Ali’s Kanafeh

[music playing] It’s the best
dessert I ever had. But then I remember that I
could eat this as dinner. Crispy, cheesy, gooey. It’s like going to heaven. Normally, knafeh made
either with ricotta cheese or the mozzarella cheese. I made one knafeh that
had both ingredients. Ali style. There came a time that
people, at the factory where they worked, they were
all like married people, but alone yet. These guys didn’t know
how to make anything. And they’d see me
eating, and they’re, where do you got this from? I cooked it. They taste it, they love it. Cook us a little extra. We’ll pay you. You know? And I started doing that. Not to sell it, but just
paid for the ingredients. You know? The shredded filo. Keep it covered till you need to
use it, because it dries quick. Loosen it up a little bit. That feels like hair,
but it’s like it hasn’t been washed in a while. It’s Actually, it originated
in Palestine, in Israel. I have people that
came from that region, and they say I make
it better than them. When they go back to Israel,
they are going to tell them, I had to go all the way to
Ali’s in New York in Bushwick to get the best knafeh. Now we are ready to feel. It’s all nice and fluffy. I melted some unsalted butter. Pour it all over. Get all that butter
that you can. Make sure the butter
went to every part. Now you take it, make
sure it’s all covered. Because you don’t want the
cheese to melt through. I’ve worked construction. I’ve worked in factories. The only way to make food
is to make them perfect. Otherwise, don’t make them. Get out of the kitchen. I came here 40 years ago
with the shirt on my back. I always wanted to be
in my own business. But I enjoy cooking
for people, and I could do this probably forever. Now we have our knafeh. It’s all cooked and ready. And this is pistachio nuts. You get some sugar syrup
that we made earlier. It looks so gorgeous. Mm. Mm, mm, mm. This is– I think
it’s a masterpiece. Oh, you’re not going
to have any left. OK. [inaudible]. Get– get out of here! No, wait. [laughs]

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