Monday, March 28, 2016

Reader Request: Choreg with a Cheese Topping?

Greetings, Friends!

It’s been a while since we’ve had a reader request, but one came in during my convalescence, and I’m hoping you could help.

Here’s the request from Steph:
“My mother and grandmother would make I believe it was a choreg with a cheese topping - it almost looked and tasted like what you would use for Bedek. (Perhaps Steph means boreg?) Is that so? Can you help me out I'd like to try to make it but I am not sure what I would use. I believe that the dough is the choreg base and then that was placed in a shallow pan and made into a valley for the cheese filling to be put in the valley and then cooked. I have no idea what they call that either.”

My research didn’t turn up anything that matched her description, but I did suggest my grandmother’s recipe for Banerov Hatz which could be altered.

Please send any suggestions to

Many thanks!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Christine Datian's Mashed Potato and Leek Soup

The following recipe from Christine Datian recently appeared in The Armenian Mirror- Spectator newspaper (page 11). While not an Armenian dish, it is a comforting soup perfect for any day of the week.
Christine Datian's Mashed Potato and Leek Soup (Photo credit: Unknown)
Mashed Potato and Leek Soup
Serves 4


4-5 baking potatoes, washed and diced into 1/2 inch cubes, peeled or unpeeled
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
Olive oil, about 1/4 cup
6 large leeks, white parts only, sliced in 1/4 inch slices and thoroughly washed
2-3 cloves garlic, mashed
1 large white onion, finely chopped
Kosher or sea salt to taste
Fresh black or white pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried lavender (optional)
Dash of nutmeg
6-8 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (more to taste)
1 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley, as garnish
1/2 cup chopped scallions and chives, as garnish
Crumbled cooked bacon, as garnish
Parmesan cheese, as garnish


In a large soup pot, combine the butter and olive oil over medium heat and stir until the butter starts to bubble.  Sauté the leeks and the garlic until they are softened. Add the onions and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add the salt, pepper, lavender (if using), nutmeg, and stir.  Add the diced potatoes and cream, toss a few times, and cook for 5-8 minutes longer.

Add the broth and bring ingredients to a full boil; reduce heat and simmer (uncovered) until the potatoes are softened.  Using a masher or an immersion blender, mash some of the potatoes at this time, leaving some lumps if you like.

Toss in half the parsley and adjust the seasonings, adding more cream or broth for the desired consistency.  Cover and cook on medium low heat until the potatoes are fully cooked and soup is blended. 

Serve soup hot garnished with crumbled bacon, chopped parsley, scallions and chives.  Soup may be topped with fresh Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.

Special Note: Christine’s recipes have been published in the Fresno Bee, Sunset and Cooking Light magazines, and at

For Christine’s recipes that have been published in Sunset and Cooking Light magazines, go to:

Friday, March 4, 2016

Traditional Armenian Salads by Sonia Tashjian

According to Sonia Tashjian, "When preparing salads, contemporary nutritionists suggest using fewer, rather than more, ingredients. It is no surprise that our ancestors were on the right track. Their salads were very simple using fresh, local ingredients which kept them well-nourished.
The word SALAD comes from the word ‘sal’, meaning salt. Salt is sprinkled on the fresh or boiled vegetables, seasoned with vinegar, spices and oil; sometimes onion and/or garlic are added."

All photos are courtesy of Sonia Tashjian.

Here are some traditional, regional vegetable salads from our cuisine.

Salad with Chard
boiled herbs, greens, salt-pepper, oil, vinegar
Salad with Purslane
purslane, a small tomato, a small pepper, garlic, oil, vinegar, mint, salt-pepper
Salad with Tomato
SALAD WITH TOMATO –Region: Musaler
tomato, a small onion, greens, salt-pepper, oil, lemon or vinegar
Salad with Cabbage
SALAD WITH CABBAGE – Region: Musaler
cabbage, garlic, salt-pepper, mint, sumac, oil, vinegar
Salad with Potato

cooked potato + greens + cumin + salt-pepper + oil + vinegar or lemon
Salad with Lettuce

lettuce, green onion & garlic, salt-pepper, lemon or vinegar, oil.

Salad with Eggplant
SALAD WITH EGGPLANT – Regions: Marash, Aintap
boiled eggplant, salt-pepper, mint, garlic, vinegar & water. Marinate eggplant overnight in this mixture; served with lentil klorchik**
Salad with Onion
SALAD WITH ONION – Region: Musaler
onion, greens, salt-pepper, oil, pomegranate molasses (combine with tomato paste, if desired)
Cucumber Salad
cucumbers, garlic, mint, salt, oil, vinegar

**Lentil Klorchik is a mixture of cooked lentils, fine bulgur and seasonings shaped into small balls.