Tuesday, January 25, 2011

winter flavor

I think there's a delicate balance that needs to be struck in the Winter in Maine to coast through it with all mental hinges still intact. I'm sick of the vaguely Fall flavors hanging around our menu...polenta, pumpkin, cinnamon.
I love Winter! It's getting colder and I need deeper flavors...heat, textures need to change. Instinctively I went to my roots. The Fall was an expression of mainly Italian flavors, my roots but a different side.  My other side is mainly Armenian. Armenia is darker, it's people are so warm but tough because of a repetitively harsh past, I think dark meats, earthy spices, and fire blackened flavors cooked into the air over long periods of time. Oooh, it brings to mind ancient mysticism!
Anyway, I have to tell you about this soup I just read about....copied:
khash, is considered an Armenian institution. Songs and poems have been written about this one dish, which is made from cow's feet and herbs made into a clear broth. Tradition holds that khash can only be cooked by men, who spend the entire night cooking, and can be eaten only in the early morning in the dead of winter, where it served with heaps of fresh garlic and dried lavash.
Oh man....
Here's what I'm thinking...a "Wonton" or "Lamb Meatball" Soup- vegetarian ground meat- seasonings will sound something like garlic, alleppo, mint, and tarragon, lots of onion, maybe dried celery. Meatballs rolled in bulghur wheat and fried and served with sesame onion lavash.

Karshm- It's a local soup made in the town of Vaik in the Shirak Province. It'a a walnut based soup with red and green beans, chick peas, spices, garnished with red pepper and fresh garlic.

I've been craving a stew! My mom sometimes cooks a stew in a crockpot in the winter, with potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, beans, cracked pepper. The smell is the most comforting thing. And it builds all day long peaking your appetite. I'd like to do a beautiful, hearty stew like that with rosemary potatoes, "chicken" stock, homeade veg. sausages sliced and pan-fried then slow cooked in, kale and more and more.


play and posting soon to come!