Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Khoresh-e hulu : A Delicate Meat and Peach Stew

Stew is the only English word we have, which brings to mind, heavy, Irish, one-pot meals, but Khoresh is delicate and refined, closer to something French. Meat, poultry or fish is slowly simmered with a delicate balance of herbs and spices, vegetables or fruits, sometimes beans, grains and nuts.

My favorite of Persian recipes, Khoresh is best when prepared with seasonal vegetables and fruits.

Peach Khoresh

2 med onions, peeled and sliced
1 pound (lamb, veal, beef) I prefer kosher or organic chicken, preferably thigh meat with skin removed
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, dried rose petals
( this mixture is a Persian spice mix, if you are interested in obtaining, contact me)
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon of ground saffron dissolved in a tablespoon of hot water
4 unripe peaches sliced into 1/2 wedges

1. In deep pot, or a Dutch oven, brown the onions and meat in 3 tablespoons of oil, add salt, pepper and spices. Pour in the water, 2 cups for meat, 1 for chicken. Cover and simmer on low for almost an hour for meat, 1/2 hour for chicken.

2. In small bowl, mix lime juice, sugar and saffron then stir into the meat. Cover and cook another 15 min.

3. In a skillet, brown the peaches in olive oil, add to the meat and cook for 10 min.

4. The chicken should be tender by now, check for meat.

5. Serve over rice

Makes 4-6 servings

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Rosewood Spoons: East Village Finds @ SOS Chefs

I just love these wooden spoons purchased from Atef at SOS Chefs, she served us her distilled flower waters in these delicate vessels.

SOS Chef, located on Ave B and 7th Street in the East Village, is a high-end imported spices and gourmet product purveyor. On the day we wandered in with our Dubai friend, Rami Farook, fresh white asparagus was in season along with various exotic mushrooms. Atef generously welcomed us with tastes of her newly distilled fruit and flower waters, a tradition she learned while traveling last year in North Africa.

I never walk out of her shop empty handed, SOS Chef is a culinary experience, an eclectic bazaar, a travel into exotic worlds. I am always inspired to return to my kitchen and try something new.

Unleavened Pizza

Friday Night Unleavened Pizza

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup water, more if needed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 450

In a mixing bowl, add all ingredients and mix with a fork. Adjust flour or water to make a nice lightly kneaded ball of dough. Roll out onto a lightly floured surface. I cut pieces 3" x 5".

Spoon tomato sauce, sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese and top with thinly sliced red onion, dash of pepper and red pepper flakes.

Bake until pizza is toasted, around 8 min.

Simple and yummy. Serve with caprese salad, red wine.

Persian Stuffed Potatoes: Dolmeh-ye sibzamini

A perfect dish for a rainy night and good movie.

Dolmeh-ye sibzamini

4 uniform size, peeled potatoes
olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 pound ground meat (veal, lamb or beef)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 eggs, hard-boiled and chopped
salt and pepper
1/2 cup beef broth
1 cup stewed, chopped tomatoes with liquid

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Peel potatoes, cut off tops and set aside. Slice off bottoms so potatoes will stand up. Hollow out potatoes with melon baller or spoon. Discard pulp.
3. Brown the potatoes and tops in olive oil. Set aside.
4. Brown onion and meat in remaining oil. Stir in tomato paste, parsley, eggs, salt and pepper. Stir and continue cooking for few minutes.
5. Fill the potatoes with the stuffing, replace tops and place in ovenproof dish.
6. Mix stewed tomatoes with broth and pour over potatoes. I surrounded the potatoes with fresh green beans. Cover and bake for an hour.
7. Make sure potatoes are tender, adjust seasoning.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Spargel Season

I found perfect white asparagus at SOS Chef in East Village. Serve for late Spring lunch, topped with easy hollandaise sauce recipe, spice it up with dash of Piment d'Espelette. Share with friends and toast the season with nice glass of white wine.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Persian Onion Soup

Eshkeneh, Persian Onion Soup is said to date from King Arsaces' military campaigns in 250 BCE against the King of Syria. This protein packed recipe is perfect for breakfast or any light meal. I review both traditional and modern recipes, then offer my take on this historical dish.

2 large onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon dried mint
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper 
1 waxy potato, peeled and chopped into small cubes
1 quart homemade or high-quality chicken stock, add more if necessary as soup thickens
1 long orange peel
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1 egg soft boiled, peeled, then split open at serving per bowl, as garnish.
(This recipe serves 4. I soft boiled my eggs for 6 min.)
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in large saucepan over low heat. Add the onions and garlic till onions are soft and translucent. Stir in the spices and cook few more minutes.
Add the potatoes and stir to coat. Then add the stock, mint and orange peel. 
Add salt to taste and simmer on low for 30 minutes. 
Slowly add the mixed eggs to the simmering pot of soup and lightly stir.
While the soup is lightly boiling for a few more minutes, in a separate pot, soft boil the number of eggs need to garnish each serving bowl.
Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls, squeeze a little lemon juice and gently crack the soft boiled egg and slip into the soup. 
Serve with flat bread and lemon wedges.

Serves 4

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Macaroni and Cheese with saffron

Serves 6
1 mini bagette cut into 1/4 inch pieces
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for dish
2 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Pinch of saffron, steeped in tablespoon hot water
Dash freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 cups grated sharp white cheddar or Cantal
1 cup Gruyere
1 cup grated pecorino Romano
1/2 pound elbow macaroni

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread pieces in a bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Pour butter into the bowl with bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.

2. Slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.

3. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, saffron liquid, black pepper, turmeric,cheddar,Gruyere and pecorino Romano, ( reserving some to sprinkle on top ) Set cheese sauce aside.

4. Fill a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook al dente. Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.

5. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese and scatter breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until browned on top, about 45
minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes; serve.

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