Monday Meal Review: Armenia

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This is meal #8 in my personal challenge to eat one meal from every country in the world. Before I get into the Algerian review, I want to mention a few words about hosting dinner parties. Hosting dinner parties is a lot of work if you don't have much experience. In terms of food you have to: - Go shopping - Cook the food - Serve the food at the right temperature But, I find, far more stress is spent on cleaning than on food: - Clean the inevitable disaster areas around the … [Read more...]

Recipe: Armenian Bulgur Pilaf Salad (Itch)

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Serves 8 This colorful salad reminds me of tabouli. The orange hue comes from the pureed tomatoes. Serve at room temperature with grilled chicken or lamb. Ingredients: 1, 15 ounce can diced plum tomatoes 1/2 cup olive oil 2 cups chopped onion 2 cups bulgur 1/4 cup lemon juice salt pepper 1 small jalapeno, minced 1 large red bell pepper, diced 1 large red onion, diced 8 scallions, sliced 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley 1-2 cups very hot water (add as … [Read more...]

Recipe: Armenian Stuffed Grape Leaves (Yalanchi Sarma)

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Serves 4-8 (makes 20) This is a delicious variation on traditional stuffed grape leaves we see in supermarket salad bars. The Armenians make stuffed grape leaves without an intense vinegar brine. Instead, earthy cinnamon and currants carry the flavor. Just wonderful! Ingredients: 1 16 oz jar grape leaves 6 Tbsp olive oil 1 onion, diced (about a cup) 1/2 cup basmati rice 2 Tbsp tomato paste 3 Tbsp dried currants 1 Tbsp lemon juice 3/4 cup water salt 1/4 cup pine nuts 1/2 tsp … [Read more...]

Recipe: Armenian Hazelnut Cake in Honey Syrup (Revani)

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Serves 8 This dense cake has a muffin like texture. Depending on how coarse you grind the nuts, you can experience quite a bit of "crunch."  Serve chilled or room temperature with vanilla ice cream. Ingredients: For syrup: 1 cup water 3/4 cup sugar 2 Tbsp honey 2 pieces cinnamon stick 2 lemon slices 3 Tbsp brandy For Cake: 4 large eggs, separated 1/2 cup sugar 3 Tbsp vegetable oil 1/4 cup greek yogurt 1 cup flour 1 1/2 cups toasted, skinned, ground hazelnuts (you … [Read more...]

Recipe: Armenian White Bean Plaki (Lupia Plaki)

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Serves 8 This dish can be enjoyed hot or cold. We served the Plaki cold in an Armenian Meza style dinner (cold buffet) and scooped it up with flatbread. Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups dried Great Northern Beans, soaked overnight in water 1 Tbsp salt 2-3 medium carrots, peeled and diced 1 celery stalk, diced 1/2 cup diced onion 1 can diced plum tomatoes, drained 2 Tbsp tomato paste 1/3 cup olive oil 8 cloves garlic, quartered 2 Tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp Hungarian paprika 1/2 tsp … [Read more...]

Recipe: Armenian Spiced Feta (Brinza)

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Serves 4 Spiced feta is wonderful wrapped up in flatbread with fresh herbs. Feel free to improvise on this recipe with your favorite herbs and spices. Ingredients: 1/2 lb feta cheese 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 tsp Hungarian paprika 1/2 tsp dried tarragon 1/2 tsp dried oregano 1/2 tsp dried cilantro 1/4 tsp sumac (optional garnish) 2-6 sprigs each of basil, oregano, mint, and chives Method: 1. Spread fresh herbs down in a shallow serving dish. … [Read more...]

Recipe: Cucumber and Yogurt Dip (Jajik)

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Serves 6 Serve this refreshing dip with toasted pita chips. You'll be cool as a cucumber even on a hot day. Ingredients: 2 cups greek yogurt 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed 2 medium cucumbers, peeled, grated, and squeezed dry with paper towels (see photo at bottom of recipe). 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint 1 tsp dried cilantro 2 Tbsp olive oil 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp ground sumac for garnish (optional) Method: 1. Combine all ingredients in a serving bowl, except for sumac. Cover … [Read more...]

Video Saturday: “Armenian Folk Medly” (sic)

Shakila is a famous Persian singer. Listen to her gorgeous voice as she sings Armenian Folk Medly (sic). Even if you don't know exactly what she's saying, the high quality video tells the story. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWXUK_YLoNQ] See you on Monday... I'll have recipes and the Armenian Monday Meal Review! Have a wonderful weekend! … [Read more...]