Bella’s Leek Patties (Fritas di Prasa con Carneh)
This recipe is from Bella in Haifa, a coastal city in northern Israel that is built on Mount Carmel overlooking the Mediterranean. According to her, many Bulgarian Jews relocated there from Jaffa, which is the historic core of Tel-Aviv, a major port further south on the Mediterranean coast.
Bella’s grandma used to treat the family to these patties at Passover. The Ladino name for this recipe is “Fritas di Prasa con Carneh.” It is optional to serve them with lemon wedges, and/or to squeeze on a little lemon juice before eating. Bella has one warning: They disappear the minute they land on the plate.
- 2 lbs. (1 Kg.) Leek
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 ¼ lbs. (500 gr.) ground beef meat (or half lamb and half beef)
- 2 -3 potatoes, boiled and then mashed
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. salt or to taste
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 2 eggs, whisked
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
Clean the leeks well and cut to small rings (including the green part), put in a pot and cover with boiling water. Add 1tsp. salt, cover, and cook 20 minutes or until done. Drain the leeks well and then squeeze out the extra liquid. Add all other ingredients and mix to incorporate—this is best accomplished with clean hands. Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes. Create patties 2 inches in diameter and ½ inch thick. Roll each patty in the whisked egg and in the breadcrumbs. Fry in oil (I use a combo of olive oil and butter) on a low flame for 10 minutes on each side or until the outside is nutty brown and the juices run clear. Enjoy!