Armenian Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuff it!!!  Most of us were brought up to think that meat and vegetables were cooked separately… side by side so to speak… but if you grew up in our house being that we were from Armenian descent, veggies stuffed with meat or dolmas as we called them were part of the norm.  We stuffed grape leaves, cabbage, eggplant, tomatoes and even peppers. 

Stuffing peppers is actually pretty common in a lot of cultures.  Hungarians, Greeks, Italians and Armenians all have some sort of variation for this recipe. 

The one I’m going to share with you today is an Armenian recipe.  You can actually use this recipe to stuff  just about any vegetable that you like!

Red, Green, Yellow… the color of the pepper doesn’t matter! This is one of those no fail type of recipes… go ahead and try… you can’t ruin it!

 This one is for you Lelo… thanks for writing to me for the recipe! I know grandma would be proud of you! –Michelle Karam of Mediterranean Medley on MCCN

 Stuffed Peppers Ingredients

8 Bell Peppers

1 pound ground beef/turkey/chicken

½ cup long grain rice

½ onion finely chopped

¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 can peeled, petite dice tomatoes

Juice of 1 lemon

½ teaspoon dried mint crushed

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 small garlic clove minced

salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  • Wash the peppers and cut off the tops & remove seeds. Set aside
  • Mix the meat, rice, onion, parsley, garlic, cayenne, salt & pepper and half of the can of tomatoes in a large mixing bowl.  Combine thoroughly.
  • Stuff the cored peppers with meat- do not stuff all the way to the very top. Leave about ¼ of an inch from the top as the rice will expand while cooking and it will overflow.
  • Arrange the stuffed peppers in a large pot.  Pour the remaining tomatoes over the top.  Add the lemon juice, mint  and a little water so thereis approx 2-3  inches of liquid in the bottom of the pan.
  • Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and allow to simmer, covered, for about 45 min, or until the peppers are tender. 

 OPTIONAL: You may serve with a dollop of yogurt or Lebni (Armenian style yogurt- it has a thicker consistency than plain yogurt) on the side

See Michelle’s Recipe:  Mediterranean Fish

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The Shish ka·bob

shish ke·bab also shish ke·bob or shish ka·bob  (shĭsh’ kə-bŏb’)

A dish consisting of pieces of seasoned meat and sometimes vegetables roasted on skewers and served with condiments

[Armenian shish kabab, from Turkish şiş kebab: şiş, skewer + kebab, qualifying (possessive) form of kebap, roasted meat (probably from Arabic kabāb, cooked meat in small pieces, possibly from Aramaic kabbābā, burning, charring, from kabbeb, to char, roast, probably from Akkadian kabābu, to burn; see kbb in Semitic roots).] –Dictionary.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mediterranean Medley: How to Make Hummus

Michelle Karam hosts Mediterranean Medley.  On her first webisode, she prepares hummus.   Michelle is of Armenian descent and her culture very much influences her passion for cooking.

About Baba Ghanoush

 Some parts of the Levant, baba ghanoush is a starter or appetizer; in Egypt it is mostly served as a side-dish or salad. It is made of aubergine with finely diced onions, tomatoes, and other vegetables blended in. It is normally served with a dressing of oil and pomegranate concentrate. It is made of roasted, peeled, and mashed aubergine, blended with tahini, garlic, salt, and lemon juice and topped with olive oil. Cumin and chili powder can be added. A similar dish is known as mutabbal in the Levant. In the traditional method, the eggplant is first roasted in an oven for approximately 30 minutes. The softened flesh is scooped out, squeezed to remove excess water, and is then pureed with the tahini. There are many variants of the recipe, especially the seasoning. Seasonings include garlic, lemon juice, ground cumin, salt, mint, and parsley. When served on a plate or bowl, it is traditional to drizzle the top with olive oil.[3]

(In Photo: Syrian Style baba Ghanoush)

It is eaten in Turkey, where it is called patlıcan salatası (meaning “eggplant salad”). And, in Greece, it is called μελιτζανοσαλάταmelitzanosalata (meaning “eggplant salad”). An Israeli variation of the salad is made with mayonnaise.[4] There is also Bulgarian eggplant salad/spread, called Kiopolu Кьополу.

Indian Baingan Bartha is a dish similar to baba ghanoush. It is similarly prepared by grilling eggplant over open charcoal flame to impart a smoky flavor to the flesh. It is then cooked with an assortment of spices, tomatoes, garlic, and onions. It is commonly served with breads like Paratha, Roti, and Naan.

In West India, yogurt and chopped onion are added to roasted eggplant along with various seasonings. The dish, typically served as a side, is called Bharta.(Wikepedia)

Armenian Grape Leaves(Warack Diwali)Stuffed With Rice Recipe

grape_leaves

Ingredients:

 1 cup pearl rice (long grain white rice may be substituted)
    2 medium sized white onions chopped fine
    1/3 cup Wesson Oil
    Salt and Pepper to taste
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 cup tomato sauce
    1 teaspoon dill
    1/4 cup chopped parsley
    about 50 grape leaves (may be purchased in gourmet shops or in gourmet dept. of a large supermaket)

Directions:

In a large frying pan, fry onions in oil until limp. Add rice, water, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Cover and boil a few minutes until the water has been absorbed (if you use long grain rice this will take approx. 20 minutes).  Take off heat and add dill and parsley. Stir and let cool.  Rinse leaves in warm water and gently snap off stems. Spread a leaf on a small plate, vein side up and stem end toward you.  Put a teaspoon of filling near the stem and fold over sides and roll up.  Place some unrolled leaves in the bottom of pan to prevent burning.  Arrange rolled leaves side by side in pan in several layers.  Place a few unrolled leaves on top.  Add one cup water, juice of one lemon and three tablespoons Wesson Oil.  Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes or bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Serve cold as an appetizer.

Serves: 10

Preparation time: approx. 1 hr

*Suggested fave dish by Maram Canawati but admittedly she prefers it with meat.

Sou-berag -(Armenian Lasagna) Recipe

INGREDIENTS: SERVES 6
1 lb lasagna noodles
1/2 cube melted butter
1 lb. grated Jack cheese
1/2 pint small curd cottage cheese
1/2 pint Ricotta cheese
2 eggs [well beaten]
1 cup chopped Armenian or Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves [optional]

PREPARATION:
Cook lasagna noodles in salted water until soft and pliable. Lightly butter a baking dish and line with a layer of noodles.

Mix the remaining ingredients together and layer a portion of this on the noodles. Add another layer of noodles and another layer of the mixture. Make sure the last layer is noodles.

Brush the remaining butter on top of the noodles and bake in a 350 degree oven until golden brown.

Cut into 3 inch squares and serve. Good hot or cold.

Sou-Berag by Michelle Karam

Sou-Berag by Michelle Karam

For more Armenian Recipes visit: http://www.thegutsygourmet.net/armenian.html

Kardashians Support Famous Cupcakes opening in Beverly Hills

Famous Cupcake opening

(Getty Images)

MCCN was on the scene when the Kardashians came out to support the grand opening of Famous Cupcakes, Beverly Hills on October 7th. The Cupcakes described as “delicious, fluffy, and lightweight” and the “European style cupcakes are baked fresh with the finest all natural, organic and kosher ingredients.”   They are said to be a fave of the famous family.  

There are a number of flavors including cookies & cream, mocha latte, peanut butter chip, strawberry,coconut and more.  MCCN Host  Erika L. Holmes of the upcoming show, What’s the Dish was live on the scene of the grand opening of the new Famous Cupcakes location in Beverly, Hills CA. Let’s throw Erika:

Erika L. Holmes-“This evening the Multicultural Cooking Network stopped by the grand opening of Famous Cupcakes in Beverly Hills.  It was all abuzz upon arrival…press, paparazzi, crowds, police…screaming teenage fans even!  I thought, “Wow, these cupcakes must be magical!!!”  …But then I remembered that the event was being hosted by the Kardashian clan, who soon galloped by in a horse drawn carriage.  They definitely delivered for their awaiting fans, and I’m pleased to report that the famous cupcakes definitely delivered for all salivating in anticipation.  From fluorescent pinks and greens to deep purple and traditional white, bouquets of cupcakes were on display (and for the taking!) throughout the adorable shop.  Guests socialized and checked out the space enjoying treat after treat.  A couple who has visited the Valley location and were invited by friends to the Beverly Hills grand opening raved about the pumpkin and red velvet cupcakes.  While I resisted the urge to sample a beautifully boxed cupcake that was handed to me, I eventually had my way with a bright green frosted red velvet cupcake.  It was yummy from top to bottom!  I usually skip cupcake frosting, but I found myself devouring the entire thing.  (Note to self: Investigate their secret to tasty frosting.)”-*Watch Erika’s new show “What’s the Dish?”  to see the Famous grand opening video coverage complete with the Kardashians.

DSCF2631s

Armenian Coffee

armenian coffeeCoffee (S’rj) & Tea (Tei)
Haikakan S’rj,
Armenian Coffee, defines its lifestyle. Once thought to be a legacy of Ottoman Turkish rule, it is now understood to have originated in Yemen, with caravans bringing the beans north and then west, where it infiltrated both Asia and Europe. Like Greek or Turkish coffee, Armenian coffee is a demitasse of thick brew boiled and served with powdered grounds in individual copper or brass pots. When ordering, the server will ask if you want it soverakan or kats’r (normal or sweet). Normal is already sweetened a bit.

For More about Armenian Drinks visit: http://www.tacentral.com/dining.asp?story_no=2

Wedding Cake: Ode To Khloe and Lamar Odom

khloe-cakeby Crystal A. Johnson

Favorite Newlyweds of the week are NBA star Lamar Odom and his new blushing bride (reality TV star) Khloe Kardashian. But here at MCCN we are just as interested in the cake.  The beautiful cakes strike a balance of feminity and masculine attributes.  The pretty flowers are prominent on layers of cake.  The black and white is very tuxedo formal.

According to the Celebrity Bride Guide ,”the five tiered-cake was filled with chocolate butter cream and white chocolate chips.”  The cake was made by Hansen Cakes in Los Angeles, CA.

See how Kim Kardashian helped Lala Vasquez with her wedding to Carmelo Anthony.  Click Here