I'm testing the concept of a new feature on the blog today. In my other life as a book blogger I occasionally get cookery books for review (and I often ask for them for birthday/Christmas presents). Now although it's possible to flick through a book of gorgeous photos and drool over the food presented there, it's not the same as setting to and cooking from the book and, most important of all, tasting the results. A quick look will tell you if you want to buy the book, only time will tell how much you'll actually use it!.
So, what I'm aiming to do here, in addition to a post at OurBookReviewsOnline, is test some of the recipes- see how feasible they are, how difficult sourcing ingredients is and how mush we liked them. Obviously it's not fool proof - one person's mildly spicy is another flaming hot after all - but hopefully it's interesting and perhaps helpful.
First recipe up is
Khoreshteh Morgh Va Porteghal
(chicken with oranges+saffron)
from Pomegranates and Roses by Ariana Bundy
Pomegranates and Roses is collection of recipes inspired by the author's family home of Persia, with cookery instructions interspersed with the family's history and insights into Persian culinary culture.
It's a gorgeous book but due to that may end up on the coffee table, rather than in everyday use.
This was picked as the first recipe to try from this new book solely because I had most of the ingredients to hand. It doesn't really contain anything unusual - they're just put together differently.
Basically, this recipe is chicken cooked with oranges and flavoured with saffron, turmeric and cinnamon - maybe like a stir-fry or Duck a l'orange. In Persia, sour oranges rather like Sevilles would be used for this dish, so the author has replaced them with normal sweet oranges 'soured' by the addition of lemon/lime and verjuice/wine vinegar. The end result was not as sickly sweet as I'd expected, nor as overly orangey.
The instructions were easy to follow, despite referring back to a previous recipe for cooking method and times. It took a little longer to prepare than I expected - mainly because I couldn't find turmeric quickly and easily (it's one thing to know you have the ingredients, another to lay hands on them!)
I decided not to try making the suggested Persian rice dishes but went for plain boiled rice with the last minute addition of some yogurt - an idea culled from the book's recipe for Polo ba Taadig.
Definitely a recipe I'd cook again.
More recipes from Pomegranates and Roses
Dolmeyeh Barge Mo (Moorish Stuffed Vine Leaves)