Sunday, 18 November 2012

Poached egg salad

It's Sunday and I had a very heavy day yesterday with steak dinner and drinks and etc, so today I decided its going to be salad, but as it is a Sunday you want to make some effort for your meal. Here is the recipe for what I have made, poached egg salad.
For the dressing:
Balsamic vinegar: 2 table spoon
English mustard: 1 tea spoon
Mayonnaise: 1 tea spoon
Salt& pepper

For the salad:
Yellow pepper: 1/2
Celery: 1 stem
Lettuce: 3 leaves
Egg:2 poached

Mix the dressing ingredients and pour it at the bottom of the plate you are serving the salad in. Add the lettuce, for extra oomf grate the cucumbet, pepper and celery and pile them in the middle, put the poached egg on top of them, add some fresh chopped mint to garnish and dig in!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Plum khoresh

This is my all time favourite and my mom's is the best, so why not sharing the joy. Here is the recipe, it is for 2-3 people.
Lamb(diced): 300 grams
Dried plum: 200 grams
Onion: 1 medium
Tomato puree: 1 Table spoon
Sugar:100 grams
Cinnamon:2 tea spoon
Turmeric, salt and pepper
Veg oil: 1-2 Table spoon
Water( boiled): 1 cup
Dice the onion and fry it in some veg oil, add turmeric and fry it for 30 seconds with the onion, add the lamb and let it brown. Add the tomato puree , dried plums, cinnamon, salt pepper and fry for a couple of minutes, finally add the sugar to the mixture. Add the boiled water until it covers the ingredients. Put the lid on and let the heat do its magic for around an hour until the lamb is soft and tender. Serve with fluffy rice with a glass of cold ice tea.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Chicken pie with almond, pear preserve and saffron

I have never made pie crust, the idea of 1/2 cup butter was never very encouraging. But I found this butter less pie dough recipe and also had some cooked chicken around, so thought why not give it a try. I have also made it a bit differntly so that it has an Iranian twist on it. So here is the recipe, this makes two individual pies.

For the pie crust:
Flour:1&1/2 cup
Almond (ground):2 table spoon
Sugar:2 tea spoon
Salt: 1tea spoon
Veg oil: 1/2 cup
Saffron:1/4 tea spoon
Water:1/3 cup
Milk:2 tea spoon

For inside of the pie
Chicken(cooked & shredded):1 cup
Pear preserve:2 table spoon

Add the flour, salt, sugar, ground almond and saffron, mix all the dry ingredients. Slowly add the oil and work the dough, add the milk and water and work it until it looks right. Thin the dough and lay it in the oven proof indivual pie pan. Add the chicken and put one table spoon of the pear preserve on the top and cover with another layer of pie crust. Put in a pre- heated oven (190 degrees) for around 25 minutes unril golden. Serve with fresh green salad.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Olive meze pizza

I have bought olive meze from a shop in Nottingham and it was too good, I thought I had to share and even more make a greco-roman feast, an olive meze pizza. Here is the recipe:

Lamb: 4-5 pieces
Olive meze: 1/2 jar
Cheddar:150 gr
Pizza dough

I made the pizza dough by mixing normal flour, olive oil, salt, baking powder and water. Cook the lamb and shred it.
On a pizza dough spread a good amount of olive meze and then add the shredded lamb and cover with good old cheddar. Put it in an oven for 25-30 minutes until golden and by then the house smells heavenly. I hope you like it as much as I did.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Leek & onion spaghetti

It has been a very long time since my last post, but the schools are open, the weather is cool and it is time to cook. What better than some comfort food, spaghetti. Here is the recipe:
Onion: 1 medium
Leek: 3 stems
Milk:1/2 cup
Soft cheese: 1 table spoon
Spaghetti: 100 g
Veg oil: 1 table spoon
Salt and pepper
Water: 4 cups

Boil the water and add spaghetti, salt and some oil, cook it until soft and then drain the spaghetti.
Chop the leeks and the onion, fry them in a pan with a little veg oil, when slightly golden, add the milk and the soft cheese, let it cool for 3-4 minutes and add the cooked spaghetti to the mixture, the only thing left is to enjoy!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Zereshk polo- Chicken with barberries sauce

This is my all time favorite and I have  not put it on the blog so far because I thought it is far too simple, but then I thought it is way too good not to be shared. This serves 2-3.
Barberries: 1 cup
Chicken: 2-3 pieces
Onion: 1 medium
Water: 2 cups
Turmeric: 1 tsp
salt: 1 tsp
pepper: 1tsp
Butter: 1 Tsp
Sugar: 2.5 Tsp

Fry the onion for 2-3 minutes, then add the chicken and fry it for 10-12 minutes until golden. Cover it with boiled water and let it cook thoroughly. In a small pan, add the butter and fry the barberries for 1-2 minutes then add the sugar and  1 cup of the water from the chicken mixture and fry them all together for 5-7 minutes. If you like add more sugar ( I personally like it very sweet) towards the end add a dash of saffron to the chicken.Cook some fluffy rice and dish it up. Enjoy!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Lamb lever scotch egg

There is a nice and local butcher which I get all my meat from and occasionally they have lamb lever, nice and shiny, I know the best way to cook lamb lever (at least for Iranians) is to dice it and skew it and grill on a BBQ, but at the flat I am living, I cannot BBQ (sigh) . On the other hand, I love scotch eggs, but to be honest the idea of it being deep fried does not go very well with my diet, so here is my oven baked lamb lever scotch egg. The recipe is for one (quite big) ball of scotch egg :-)
Lamb lever: 200 grams
Egg boiled: 1
Bread crumbs: 1 cup
Salt and pepper: to taste
Vegetable oil: 1Tsp

Chop or blend the lever until it is like a lumpy mash, add bread crumbs, salt and pepper to the mixture. Wrap it completely with a boiled egg. You don't need to dip it in beaten egg as the mashed lever is quite moist any way and you can just cover it with breadcrumbs. Put it on an oven tray covered with a bit of vegetable oil and let it be for around 20-25 minutes in a 190degrees oven. Serve it with nice greens with a dash of balsamic.

Celery Khoresh

Celery is one of my favorite greens and they say they are really good for burning fat. This is recipe is a khoresh with celery and fresh/dried herbs, its tasty and refreshing and like other types of khoresh, its great for dinner parties as you can make it beforehand and it goes a long way. So here is the recipe for 2-3.
Onion: 1 medium
Celery : 4-5 sticks-diced (2-3 cm pieces)
Lamb: 5-6 pieces- diced
Dried herb (Dill, parsley): 2 Tsp
Dried lime/ lemon juice: 1-2 (to taste)
Water (boiled): 1 pint
Beef cube: 1
Turmeric: 1tsp
Salt and pepper: to taste
Vegetable oil : 1 Tsp

Fry the onion in the pan until nice and golden, add the celery and fry them as well. Add the lamb and a lot of pepper (black pepper),  turmeric , do not add the salt yet or the lamb will go chewy, also the beef cube which we will add towards the end is quite salty, so taste before adding any more salt. Add the dried lime and the herbs and introduce them to each other in the pan, add the boiled water to the mixture and let it be until the lamb is tender (around 1 hour or so). Then add the beef cube and maybe some lemon juice to taste. Serve it with nice fluffy rice with maybe a dollop of yogurt.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Mirza Ghasmei- Aubergine , tomato and egg

I have been really busy lately with my PhD work and spending most of the time eating soup, to make things nice and happy again my mom made this Iranian dish which is my all time favourite and mom make it really well. It is called Mirza Ghasemi and here is the recipe. It serves 3-4.

Garlic: 5 cloves- crushed
Aubergine: 2 Medium
Egg: 2 Medium
Chopped tomato: 1 tin
Tomato pure: 1Table spoon
Veg oil: 2 Table spoon
Salt, pepper and turmeric : to taste

Grill the Aubergines in the oven until it is all smoky and burnt on the edges, it would be even best if you can grill them on the BBQ, the smoky taste is priceless :-), peel their skins and chop them and put them aside.
Fry the chopped tomato with oil, garlic , pepper, turmeric and tomato pure in a frying pan until it is all golden , add two eggs , do not scramble the eggs, let them get some sort of shape.Add the aubergines to the combination and let them all sweat for 5-10 minutes in the frying pan, serve it with rice or pitta bread. Bon appetit!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Chicken with prune and plum (Khoresh)

My friend is gone now, but before she leave she cooked this fantastic plum khoresh with chicken, I myself cook it with lamb but this was something new for me and definitely worth sharing. This serves 2-3.
Chicken: 6 pieces
Dried black prune and plum: 1.5 cup
Lime: 2
Salt, pepper, turmeric: 1tsp each
Tomato paste: 1Tsp
Sugar: 1 Tsp
Saffron: 0.25 tsp
Water:1.5 cup
Onion: 1 medium
Veg oil

Rob the spices on the chicken pieces really well, in a sizzling hot pan fry the chicken until golden on all sides. Mix the tomato paste, water and half of the lime juice and pour the mixture into the pan, add the saffron and reduce the heat for 15 minutes.
Chop the onion finely and fry them in a separate frying pan until golden, when its almost ready add the prunes and plums and fry them with the onion as well.
Add the plum, prune and onion mixture to the chicken and add 1Tsp sugar and the rest of the lime. Let it all steam together for about 10 minutes and serve it with rice or even naan bread. Enjoy!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Pomegrenate and walnut khoresh ( fesenjoon)

My friends stayed over the weekend and she cooked this tradintional khoresh which is a nation's favourite and taste fantastic. So enough with the marketing and here's the recipe. This serves 3-4.

Onion: 2 medium
Chicken: 5-6 large pieces
Pomegranate paste: 1 bottle
Walnut: 2 cups
Water: 2 cups
Salt, turmeric
Veg oil
Sugar : 1 Tsp ( optional)

Chop and fry the onion really well until golden add 1tsp turmeric , add the chicken mix it with the onion and add the water, let it half cook for 15 minutes. Crush the walnut really well and add it to the mixture, add the pomagrante paste, put the mixture on really low heat and let it be for 70-90 minutes, this is until the khoresh changed colour to darkish brown and the walnut oil is oozing out. If half way through you think that the chicken is melting and shreading remove it from the pan and add towards the end again. Serve it with nice and fluffy rice and dig in!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Ghorme sabzi khoresh

This Khoresh ( Iranian stew) is one of my favourites and its packed with herbs and all the good stuff. This serves 2-3.

Onion:1 large
Diced lamb: 5-6 pieces
Chopped chives, coriander, parsely and fenugreek: 1.5 cup
Red kidney beans: 1 tin
Dried lime: 3
Stock cube:1
Rice: 2 cups
Veg oil
Salt, pepper and turmeric

Chop the onion and fry it in a pan until golden, add the lamb and turmeric, pepper. In a seperate pan fry the chopped herbs and add it to the lamb. Cover the mixture with water and add a beef stock cube and dried limes and let it stew for around 90 minutes on a low heat. When its around 70 minutes in add the red kidney beans.
Prepare the rice, cover the rice with water and add a dash of salt and veg oil, put the lid on until the rice is nice and fluffy. Now all is ready, enjoy!

Saffron blast -Meshkoofi

Meshkoofi is an Iranian dessert and is perfect for dinner parties because you can make it the night before. Well I have a guest coming over tonight and this is going to be the dessert, although its going to be the two of us, this is easily good for 4-5 people. I know I am greedy :-)

Sugar :  5.5. table spoon
Milk: 1.5 pint
Corn flour: 4.5 table spoon
cold water: 1/3 pint
Rose water: 1 table spoon
Saffron: 1.5 tea spoon
Flaked almonds: a handful
dried rose for decoration

Mix the corn flour with the cold water and prepare the saffron ( as I explained before). In a large pan, add milk, sugar and the corn flour mixture, on a low-medium heat stir the mixture gently until it is thick like custard , add flaked almonds and rose water, the reason for adding the rose water towards the end is to keep the aroma as much as possible and not heat it all away. Pour the thick and beautiful mixture in something transparent (e.g. serving pyrex) and decorate it with almonds and dried roses. let it cool in the fridge for 3-4 hours and dig in.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Spinach goodness

I love spinach, its my favourite green and its really good for you and easy to cook. Tonight I was busy with a project and did not have much time to prepare lunch, so spinach was there to the rescue. This serves 2 but it's all mine this time. Here is The recipe.
Spinach: 2 cups
Red chilli: 1small
Cinnamon and salt
Veg oil

Dice the onion and chilli finely, add the spinach, cinnamon and salt to the mixture. Break the egg and mix everything together. In a pancake pan pour the mixture and fry it for 5-7 minutes on each side and its ready to go. Enjoy!

Chicken couscous cutlet

I like these ingredient but I was a bit bored by the way I usually eat them, which is couscous chicken salad so I have tried it differently and they came out real good. So there you are, familiar ingredients presented differently.

Chicken: 1 fillet
Couscous: 1 cup
egg: 1 medium
stock cube: 1
bread crumb: 1Tsp
vegetable oil
pepper and turmeric

chop and dice the fillet really finely, almost make it like a minced chicken. Cover the couscous with boiled water , don't add salt as we will add a stock cube and that is salty. Add the egg and bread crumbs and mix everything very well. Use a table spoon and pick pieces of the mixture and fry it in a really hot pan, you can use your hand for a really organised and round shape, but I prefer to use the spoon and minimise the mess. Fry the cutlet until nice and golden on both sides, serve them on a bed of fresh salad.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Aubergine (Bademjan) Khoresh

Khoresh in Farsi is a kind of slow cooked stew, which is usually made with diced lamb and served with polo (rice). I am a big fan of khoresh especially because they are very versatile and easy to make. I made aubergine khoresh the other day and just thought to share the recipe with you. This serves 3-4 ( I had guests coming over).
Diced lamb: 4-5 pieces
Onion: 1 medium
chopped tomato: 1 tin
Tomato puree: 1 TSp
Dried lime powder: 1.5 tsp
Aubergine: 1 large
Vegetable oil
rice: 2 cups
Salt, pepper, turmeric: to taste
Lamb stock cube: 1 cube

Chop the aubergines vertically and fry them until golden in vegetable oil and put them aside. chop the onion finely and fry them in a separate pan until golden, then add the lamb with turmeric, dried lime powder and pepper and let it fry for 5-10 minutes. Because I add a lamb stock later I don't add salt.  Add the tomato purée and fry the whole thing for a while , then add the chopped tomatoes, cover it with some water and let it be for 90 minutes. when it is 70 minutes into it add the aubergines, if you like you can add some lime juice to it.
To make the polo add 2 cups of basmati rice in a pan and cover it with water and add salt and 1 tsp of veg oil. My rule for adding the water is that it should  come up to the first joint of my finger if I put my finger on the surface of the rice (I know people have different fingers but the rule generally had worked). Put the lid on and let it cook slowly until the rice is soft and fluffy . Serve the polo with the khoresh and enjoy. This is perfect for a Sunday lunch and its best if you take a nap after the meal.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Green soup!

I like to make soups , well really I like to use the leftover vegetables in my fridge and have something warm and comfy to eat at the end of the day. So, here is the recipe for a green soup which is absolutely tasty and I think with as little calories as possible.It serves 2.
Potato: 1 medium, chopped
Leek:1/2 cup, sliced
Broccoli: 1/2 cup , chopped
Vegetable stock: 1 pint
Salt and pepper
Add all of the ingredients into a pan and let them boil and cook, add salt and lots of pepper ( I really like pepper with my soup). When the vegetables are cooked mash them all with a mixer and you are good to go! If you want to serve it to guests then just add tiny bit of cream fraiche and watercress on the top.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Healthy chicken combo

Well this is something I tried once and it turned out real good, so here is the recipe. It serves 2.
Courgette: 1medium
Tomato:1 medium
Chicken:4 small pieces
Vegetable oil: 1tsp
Bulgur wheat:2/3 cup
Water: 1cup
salt , pepper and turmeric
Fry the courgette until it is slightly changed colour, while it is frying add a pinch of salt to it. When it seems ready put it aside. In the same frying pan without adding any oil add the chickens, add salt, pepper and turmeric and leave it for 10 minute on medium heat so that it start changing colour and becomes golden all over. Cover the wheat with boiled water for 3-4 minutes. When chicken is nearly done (in about 10-15 mins) add the wheat with the remaining water in the frying pan and let the water evaporate. Chop tomato in small pieces, when the chicken is ready, and the wheat has become al dente then take it off the heat.
In an oven friendly dish put layers of the mixture, first put a thin layer of wheat, then put some of the courgette on top of it, then put half of the chicken and repeat all the stuff is in the dish. add a bit of salt and pepper. preheat the oven for 5-10 min, cover the dish loosely with a foil and put the dish in the oven (150 degrees) after about 30 mins take the foil off and allow the top to become a bit crusty, enjoy with an ice cold cup of  green tea.

How to use Saffron?

Saffron is one of the most expensive spices (?) there and often I have seen on TV that they just throw a bunch of precious threads in a bowl  and to me that is just wrong! Iran ranks first in saffron production in the world and being an Iranian, I have learnt how to use it and I am about to share that knowledge with you :-)
Take 3-4 threads of saffron and using a spice grinder, make it like a powder, boil water and add half a cup on to the powder and put some sort of lid on it, let it rest for 5-10 minutes and then use the red watery mix on your food.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Gheyme nesa

Gheyme nesa is a traditional Iranian food and since I have a sweet tooth, it is my favourite. It got some kind of berries that we in Farsi,call it Zereshk (, it is an excellent antioxidant and really tasty, you can pretty much get it from health shops or Iranian groceries. This recipe will serve 2-3 but I am fully capable of finishing it all by my self. Enjoy!
Lamb boneless shoulder: 400 g
Onion: 1 medium
Carrot:2 medium
Flaked chopped almond: a handful
vegetable oil: 1 Tsp
Orange flakes (dried): a handful
Rice: 1.5 cup
Saffron: 1/4 tsp
Sugar: 2.5 Tsp

Chop the onion finely and fry it in the oil until it has changed its colour. Slice the lamb and trim it from all its fat and add it to the onion. add salt, pepper, turmeric to taste. Grate the carrot and add that to the frying combination. Now the tricky bit is the orange (dried) skins and that is a bit bitter and you need to take the bitterness away. Now my mom has a ritualistic way to do it: pour ice cold water and put the orange skin in it and bring it to boil, when its boiled empty the water and repeat this procedure three times. I say NO to all this, just boil some water in the kettle, put the orange skin in a cup and pour the boiled water on it and let it be for a couple of hours and you're good to do (don't tell my mom).
add the orange skin to other things in the frying pan and then add berberis and the sugar and saffron to it. Add half a glass of water and let everything melt and match nicely.
In another pan boil some rice with some salt and a tiny drop of vegetable oil. Then when the water is all steamed out, add the lamb mixture to the rice and put the led on. Reduce the heat and set the table and in 15-20 minutes when the rice is all soft and nice, serve the food.