iraqi in-laws. Returning to California, she spent years collectiong Sephardic recipes, successfully self-publishing a book on the subject. She lives in Newport Beach, California.

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Recipe

Cardamom Chicken

Serves 4-6
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon cardamom
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 chicken, 3-4 pounds, cut into pieces
4 teaspoons salt
2 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 cups finely chopped onion

In a small bowl, combine the ginger, cardamom, fennel, cayenne and 2 tablespoons of the oil to form a paste.
Rub the chicken pieces with the salt and then coat with the paste. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight so that the chicken absorbs the flavors.
In a heavy casserole dish or Dutch oven large enough to hold the chicken, heat the remaining 4 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the cinnamon stick and cloves and stir until they are evenly coated with oil. Add the onion and continue to cook until golden, about 15 minutes.
Add the chicken to the pot; pour any extra spice paste on top. Cook the chicken over medium-high heat, turning frequently, until lightly browned. Stir in 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low. To seal tightly, cover with aluminum foil, securing it around the edges. Place the lid of the casserole on top and continue to cook for 45 minutes, until the chicken is tender but not falling apart. Remove from the heat and let the chicken rest, covered, for 10 to 20 minutes before serving.
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