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This Page has been moved: My Persian Kitchen: Jujeh Kabob, Part 2

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This page has been moved to: My Persian Kitchen: Jujeh Kabob Part 1

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This page has been moved: My Persian Kitchen: Kashkeh Bademjan

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I am all cuckoo for Kuku (pronounced kookoo)!

I always like saying that about Kuku. For those of you who have not had this particular Persian dish, it is somewhat comparable to the Italian  Frittata or the French  Quiche. I say somewhat comparable because while it is considered an egg dish, unlike in a Frittata or Quiche the eggs are not necessarily the main stars of Kuku.  In this dish the veggies that are used play the primary role and the eggs keep it all together.

There are several different Kukus in Persian cooking.  I would like to start with this one because I only had it for the first time a few years back and it was delicious.  I got the idea for this dish from the cookbook New Food of Life. I have changed the amount of the ingredients used in it, because I am a rebel and consequently, it made the dish much better.  🙂

All right let’s get started here…to think of it, you might want to pour yourself a glass of wine here…you’ll see why as we proceed!

Ingredients

1lb lima beans

4 eggs

1 onion diced

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 bunch of fresh dill

1/2 tsp backing powder

2 tbsp of olive oil

2 tbsp  butter

salt & pepper

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Aaaww look at the beauty in the picture above! I have to tell you a little secret. In theory you could make this dish with dried dill, but do me a favor, don’t! Fresh dill does wonders to this dish and the smell of it while it cooks will tease your nose to no end and make you hungry!  You see this whole bunch? I used it all, oh happiness!

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Sauté  onions and garlic in olive oil until nice and golden.  In the mean time cook lima beans per the package’s instructions.  Don’t forget to add a little pinch of salt! I used frozen lima beans but wished that I had fresh ones.   During this time give your dill a nice rough chop and set aside.

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Once the lima beans are ready drain them in a colander and gather all of your ingredients around you.  First crack your eggs in a mixing bowl, add salt, pepper, and baking powder.

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Give it all a nice mix to incorporate and break the yolks.

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Now add the rest of your ingredients making sure that it is all mixed well

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Warm up your pan and melt 1 tbsp of butter and throw in your mixture.  From this point forward the name of the game is patience. Cover the pan and cook on low for about 15 to 20 minutes.

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Once you notice that the mixture is firming up make a cross dividing the mixture into four pieces. This is going to help with the flipping process.

Now  I have to tell you that in my kitchen all was going well. It was a nice and sunny day outside, the birds were singing, the woodpeckers were pecking in the trees across the street ( no joke we have them around here!), and the smell of the Kuku was totally flirting with my nose.  I flipped the Kuku and….

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This happened. Now I can only attribute the disaster above to 2 specific reasons: 1) over confidence/ ambition, and 2) khareeat, which in Farsi means being or acting stupid! You see I was being all snazzy and cool and I decided to make the kuku in a cast iron pan whereas I should have used a non-stick pan.  Just as this was happening Sleeping Beauty The Sous Chef walked it and said: “Wow what happened?!” “Um, yeah, disaster happened.” Suffice to say though that while the result looks pretty pathetic, the taste was delicious –it was gone as soon as it left the pan! I made sure to take a picture of it for you so that you won’t make the same silly mistake.

When I was much younger I was terrified of failure. I am not saying that I am no longer afraid of  failing, but what I am saying is that life is all about winning some and losing some.  It is also true that the taste of success is THAT much sweeter when you have failed before.  You see, I am stubborn and resilient –bent me out of shape and I will spring right back up and fight back.  So after the disaster I purchased the necessary ingredients and went at it again.  All was going well until I was taking the chopped onion and garlic to the pan to dump it in there as the oil was ready.

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Then somehow my flexible cutting board gave out and half of the onions fell off onto the floor.  Some explosive words may have flown in the air while I looked at the mess on the floor in bewilderment.  Is this damn recipe cursed???? Remember the comment about resilience? I said screw it, I am taking a picture and I am going forward.  I cut up some more onions to replace the ones I lost and went back to work.

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Backing up a little to when you warm up your pan. Please use a non-stick pan.  Put in a tablespoon of butter and let it melt. Then add the egg mixture, cover and cook on low for about 15-20 minutes.

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Divide the mixture into four portions and carefully flip each section while at the same time slipping a little butter in the pan.  Your first slice is not going to be easy, that’s for sure.  As you can see above mine got a little messy with some of the mixture flying onto the stove.  Cook this side for another 15 minutes or so.

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Remove from the pan, place in a plate and serve warm.

Phew, I am so glad this recipe is done and over with! We almost didn’t make it, twice! Kuku can be served either as an appetizer or side dish.

This is a gluten free dish –simply make sure that your baking powder is gluten free.

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I would totally lie to you if I told you that I have always loved Khoresht Karafs.  As a child I didn’t,  it didn’t do much for me.  Then one day during a two year stint as a pesco-vegetarian I decided that it was the easiest thing to convert to a vegetarian meal. I won’t get into the details of it all because you might be horrified if I told you what I substituted the meat for; suffice to say that the results were good and I would do it again need there be. Anyway, I remember calling one of my cousins to ask her for the recipe.  She told me how to make it and she advised me to put plenty of onion and mint in it because, well celery doesn’t taste like much and I was not going to use any type of meat in it, so my stew would basically be tasteless.   A good ten years later I have figured out a way to make this recipe and it tastes delicious.

There are three simple steps in making this recipe a masterpiece. 1) I have learned that  cooking the meat first with water allows it to turn into the broth that the veggies are going to be cooked in later. Basically you are building your first layer of flavor. 2) I don’t like it when celery is overcooked and mushy like.  3) The celery itself should be the star, meaning that you are better off buying your celery at the farmer’s market instead of a grocery store.  Simply put they just taste much better,  consequently,  your dish is going to be much better tasting! While my cousin’s advice to put plenty of onion and mint was good, I think what truly makes this dish is the celery itself.

Ingredients

1 lb of meat

1 head of celery cut in about 2 inches long

1 onion diced

4 cloves  garlic minced

1 bunch  green onions, chopped

2 bunches  of mint

1 bunch  of parsley

3 dried Persian lemons

2 tsp advieh

1/2 tsp turmeric

5 tbsp olive oil

salt & pepper

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Loot at the beauty above, they all came from our local Farmer’s Market in Torrance.  Look at the celery, it still has its leaves and this is truly a blessing to anyone who wants to make Khoresht Karafs because the leaves add a whole other layer of delicious flavor.

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In a Dutch oven sauté onion, green onions, and garlic in 4 tbsp of oil until translucent.  Add meat, in this case I am using lamb, but you can use any type of meat you want, brown a bit and then add turmeric. Give it a few stirs in order for the spice to release its flavors.

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Season with salt and pepper, punctuate the dried Persian lemons or give them a light crush, throw them in, add 3 cups of water.  Cover and cook for 1 hour.

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In the mean time rough chop your herbs

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In a separate pan add 1 tbsp of olive oil, add celery, and give it a quick sauté

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Once your meat is ready add celery to it

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Add chopped herbs, advieh, 2 cups of water, and adjust seasoning.  Cover and cook on medium for 1 1/2 hours.

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Once done your khoresht should look like this and your kitchen should smell heavenly! Place in a dish and serve over rice.

On a last note, this dish falls under gluten-free when served over gluten-free rice.  🙂

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