I got this recipe from a cafe owner in Haifa in 2007. I’m convinced she only gave it to me because she knew I wouldn’t be able to make them. I really am not good at frying round things. Anyway hers were fantastic. The cafe was next door to Tamar Messer’s gallery and studio which is at 5 Ma’ale HaShihrur.
Ke’Tzitzot Krishah – Leek patties (ktsisot Krisha)
1 Leek (white part only)
2 potatos (small)
1 onion (med – finely minced)
3 TBSP breadcrumbs
Parsley (to taste – finely minced)
Boil the leek and the potato and mash well. Add everything else. If it’s too wet, add more breadcrumbs. Make into 1 1/2” balls and fry in ½ inch or less of oil.
“Kyeftes de Prasa” taken together means “leek patties” in Ladino, which is a Jewish dialect that is primarily a mixture of Spanish and Hebrew, spoken by Spanish Jews when they were living in Spain prior to the Spanish Inquisition in 1492, although there are also words taken from Arabic and Portuguese in Ladino as well. More specifically, “Kyeftes”, “Kifticas”, or “Keftedes” (“Kifte” in Turkish; “Keftas” or “Keftes” in Greek) means “patties” or “pancakes” in Ladino, and “Prasa” or “Prassa” (“Prasaa” in Greek) means “leeks” in Ladino. Since the late 15th century, Sephardic Jews have migrated to the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey) and Greece among other countries and have created many different types of recipes for leek patties. Sephardim who have migrated to North America have brought many variations of leek pattie recipes with them.