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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Savor Peruvian cuisine at Mochica for MTL à TABLE

MTL à TABLE has arrived in Montreal! You can now sample 150+ restaurants at very fair set prices. And this particular culinary trip takes us to Peru at Mochica.

Let’s face it, November is a depressing month. The cold weather slowly sets in, the sky is grey and trees look sad and naked without leaves. You almost wish for a snowfall to cover the brown landscape.

Thankfully, for the past four years now, a ray of foodie sunlight has brought warmth and joy to the month of November in Montréal, Québec. Happiness envelops Montréal when MTL à TABLE arrives.

Mochica

Restaurant Mochica: fine Peruvian dining

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Lamb Bone Broth: follow your gut

Mineral and gelatin packed bone broths are so good for you and they taste wonderful. Today we will make Lamb Bone Broth but with a most unexpected bone segment, the head.

Soooooo remember back in April I had challenged myself to drink homemade bone broth every day for 1 month? And I blogged about it twice with recipes? And then I went on a cruise and life happened! Well I did indeed complete my 1 month challenge but somehow I never got around to post my two final bone broth recipes. Wait no more here is the third one and the fourth will follow in August.

I have to admit something to you to. I am a little scared to post the next two recipes. Why? Because they are – how should I say – graphic in nature when it comes to unusual animal carcass parts! The fish recipe is obviously made with fish skeletons but they are whole with head, fins and tail. Today’s bone broth recipe is made with lamb – a lamb’s entire head!

Lamb Bone Broth

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Moroccan Tagine Berber

The ultimate fragrant Moroccan stew, a Tagine Berber is my idea of comfort food with aromatic meat served alongside big juicy pieces of vegetables.

It’s time for the MENA (Middle Eastern & North African) Cooking Group. This monthly group has for goal to help us discover the culture and cuisine of the countries found in these parts of the world. The host of the month will choose two savory and a sweet dish from the country and the members pick one dish to make. Get your camel ready as we are exploring Morocco this month with a traditional Tagine Berber.

Tagine Berber

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Maraq Fahfah (Somali Soup)

It’s time for the MENA (Middle Eastern & North African) Cooking Group. This monthly group has for goal to help us discover the culture and cuisine of the countries found in these parts of the world. The host of the month will choose a savory and a sweet dish from the country and the members pick one dish to make.

This month we are exploring Djibouti and I chose to go with the Maraq Fahfah (or Somali soup).

Somali Maraq Fahfah Soup

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The Greek Moussaka

When you start exploring more exotic foods you realize pretty soon that your local Chinese, Japanese, Greek and ethnic etc. restaurants are bastardized versions made for the North American palate. You may find the small gem family run restaurant that serves more authentic dishes or you can really find out what the true cuisine of a country is when on holiday. Greek food is a perfect example. When I was there many moons ago I ate grilled octopus, devoured lams stews, enjoyed moussakas and drank frappes in large quantities. No souvlakis or gyros in sight. I tell you the food and the islands there are so gorgeous I should consider moving there and start looking to find the best mortgage deals.

Moussaka was actually something I discovered first in a Greek restaurant in Montreal, not in Greece. I still remember the first time I ate it and immediately associated as extreme comfort food. Of course I would choose an ethnic dish as comfort food and not something closer to home! Now when I go to a Greek restaurant, if moussaka is on the menu chances are that is what I will order. Warning: moussaka is not the most photogenic food but it is amazing.

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Delectable BBQ Sliced Rosemary Lamb

I am away for a little bit to frolic in the country…..enjoy this scheduled post and I look forward to posting upon my return.

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Have you learned to love a certain food over time…a food you really disliked at first that now you enjoy? I like best the descriptive Acquired Taste expression to explain this phenomena.  I know I have my fair share of such foods I rejected on firts bite as a child and now adore. My part list includes blue cheese, oysters, anchovies, eggplant and lamb by a long shot.

Oh that repulsive wooly gamey taste in my youth, I hated it. Now I know that lamb only tastes like that when the lamb is slaughtered past the 1 year mark. That is when the taste gets stronger and the meat tougher. I clearly remember the day I was courageous and ordered the first piece of lamb I loved. It was at a restaurant specializing in cuisine from Brittany. The Lamb came from l’Ile Verte, an island in the Saint- Laurence river, where the lambs fed in a salted march. It was also served like a filet mignon. It was divine and I have eating lamb without fear ever since.

I was preparing a very simple dinner with lamb,  a meat I do not buy often but it was 30% off. It turned out to be one of the best lamb dishes I have ever tasted in my life. It was a Foodgasm! The incredibly easy  and quick to prepare marinade knocked my socks of and paired with lamb perfectly. Let the meat marinate for one hour and them cook 3 min on each side on the BBQ.

Ξ BBQ Sliced Rosemary Lamb Ξ

4 slices of lamb leg butt
2 clove of garlic cut in 2 lengthwise
4tsp Dijon mustard
4 tsp olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cut excess fat around the slice, rub each side of the steaks with the halved garlic
  2. Mix well remaining ingredients in a bowl. Marinate the meat in the sauce for 2 hours
  3. Pre-heat your BBQ to 400F.
  4. Cook for 3 minutes on each side – this timing will give you a medium rare meat.

I bought this weekend some zucchini flowers for the first time ever. Now I realize they were maybe not bloomed enough beauty wise and since they may not be good upon my return I decided to do a quick grill with them since I could only find fried or stuffed recipes online which was not going to happen at 9 pm at night!

All I did was mix a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar together, with a touch of garlic salt and pepper and them dipped the blooms in like a paint brush to coat the flowers. After 3min on the BBQ they are done. They were very tasty and I look forward to experimenting more with this flower. how pretty are they with red currants lazying about the dish.