Monday Meal Review: Azerbaijan

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This is meal #11 in my personal challenge to eat one meal from every country in the world. "Hey, wait a minute!" Brian said. Startled, I looked from him, to his fiancée, to my husband. We were standing in the kitchen. I was pouring drinks and telling them about the Azerbaijani food we were about to eat. "What?" I asked. Brian didn't answer immediately; he was scanning my kitchen. I followed his gaze nervously, wondering if I'd missed a spill. The counters were clear. The … [Read more...]

Recipe: Sweet Saffron Custard with Rosewater

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Serves 4 This dessert combines crunchy almond pieces with creamy custard.  I learned from my Global Table dinner people either love or hate the contrast of texture. Enjoy with hot tea. Ingredients: 3/4 cup ground almonds 2.5 cups milk 1/4 cup sugar 1 Tbsp butter 1/8 cup semolina 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp rosewater pinch saffron, crushed slivered almonds & cinnamon - garnish Method: 1. Heat ground almonds with milk and sugar. Bring to a boil, to infuse the almond … [Read more...]

Recipe: Spicy Meatballs with Pomegranate sauce (Fesinjan Kyufta)

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Makes 12 large meatballs In this case, spicy means seasoned, not hot. Serve with rice pilaf ... or stick on toothpicks for a finger food at a party (just put the sauce in a little bowl in the center). Ingredients: For the meatballs: 3/4 lb ground beef, 85% lean 3/4 lb ground lamb 1 large onion, grated 1 egg 2 Tbsp ice water 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs 1/2 tsp ground allspice 1/2 tsp hot Hungarian Paprika (for mild, increase for hot) 1 tsp dried mint 1 - 1 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp … [Read more...]

Recipe: Azeri Saffron Pilaf with potato kazmag

Azeri Rice Pilaf with Kazmag

Serves 6 I almost didn't make this pilaf because there were so many steps. I went out on a limb because I figured Azeri's must know how to cook basmati rice better than me. I was right. This is a great rice dish, buttery and delicately perfumed with saffron. Ingredients: 2 cups basmati rice 2 tsp salt 1/4 cup water 2 sticks butter 1 tsp saffron threads, soaked in a Tbsp of hot water. optional garnish: fresh mint leaves Method: For the potato crust: 1. Slice 2 potatoes … [Read more...]

Fun Fact Friday: Azerbaijan

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Sharbat: When the summer sun roasts everything from the birds, to the bees, Azerbaijani enjoy Sharbat drink, a traditional, fruity nectar whose name evokes the refreshing dessert, Sherbet. This drink is chilled, not frozen, however. Popular flavors include pomegranate, cherry, mint, and lemon. The drink can also be flavored with saffron, honey, and basil seeds. Canned soda is gaining popularity, however, threatening to push this homemade drink to the back of dusty shelves. Ovhsala: Ovshala, … [Read more...]