Foodie Friday: Ghormeh Sabzi – A Super Food

539wCooking with herbs and other leafy greens is a delicious and very nutritious way to go. With organic farming making huge waves we are provided an ever-growing selection of fresh, healthy options to for us to cook with. Nutrient rich dishes are growing more and more popular in part due to this increase of awareness and availability. These healthy meals have always been popular in kitchens all over the world, you just have to know where to look. Although you can easily grab all of those great ingredients and throw them into your juicer for a supercharged glass of go-juice, once in a while it’s nice to site down and savour your health food.

Ghormeh Sabzi is a traditional Iranian stew that embodies health on many levels. If there ever was a super food, this has got to be one of them. It has been around for well over five hundred years and it’s a real favorite of mine. I always feel great after eating it. This dish is usually served with polow which is a specifically prepared long grain rice. This Persian-style rice takes a lot more work but is most definitely worth the effort. When making polow there is a crust of golden brown rice that forms at the bottom of the pot called tahdig. This highly-prized, crispy treat is usually dished up for special guests since it is in short supply and considered very special.  This succulent stew also can easily be made as a vegan dish by simply leaving out the meat, adding potatoes, or adding anything you like.

Make the recipe your own and enjoy the slow methodical preparation because that’s healthy too. Be well!
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Foodie Friday: Khoresht Fesenjaan

As most of you know by now, cooking has always been a passion of mine. There was a point in my career when I wanted to learn as much as I could about as many different styles of cuisine. My adventures included working for many small independently owned family restaurants.

Of all the different styles of cuisine that I tried my hand at, I’d say that Persian food has always been one of my favorites to cook and eat. The first place I worked was a thirty-five seat casual dining restaurant specializing in Persian BBQ. Waking up at 5am to start the wood fired oven/grill and get the dough made for the flat bread, served to every guest, is one of the defining moments in my life. I enjoyed the calm quiet of the early morning while the fire crackled and hissed. I then butchered leg of lamb and prepared my mise en place for the day.

For those of you who have never had this type of food I can tell you that it is delicious, mostly consisting of large skewers of lamb, chicken, and vegetables. Many of the items on the menu were fairly Americanized and simple, while these items were still wonderful and delicious, the authentic dishes were my favorite to cook and eat. Khoresht Fesenjaan, a puréed chicken and walnut stew is my favorite, hands down. This rich, savory-sweet sauce with chunks of chicken and onion served over fluffy rice seemed a physical impossibility to duplicate using standard methods. After much research I was able to learn how to make not only the Khoresht Fesenjaan but also the rice that came along with it!

Persian style rice is an art form. Its importance in the cuisine and culture of the region is very dear to the hearts of those who have ever eaten it. When left to cook slightly longer than intended, a crust of golden brown rice called ta-dig forms on the bottom of the pot, this is considered a treat.

Here are the recipes for Khoresht Fesenjaan and Polow (Persian style rice) that I have been using to impress friends and employers for years. Enjoy!
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