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akhareh taabestaan

this week’s cooking:


black-bean-stuffed plantain croquettes with tomato sauce


veracruz-style shrimp over tortillas in pumpkin seed sauce | coconut, caramel, and rum flans


creamy tomato soup with buttery croutons | mushroom dumplings in parmesan and sun-dried tomato sauce


warm soba in broth with spinach and tofu | garlic chive and beef potstickers


hawaiian-style butter-coconut mochi

i finished reading life of pi last night. i loved it. its brilliant, but i’m still not sure if i understand the end properly (or at least which version to believe).

i also saw promises last night, and i highly recommend it to anyone with the slightest interest in the israel-palestine conflict. the special features were just as interesting as the documentary itself, namely the updates on the children.

here’s the recipe for the mochi (this one is super easy and yummy):

1 lb mochiko
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 14-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk
5 eggs
1/2 stick melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. preheat oven to 350F.
2. whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl. mix together wet ingredients in another bowl. add coconut mixture to flour mixture, whisking until batter is combined.
3. pour batter into an ungreased 13-by-9-inch baking pan, and bake until top is golden and cake begins to pull away from sides of pan, about 1 hour and 25 minutes. cook cake completely, about 2 hours. cut mochi into squares before serving.

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vaay dahanam aab oftaad, eshtehaa’am raa oftaad

this evening i saw the house is black, a 1963 documentary about life on a leper colony, by the legendary iranian poet forugh farrokhzad. poetically narrated, it was extremely sad and moving. both mohsen makhmalbaf and abbas kiarostami consider this short documentary to be a major influence on their work. the dvd also included an interview with pooran farrokhzad (forugh’s sister), as well as two short films by mohsen makhmalbaf – the school that was blown away (1996) and images from the qajar dynasty (1992).

i’ve been cooking a lot these past few days (suprise suprise):


thursday night: cucumber shrimp rolls with spicy peanut sauce and wonton noodle soup


friday night: artichoke and spinach phyllo swirls and roasted chicken with orange-brandy glaze


saturday night: green salad with citrus vinaigrette and eggplant parmigiana

Sherried Mushroom Chicken Scallopine

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the most recent foray into the kitchen:

spaghettini with garlic and olive oil, and sherried mushroom chicken scallopine.

here’s the recipe for the chicken:

to compensate, here is the recipe for the last update’s dish – sherried mushroom chicken scallopine:

ingredients:
4 boned, skinned chicken breast halves
1/2 cup flour
4 tbsp olive oil
6 oz mushrooms, quartered
2 tbsp minced shallots
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup sherry
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp whipping cream
1 tbsp chopped parsley
salt and pepper

1. sprinkle both sides of chicken breasts with salt and pepper. place halves between sheets of plastic wrap; with a mallet pound chicken to an even 1/4 inch thick. peel off wrap.

2. put flour in a shallow container. turn each piece of chicken in flour to coat.

3. set a nonstick pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tbsp olive oil. lay chicken in pan; cook, turning once, until no longer pink in the center, about five minutes on each side.

4. add 2 tbsp olive oil, mushrooms, shallots, and thyme to hot pan used to cook chicken and stir often over high heat until mushrooms are browned, about five minutes. spoon over chicken.

5. add sherry, chicken broth, and cream to pan; stir until mixture is boiling. boil, stirring occasionally, until juices are slightly reduced, about 1 minute. spoon sauce over chicken. sprinkle with parsley and salt and pepper to taste. serve with a simple spaghettini tossed with sauteed garlic, hot pepper flakes, parsley, parmesan and olive oil.

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entekhabat

it appears my post-grad school life is consisting of three things so far: reading whatever i can get my hands on, cooking like a 1950’s sitcom housewife, and researching jobs.

i’m halfway through palace of desire, part two of naguib mahfouz’s celebrated cairo trilogy.

i spent some time yesterday cooking up dinner:

stacked ceasar salad with parmesan rafts (homemade dressing makes all the difference) | wild rice with shallots | oven-roasted steak with bernaise sauce


chocolate mousse (i learned the hard way that only cream and not a mixture of cream and milk will foam into nice thick clouds.)

the presidential elections in iran are getting underway right about now. at this point the presidency could go to any party; its hard to tell what the outcome will be. its a close race. it’ll be interesting to see what happens if no one garners over fifty percent of the votes and the elections face off to a second round in the next couple of weeks.