Friday, July 27, 2018

Christine Datian’s Summer Peach Cobbler with Walnuts and Raisins

According to its license plates, Georgia is referred to as the ‘Peach State’. The truth is that South Carolina, our new home state, is actually the largest peach-producing state on the East Coast.

Someone, somewhere stated that if you bite into a South Carolina peach, you’ll know what summer tastes like. Been there, done that, and it’s absolutely true!

That said, Christine Datian just sent me one of her recipes, featuring summer peaches, which recently appeared in The Armenian Mirror Spectator. Read on, give her recipe a try, and savor the sweet taste of summer!

Summer Peach Cobbler with Walnuts and Raisins
Christine Datian’s Summer Peach Cobbler with Walnuts and Raisins

Ingredients:
8 firm, large ripe peaches, washed, peeled and sliced **(See notes below)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium egg
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2-3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and nutmeg
1/2 cup each chopped walnuts (or pecans or almonds) and golden raisins (to taste)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place sliced peaches in a buttered 9"x13" baking or casserole dish.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg with lemon juice and vanilla; sift sugar, flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl, and stir until dry and crumbly.  Sprinkle this mixture over the peaches.
In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Sprinkle mixture over the top of the dish and dot with butter.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until peaches are bubbly around the edge and the top is golden brown. 
Serve with whipped cream, ice cream, or sliced fruit or berries on the side.

**Notes from Christine:

To the peaches, you can add one or two cups of fresh nectarines, blueberries or boysenberries.

You can substitute 1 cup brown sugar or stevia for the granulated sugar.

Because stevia is so much sweeter than sugar, a direct substitution is not possible. For every cup of sugar your recipe calls for, replace it with either 1 teaspoon of liquid stevia, 1/3 to ½ teaspoon stevia extract powder, 1 tablespoon concentrated stevia liquid, or 18 to 24 individual serving packets.

*Christine’s recipes have been published in the Fresno Bee newspaper, Sunset magazine, Cooking Light magazine, and at http://www.thearmeniankitchen.com/


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Khorovats - the Armenian Barbecue

What exactly is Khorovats? 
According to Irina Petrosian, author of “Armenian Food – Fact, Fiction, and Folklore”, ‘khorovats is an Armenian word for life lived to the fullest and the celebration of good weather’. I couldn’t have said it better.

Doug's shish kebab on mini metal skewers
Over the years, we’ve posted numerous stories about grilling and barbecuing in general - and, of course recipes. The word ‘khorovats’ wasn’t used in our Armenian household, but whenever we grilled or barbecued, the menu consisted of lamb shish kebab or lule kebab.

A shish, or skewer, is a vital tool in the preparation of any kind of kebab – metal, wooden, or bamboo are common materials used to make them. Metal skewers are generally long and flat in design, although the shape might vary slightly.
My dad, Andy Dabbakian, with his hand-made shish kebab machine and skewers -  grilling his own kebab recipe. He was quite a guy!

My father, Andy Dabbakian, a machinist by trade, designed and built his own kebab machine and accompanying skewers which were long, narrow, square-shaped, with a sharply pointed tip. The skewers held the cubes of meat beautifully as his machine rotated each in unison, cooking the kebab evenly every time.

While scrolling through FaceBook, I came across an article about khorovats written by Kate Leahy on the site, www.lavashthebook.com.  Ms. Leahy wrote this for the Smithsonian Institution's Folklife Festival blog. 

Click here to read her story on ‘Armenia’s favorite grilling pastime’.

The next time you feel like grilling, I hope you will be inspired  to 'khorovats' instead!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

An Armenian Immigrant and His Successful Candy Company - a Story by Joel Denker

If you’re old enough, you might remember a TV commercial jingle that started out with these lyrics: ‘Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t …’

If you DO remember this, then you’ll know that the rest of the jingle referred to Peter Paul Almond Joy and Mounds candy bars.




Peter Halajian, founder of Peter Paul Manufacturing Company
Joel Denker sent me the link to a very interesting story he posted on his ‘Food Passages’ blog last month. The topic: Peter Halajian, founder of the Peter Paul Manufacturing Company.

Click here to read Joel's story about how this Armenian came to America  and ended up starting what turned out to be a very successful business.


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

No Bake Key Lime Cream Cheese Pie

We’re getting ready for the Fourth of July and boy, is it HOT outside! A lot of neighbors I’ve spoken to don’t want to bake,  use their stove tops, or even grill! I’m with them – up to a point.

We’re keeping our menu simple and as cool as possible.

The dessert on the menu is one I’ve been making for years - No-bake Key Lime Cream Cheese Pie - my son-in-law's favorite! 
Even though this recipe is not Armenian in any way, shape or form, I thought I’d pass it along because it's so darn good!

Wishing you all a Happy Fourth of July!!


No Bake Key Lime Cream Cheese Pie (Image from Kraftcanada.com)


No Bake Key Lime Cream Cheese Pie

Ingredients:
1-9“ commercially-prepared graham cracker crust
8 oz. Cream cheese, softened (low-fat may be used)
1-14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (fat-free may be substituted)
¼ cup to 1/3 cup Key Lime juice (depending on the degree of tartness you desire)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Directions:
1       Leave the cream cheese at room temperature for about 30 minutes before starting.
2     Using an electric mixer, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth.
3      Add the condensed milk and vanilla, beating until blended.
4      Add the desired amount of Key Lime juice and beat thoroughly.
5      Pour mixture into prepared crust. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
6      To serve, top with whipped cream, if desired.