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Old 08-04-2010, 04:32 PM   #11
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For something that fine, cheesecloth would do the trick.
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:01 PM   #12
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Andy - I'll be adding that trick to my recipe for sure!
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I should also mention one other dynamic of this dish. The grilled cherry tomatoes burst open when cut with the side of a fork, and their juices mix with the Maast, and also the juices and lime butter of the kabab. It makes an amazing sauce that soaks into the bread and coats the lettuce/onions. I found it to be one of the most enjoyable aspects of the meal. So remember to include the grilled tomatoes!
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:26 PM   #13
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Nick, my heritage is Armenian. As such, we have lots of foods in common with Persians.
This Kabab-e Kubideh is similar to a Luleh Kebab that my family is familiar with:


1 Lb Ground Beef
1 Lb Ground Lamb
1 Large Onion
C Parsley
tsp Black Pepper
tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional)
2 tsp Salt
tsp Allspice
tsp Cumin
⅓ C Tomato Sauce

I use a FP on the onion, parsley and tomato in this recipe but don't have to drain it.

The yogurt with cucumbers is another we have in common (with minor variations). But this combo with differences in seasonings is also familiar to Greeks (tzatziki) and Indians (raita).

I have a Cookbook, "Secrets of Cooking Armenian/Lebanese/Persian" by Linda Chirinian. It's interesting because it provides recipe differences for dishes for each of the cultures.
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:20 AM   #14
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Andy - I can see how similarities would exist given Armenia's geographic location. I noticed in my books and research that Middle-Eastern kababs had more intense seasonings added to the forcemeat such as cumin, allspice, coriander, and oregano as the transition to Mediterranean locals such as Turkey and Greece occurred.

Sumac was a new spice for me, and is quite interesting. It doesn't have much aroma (beyond a slight hint of lemon), but it alters the salty/sour/bitter/sweet profile. I'd liken it to a (somehow) savory dried and ground cranberry. Without any knowledge, I wouldn't have added it to the meat. It's one of those marvels of cooking, where an odd ingredient makes something much better in chorus.
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Too much food in the 'fridge. Have to hold off on the remaining dishes for a couple days until we've eaten our way to the back of the 'fridge...
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:37 AM   #15
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One has to keep in mind that food does not recognize political borders. These dishes evolved hundreds or thousands of years ago when people traveled the region without regard for borders and carried their foods with them.

Thus it is inappropriate to refer to a dish such as paklava/bakalva as a Greek, Turkish or Armenian food. It's none of them and all of them. The same goes for chunks of lamb on a skewer cooked over an open fire (insert your name and country of "origin" for this food here) and many many others.
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Old 08-05-2010, 12:45 PM   #16
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Perhaps not, but regional differences certainly occur - and make each "base" dish that much more interesting!
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Old 08-05-2010, 01:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholas Mosher View Post
Perhaps not, but regional differences certainly occur - and make each "base" dish that much more interesting!
I agree. The combinations of spices and herbs and other flavorings will vary from region to region and are enough to give the knowledgeable diner a very good idea of his location.
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Old 08-09-2010, 08:21 PM   #18
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Gosh, Nicholas, that looks terrific! :D
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:46 AM   #19
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Linux - Thanks!
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Still working on the recipes. Had a busy week and had to take a break from the experimentation. Had one Jujeh Kabab that turned out less than acceptable (issues with my marinade). I'll be giving it another go tonight along with the rice dish.
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:19 AM   #20
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I found the Javaher Polow recipe from "New Food of Life" by Najmieh Batmanglij to be less than spectacular. It lacked salt, and was sickeningly sweet between the dried berries, candied orange zest, and candied carrots. That said, her timing and method to create the crispy tadig worked flawlessly!

I'm going to keep the same ingredients, but mess around with the recipe a bit. I also might add a bit of finely sliced scallion for additional color/aroma/flavor. The aim is for a more balanced flavor profile.

I must admit that the Persian method of boiling and rinsing rice is a bit odd. I didn't notice much of a difference in fluff-factor, so I might just go for a western-style pilaf. I imagine I could create a slab of tadig on the side while the rice rests, then serve it up together... no one would be any the wiser!

EDIT: For those unfamiliar with Persian food, Tadig is a crispy round of rice that forms on the bottom of the pot. It's similar to a pan-fried risotto cake - but huge, and cut into wedges.
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