Sunday, May 21, 2006

Supper Club

Table shot
Table shot,
originally uploaded by me!
Another Wonderful Supper Club - Persian Style. I created a Flickr account to capture all the food photos from last night. You can access it from the link below the photo.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Cooking quotes:

"Good food has a magic appeal. You may grow old, even ugly, but if you are a good cook, people will always find the path to your door." - James Beard

"A good meal makes a man feel more charitable toward the world than any sermon." - Arthur Pendenys

"The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star." -Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The ashe-paz (soup preparer) reveals her secrets (well, the recipe was from a dear friend, Linda) for the Ash e-jow (barley soup) being prepared for the Supper Club, Persian theme. I'm preparing a day ahead, as it is recommended for melding the flavors.

I first enjoyed going to the San Rafael Farmer's Market with my neighbor Jerrie, and Jo-Ann to pick up some of the ingredients fresh and organic! It's amazing how fresh dill and coriander smell! I picked up the more exotic things like kashk last night after a quick and delicious dinner at Hatam's.

Ash e- jow (barley soup)

3 onions peeled and thinkly sliced
1/2 pound stew meat (beef, lamb or veal) cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon tumeric
10 cups water
1/4 cup dried chick peas (optional)
1/4 cup lentils
1 cup barley
2 cups chopped fresh parsley
1 cup chopped fresh dill
1 cup fresh coriander
4 cups fresh spinach wash and chopped
1/4 cup rice
1 cup whey (kashk)

3 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
1/4 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon dried mint leaves

1) Brown 2 of the onions and meat in 1/3 cup of the oil in a large pot. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and tumeric. Pour in the water and add the kidney beans, chick peas and lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 50 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

2) Add barley. Cover and cook 50 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.

3) Add parsley, coriander, dill, spinach and rice. cover and cook 50 minutes

4) Check to see that the meat is tender and the beans are done. Adjust seasoning and add more warm water if ash is too thick.

5) Stir in the liquid whey and continue stirring constantly for 5 minutes with a wooden spoon to prevent curdling.

6) Just before serving, prepare the garnish. Pour the rest of the oil into a small frying pan and brown the remaining onion and garlic. Add tumeric and remove from heat. Crush dried mint in the palm of your hand and add to the pan.

7) Pour the simmering soup into a tureen and garnish with mint and garlic mixture.

For best results, cook your ash a day in advance so that the flavors meld. Add kashk and garnish at the last minute.