My great fiend Mahmud has made me a great fan of "Persian Cuisine". Over the years he has turned me on to many an exotic and tasty treats. This past Persian New Year I thought it would be nice to honor our friendship by cooking him and a few friends a brunch. I was so amazed at the response to the menu I have incorporated it into my catering choices. People always enjoy the selections and comment on the joy they have experienced with the unusual selections and exotic taste!
The menu is very simple to prepare and can be assembled the day before and then cooked off in just a few minutes or reheated as the case may be for the "Rice & Potato" dish while the "Kuku Sabsi" is in the oven. It is easy to impress with this tasty and beautiful selection of breakfast choices!
As there are some traditions to this holiday I attempted to make it a pleasurable experience for myfriends from Iran, and served traditional tea with a beautiful "Tea Service" I picked up at a local Middle East Market [ the tea served was a "Sadaf" brand special blend with Cardamom]. I used a Gold Theme for the table and a centerpiece of a Fish Bowl filled with 4 Goldfish, surrounded with a variety of apples and small dishes of Dried Figs, Pistachios, and Saffron. The food was set up buffet style on a separate table, which left the dinning table very elegant for the breakfast party.
The Menu: "Kuku Sabzi", a baked egg dish with herbs and vegetables. Basmati Rice with Potato, Yogurt , Fresh Fruit and Mellon, Pita Bread, Persian Salad. There were an assortment of Persian sweets as well but these I purchased from the specialty store, sometimes its ok to buy product but display it in a beautiful way! But the Crown Jewel of the day was the Sorbet! Yes, I said Sorbet...a purchased Raspberry sorbet [by Henry's in Plano, TX], served in a Martini Glass for effect splashed with "Rose Water" and a few 4-5 saffron strands, FANTASTIC!
Measured Ingredients & Preparation Method
Persian Salad: Very simple, Dice 4 med. Tomatoes, 1/2 Cucumber, 1 small Red Onion, chop 1 Romain Lettuce Heart. Place in a beautiful shallow bowl and dress with 2Tbs. Virgin Olive Oil, juice of 1 Lemmon, 1 clove crushed garlic. Mix all ingredients, toss in salad and top with Fetta Cheese Crumbles.
Kuku Sabzi: First take 6-8 Saffron strands and soak in 2tsb. boiling water for atleast 10 min. You will need to clean and chop, 2 med. Leeks [ they are full of sand so wash well ], 4oz fresh spinach, 1/2 head Iceberg Lettuce, 4 Spring Onions,1/4 bunch each-Parsley, Chives, Coriander Leaves, 1/4 cup toasted Walnuts. Crush 1 Garlic cove, add to greens.
In a large bowl combine 8 Eggs with the herbs, saffron water, garlic and mix well fold in the greens. Transfer mixture to a large ovenproof dish that has been buttered with 2tsp. unsalted butter, salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 350 degree for 35-40 min. until eggs are set. May be served warm or cold [ I served it warm ], with yougart.
Basmati Rice with Potato: Wash 11/2 cups Basmati Rice in cool water and drain, soak for 30 min. in 2qt. water then drain. In a large heavy pan with a tight fitting lid sautee 1 chopped med. onion in 2 Tbsp. Olive oil, add 1 cinnamon stick, 1 Bay Leaf, 1/4 tsp. Turmeric, 1tsp. garlic, 1tsp. Black Cumin Seeds, 1tsp. Ginger Pulp, 1/2 tsp Cardamom Seeds, 1 1/2 tsp. Salt. Add 1 large Potato Diced cook for 2 min., add the rice srir to mix well, add 2 cups warm water. Cover on med. high heat cook 15-20 min.. Remove from heat and leave to stand 10 min. DO NOT LIFT THE LID!!!!!
* This menu is also great for dinner anytime. Persian New Year [ NowRooz ] is the first day of spring according to the Solar Calendar, or the Spring Equinox, and changes every year down to the second.