Friday, February 24, 2017

White Bean, Spinach and Garlic Soup from Christine Datian

My version of Christine Datian's soup
I don’t know how cold it gets where you live during the winter, but it never gets very cold in south Florida. That’s a fact, not a complaint!

Regardless of the outside temperature, soup is a regular part of our menu.

Christine Datian’s recipe for 'White Bean, Spinach, and Garlic Soup' recently appeared on page 15 in The Armenian Mirror-Spectator, and she’s asked me to share it with you. Before posting it, I made the soup, tweaking it according to the ingredients I had on hand. (See below)

I’m sure you’ll appreciate the comforting effects of her stick-to-your-ribs, heartwarming soup as much as we did!

Just click the 'Read More' link for the recipe.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Muhammara made with red pepper paste – a really easy version!

I’m always amazed when I get an Armenian Kitchen email from someone I knew from my childhood. One such email reached me recently from John, an old family-friend. I really knew his two older sisters better, as they were closer to my age.

The Armenian Kitchen's Muhammara  
John asked me for some advice on making muhammara using commercially prepared red pepper paste which is sold in most Middle Eastern stores.
John’s request:
“I'm currently attempting to make Muhammara from jarred pepper paste.  I definitely want to use your recipe, and was wondering how to equate the 2 eight ounce jars of roasted red peppers in your recipe to prepared pepper paste.  I was going to make an educated guess, but then thought it would be better to check with you.”

My Response:
“I see no reason why you couldn't make it using red pepper paste. I would suggest experimenting a bit.
The paste would have to be thinned-out with some water to a spreadable, rather than a pourable consistency. Since the paste is generally made with only red peppers and salt (unless it's the hot version), combine the thinned paste with the rest of the ingredients that are listed in the recipe. It's best made in advance so the flavors can blend.”

Friday, February 10, 2017

Spiced Red Lentil Dip-or-Spread

Doug and I were invited to a 'Super Bowl' dinner last Sunday, even though we never actually planned to watch or discuss the game. It was just an excuse to get together.

Spicy Red Lentil Dip

I offered to bring any appetizer our hostess wished. She left the choice up to me, stating that I should bring whatever I’d be cooking for The Armenian Kitchen.

I’d thought about making hummus, but I'd made it numerous times, and decided it’s become too ‘ordinary’, despite its variations. 

Instead, I opted to make 'Spiced Red Lentil Dip - or Spread'. When one thinks of red lentils, they usually associate it with soup or, if you’re Armenian, vospov kufteh.

Friday, February 3, 2017

My (Second) Manti Experiment

I enjoy a steaming bowl of well-made Manti in chicken broth topped with plain yogurt.

If you’re not familiar with Manti, they are tiny squares of dough stuffed with a small ball of seasoned ground meat that are shaped into ‘boats’. Traditionally the Manti is baked, then served in broth.

My first attempt at making Manti using wonton wrappers as the dough wasn’t exactly a success – and I admit it. I said I’d make it again – from scratch, but never did.

Market Basket table at St. David Armenian Church
My church has a ‘Market Basket’ table in the fellowship hall most Sundays after services selling lavash, choreg, soujuk, and so much more. It’s almost like having our own Armenian grocery store on the premises.

From time to time, the Market Basket also sells the Ohanyan brand of commercially prepared frozen Manti. I was excited to try it, as the thought of making it from scratch without anyone to help seemed tiring.

My friend, Linda Aginian and I both bought packages. She made hers first, following the package instructions which read: “Bring 4 cups of water to a rolling boil in a large saucepan. Add salt or 2 cubes of bouillon. Add Manti, stirring occasionally. Boil 10-15 minutes. Pour your choice of sauce over cooked Manti. Serve hot.”