Last night we had our friend, artist rep, actor, Joel Ney over for dinner. You can find Joel in a recent music video of Moby's Wait for Me . Joel is also the son of Russian Contemporary artist, Alexander Ney, whom he represents here in New York and Russia.
We started the dinner out with various olives, vegetables, breads, and Middle Eastern starter dishes, that I had prepared ahead of time. I decided to try my hand again at Ghormeh Sabzi, a traditional Persian dish of stewed meat with herbs.
I sat while the stew was cooking and hand prepared a Persian almond flour/rosewater treat in the shape of mulberries for dessert. We had a great evening, filled with what we always talk about, politics, while smoking Eric's 19th Century Turkish hookah .
Here is the recipe for this flavorful Persian stew.
|1/2||pound fresh spinach, stemmed and coarsely chopped, (I use baby spinach)|
|1||bunch fresh dill, stemmed and coarsely chopped|
|1||bunch fresh Italian parsley, stemmed and coarsely chopped|
|1||bunch fresh cilantro, stemmed and coarsely chopped|
|4||leeks, thinly sliced|
|1||bunch scallions, thinly sliced, just the green part|
|4||tablespoons vegetable oil|
|1||pound beef or lamb stew meat, cut into cubes|
|Salt and black pepper, to taste|
|1||medium onion, coarsely chopped|
|1||teaspoon ground turmeric|
|Generous pinch crushed red pepper|
|4||dried limes (available at Middle Eastern markets)|
|1||can (15 ounces) Red Kidney beans|
|1||tablespoon fresh lemon juice|
Saute the onion over medium-high heat in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil until it is a deep golden brown. Add the turmeric, frying another minute or two, then add the stew meat. Toss well to coat in turmeric, and cook until the meat is browned well on all sides.
Meanwhile, fry the herbs in a health splash of olive oil until they are fragrant and deepening in color. Watch them carefully as they will go bitter if burned. You want them to be a deep, dark green without burning.
Add the fried greens to the meat & onion mixture, stirring well. Add 1.5 - 2 cups of water. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Add the lemon juice, turn the heat down, and let the whole thing simmer, covered, for 1.5-2 hours.
About an hour into the simmer, add the dried limes (any sooner and they will turn the stew bitter), pushing them down into the liquid.
Finally, add the drained kidney beans, and cook another 30 minutes. Check your seasoning level, adding more lemon juice if needed.Serve over Saffron Rice, yum!