Monday, September 21, 2015

Recipe - Gharsi Khorovats with Lamb

Gharsi Khorovats with Lamb


  • 1 leg of lamb or 6 bone in lamb or pork chops
  • 1 T orgeano
  • 1 T rosemary
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • Zest and juice of 2 large oranges
  • 1/3 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate syurp
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves


  1. Puree the oregano, rosemary, garlic, zest/juice of orange, yogurt and olive oil and put in ziplock bag with lamb.  Let set for 24 hours
  2. Remove the roast and brush with the pomegranate marinade (pomegranate syurp/mulddled with mint leaves).
  3. Using a hot pan, sear the lamb on each side for about 4 or 5 minutes.
  4. Put in oven covered with tin foil.  Roast 30 minutes per pound or until lamb reaches 130F.  Make sure to let the lamb rest about a half hour before cutting.
  5. Slice thinly and serve with lavash bread and eech


Recipe - Lavash

Man cannot live on bread alone.  But, I could come close.  I especially love flat bread!  This made a ton.  I could have halved the recipe.  There are a couple types of Lavash.  This one is more chewy than soft and isn't a wrap.



8 cups flour
1 T salt
1 T baking powder
2 T sugar
2 sticks butter
3 cups warm water


  1. Shift together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar.
  2. Melt the butter and add to the dry ingredients.
  3. Add most of the water.  It was really humid when I made this so I actually only needed 2 cups. Depending on how dry you are, you'll probably need closer to 3.
  4. Mix until the spoon just isn't doing it for you anymore and start to kneed until smooth and elastic.
  5. Divide dough into 6 pieces (or 3 if you halved this)

  6. Repeat the following for all balls:
    1. Roll into something about 16x12 (cookie sheet size)
    2. Fold the dough in thirds one way then thirds the other.

  7. Preheat oven to 425.
  8. Repeat the following for all balls:
    1. Roll packet to fit onto a 16x12 cookie sheet (ungreased), place it on the cookie sheet.  I had two trays going at the same time and I put my cookie sheet on one.  Not required.

    2. Brush with the egg wash.
    3. Bake on lower oven rack for about 10 minutes then move to the top for 5. (the original recipe said 15 bottom, 10 top, but this was the best for me and my oven)
    4. I actually put the next bread in to the bottom when I moved the prior to the top.
    5. Cut each sheet into 12 pieces.  I used a pizza cutter.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Recipe - Mantabour (Yogurt Dumpling Soup)

This is one that I found a ton of different variations for.  Manti is a word for dumpling, but it's not the Armenian word.  It's Turkish.  Tanabour is a yogurt soup.  A very similar soup with different shaped dumplings is Agenchik Soup.  The manti could also be served with a chicken broth instead of this yogurt based one.

As you can see by my army of references, I was trying hard to get something authentic.  I think the agenchik style might be a little more common, espcailly when in the broth, but the whole region has dumplings shaped like this and I liked the shape of the exposed meat on the top.  These little guys are pretty ubiquitous across most of Central Asia, the Middle East and the edge of Eastern Europe.

Apparently, in parts of Turkey, when a girl meets her future mother-in-law she is suppose to prepare manti.  The smaller the manti the better a cook the girl is.  They should be small enough that 40 can fit on a spoon.  My manti are considerably larger.   Maybe I'll try for the tiny ones when I get to Turkey.  You are meant to eat the manti in one bite to keep the juices from the meat intact.

The soup broth could be eaten without the dumplings either hot or cold.  It could even be watered down to a drink, Tahn.  I think the reason that I wanted to go with the yogurt soup is because of how much I liked the Afgani lamb stew that I made which also had a yogurt base.



3 1/2 cup flour
3/4 t salt
2 T sunflower oil
1 T melted butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk


1 pound ground lamb or beef
1/2 cup water
1 large onion, diced
2 T minced parsley
1 t salt
dash black pepper
dash allspice


24 ounce strained yogurt
1 cup wheat berries (optional, I didn't use it)
2 eggs
1/2 onion
4 cups beef or chicken broth
1/4 cup sunflower oil
8 cloves garlic, minced

Dumpling Dough

Mix the dough ingredients together.  Let the dough rest for 2 hours.  I actually made this the night before and let it sit in the fridge.  I took it out about 30 minutes before I planned to use it.

Dumpling filling

Cook the meat and water on low heat, stirring occasionally.  Once the water has evaporated, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until onions are translucent.  Remove from heat.

Dumpling assembly

Roll the dough to about 1/8 of an inch thick and cut into squares of about 1 1/2 inch or smaller.  Mine were 1 1/2 inch, but i could have gone smaller for sure.
Put a marble size of the filling in the center of the square
Pinch the sides up to make a canoe shape.  Keep going until you've used it all up.
Pack your little boats tightly on a cookie sheet.  Pour 2 T melted butter in the cookie sheet around your boats.
Bake the dumplings at 375 for 20 to 30 minutes.


Simmer chicken broth and wheat berries until it is reduced by 1/2.  Set aside to cool.
Beat yogurt and egg.
Saute onion and garlic in the sunflower until the onion turns a light brown (20 minutes).
Whisk the cooled chicken broth into the yogurt egg mixture then heat slowly, stirring constantly.

Put five or six manti in the bottom of a shallow bowl.  (or more if your manti were a lot smaller than mine).  I added some soup around the manti and was careful to not submerge the manti.  But that was more for presentation.


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Recipe - Nazook

This reminds me a little bit of ruhgulah, which I guess makes sense given the region.  I think that I like this better, maybe.  I don't know they are both pretty great :)


3 cups (450 g) flour
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup yogurt


1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon (15 mL) milk


  1. Let's start with the dough. Combine the flour with the active dry yeast and mix with a fork.
  2. Add butter and yogurt. 
  3. Mix for about 10 minutes until you have a soft elastic dough (or cheat with a paddle attachment on your kitchen-aid, but mine was in storage).
  4. Roll the dough into a large ball and let rest in the fridge for a bit.
  5. Next to the filling...mix the flour, sugar and softened butter in a medium bowl 
  6. Add the vanilla extract. Don't worry if your filling reminds you of wet sand.  That's correct. 
  7. Cover two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.  Remove dough from refrigerator and divide into 4 pieces. 
  8. Roll the dough into thin, but not transparent rectangles, about 8x12. Top each rectangle a quarter of the filling, leaving about an inch of one of the long sides not covered.
  9. Roll the dough along the long side, towards the edge without filling to get a thin long roll.
  10. Flatten the roll a little and brush with the wash.
  11. Cut the dough into about 10 pieces each and lay out on a cookie sheet. 
  12. Bake for 30 minutes.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Recipe - Eech (Bulgar Salad)

Eech is like tabbouleh, but with tomato puree which gives it a neat orange flavor.  I served it cold but you could serve it at room temperature.  You could also throw in some diced bell peppers if you want.  Some families do.

Eech (Bulgar Salad)


2 cup Bulgar wheat
1 large onion, finely diced
15 ounce can of plum tomatoes
2 cups near boiling water
2 T pomegranate molasses
1/4 t allspice
1/4 t cumin
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1 large tomato diced
1 bunch parsley
4 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Saute the onion and plum tomatoes with the cumin.  Puree.
  2. Add the bulgar, the hot water and everything else.  Let sit for 30 to 45 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.
  3. Let sit in fridge overnight to let flavors meld.


Recipe - Muhammara (Red Pepper and Walnut Dip)

This reminded me of the Abkhazia walnut sauce.  Probably because of the walnuts.  And because the countries aren't too far away from each other.

Muhammara (Red Pepper and Walnut Dip)


2 large red bell peppers, roasted and skinned
1 small fresno pepper
1 slice crumbled bread (use vegan bread to make this vegan)
1 cup walnuts, toasted
1 T garlic
1/2 t asafedida powder (I didn't use this)
1 1/2 T pomegranate molasses
2 T lemon juice
1/2 t sea salt
3 T olive oil


Combine in food processor (I used my trusty immersion blender).
Serve either chilled or at room temperature


Recipe - Jajik (Cucumber yogurt dip)

Jajik (Cucumber yogurt dip)


2 cucumbers
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 T garlic
2 T chopped fresh mint
1 t cilantro


Peel and grate the cucumbers.  Mix with the garlic, yogurt, mint and cilantro
Refrigerate overnight (minimum one hour)


Recipe - Armenian Boreg

There are several variations on the cheeses in this recipe.   Probably feta would have been more authentic.  But it was a last minute decision so I just used one recipe when picking out the ingredients so this is what I used.  It took a long time, but was worth it.  So, so, so worth it.

Armenian Boreg


8 oz cream cheese
1/2 pound grated munster
4 oz ricotta
2 eggs beaten
1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley


1/2 stick butter, melted
filo dough


  1. Mix cheeses, egg and parsley together.
  2. Now the "fun" part.  Take your filo dough and put it on a cookie sheet, draping a damp towel over it.
  3. Going a sheet at a time, brush it with butter.

  4. Lay a tablespoon or two of the filling in the middle of one end of the dough.
  5. Fold the dough down over the dough and then up over it.

  6. Brush with more butter.  Yumm.  Butter.
  7. Fold the corner down and keep going like a flag.

  8. Yummy bundle of goodness.  Brush with more butter.
  9. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes.

  10. Yummm!


Armenia - About

Armenia is a small country located between Turkey and Georgia in the mountainous area around Mount Ararat. It's technically in Asia, but historically it's felt more of a connection to Europe.  As is the case with all the countries in this region, people have lived here forever.  The oldest shoe dating back to 3,500 BC was discovered, which is impressive, but not as impressive as the 48,000 year old hearth discovered.

There's a long history and I think that this link does a really good job of running through everyone that has run through the region.  So, I won't go through everything, just some highlights... The Armenians consider themselves descendants of Noah since the ark is rumored to have landed on Ararat.  Their ancient hero, Haik is the country's name sake.  I know you don't see Hayk in Armenia, but that's because the Armeinas call themselves Hay and their country Hayastan.  There also was an Aram later on who did a lot to expand the country so the Greeks and Persians named the country after him.

Historically, they are some of the world's oldest producers of wine.  They still make wine but also cognac.   Really, really good cognac.

They were the first official christian nation (301AD), which they are very proud of.   As such, they have tons of beautiful ancient churches.

Sumac is a popular spice, which I love.  I don't remember when I first tried it, but I had no idea it was from Armenia.  It's a little sour and I like to add it to yogurt and vegetables.

My favorite Armenian fact is that chess is a required subject in school and they have more grand masters per-capita in comparison to any other country.

On a sad note, in 1915, 1.5 million people were killed in the first modern genocide.


Argentina - Menu and Overview

Argentina is pretty synonyms with meat in my mind.  It's also synonyms with empanadas.  And since dumplings and meats are my favorites, this meal was a pretty quick win.  Unfortunately, we don't have a grill.  It does almost feel sacrilegious to cook Argentinian food in an oven, but it turned out awesome.

We had some friends over in our tiny apartment.  I did manage to take a picture of my friends, but not of the whole meal.  I'll figure this out eventually.


These were a pain to make, but they were great.  I made a ton so that I would have a lot of leftovers.  I made both beef and corn.  I'm not sure which I liked better.  They were both awesome.

Quality steaks will make or break this recipe.

Reminiscent of Michigan Potatoes.

Wonderful herby topping to the steak and great dipping sauce for empanadas.