Tuesday, January 08, 2008

[New York]: In the Kitchen with Gila

I volunteer once a week as an English conversation partner at New York's International Center. The job just involves chit-chatting with relatively advanced English speakers, who mostly need help with American slang and pronunciation.

My current conversation partner is an Israeli-born Turkish woman, who moved to New York with her husband a few months ago and who is in serious need of both help with her pronunciation and and a decent job. I'm helping with the pronunciation part.

This evening Gila and I went to the grocery store, where we talked a lot about spices, cuts of meat, and the difference between parsley and celery. Then we went back to my house and she taught me how to cook a very tasty kind of meatball called edjeh (I have no idea how to spell this). She said it was a Syrian Jewish recipe:

1 baking potato, grated, with liquid squeezed out.
1 small pack (1/2 lb) ground beef
2 eggs
salt, black and chili pepper
cooking oil
2-3 tablespoons flour
minced parsley to taste (Gila likes the flat leaf kind)

Mix all ingredients. Form into small, messy meatballs with a spoon. Fill a pan with cooking oil to a depth of about 1/2 inch and raise to medium heat. Put meatballs in pan and cook until browned. If you want to be very indulgent, squish one meatball into a small piece of bread, and cook in pan meatball side down. The bread will get toasty and greasy and meld to the meatball as it cooks. Gila says this is not a diet food.


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