Ashe Anar | Pomegranate Soup & it all started 10 Years ago TODAY!

This thick main course pomegranate soup, Ashe Anar, will hit all your exotic taste buds with pomegranate molasses, yellow split peas, mint leaves and lamb meatballs.

I know everyone is going green today for Saint-Patrick’s Day, but my mind is on a much more important event. Today is a milestone in my life, a reason for great celebration! Ten years ago on this very day I hosted my very first dinner outing under the group Cheap Ethnic Eatz. That dinner group planted the seed for this blog a few months later. The first dinner was held at a now gone Iranian and Iraqi restaurant. In honor of that first dinner, I present to you this Ashe Anar recipe, a Iranian and Iraqi Pomegranate Soup with lamb meatballs. March 20th 2017 it also the Persian New Year. Happy Nowruz!

Ashe Anar pomegranate soup and fruit

Ashe Anar pomegranate fruit

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Black Fungus Salad | 凉拌木耳 | Liángbàn Mù’ěr & Beijing Photo Tour

Don’t shy away from tasting this lovely Black Fungus Salad called  Liángbàn Mù’ěr. This mushroom salad is slightly crunchy, refreshing, and perfectly paired with a spicy soy sauce and rice vinegar dressing.

Beijing is like the Liángbàn Mù’ěr, or Black Fungus Salad. It looks scary and intimidating at first sight, but if you get over your fear and peel away the layers, you will be rewarded with enchanting and beautiful flavors. Right now everyone is asking me how my trip to Beijing China was. The problem is I cannot respond with a short answer. I just can’t. You better be ready to pull up a chair and listen to me go on for a few minutes.

Yes I loved my trip but it was a shock to the system at first. Your social and cultural compass gets completely off track and it takes about three days for your brain to stop having a ‘deer in headlights’ reaction, only then can you start going with the flow. And you don’t even really realize you are in a culture shock at first, you only realize it later….

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Black Fungus Salad

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Chinese Laba Garlic | 腊八蒜 | Laba Suan & a Beijing Foodporn Diary

Pickled Laba Garlic is ready to eat when it has turned green. That goes against everything else we know about green food! And it pairs perfectly with greasy meat dishes such as dumplings.

My new Chinese friend Kerry took me to a dumpling restaurant for lunch on my first day in Beijing. The tables were so low there was no way you could even slide your knees under. Awkwardly seated, we chose 4 different dumpling varieties. It was worth the back breaking position, we were rewarded with delicious jiaozi  (dumplings). I asked Kerry what on earth were those green things floating in the brown liquid in the three huge jars placed inside enclaves in the wall. He said it was pickled Laba Garlic and right away he called over the waitress to bring us a few green jewels on a plate.

I was on a exotic tasting role that day so I grabbed one with my chopsticks and bit down…

laba-garlic

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An Andalusian Polea Porridge with Roasted Celery Root

Imagine yourself poor and starving, making the best with what you have to feed your family. This is exactly how the Andalusian Polea Porridge was created, a common dish consumed during the Spanish Civil War.

Sometimes you come across a recipe that is quite plain. But your evil mind wants to accompany the dish with a playful, forbidden and magical ingredient. Such was the case with my Andalusian Polea Porridge with Roasted Celery Root which was inspired by the mandrake root seen (and scene) in the movie Pan’s Labyrinth. Celery root was a safer alternative!

Andalusian Polea porridge recipe

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Huāshēng Bǐng | 花生饼 | Chinese Peanut Cookies

Xīn Nián Kuài Lè! 新年快乐 ! Happy Chinese New Year!  Today marks the beginning of the Spring Festival as we welcome the rooster. What better way to celebrate than with these addictive Chinese Peanut Cookies.

These beauties are called Hua Sheng Bing, 花生饼 in Mandarin. It translates as peanut cake but clearly they are wonderful cookie bundles. One can find them in homes and markets in China during the Lunar New Year. If you love peanuts you will adore the texture and massive dose of peanut crumbs. In fact these Chinese Peanut Cookies take cookies to a whole new level of  peanut. They are just fabulous!

Chinese peanut cookies

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How to Give French Eclairs a Modern Makeover

Did you know French Eclairs are the new ‘it’ pastry? These retro desserts are making a huge comeback right now at you local chic bakery. But it’s even more fun to make them at home. Let you inner artist run wild when decorating!

Raise your hand if you devoured a many eclairs in your youth? This French pastry is made with pâte à choux, shaped in an oblong vessel that transports whipped cream or custard cream to your mouth, formerly finished off with a chocolate ganache. The new modern French eclair sheds it’s ganache coat for gorgeous and artistic edible works of art.

French eclairs

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Golden Milk: the Secret to Keeping the Doctor Away

Want an alternative remedy to stay healthy and sleep like a baby? Try a cup of golden milk a day: made from turmeric golden paste, nutmeg, a mineral rich sweetener, and any milk you like.

Do you know what my greatest fear is in January and February? Getting really sick! Since this year I have yet to have succumbed to a real cold or flu I am extra nervous. With a big trip coming up in 3 weeks, I want to do everything in my power to build a strong immune system. That includes a glass of water a day with 1 tablespoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar and a glass of golden milk before bed.

By the way golden milk is also excellent for insomnia! Never heard of golden milk? Keep reading to find out all the wonderful benefits it can bestow on you and get the recipe to make it at home.

golden milk

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