Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Are You Ready for Easter?

It’s never too early to start planning for Easter – arranging baskets of treats for the children, baking plenty of chorag,  your favorite lavash, making paklava, and most important, coloring hard-cooked eggs with onion skins, the Armenian way!
(Did you know Armenians have a traditional way of cracking Easter eggs? Click here to find out more.)
Egg shells colored by onion skins! Photo by Marash Girl

Special Note: You must start gathering onion skins now – gather as many as you can because the more you have, the more intense the color will be.

Here’s what to do to color Easter eggs Armenian style – it’s very easy:

Start with white-shelled eggs.

Hard cook eggs as you normally do, but add the onion skins to the water before you start the cooking process.

Need help with hard-cooking eggs? Just follow these steps:

1. Gently place eggs in a deep pot.

2. Add enough water to come one inch above the eggs. (Add onion skins now if you’re coloring eggs for Easter.)

3. Cook over high heat until water comes to a boil.

4. Immediately cover the pot and remove it from the heat.

5. Let the eggs stand in the hot water for 15 minutes.

6. Discard the onion skins, if used.

7. Remove the eggs from the hot water and cool them immediately in a bowl of cold water. (This stops any further cooking, makes eggs easier to peel, and helps prevent a greenish ring from forming around the yolk.)

8. Pat the eggs dry, and refrigerate them until serving time.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Sulkhamud, or Sour Spinach and Rice, a Lenten Recipe


Pat and John Nashmy have been sharing their Assyrian family recipes with The Armenian Kitchen for a long time.

During our recent move, John emailed me to let me know his wife, Pat, was at it again. By that he meant she was cooking a Lenten recipe, Sulkhamud, or Sour Spinach and Rice, from The Assyrian Cookbook.
The Nashmy's 'Sour Spinach and Rice' recipe 

First, I’ll give you the recipe as described in the cookbook.

Pat adapted the original recipe for use in the Ninja Cooking System, a slow cooker, so her preparation was done in reverse. Her method appears after the cookbook’s version.

Sulkhamud, or Sour Spinach and Rice
Serves 4 to 5

Ingredients:
1 lb. fresh spinach
¼ cup rice
1 medium-sized can tomatoes (15 to 16 oz.)
2 cups water
Juice of 1 lemon
2 or 3 large onions, minced
Salt, to taste
3 Tbsp. oil

Directions:
Wash spinach carefully, and cut into pieces.
In a saucepan, combine spinach, rice, tomatoes, and water. Mix well.
Cover and simmer approximately 20 minutes or until spinach and rice are tender. Add lemon juice.
In a skillet, sauté onions in oil until lightly browned. Add to spinach mixture.

Pat’s slow-cooker steps:

1) Added Oil
2) Browned the Diced Onions
3) Added the Rice
4) Added the Tomatoes
5) Added the Lemon Juice
6) Cover and let simmer 20 minutes
7) Added the spinach last and let cook for an additional 10 minutes
8) Adjusted by adding more lemon as we like it more on the sour side
9) Also, no salt as the Tomatoes contained enough already

Final note: The recipe was doubled.


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Bulgur and Potato Kufteh - Musa Daghtsi Style

My grandmother's recipe for Bulgur and Potato Kufteh

Please forgive my delay in posting. 

Doug and I are living out of suitcases as we begin a new chapter of our lives in a new location. 
After spending almost 40 years in south Florida, we finally decided to move to South Carolina, just outside of Charlotte, NC where there is an Armenian Church (St. Sarkis) and Middle Eastern stores with our favorite ingredients which will allow us to continue our mission of cooking and preserving Armenian recipes.

We will miss St. David Church and the friends we've known for so long, but they will forever be with us in our hearts.

We haven't actually moved into our new home yet, but once we have unpacked and set up our new kitchen, we'll be back in full swing.

In the meantime, please enjoy a Lenten recipe my grandmother, Yeranouhe, used to make.

Bulgur and Potato Kufteh
Yield: 8 pieces, depending on size


Ingredients:

½ cup #1 (fine) bulgur
Water
3 Tbsp. olive oil
½ cup finely chopped red peppers (NOTE: a combination of red and green peppers can be used)
1 cup finely chopped onion
½ lb. boiled, peeled potatoes
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
1 Tbsp. red pepper paste softened with 1 Tbsp. water (tomato paste with a dash of cayenne pepper can be substituted)
½ tsp. cumin
Dash of black pepper
1 tsp. salt

NOTEThis recipe can easily be doubled.

Directions:

1. Place bulgur in a bowl adding just enough warm water to cover it.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Test bulgur to make sure it has softened to a tender, yet slightly chewy texture.  Drain any excess liquid.

2. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sautė the peppers and onions until they soften, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

3. Gently mash the boiled potatoes and set aside.

Bulgur - potato mixture prior to shaping
4. Once the bulgur has softened enough and the excess liquid is drained, add the peppers, onions, mashed potatoes, parsley, and the rest of the ingredients. Knead until well-combined. Adjust seasonings, if necessary.

5. Shape as desired –cigars; round, flat patties, etc. Arrange on a platter

To serve:  wrap in lettuce or grape leaves - or simply eat with a fork!