Sunday, February 26, 2006

Persian cooking 101

Entertaining is one of life's little pleasures - at least one of my life's pleasures. It is a great opportunity to connect with friends or family, and, at the same time, discover a new cuisine. Last night, the theme was Persian cuisine. Quite a culinary adventure.

All day, effluves of onions, saffron, roasting meat and pomegranates wafted through the apartment, transporting us far, far away from our Toronto 15th floor chez-nous.

A few weeks ago, we devised the menu over afternoon tea and a dinner with our friend Hamiid, who is Persian. His advice was precious and instrumental to last night dinner's success.

The menu consisted of kashk e-bademjan (an eggplant terrine with whey) served with Persian bread; fesenjan (pomegranate and walnut sauce) with roasted chicken, saffron rice and steamed green beans with pistachios; and almond-saffron brittle with vanilla ice cream.

Planning the menu was a great learning opportunity - I am glad to report that my Persian food vocabulary is quite good after reading all those Persian recipe books - cooking the food was a truly a fun venture and, most importantly, sharing that food with good friends was a pure pleasure.

Nush-e Jan!


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