Marjan

My earliest memory of food as a finicky child doesn’t capture a favorable portrait of this Savorychick. Thankfully, as an adult, I developed a more mature taste bud with an affluent appreciation for a variety of ingredients from across the globe. My family and I arrived in Los Angeles immersed in a food culture that is extremely enticing to most immigrant children around the age of six: pizza, tacos, hot dogs, and hamburgers! I still remember my mother’s struggle to find herbs and ingredients traditionally used to prepare Persian dishes. These days, a majority of these ingredients are readily available in Middle Eastern stores. In the Seventies, my mother would ask her family back in Iran to ship most ingredients commonly used in Persian cuisine. Therefore, once she served our meals, she would enlighten us on all the particular ingredients. I used to take for granted my mother's strife to serve us Persian cuisine. Thinking back, I grimes asking her then: “Why not order pizza for dinner or a frozen meal like all my other friends?” Today, I have a deep appreciation for her discipline to work a full time job, buy fresh ingredients on her way home, and prepare a wholesome, organic meal from scratch! She installed in me to not merely feed my appetite, but to nourish my body with healthy, nutritious homemade meals.

From my mother’s example, I gained a valuable lesson: cooking for those you love, not only confirms how much you care, but also how important it is to eat tasty, nutritious and healthy servings. Whenever I ask my mother, “What did you do differently this time? It tastes better than ever!” She replies: “Love! That is my secret ingredient”. Seeing my mother everyday in the kitchen preparing meals with her busy schedule, allowed me to appreciate the importance of cooking. It became organic for me to want to do the same. Therefore during my summer breaks, one of my favorite things to do was cook alongside her in the kitchen. To my surprise, whatever I prepared as a youngster, my family was always encouraging me, telling me how much they enjoyed my cooking.

Today, I wonder if this was a tactic to give me confidence in the kitchen. But then again, my brother who is our families food critic and does not shy away from pointing out flaws, would ask me to make him lunch or something special to eat. To this day, he is my number one fan. Once I became a little more confident in my skills in the kitchen, I would prepare meals for friends. All the positive endorsements gave me confidence to try out new recipes, flavors, and styles of cooking.

I'm blessed my family is not fastidious in trying flavors from all over the world. Since my mother’s Persian cooking is spectacular (not only by my account, but anyone who has had her cooking), it was up to me to sharpen my skills in international cuisine with different ingredients, spices, and recipes.

Living in a multi-cultural city, I've had the fortitude for making friends from all over the world. Their introduction of restaurants, flavors and recipes unknown to me,  sparked my interest with international cuisine. Once I completed my graduate degree and had the opportunity to travel the world, I was fascinated with cooking techniques and flavors unique to the countries I visited. My deep appreciation of diverse cultures, their distinctive culinary styles and ingredients, has helped to broaden my palate and recipe collection. Some of which I will gladly share with you on our Savorychicks blog.


10 Q&A's

How would you best describe your style of cooking/eating?
The four "F's": Fusion, Flavorful, Fresh, Fun

What's the life lesson so far?
Love makes everything better

What section of the grocery store do you most look forward to shopping?
International Sections with selections from all over the world

Three foods you could easily live without?
Eggplants, horseradish, olives/capers (OK, so I snuck in four)

Three foods you could never live without?
Even though a majority of my recipes are healthy and I gravitate towards healthy choices, anyone who knows me knows this: butter, bacon, and French fries!

Which chef would you most like to cook with?
Anthony Bourdain: I love his style of cooking which has gravitate more from refined towards rustic, but also because he really enjoys Vietnamese and Thai food. Let's face it, he is also the most sincere, poetic, rock 'n roll, bad a** chef who is also extremely easy on the eyes!

If you could plan the perfect Birthday Dinner for yourself, what would it be?
Dinner would be served during sunset when the light is perfect and it appears as if the earth stands still for a moment as it holds it's breath to say goodbye to the sun and welcome the moon; My closest family and friends would all be in attendance; Our table would be in the middle of a courtyard filled with vintage string lights and candles to illuminate surrounding silver birch trees and roses; We would all sit at the most beautifully decorated table with fine dinning set, candles, flowers; The smell of tubular roses, night jasmine, peonies, sweet peas, and daises would fill the air; Champagne galore; I would serve the most indulgent, decadent, mouth watering short ribs with gratin, Tahcheen with lamb, arugula with heirloom tomatoes and pancetta pizzette, grilled peaches with grapefruit salad, large platter of french fries twice fried in duck fat along with candied, bourbon, maple bacon.  As if that wasn't enough, for my birthday cake either a Red Velvet cake with cream cheese frosting or German Chocolate Cake. Notice how I humbly digressed?

If on a stranded island, and you had one choice, which would it be? Steak and potatoes? Cheesecake and berries? A hot shower and then a walk on the beach with your favorite model/ actor?
Kobe beef, medium rare, with purple potatoes prepared by Anthony Bourdain ( I don't believe in magic! Was I suppose to believe my meal would fall from the sky?) so we can just relax and talk about food, travel, philosophy, politics, religion, life and death.

Which food, fruit, or vegetable best describes you/your personality?
Kobe beef - I like to be messaged, drink beer, rest all day...and I am not cheap

What dish do you most look forward to each season?
Autumn- Thanksgiving Dinner I prepare for my family and friends
Winter- Fesenjoon/ Fesenjan
Spring- Risotto with saffron and lobster
Summer- Grilled anything! Burger, ribs, steak, fish, shrimp, chicken with all the fun sides such as grilled corn and avocado salad, zucchini, and peaches

7 comments:

  1. My dearest Marjan, you can't imagine what a pleasure I get from reading your proses, whenever I click on your website and look around. My most sincere congratulations for an enchanting, tranquil, and FINE avenue you have created to share your sofisticated soul and love of life and food with your friends. I specially enjoyed your memories of food and cooking you shared so eloquantly in this article. Take care and know that you are loved, always, and by all:o) My best to Kia and your parents.

    ReplyDelete
  2. NICE BLOG!

    HERE IS A RECIPE FOR RED VELVET SOUFFLE!

    FOR A CAKE OR CUPCAKE, DONT WHIP THE EGG WHITES INTO MERINGUE. RATHER, KEEP EGGS TOGETHER (WHOLE; DO NOT SEPERATE) AND ADD TO ALL OTHER INGREDIENTS (CAKE METHOD) ALL DRY___ADD TO____WET___FOLD.

    POUR INTO MOLD OR CUPCAKE PAPERS/PANS.

    ENJOY!





    Red Velvet Souffle

    1 cup AP flour

    7 oz. red vanilla chocolate discs

    4 T unsalted butter

    1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract

    3 large egg yolks

    3 T warm water

    ½ cup & 2 T sugar

    8 large egg whites

    2 T cider vinegar

    4 T cocoa powder

    2 T red food coloring



    Procedure:

    1. Melt chocolate, butter, food coloring, and cocoa powder in double boiler
    2. Add vanilla.
    3. Combine egg yolks & warm water in mixer until frothy.
    4. Gradually add 2 T of sugar, continue beating until ribbons form.
    5. Fold yolk mixture into the chocolate.
    6. Sift flour into chocolate mixture.
    7. Beat egg whites in mixer with vinegar.
    8. Beat on medium until frothy.
    9. Gradually add the remaining ½ cup sugar.
    10. Increase speed to high.
    11. Whip until stiff peaks. (meringue)
    12. Fold into chocolate mixture. (in 3 parts)
    13. Place mixture into buttered & sugared ramekin. (level mixture with the top of ramekin)
    14. Bake @ 375°F for 25 minutes.

    Christopher S. Witzel

    Chef
    The Edge Restaurant & Lounge
    28544 Old Town Front Street
    Temecula, CA 92590
    P: 951-506-EDGE
    C: 951-501-9505
    F: 951-506-3341
    www.edgerestaurantandlounge.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

    WHIP CREAM CHEESE AND POWDERED (IN MIXER WITH PADDLE ATTACHMENT) SUGAR WITH A LITTLE VANILLA EXTRACT.

    ADD HEAVY CREAM (IF DESIRED FOR LIGHTER/FLUFFIER FROSTING and ADD MORE SUGAR IF DESIRED)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey Lady,
    It was great to meet you in Belize and looking forward to reading about your experiences down here. I am blessed to meet people from all over the world and from all walks of life, you two left an impression with your warmth and smiles. Take care and hope to see you again someday!
    Cheryl from Chef Rob's Gourmet Cafe in Hopkins.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cheryl! The pleasure was mine to meet you!
      Yes, I too hope to see you soon. Thanks for leaving me with wonderful memories...I will always cherish them :)
      Peace and blessings

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  5. Really great to know you! It appears we have a lot in common....love of dining out and love of cooking and trying new things. I love your list of foods you love! I can definetly identify! I'll be checking in regularly to see what's new. As for George Clooney....we'll have to fight over him! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Peggy! I guess we both have great taste! I believe in sharing ;) so, no fighting necessary over George! Might have to fight with you over the last french fry :)

      Delete

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