Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Tehran On A Plate

I attract three ethnicities more than others: Germans, Mexicans and Iranians. Yeah, I realize that is a little odd. But so am I, so there.

At one point, when I lived in Houston, I was dating an Iranian, my boss was Iranian and two of my neighbors were Iranian. It was my Tehran phase. It was interesting to be accidentally submerged into another culture.

The Iranian I dated, Tariq, loved three things: playing soccer, drinking vodka and cooking. Ok, not really cooking, more like instructing others how to cook. Always the willing student, I learned how to cook Tariq's favorite dish, which has now, after a few modifications, become one of my favorite dishes.

(chicken with pomegranate and walnuts)
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 t black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 c pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 c walnuts, finely ground
Sautee onion in oil over medium heat until transparent, remove onion. Crank up heat to high and sear chicken breasts on both sides. Lower heat to low, add back onions. Add lemon juice, pepper and chicken stock. Simmer covered for 20 minutes. Add walnuts, pomegranate molasses and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Adjust seasoning. Serve with rice, pomegranate and walnuts.

You can find Pomegranate Molasses at your neighborhood middle eastern store or you could sub POM, the pomegranate juice in the funky bottle.

The rice in the picture is just basmati with a handful of toasted pinenuts and a handful of dried currants.

On a side note, I remembered tonight, while I was making this, that Tariq actually gave me the cookware I used as a Christmas present. Tariq is Muslim, therefore Christmas meant absolutely nothing, leading me to believe there might have been a hidden agenda there. Hmmm, lol :)


Blogger Adam said...

WHO!!! WHO IS THAT MAN!!?? He is smoking hot. Was he your BF? My partner and I have a penchant for the middle eastern smoldering men.

I will try the recipe.:)

7:29 PM

Blogger Brian said...

mmmm, tofu with pomegranates and walnuts, mmmm. (I'm pretending I didn't see the "C" word) :)

7:34 PM

Blogger Jim said...

LOL, enjoy the dish.

The collage is just some random image I yanked off a Persian website, I would never post pics of formers.

(oh, and you people who know Ive done this three time already, please refrain from commenting, lol ;)

8:04 PM

Blogger Jim said...

LOL Brian, hence the modifications I made, replacing the 'C' word with the 'S' word -- Salmon in one incarnation, Swordfish in another. Cooking times are halved when using the 'S' words :)

8:07 PM

Blogger Sangroncito said...

Iranians are hot!
I was in Iran in...ok I'm dating myself here (a lot) 1977. Interesting place, beautiful men!

10:56 AM

Blogger ScottyFerguson said...

Damn Jim that sounds good! This is going to be tonights dish. If it turns out as good as it sounds, you just may be on your way to puttin' Crackers on your list of attractions.

11:54 AM

Blogger Jim said...

1977, Sangoncito? It was nice of your parents to take you there as a mere infant :) Good thing you missed the caca hitting the fan in 1979.

I hear fantastic things about Tehran from friends who have lived there. Maybe someday I will visit but definitely not now, they have a wacko in power.

1:33 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Enjoy Scotty!

Oh, this is a 'Cracker' friendly zone BTW ;)

1:36 PM

Blogger purpletwinkie said...

Mmm. Sounds yummy.

3:24 PM

Blogger ScottyFerguson said...

Its the pomegranate molasses that is the key. I cant imagine what this would taste like usuing POM. POM has all the vitamin C pasturized out of it so it doesn't have that yummy tang of the molasses.

I dont have a rice cooker and I suck at actually boiling rice so I substituted with angelhair pasta.

Thanks for the new favorite dish!

11:08 AM

Blogger Jim said...

Scotty -- Yes, you are right, the molasses is key for an authentic taste. The POM is way watered down in comparison. Good idea with the angel hair! I've also tried couscous but couscous can be tricky to prepare.

1:53 PM

Blogger The Persian said...

yup...I am Persian and in love with you I can't help it. :) JOKE!

I just saw you asked for Undone and I posted it.


7:29 PM

Blogger Jim said...

PersianGuy, you just love me for my Fesenjam ;) lol

Thanks for the Undone post, clicking my way over to yours ...

8:26 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Oh, my friend Lauren (mistress Lauren of the Naughty Thai post) lived in Tehran. I'm hoping I can get more Persian meal ideas from her for Tehran On A Plate II.

8:53 PM

Blogger Sangroncito said...

Infant??? I was 22...or was I 23? Anyway, I'm 51 now! Ahhhh,,,,to be 23 again. And yes, I just barely missed the shit hitting the fan in Iran...and Afghanistan, where I went after Iran. There ARE benefits to being a dinosaur!

1:13 AM

Blogger Jim said...



I'm definitely going to start drinking more Caipirinhas! :))

7:01 AM

Blogger Sangroncito said...

They're the best youth elixir I know!

9:43 AM

Blogger theclamwhisperer said...

Jim, that recipe looks great. I'm an awful cook but maybe if I try ethnic food instead of chicken pot pies the world will lighten up on my culinary skills. I'll give it a whirl. Hope you got through your studies and enjoy the holiday. The Christmas lights have been up for weeks in downtown Seattle...damn, it gets earlier and earlier.

10:35 AM

Blogger Jim said...

Hmmm, Sangroncito, I wonder how many Caipirinhas I will need to drink to look 23 again?

I better stock up on Cachaca :)

1:58 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Hey Catchya,

Studies are ongoing through Thanksgiving, bleck.

You've now discovered my secret, if you cook ethnic food where there is a low probability of anyone ever having tried it before, you can fall back to 'that is way it is supposed to taste'. You can usually cop a holier than thou attitude afterwards :)

Oh, this however will not work if you invite PersianGuy for dinner and you serve Fesenjam :))

2:02 PM


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