Wednesday, January 30, 2019

What I've Been Cooking - 3

I've been interested in Middle Eastern cooking for a number of years, and was psyched to read Naz Deravian's Bottom of the Pot, named for the tahdig crust formed on the bottom of a pot of Persian rice (before being inverted to make a gorgeous top), one of my top ten foods in the world.

Joan was away so I decided to make just one dish to get acquainted with this book, which I had read in full: kashki bademjan, an eggplant dish made with kashk (a pungent cheesy distillation of cooked down and concentrated yogurt) and a topping of fried onions, garlic and mint.

The dish was tasty if not pretty, with an interesting interplay among the earthy eggplant taste (accentuated by turmeric), the funkiness of the kashk and the kick of the onion-garlic-mint mixture:

Eggplant dip with kashk
I accompanied the dish with Persian rice, not one of the ones in Bottom of the Pot, which entail quite a bit of work, but rather the recipe in Melissa Clark's Dinner in an Instant, which I have made numerous times (indeed, this picture is from an earlier meal). I added tons of dill and, with the eggplant dish, had a lovely and healthful meal.

Persian rice
Joan returned from Japan the next day, and she enjoyed reheated versions of both dishes, the eggplant dish having been given a shot of brightness by adding pomegranate seeds, an innovation I will use again next time.

Bobby Jay

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