WoF 2015: Persiana feast, the mains

How did the Weekend of Food 2015 measure up to 2014 and 2013? It’s unfair to make a comparison, considering how much goodness was consumed at each of these events, but I think we are outdoing ourselves every year…

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Khoresh-e-Fesenjan

2015 was the year of Persiana. I’ve written about the mezze and desserts separately, but let’s focus on the mains. We decided to do one veggie, one meat, and one fish, complemented by one carb. And oh, what a carb it was…

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Spiced vegetable soup

We followed our mezze with this gorgeous concoction, which is a bit like my pumpkin-ginger-coconut soup, but with far more ingredients, and even more powerful flavours. We gave it its own course to justify the richness, and it was well worth it! The stand out thing for me was the herb oil that we drizzled on top, which went so well with the crumbled feta and caramelised onions. The only anomaly in the recipe was that Sabrina says it serves four people as a starter, but we were seven people and every one of us took leftovers home!

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There’s a lot of chopping involved, but it’s worth it

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Promise me you’ll never skimp on the garnish – you’ll live to regret it.

Chicken, walnut and pomegranate stew (Khoresh-e-Fesenjan)

This dish was simmered for hours and hours, and became a thick, almost chocolatey concoction. It was a bit too sweet for me (next time, I’ll reduce the amount of pomegranate molasses), but there’s no denying the incredibly tender chicken! I have to give credit to my new Philips Avance Collection blender for grinding the walnuts to the finest of powders. Between that and blending the hummus, it was an indispensable kitchen item for this year’s WoF!

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Finely ground walnuts

Thighs are the only kind of chicken one should eat

Thighs are the only kind of chicken one should eat

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Is it chocolate, or chicken?

Za’atar cod with relish 

This dish proves that Za’atar is a magical ingredient, whilst the relish showcases the power of preserved lemons and good quality olives. I can see myself using it as a topping for a number of other dishes in the future! We fried the cod instead of baking it (mainly due to space issues), which meant it became superbly crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside. It was perfect. However, for smell control baking would be advisable – we really had to air out the flat afterwards!

Those colours...

Those colours…

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Why eat fish and chips when you could have this?

Persian bejewelled rice (Morassa Polow)

Indescribable. The amount of butter was outrageous, but necessary when we saw the tahdig – that crunchy bit on the bottom. Nutty, sweet, yet savoury, I could have eaten this rice for days, and was quite upset when others took it home as leftovers (should’ve hidden some in my room…).

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Don’t question the amount of butter

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Bejewelled is exactly the word

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My friend had to pull me away from the pan – I was about to scrabble all the leftover rice out of it with my bare hands

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THAT TAHDIG THOUGH

My favourite? No question. The rice was buttery, crispy, and crunchy, and that tahdig… I have been dreaming about it ever since!

Read about the rest of the weekend here.

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