Author Archive

Recipe ~ Cotlet Mahi ton – Tuna Fish Patties

July 11, 2010

Fry on both sides

I’m back! I can hardly believe my last post was in October of last year. I haven’t made any Persian food until today!

My mom has an amazing recipe for Cotlet Mahi ton or Tuna Fish Patties. Tpyically Cotlet is made with Beef but since my mom is not a big meat eater she tested out using Tuna Fish and of course now that’s my preferred way to have Cotlet. This was my first attempt at making this recipe and I’m really happy with the outcome. It’s much easier than I had thought and it’s a great meal because it can be eaten hot or cold. I made a sandwhich this time and added rocket, avocado, pickles and tomoatoes.  So simple – so yummie!

Kat’s Tip…
I thought I had added enough salt but be more generous than you normally would be.

Stuff: 

Staples: Canola Oil, Salt & Pepper, 1 Onion, 1 egg, 2 Yukon potatoes
Spices: Turmeric, Saffron, Cinnamon
Meat: 2 Cans of Tuna Fish
Other: Breadcrumbs

DIY:

Makes: 8 cotlets / patties
Cooking time: Takes about 1.5 hours of prep and cooking time

 

Yukon Potatoes

1. Rinse the potatoes. Fill a large pot with water to cover the potatoes. Boil the potatoes.

Grated Onion

2. While the potatoes are cooking, find a sizeable dish and peel and grate the onions in the dish. Get rid of any excess juice from the onions. 

Tuna Fish

3. Open the 2 cans of tuna fish and place it in the dish with the onions. Try and seperate out the big chunks and mix the flakes in with the onions. Make sure to remove any excess brine.

4. When the potatoes have boiled, drain the water and peel the skin off the potatoes under running cold water.

Grated Potatoe

5. Grate the potatoes in the dish and mix it with the onions and the tuna fish.

Spices

6.  Add a generous portion of salt. Add pepper. Add a tea spoon of turmeric and a dash of cinammon and saffron.

7. Wait for the potatoes to really cool down before you add 1 egg to mix

8. Once you’ve added the egg, thouroughly mix ingredients together (preferably with you hand)

9. Find a large flat plate to put your breadcrumbs.

Make a round ball

10. Start making your patties by taking a small handful of the mixture and make a ball. Pat the ball down to make a pattie shape. This should an oval shape. (It takes some practice so don’t be discouraged!)

Shape into a pattie

11. After each pattie you make, cover it with breadcrumbs on both sides.

Add breadcrumbs

10. Get a large frying pan and cover the base with Canola Oil. Heat the oil at a medium temperature until hot.

Add oil to the pan

12. While the oil is getting hot, get a flat dish and cover it with paper towels so you can place the finished pattie on it to soak up the oil.

13. Add 2-3 patties in the frying pan. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side at a medium heat or until golden brown.

Add patties to the pan

Fry on both sides

14. Once your done soaking up the excess oil you’re ready to serve. You can either serve all 8 patties in a dish with a little garnish or you can make a sandwhich like I did. Whatever you choose – enjoy!

Cotlet Sandwich

Noosh e Jan! 

Honey Cake … so decadent!

October 19, 2009

I caught the flu this week and have been drinking a lot of tea with honey. That got me thinking a lot about honey…and then honey cake. I have no idea why I had that specific craving espeically since I have never even had honey cake before. It just sounded really yummie. I quickly googled it and came across this recipe “Majestic and Moist Honey Cake” from SmittenKtichen.com.  I dragged myself to the grocery store and picked up all the ingredients. I love the fragrances and spices in it: Vanilla, cloves, cinnamon, coffee, orange juice, whiskey and of course honey! Turns out honey cake is traditionally eaten around Jewish New Year.

I thought baking would be quite time consuming but this didn’t take longer than an hour and half. Not bad for my first attempt and first baking experience in about 10 years! It’s sweeter than I expected and quite sticky… the next time I make this I’m going to reduce the sugar content by a cup or two.  It was so yummie when it came straight out of the oven piping hot! I can’t wait to have another slice tomorrow morning with a cup of tea.  Give it a shot!

Some of the Honey Cake Ingredients...but not all

Some of the Honey Cake Ingredients...but not all

Prepping the Mixture

Prepping the Mixture

Final honey cake mixture ready for baking

Final honey cake mixture ready for baking

Honey cake with toasted almonds straight out of the oven

Honey cake with toasted almonds straight out of the oven

My first slice ... yum!

My first slice ... yum!

Noosh e Jan!

The Delinquent Cook…

September 4, 2009

It’s been about a week that I haven’t posted a recipe. I feel stressed out and guilty that my 4 loyal followers are going to be disappointed when they get to the site and they still see the White Rice recipe. I also feel guilty because I ate out a lot this week. It’s funny because Mimi Jan (my grandmother) hates eating out. She’s super fussy about it and always has these awful stories about hair in her food, uncooked meat and dirty salads. While I think about it that’s where my mom must get it too. But then again why eat out when you’re such an amazing cook…?

Meanwhile, since I’m not such an awesome cook yet I had to eat. So last night Yalda and I frequented Columbia Firehouse Restaurant on 109 St. Asaph St. in Old Town, Alexandria. The food was great, the vibe and decor inside was cool but the amazing weather took us outside to it’s romantic little outdoor garden patio. We felt like we were in Greenwich Village it was nice. We were not so adventurous. Yalda had a burger and I had a mushroom sandwich – yes boring but tasty. 

Again, this evening with this amazing weather, I met up with my hubby in Old Town again and we took a stroll along the waterfront and then found a very good Thai restaurant on 6 King St. near the water. Not sure why in the last 9 months of living here I had not seen Mai Thai but luckily tonight I did. The food was really great though don’t ask me what the name of the noodle dish I had was I can’t remember. We sat outside but the inside looked pretty trendy and might be a nice hang out there in the evening. Don’t be scared off by the annoying music they have on their website by the way.

So maybe I should just blame my delinquency on this spurt of good weather. Persian food definitely lends itself more to the colder months in my opinion. I know that in the coming weeks I’m going to be cooking up a feast and trying out more new recipes so please keep checking in from time to time…it’ll be worth it I promise!

Polo Sefeed – Persian Style White Rice

August 29, 2009

This evening we were invited to Khaleh Hengameh’s house for dinner and she made quite the feast: Khoresteh Esfenaj (Spinach Stew) and Chicken Curry (her own special variation). I followed her as she prepared the white rice and Tadeeg which doesn’t sound so exotic but it was about time I learned how to master the staple Persian white rice. Here we go… 

 

Chelo

Polo Sefeed

 

Stuff: 

Staples: Olive Oil, Salt,1 tsp Saffron, 5 cups Basmati Rice

DIY:

Feeds 15 (each cup of rice feeds 3 people) 
Approx. 20 minutes to prepare and 1.5 to cook

1. Put 5 cups of Basmati rice in a mixing bowl. Wash the rice with water until you see the water become cloudy. Add 5-6 tbsps of salt. Leave it to soak for 2 hours. This helps lengthen the rice which is what gives it’s distinct beauty. 

2. Fill up a large pot with water and bring to boil. 

3, Drain your rice. Once the water has boiled add the 5 cups of rice to the pot. Leave the stove on high and leave the lid off the pot.

 

Add rice to boiling water

Add rice to boiling water

4. After about 10-15 minutes check the rice. When it’s aldente (half cooked) drain the rice and rinse it with cold water to remove the excess salt.

Drain the rice

Drain the rice

5. Peel 4 small white potatoes (you may need more depending on the size of your pot). Slice the potatoes thinly. Add oil to the pot covering the base. Lay the potatos flat covering the base of the pot.

Peel Potatoes

Peel Potatoes

Thinly sliced potatoes

Thinly sliced potatoes

Thinly slice potatoes

Thinly slice potatoes

6. Add all the rice to the pot covering the potatoes.  

IMG_1651

7. Grind 1 tsp of Saffron. Add 1/4 of cup of warm water to the Saffron powder. Add almost all of this to top of rice for color and fragrance. Save the leftover Saffron for use later. Add a 1/4 of a cup of oil around the top of the rice. 

Add Saffron to the rice

Add Saffron to the rice

8. Wrap the lid with a paper towel or a regular towel. this helps draw the steam away from the rice. Put the lid on the pot. Turn the stove to the highest setting to let the rice steam (dam bekesheh). 

Cover the lid with a towel to steam

Cover the lid with a towel to steam

9. Leave the rice to cook for 1.5 hours. While the rice is cooking the base is forming a delicious potato rice crust (Tadeeg).

10. Once the rice is ready take 1/4 cup of the rice and mix it with the left over Saffron. Empty the rice and place on beautiful serving dish. To finish it off sprinkle the Saffron rice across the top. Don’t forget about the Tadeeg. You’ll need use a wood spatula to loosen the Tadeeg and get it out of the pot. Have a dish ready to serve the Tadeeg alongside the rice and you’re done! 

 

Potato Tadeeg

Potato Tadeeg

Noosh e Jan! 

Chai Irooni – Persian Tea

August 28, 2009

Chai Irooni or Persian tea is staple in all Persian households. The Bergamot fragrance is enchanting. Most Persian will have tea brewing on their stoves all day long. We drink it morning, noon and night in beautiful sometimes ornate tea cups with such accompaniments like sugar cubes, dates, raisins, Persian pastries…It’s a beautiful ritual!

To make a great pot of tea the secret is to use a double decker pot! 

To make 6 cups

1. Add 2 tsps of Persian tea leaves in the smaller top pot

2. Boil water in the larger bottom pot add to the top pot with the tea leaves

3. Boil water in the bottom pot again and place the filled top pot with the tea on top of the pot with the boiled water. Leave the tea to brew for about 15 minutes. 

4. To serve the tea, add 1/4 of the tea to the cup and fill the rest with boiling water

My dad’s tip: If your water is hard try using filtered / purified water for better clarity and taste

Noosh e Jan!

Chai Irooni

Chai Irooni

 

Chai Irooni

Chai Irooni

Chai Irooni

Chai Irooni

Tea Leaves

Tea Leaves

 

Two decker tea pot

Two decker tea pot

Taleby ~ An Inventive new way to serve Melon!

August 27, 2009

Last night we were at Khaleh Parisa’s for dinner and the creative goddess that she is served us a really beautiful and inventive Melon dessert. It was spectacular to look at and we all stared at it for a while trying to figure out how she got the Jello to that! Yes that really is Jello on top of the melon! 

 

Yum!

Yum!

So here’s the secret…I feel guilty giving it away but I’m sure you would have figured it out eventually. She took the whole rounded melon and cut a small part of the top off so she could get in there and scoop out the seeds. Once she emptied out the seeds she peeled the skin and added the Jello mix and filled it to the top. To set the Jello she put the melon back in the fridge and once it was ready she cut it into 4 pieces. 

Remember it’s all in the presentation so add strawberries, blueberries around the plate for added flavor and variety and you’re done! Nice one Khaleh Parisa! : ) 

Noosh e Jan!  

Sabzi Khordan ~ Traditional Herb Side Dish

August 27, 2009
Traditional Persian Herb Dish

Traditional Persian Herb Dish

My parents and my brother and his family are in town for the week and whenever they are in town the entire clan gets together every night for dinner and general hanging out. Our family unit is about 30 people which is pretty amazing. So last night we were at Khaleh Parisa’s house and she made and amazing dinner …Bagali Polo (Fava bean Rice)…Zereshk Polo (Barberry Rice)…Chicken Stroganoff….Salad…(I’ll get to these recipes at some point I promise!)

Tonight though, I’m choosing to highlight a side dish that she had that most Persians have on the table to accompany their meal. It’s called Sabzi Khordan which is variety of herbs I’m presuming is abundant in Iran. Our food is pretty heavy duty so having this on the side I thinks makes us feel less guilty about all the Polo (rice) we eat! 

 

Traditional Persian Herb Dish Top View

Traditional Persian Herb Dish Top View

 

These are the herbs, veg, nuts and cheese typically included: 

Geeshneez ~ Cilantro

Torobcheh ~ Radish

Jafarey ~ Parsley

Rayhan ~ Basil

Tarkhun ~ Tarragon

Piazcheh ~ Scallions

You can also add the following which is not pictured above: 

Paneer Irooni ~ Feta

Gerdu ~ Soaked Walnuts

Badam ~ Soaked Almonds

Gather all these elements and make sure you rinse and dry them. If you’re having a dinner party and you’re prepping a bit early you can lay it out but take a paper towel and make it a bit damp with water and put that over the dish to help keep all the herbs stay nice and fresh and moist. 

Noosh e Jan! 

Salad Shirazi

August 25, 2009

This is a fast, fresh and delicious salad!

Salad Shirazi

Salad Shirazi

Kat’s Tip…
Use the smaller sized cucumbers and cherry tomatoes for extra flavor.

Stuff: 

Staples: Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper, 1/2 Red Onion, 1/2 Lime, 2 tsps Malt Vinegar
Veggies: 5 small Cucumbers, box of Cherry Tomatoes, 1/2 Red Onion
Herbs: 1 tbs Mint 
Other: Basil for Garnish

DIY:

Feeds 4
Takes about 15 minutes to prepare

1. Dice all the cucumbers, tomatoes and red onions into small squares and put them into a nice serving dish. 

2. To make the “special sauce” squeeze half a lime with 1 tbs of mint, 4 tbs of olive oil, 2 tsp of malt vinegar and  salt & pepper. 

3. Add a few Basil leafs to garnish and then your done! 

Noosh e Jan! 

Vote Now!

August 23, 2009

Sour Grapes ~ Ghureh

August 23, 2009

  

Sour Grapes ~ Ghureh

Sour Grapes ~ Ghureh

Sour Grapes…

Ghureh are unripe or sour grapes
 
They are sold in jars in brine 

Sour /Tart / Vinegar like flavor but more mild than lemon

Used in a variety of Persian dishes