After a bunch of recipe comparison and keeping in mind that I have actual Georgia coming up in the future, I've selected my menu:
Abkhazura - Meatballs
Adjika - Sauce
Soko Arazhanit - Mushrooms in Cream
Achma - Buttery Cheesy Noodle-y Goodness
Life lesson obtained. Sometimes when one takes a short cut, it takes a lot longer than just doing it the right way to begin with.
A co-worker of mine had suggested that I check out a store in downtown Skokie, but I found a Georgian deli called, creativly enough, "Georgian Deli" less than two miles from my house that, according to yelp, sells one of the cheeses that I need for the Achma. In the Chicago area there is a brand of grocery stores called Farm Fresh that sells ingredients popular to the ethnic groups in the area and there was one about two blocks from the Georgian deli. But I didn't want to go to Skokie even though it was only 15 minutes away. I also liked the idea of buying a pastry at Georgian Deli.
So I went to the Farm Fresh on Devon. And it was mostly India/Paskastan stuff. It was a great store. Just not Russian/Georgian. I should have gone to Skokie. But, the cute Georgian deli made it worth the trip. I got a really interesting Khachapuri with sulguni cheese and some cured meat inside. The dough was flaky like a croissant. Achma is considered a type of Khachapuri, but is not like I got at the Georgian Deli. It was great to be able to contrast the two very different styles.
We ended up running around to a few other grocery stores. Being the Saturday after a big holiday (new year's) mostly everything was gone. But, eventually, we got it all!
They were good. The casing of caul fat did add a very unique texture. This was the only part of the meal that I felt comfortable feeding to Z (directly anyways, he's still nursing so will get all the flavors secondhand later on). He seemed to like it just fine.
It did remind me a lot of pesto. There were walnuts instead of pinenuts and various other herbs instead of basil. No oil, though.
I liked these. My husband did not but he's not a fan of dill.
Achma - cheesy lasagna-like dish
This was by far our favorite dish. Everything about it was amazing, except maybe how long it took to make!
Here is Z enjoying some yummy Abkhazura!