Two things are new about our recipes this week: First, we’ve never highlighted CELERY in a Sticky Fingers recipe before! Second, though we’ve cooked from the Middle East, we haven’t focused on Ancient Persia.
Persian food is as rich and fascinating as the rest of Persian culture. Isn’t it amazing how food stands the test of time even when everything else is changing? Three main dishes are a part of a typical traditional Persian meal: a grilled meat, a stew, and a rice. We’re tackling two out of those three, and adding on a delicious salty-sweet yogurt drink called Doogh (pronounced like “doog”).
We chose celery this week because it’s a new Surprise Ingredient for Sticky Fingers, and because we found a vegetarian version of Kholesh, or Persian Stew, made with mostly celery. We’re calling it “Imperfectly Perfect Quick-Simmered” because traditional Persian stews, when made with meat, are stewed for at least 12 hours. Rosewater, saffron, turmeric, pomegranates, quince, apricots, and raisins are often used to “jewel” the rice. Consistently when we were researching recipes, we found a common and deep love of Tahdiq (or crispy rice) by Persian people. Siblings in Persian families will apparently fight over the crispy layer of the rice as soon as it hits the table. We thought it made the perfect crunchy topping for our Imperfectly Persian Stew, and we think you’ll agree! Try not to fight over the very last bite!
Happy + Healthy Cooking: Chef Erin & Chef Jacqui