Leek Edjeh Simanim Recipe #1 :
by my mother in law- Shirley Mamiye:
Leek is one of the “simanim “(or symbols) that we use on our Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) table that symbolizes the fact that we would like to get rid of our enemies.
Swiss chard is another symbol which means “to remove” or “throw out’ as translated by the Arabic word “sillek”.
No better way to express that sentiment on Rosh Hashanah than with yummy sautéed “edjehs”.
Edjeh sandwiches typically made their way into all of our parent’s brown bagged lunches when they attended the public school system in the 30’s and 40’s. It was a delicious easy “pack and go in a pita” (which was then called Syrian bread). Little did their Aleppo born mothers realize that their kids would be so terribly embarrassed to eat their very un-American looking parsley-potato variations of “edjeh” that were snuggled in a foreign round white pocket bread.
LOL- Fast forward 80 years later- I google “Edjeh” and find the top “edjeh” search on America’s very own Martha Stewart!!(Sent in to Martha by my friend Suzanne Sasson of Kitchen Caboodles).
Since Syrian Jews have adopted so many Ashkenaz foods over the years, (like challah and matzo ball soup), maybe the web will finally allow us to return the favor, and share our Syrian simanim versions with the rest of the Jewish community. My mother in law is so creative with all of her dishes, and I am always amazed that she whips up her leek and swiss chard versions of edjeh by the end of the summer each year.
Her swiss chard edjeh contains chopped meat so as not to confuse her guests with the leek edjeh version which is meatless.
Remember that you can eat these edjeh sandwiches way after Rosh Hashanah! Delicious on Sukkot or as a Shabbat lunch.
Edjeh Leek Simanim Recipe #1 for Rosh Hashanah:
by my mother in law- Shirley Mamiye:
- 1 bunch of leek- cleaned and diced, discard heavy green leaves ( I saute the leek for 2 minutes before mixing with other ingredients).
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 c matzo meal
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 lb chop meat
- Mix all together in a bowl with a fork.
- Spoon latkes sized circles into a heated fry in a pan that has a coating of oil.
- When underside of edjeh is brown, turn over and fry other side.
- When done, place on paper towel to drain.
- Place on a tray with wax paper, freeze and when frozen place in a food storage bag.
- Before serving warm on a tray at 350 degrees.
Swiss Chard Edjeh:
- 2 bunches, wash very well
- boil in water for 2 minutes
- drain and chop
- add 4 eggs, matzo meal, salt allspice cinnamon, and a chopped onion.
- Fry latkes sized edjehs as above.
Leek Edjeh Simanim recipe #2:
From The Kosher Foodies- By identical kosher gourmand twins-Jessica and Stephanie.
“We actually make our leeks into small latkes, quite similar to the tasty Chanukah treat. They’re delicious this way – crispy, tasty, and small. Not breaded like onion rings, but with the same flavor.”
- 2-3 large leeks, or 4-5 small leeks, washed well and chopped (don’t try to grate them on a box grater. They will get stringy)
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs or matzah meal
- 2 eggs
- Egg white from one egg
- Salt and pepper
- Vegetable oil, for frying
1. Prepare oil for frying: pour about 1/2 inch of oil into a high-walled pan. Place on burner over medium heat.
2. Combine leeks, eggs, and breadcrumbs. Mix to combine. Check consistency. If it’s too dry, add the egg white. If too wet, add more bread crumbs. The batter should be loose but be able to come together into a ball if squeezed. Add salt and pepper.
3. Using a tablespoon measure, scoop out batter into balls.
4. Test the frying oil with a tiny amount of batter. Make sure it sizzles but doesn’t burn. Prepare a plate or tray to drain the patties after frying. I used a paper towel-lined plate. My grandmother used to use brown paper bags (yes, the ones from the grocery store). Alton brown uses a cooling rack on top of a towel-lined cookie sheet. That’s probably the best idea if you can do it.
5. Using a slotted spoon, drop the batter, one at a time, into the oil, flattening into patties as you drop them. Only put 5-4 in the oil at a time, because you don’t want the temperature to drop too much and the patties to get soggy.
6. After one minute, they should be brown. Flip the patties. Fry on the other side for a minute. Remove from oil with slotted spoon and place on draining plate. Repeat until all are fried.
7. Sprinkle with salt when still warm.
8. Serve along with the bracha: “that those who hate us be cut away”