Everything about Armenian food!

Celebrating a heritage of Armenian recipes

Sunday, March 29, 2015

An Armenian-Style Easter

Today, Palm Sunday, marks The Armenian Kitchen’s 6th anniversary, and the beginning of Holy Week. It also means that we are preparing for Easter Sunday, and the all-important Easter meal.

We’ve shared recipes for chorag, roasted lamb, paklava, explained how to dye eggs naturally and the tradition of cracking Easter eggs to see who the ‘winner’ will be. We also included recipes showing how to use leftover Easter eggs and lamb, and still keep meals interesting.
Photo from ArmeniaNow; photo credit: Nazik Armenakyan
A few years back our friend Ara sent a link from ArmeniaNow, an online magazine, depicting a very traditional Easter meal. The story was written by reporter Gayane Mkrtchyan.

 It is this story that I would like to present to you. Please click here to read this most-interesting account of a traditional Easter meal as done in Armenia.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Palm Sunday Luncheon at St. David Armenian Church, Boca Raton, FL

Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of Holy Week, is fast approaching. In most Armenian churches in the U.S., the youth organizations host a luncheon – or - bake sale – or - both.

St. David Armenian Church
The ACYOA (Armenian Church Youth Organization of America) of St. David Armenian Church, Boca Raton, FL is hosting a luncheon after services conclude this coming  Sunday, March 29th.
Years ago, I co-advised the ACYOA with my long-time friend Arlys Koushakjian. Our then teen-aged children grew up together, so it seemed natural that the two moms would advise and nurture the small group of young Armenians in the area. Each year we sponsored a luncheon with the help of the Women’s Guild and Men’s Club.

We are proud to say that St. David ACYOA youth membership has grown, and continues this long-standing Palm Sunday tradition.

If you are in the area on Palm Sunday, please join the St. David family for this special event!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Bulgur Salad with Pistachios and Currants

Bulgur has a zillion uses in Armenian cuisine. In our home, bulgur, in its varying sizes, is combined with any number of ingredients to create many a tasty dish. The list of add-ins included, but is not limited to, such items as vegetables, tomato sauce, chickpeas, raw onions, caramelized onions … you name it. I could on for several pages! 

Bulgur recipes can be served hot, cold or at room temperature making it a truly versatile ingredient and a MUST-HAVE in any Armenian pantry.

NOTE: I buy currants when they are readily available in the supermarket, and keep open packages, well-wrapped, in the freezer to help them last a long time.
Here’s my rendition of a bulgur salad that, I believe, even my grandparents would have enjoyed.

Bulgur Salad with Pistachios and Currants

Bulgur Salad with Pistachios and Currants
Serves 4
Note: This is best if made several hours or up to one day before serving.

1 cup #2 (medium) bulgur
¼ cup currants
¼ cup pistachios, shelled and toasted (* See steps #3 and 6)
½ to 1 tsp. allspice
2 Tbsp. dried mint, crushed
2 Tbsp. finely chopped Italian parsley

1 medium clove of garlic, minced
Zest of 1 lemon, optional
Juice of 1 large lemon (about 3 Tbsp.)
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Place bulgur in a large bowl and cover it with cold water; soak for 15 to 20 minutes, until it becomes soft but not mushy. Drain any remaining liquid in a fine sieve, squeezing out any excess moisture. Return bulgur to the bowl.

2. To reconstitute the currants, place them in a separate bowl and cover with a little warm water for about 5 minutes. Drain well.

*3. To toast the pistachios, place them in a dry skillet and cook over medium-high heat,   shaking the pan often, until nuts become fragrant and lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Place nuts on a plate to cool. Coarsely chop nuts and set aside until ready to use.

4. Add the drained currants, spices, dried mint, and parsley to the bulgur. Toss gently.

5. Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, lemon zest and juice, and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

*6. Pour dressing over bulgur mixture and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving the salad, add the toasted, chopped pistachios. This prevents the nuts from getting soggy before serving time.
The salad may be served at room temperature.