Louise wrote for help finding a recipe for a “memorable” dish she tasted in Spain at a Sephardic Seder. She described it as “a small fritter or tortilla made with leeks.”
“The dish that Louise inquired about … is called leek croquettes or, in Ladino, keftes de prasa,” writes Joyce Ben-Ezra, who shared a recipe from Sephardic Holiday Cooking: Recipes and Traditions by Gilda Angel (Decalogue Books, 1986). (Ladino is a dialect that combines Spanish and Hebrew as well as words from Arabic and Portuguese.)
“I’ve never been to Spain, but I do have this recipe from Joan Nathan’s Jewish Holiday Cookbook,” said Kathy Weiss of Miami.
Norma Orovitz responded with a recipe from another of Nathan’s books, Jewish Cooking in America (Knopf, 1994), called Frittada de Pressa, or Sephardic Casserole of Leek and Potatoes.
Nathan notes that while potatoes put this recipe post-New World exploration, “leek patties with matzah crumbs and feta cheese or meat is an extremely old Sephardic holiday recipe.”
The recipe here, adapted from Nathan’s holiday cookbook, makes individual patties, but you could also make it as a tortilla. Use the same ingredients (except the oil for frying), but skip the blending and instead mix them in an oiled deep-dish pie plate. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees, or until eggs are as firm as you like. Cut into wedges to serve.
Q. About 12 years ago, I attended a birthday party and the hostess served a mango salad. I asked her for the recipe but never was able to get it. The salad was similar to a salsa but with larger chunks of mango with red onion, capers, etc.
Joan K. Cortina, Miami
A. I use this recipe here as both a salsa and a salad. For fish tacos, I dice everything really small. For a salad served with grilled chicken or planked salmon, I like the mango in 1/2-inch cubes and may omit the jalapeño and add diced avocado, jicama or pineapple.
I don’t bake as often as I once did, but when I do I indulge in the best ingredients. So I found a new cookbook centered on key ingredients wonderfully appealing. Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito’s Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $32.50) is a treat, with original recipes and endearing stories from the authors, who left their day jobs in advertising to open a bakery, Baked, in Brooklyn.
So what are the 10 ingredients? Peanut butter, lemon and lime, caramel, booze, pumpkin, malted milk powder, cinnamon, cheese, chocolate and banana.
Two of them — peanut butter and chocolate — are combined in the bars here. “We actually prefer them in the morning, with a hearty cup of coffee,” they write. “The world just seems like a better place when you wake up with our Good Morning Sunshine Bars.”