June 23, 2017

Summer Shrimp, Jicama & Fennel Salad

by Marjan
Today Anja sent me a very sweet video of my little goddaughter floating down the Aare River in Bern. They are having great fun enjoying really hot weather in Switzerland. I often forget how privileged we are in southern California to enjoy hot sunny weather most days of the year. So I decided to jump in the water and take advantage of our pool, sun and enjoyable climate.
Tasty & Refreshing; but there is room for improvement!
Swimming always makes me hungry! I would like to say after my long swim, I enjoyed my jicama and fennel salad! But I didn't, let me explain: squeezing into my bathing suit, I decided to swim everyday and eat salad for lunch daily to get into tip-top shape. Nope! It didn't happen. After I made my delicious salad, I craved protein on my plate. Therefore, an hour later, I created a satisfying, succulent fried shrimp to be enjoyed with my salad. And yes; I really did enjoy my shrimp and salad.
Now! Isn't that better?
Crispy crunchy jicama and fennel dressed in orange slices and juice accented with chili powder was an easy salad to prepare. Preparing the shrimp took a little longer; but equally succulent, crunchy, sweet and sour, mouth watering delicious in a sauce of reduced orange juice, soy sauce, garlic, lime zest, jalapeƱos, and ginger. Now that is a mouth full! Serve along noodles or salad, this recipe is designed to please! Hungry yet?

June 9, 2017

Persian Fried Eggplant Stew, Khoreshte Bademjoon

by Marjan
I heard you! So here it is: my mother's recipe for Khoreshte Bademjoon or Bademjan, which is a classic Persian stew of eggplants! Succulent fried eggplants in a stew of caramelized onions, tomatoes, sour grapes, turmeric and saffron renders a perfect hearty balance to this classic traditional stew. A wonderful vegetarian option excludes braised beef chunks served along Persian Saffron Rice.

With the exception of beef and spices, all the ingredients for this hearty stew came from our garden. There is nothing more satisfying then gathering fresh harvest of eggplants, tomatoes, sour grapes, and onions to make khoreshte bademjan. Traditionally, khoreshte bademjan is made with beef; however, chicken is a suitable substitute. Of course omitting meat all together, this delicious stew is a healthy vegetarian variation.
Next week, I will introduce you to a very similar stew made with fired okra instead of eggplants. If you are like me and are allergic to eggplants (very upsetting to me since I don't like to be limited gastronomically), you will enjoy my recipe for Okra Stew as it is made with similar ingredients and takes less time and preparation.
Take advantage of both eggplants and okra which are now in season.
Noushe Jan!

June 2, 2017

Mini Strawberry Cup Crunch

by Marjan

Last week I shared with you my creative recipe merging strawberries, basil and garlic to make roasted salmon even more tasty and scrumptious. I'm always looking for new ways to incorporate this delicious fruit into my daily meals and recipes. Traditionally I use strawberries in my salads and desserts. The creative juices are still flowing from last week and I want to take advantage of the abundance of strawberries available this time of year. Since last week I used strawberries in my entree, why not with my appetizers? Using wontons, mascarpone cheese, basil and balsamic vinegar, I made crunchy succulent bites which were out of the box delicious! Sweet, yet a little tart, creamy and crunchy, herbaceous with a hint of acidity, each delicious bite was complete with texture and taste!
Try these easy to make appetizers for your next gathering. I'm certain you will enjoy making and eating these gorgeous bites!