September 25, 2015

Fesenjan Recipe Made Easy

by Marjan 

This is truly how the East meets West! I guarantee you will love this easy to make recipe for Fesenjan. Robust sweet and sour pomegranate molasses and earthy walnut braising slowly in a crock pot (slow cooker) renders an easy to make traditional popular Persian dish, Fesenjan.
Years ago I posted my mother’s recipe for Fesenjoon.  One of our readers posed the question of whether using a crock pot would render the same flavor and taste vs. stirring this time consuming stew. 
Recently, one of my dear friends presented me with my very own crock pot.  So of course, my initial instinct was to make Fesenjan and see if it would taste the same. I am glad to report, yes it does!  I have changed my recipe slightly and feel this new version not only tastes better, but it is also easier to make because it takes the time consuming simmering and stirring for 3-4 hours out of the equation.
The final result is a deep, rich, earthy walnut flavor accented with sweet and sour pomegranate molasses and chicken. A vegetarian option is possible by simply omitting use of chicken. During these cold autumn and winter days, nothing nourishes the soul and body better than Fesenjoon served with Persian rice.

I like to make a large pot of Fesenjan which serves 10-12  (without the chicken) and freeze individual portion containers that will serve 4-6 people. Night before serving, I simply take one container of prepared sauce out of the freezer; let it sit in the fridge over night until it thaws. An hour before serving, I slowly warm my Fesenjan to a gentle boil, add chicken pieces and cook for an additional hour until chicken is tender. Same great taste available whenever my craving strikes!

Check out our original post for Fesenjoon to prepare this delicious dish without a crock pot.

**note: spelling of Fesenjoon and Fesenjan can be used interchangeably- for purpose of distinguish our original recipe from the crock pot version, I have chosen Fesenjan to name our new post.

September 12, 2015

Chanterelle Mushroom Omelet

by Marjan

This pleasantly aromatic fleshy wild mushroom shines like an exotic golden flower when seen from a distance against the drab autumn forest background. Also known as "golden chanterelle" and "egg mushroom," it has a magical appeal for most culinary experts in Europe, United States, and Asia.  Here in southern California, summer blends into fall seamlessly. If it were not for decorations of autumn, Halloween, and Thanksgiving, we would not notice that one season has ended and another has begun.

Thank goodness for seasonal fruits and vegetable sold in Farmer’s Markets to remind us of the season at hand!

This weekend, I was so excited to find Chanterelle Mushrooms at my local market. I could not stop myself from filling my bag with these exquisite golden mushrooms and leaving a handful of wilted morsels behind on the shelf.  Not until it came time to pay for them at the register did I realize perhaps I should have been a little less greedy with my hording! To ease the gauge left in my wallet, I distracted myself with all the great meals I can prepare with my chanterelle.

I wanted to show case these mushrooms and not have them be a side dish. My chanterelles had to be the main event and shine! Therefore, I wanted to serve them for breakfast in an omelet and later for lunch or dinner as the main source of protein in my orzo pasta dish.

Chanterelle mushroom omelet is easy, decedent, and filling. I can’t think of a better way to start my morning.  Good Morning, indeed!

August 29, 2015

Summer In A Jar: Red Currant Jam

by Anja

I have to face it, summer is coming to an end here in Switzerland. This summer has  spoiled us with plenty of hot and sunny summer days and I got to swim in the river a lot. This season has again been way too short for my taste. I could easily go on with all of summers pleasures- swimming, meeting friends for barbecues, relaxing in a comfy deck chair under a shady tree for many more weeks. But fall is in the air, the mornings are cool and crisp with fog lingering over the valley.

As much as I wish I could, I cannot put the summer in a jar... or can I?

We still find red currants in our gardens and farmers markets. And for me, they are the taste of summer, fresh and tart. Too tart sometimes to eat straight from the bush, but that tartness makes them the perfect fruit for jam. I don't like overly sweet jams and preserves, so my favorite ones are made of tart fruit. Rhubarb in spring and red currants in summer.

Nothing beats the taste of red currant jam on fresh, crusty bread on a cold winter day. I feel transported back to summer in an instant and dream of warmer and sunnier days.

The jam is quite easy to make, give it a try!

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