Everything about Armenian food!

Celebrating a heritage of Armenian recipes

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

White Apricots – or - Angelcots®

Angelcots® from Trader Joe's
As Doug and I strolled through our local Trader Joe’s last week, we noticed a display of luscious apricots. Upon closer examination, we realized that these cuties were actually white apricots, also known as Angelcots®. We made our purchase, took our first sweet, juicy bite, and immediately became hooked!

Angelcots® are grown in northern California by a single grower, their season is short – from mid-June through July, and are sold mainly at Trader Joe’s, some Whole Foods stores, and select Kroger stores. Suggestion: Check with the store before you go.

These are best eaten as-is, but feel free to use them as you would an apricot in recipes. Since their season is so short, you might try your hand at drying some for later use, or turning them into a jam or preserve.

Watch this video from www.Frieda’s.com to get some Angelcot® ideas – and – enjoy!

If you're looking for a really simple recipe using Angelcots®, try my creation featured below.
Honey-Yogurt with Grilled Angelcots®  ready to serve!

Honey-Yogurt with Grilled Angelcots® 
Serves 4

11/2 to 2 cups Greek-style plain yogurt mixed with 2 to 3 Tbsp. honey
2 to 4 Angelcots®, pitted and cut in half (The amount of fruit you use  will depend on their size.)
Ground cinnamon
Vegetable oil
Extra honey to drizzle on top, optional

Grilled Angelcots®
1.  Lightly coat a grill pan with cooking spray and preheat on a medium setting. Alternately, use a Panini-style grill but be careful not to squash the fruit with the weight of the lid. I used my good-old George Forman countertop grill.

2.  Brush  or spray Angelcot® halves with a little vegetable oil. Sprinkle cinnamon on the flat side of each half. Place fruit cut-side down on grill pan. Cook Angelcots® for 2 minutes on one side; flip, then heat for one more minute, or until slightly softened (but not mushy!) and lightly grilled. Remove from pan and cool. (No need to flip if using a press.)

3. In a mixing bowl, combine the yogurt and honey.
4. Divide sweetened yogurt among four serving bowls. Top each with one grilled Angelcot® half. Place a tiny dollop of yogurt in the center of each Angelcot® half and garnish with a berry of your choice. Drizzle with additional honey, if desired.

5. Serve immediately.



Friday, June 26, 2015

Return to Asbury Park 2015 - Make your plans to attend NOW !

Asbury Park, NJ had been my family’s go-to vacation destination ever since the early 1950’s. Some landmarks of that era included the Van Hotel, Hye Hotel, Berkeley-Carteret Hotel, Monte Carlo swimming pool, Convention Hall, Sunset Lounge, the boardwalk, and, of course, the beach!

Armenians crowded the sandy shore mostly between 6th Ave. - 8th Ave. Beach blankets covered the sand; kef-time music filled the air. It was an awesome, innocent, coming-of-age location.
The late 1960’s -1970’s presented hard times for Asbury. Thankfully, the area has come into its own again. Tourism is once again flourishing, and Armenians are returning! In fact, 2015 marks the fourth consecutive year where Armenians will appear en masse in Asbury!

This year’s ‘Return to Asbury’ kef weekend on the beach is taking place from August 7th through August 9th. By attending, you’ll not only have the time of your life, the event proceeds will benefit Camp Haiastan, Camp Nubar & St. Vartan Camp.
Arsine Kaloustian and Taniel Koushakjian at 'Return to Asbury Park 2014'
Arsine Kaloustian and Taniel Koushakjian, founders of the state-wide organization Florida Armenians (FLArmenians) and rising community leaders, are working hard to make this year’s gathering super-spectacular. I’ve known these two fine, young professionals since they were children. I met Taniel when he was five, but have known his mother, Arlys, since she and I were in our early teens – in fact, we met at the Van Hotel in Asbury Park! I met Arsine and her family when she was about 12.  Arsine, Taniel, and my daughter, Mandy are all about the same age, and grew up in South Florida. They formed a close-knit friendship from the very start - but I digress.
Return to Asbury 2015 will feature the Artsakh Band and......for the first time in Asbury in almost 50 years.....the Fabulous Vosbikian Band!

Need a place to stay? Check out the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel or the Hotel Tides.  There are also some B&Bs in the area.

Get your tickets online now: www.returntoasbury2015.eventbrite.com.
Don’t delay; prices go up on July 1st !


Friday, June 19, 2015

Caramelized Onion, Cheese and Za’atar Spread - a new recipe from Christine Datian

Just in time for summer gatherings, here’s the latest recipe from Christine Datian. This, along with some of Christine’s special notes, were featured in the May 30th issue of the ArmenianMirror-Spectator, pg. 12.

Add this to your summer-entertaining menu; it’s sure to please!
Caramelized Onions, Cheese and Za'atar Spread for Middle Eastern Bread Salad

Caramelized Onion, Cheese and Za’atar Spread for Middle Eastern Bread Salad

1 medium yellow or white onion, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh Mozzarella or Jack cheese, shredded
½ cup ricotta cheese
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. za’atar (Middle Eastern spice mixture)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice plus 1 tsp. lemon or orange zest
1 tsp. sesame seeds, optional
2-3 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
Sea or Kosher salt, coarse black pepper, and dried oregano, to taste

Unsalted butter or Olive oil (for cooking the onions)

     1.    Preheat oven to 400°F.

Caramelized onions

     2.    Add 2 Tbsp. butter or olive oil in a medium pan; add onions and cook until caramelized to a golden brown. (Be careful not to burn the onions.) Remove from heat and cool slightly.

     3.    In a medium bowl, combine caramelized onions, cheeses, and remaining ingredients, mixing until smooth.

     4.    Spread or spoon mixture onto sliced bread, such as pita, flat bread, baguettes, ciabatta, Italian or French bread that’s been halved. Lay bread on a baking sheet and bake until cheese melts and becomes bubbly. (May also be used on corn or flour tortillas and baked.)

Onion, Cheese and Za'atar Topping

     5.    Remove bread from oven and cut into wedges. Top bread with your choice of thinly sliced cucumbers, radishes, green onion, chopped tomato, Greek or black olives, and/or your choice of mixed greens or chopped spinach, if desired. Sprinkle with fresh mint, drizzle with olive oil; top with additional za’atar or paprika, if desired.

Robyn's Notes: I used Toufayan's Wholesome Wheat Flatbread as the base. There was enough onion-cheese topping to cover 3 - 7-inch flatbreads. The flatbreads were placed on parchment-lined baking sheets and baked at 375°F for about 8 minutes. A pizza wheel was used to cut them into wedges as they were served as an appetizer. These can also be served for lunch with a tossed salad.