This book showed up on my door step at the perfect moment. I was having a hard time motivating myself to get back in the kitchen. I felt all cooked out!! Pesach seemed to have exhausted my creative spirit. But PERSIAN FOOD from THE NON-PERSIAN BRIDE was just what I needed to restart my engine. I needed something completely different and Reyna Simnegar provided it. As her subtitle (AND OTHER KOSHER SEPHARDIC RECIPES YOU WILL LOVE!) suggests, the recipes were not solely Persian. I tried my hand at homemade Chummus, Babaganoush and Matbucha. They were all a big hit, especially the later two. I’m not in general a big fan of Babaganoush but somehow when I roasted the eggplant myself and it was freshly made, the taste was much more vibrant and flavorful. The Matbucha was superb with diced jalapeno adding a nice kick. I also tried the Moroccan-Style Beet Salad; a big favorite with me especially since I love anything with cumin and cilantro. I don’t really eat meatballs but the rest of the gang really enjoyed the Persian Mega Meatballs (I actually caught someone eating them directly out of the refrigerator!) I’ve always wanted to make Persian rice, with the crusty bottom, but I wasn’t feeling quite that ambitious so I skipped the book’s Persian Rice Tutorial and made instead the Oven-Baked Super-Easy Basmati Rice with Dried Cranberries and Saffron. Super-Easy were the magic words and they were accurate. But it wasn’t just easy, it was delicious also (and I was the one that could be caught sneaking bites as it sat on the counter cooling). I can’t wait to make the Matbucha again (maybe it will become a regular at our Shabbos table) and to try some of her other recipes. I’m especially appreciative that this new cookbook got me out of my slump. Try it; it may work for you too!!
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