Cooking Class: Albóndigas and Sephardic Meatballs with Jennifer Abadi

Cooking Class: Albóndigas and Sephardic Meatballs with Jennifer Abadi


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.

What makes Albóndigas Sephardic, and where does the name come from? Learn a little bit about the history of this delicious meatball, and how to make it at home!
Whether as a soup or a stew, meatball dishes have become a classic staple in many cuisines around the world. Some of the earliest recordings of meatball recipes can be found in Arabic cookbooks dating back to medieval times. During the period of Muslim rule in the Iberian Peninsula (al-Andalus) in the 8th to 15th centuries, Arabs introduced their meatball stews to Spain and Portugal, which later spread to parts of the Mediterranean and the Americas. Today, albóndigas recipes can be found throughout Latin America, as well as in Jewish communities whose ancestors fled the Iberian Peninsula during the Inquisitions (12th to 19th centuries).
In this hands-on cooking lesson, Jennifer will teach her own Syrian version of torpedo-shaped lamb and beef meatballs prepared with an earthy blend of nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon and stewed in a tomato, lemon, and tamarind sauce that makes it distinctly Aleppan.
Led by Sephardic and Middle Eastern food instructor, Syrian cookbook author, and recipe preserver Jennifer Abadi, this interactive hands-on seminar will teach you how to make this cherished dish. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the flavors and techniques of this comfort food and how it lives on in Sephardic communities today!

*Please Note: Participants will be emailed a formal recipe, including measurements, prior to the class.*

Ingredients: 
For Meatballs: 
  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb (or a mixture of the two)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten 
  • ½ cup coarsely grated onions, squeezed and/or drained of excess liquid 
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander 
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon if using kosher meat) 
  • 1 tablespoon plain breadcrumbs gluten-free breadcrumbs, or matzah meal 
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts or coarsely chopped walnuts (optional) 
For Frying: 
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • ¼ cup flour, gluten-free flour, or matzah cake meal 
For Sauce: 
  • ¾ cup tomato paste dissolved in 2½ cups water 
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste or pomegranate concentrate/syrup/molasses 
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained 
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt (depends on how salty meat and tomato paste are) 3 to 4 teaspoons brown sugar  
    • (if using tamarind with sugar already added or pomegranate syrup, add only as needed!) 
For Serving: 
  • Finely chopped coriander or parsley leaves 
  • Pomegranate seeds (optional) 
  • Steamed rice 
Recommended Equipment
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Small bowl
  • Large skillet or frying pan

Jennifer Abadi is a native New Yorker, born, bred and raised on Manhattan's Upper West Side. She is half Sephardic (Aleppo, Syria) and half Ashkenazic (Riga, Latvia). She is a researcher, developer, and preserver of Judeo-Arabic and Sephardic recipes and food customs, focusing on the Jewish communities of the Middle East, Mediterranean, Central Asia, and North Africa. She is the author of two cookbooks: "Too Good To Passover: Sephardic & Judeo-Arabic Seder Menus and Memories from Africa, Asia and Europe" and "A Fistful of Lentils: Syrian-Jewish Recipes From Grandma Fritzie's Kitchen." Jennifer teaches cooking at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) and at the Jewish Community Center Manhattan (JCC), as well as privately. Jennifer has been providing Jewish Food & Culture tours on Manhattan's Lower East Side for Context Travel since 2012."

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
63%
(5)
38%
(3)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
S
Stacy & Brent (Lebanon, US)
Albondigas & Sephardic Meatballs: Amazing class!

Jennifer held a easy to follow cooking class, but what made it really stand out was her knowledge of the language, cuisine, and the addiction of historical context. Q&A was open format which was nice, and her responses were thorough... clearly she knows her stuff!!

B
Becky V (Belmont, US)
Fun and delicious

Jennifer’s instructions were clear and easy to follow. She has deep knowledge of the cuisines of Sephardic culture so I learned a great deal and made a delicious dish at the same time.

B
Becky V (Belmont, US)
Fun and delicious

Jennifer’s instructions were clear and easy to follow. She has deep knowledge of the cuisines of Sephardic culture so I learned a great deal and made a delicious dish at the same time.

M
Martha Bernardin (Boyne City, US)
Fabulous experience

What a wonderful experience with Jennifer Abadi. She is so knowledgeable about the food but also the history of the dish. The class was very easy to follow and the dish was delicious. I would definitely take any other classes Jennifer taught.

A
Anonymous

Guest did not leave comment

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
63%
(5)
38%
(3)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
S
Stacy & Brent (Lebanon, US)
Albondigas & Sephardic Meatballs: Amazing class!

Jennifer held a easy to follow cooking class, but what made it really stand out was her knowledge of the language, cuisine, and the addiction of historical context. Q&A was open format which was nice, and her responses were thorough... clearly she knows her stuff!!

B
Becky V (Belmont, US)
Fun and delicious

Jennifer’s instructions were clear and easy to follow. She has deep knowledge of the cuisines of Sephardic culture so I learned a great deal and made a delicious dish at the same time.

B
Becky V (Belmont, US)
Fun and delicious

Jennifer’s instructions were clear and easy to follow. She has deep knowledge of the cuisines of Sephardic culture so I learned a great deal and made a delicious dish at the same time.

M
Martha Bernardin (Boyne City, US)
Fabulous experience

What a wonderful experience with Jennifer Abadi. She is so knowledgeable about the food but also the history of the dish. The class was very easy to follow and the dish was delicious. I would definitely take any other classes Jennifer taught.

A
Anonymous

Guest did not leave comment