Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Trying our hand at Persian cooking

We were recently given a copy of Sabrina Ghayour's lovely cookbook, Persiana, which focuses on recipes from her native Iran, or Persia, but also includes recipes taken from neighbouring countries in the Middle East. There are fabulous recipes in there, fresh and intriguing, with certain dominant flavours--for instance, pomegranate, walnuts, onions, cumin, and lots of herbs including coriander, dull, parsley and chives. Here's the result of four cooking sessions spent with Sabrina's book:
walnut and pomegranate chicken stew served with herby rice; lentils and rice cooked together, and served with crispy onions and herbs; Persian frittata with broad beans; and fish in coriander, tamarind, turmeric and onion and garlic sauce. All were absolutely delicious and quite easy to make!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Two asparagus entrées

From early September on to the end of October, asparagus finds its way frequently onto our entrée plates. Steamed or braised, cold or warm, they always make a fabulous starter. Here are two simple and delicious ways to serve them: steamed, with a vinaigrette made from virgin olive oil, white balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard; and lightly braised in olive oil, with a slice of melted Brie on top.
Other delicious ways to serve include: the basic steamed vinaigrette variety with a chopped hardboiled egg, mixed with a little sour cream and mustard, scattered on top of the spears; the basic braised one with cooked small cherry chopped tomatoes and olives scattered on top--other toppings for cold entree asparagus include chopped smoked salmon or very good leg ham; and for the warm variety, sesame oil can replace the olive oil, and chopped stir-fried prawns with coriander and Vietnamese mint scattered on top. In fact, the only limit is your imagination, when you start with that basic delightful green handful of aspragus spears!