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

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

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.