The Golden Dreidle

Fistful of Lentils, by Jennifer Felicia Abadi

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Syrian-Jewish recipes from Grandma Fritzie's kitchen, Abadi inherited both Ashkenazi and Sephardic cuisines from her two grandmotehrs, and presents here the lesser knows treasures from her Syrian Grandma Fritzie in a down-to-earth Middle Eastern cookbook that goes beyond the typical hummus and falafel. All recipes are kosher and many are suitable for holidays: Lamb with Lemon and Olives for Rosh Hansana or Stuffed Squash with Lemon-Mint Sauce for special Sabbaths. Many dishes, like Spinach-Mint Soup or Crushed Wheat with Chickpeas and Pot Cheese are easy for Everyday light and even vegetarian meals. This well-rounded cookbook explains, in a glossary, ingredients such as tamarind paste and phyllo, provides a list of specialty stores and a menu planner, and guides the cook from appetizers, such as Eggplant Dip with Pine Nuts, to desserts (Flourless Pistachio Cookies, which are perfect for Passover), and from formal (Orange Chicken with Golden Raisins and Figs), to casual (Syrian Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Mint). Never overdone, flavors appear in combinations surprising to the typical North Amercian palate, such as Stuffed Baby Eggplants with Apricots and Meat, and Eggs with Rhubarb. For Syrian Jewish women, cooking is an art form, shared among neighbors and families but closely guarded from outsiders, Luckily, Abadi offers these secrets in her book.  Paperback, 384 pages, isbn 9781558322196

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