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My cookbook: "Tehran to New York"

On the Norouz day of 2020 spring, I finally published my book. The manuscript is titled: "Tehran to New York: A culinary bridge between Persian and Western cultures" and aims at presenting a unique blend of classic and contemporary Persian recipes, as well as samples of Western-style cuisine, offered in a Persian context. It is important to build bridges between cultures, and not walls. This book aims at constructing a bridge between the Persian and Western cultures. The book may be ordered here:  

Persian-Mexican fusion kufteh (Persian rice, herb and meat ball)

"Kufteh" is yet another Persian favorite rice dish from the North West Azari region of the country (Iran). The dish is consisted if  aromatic rice-herb-meat balls which are poached in aromatic broth. The unique characteristic of  Persian  Kufteh is the use of plenty of fresh aromatic herbs in the preparation. Aromatic summer herbs such as savory, tarragon, basil, and dill are liberally used to make this dish. The binding starch could be rice, split pea puree or gram flour, depending on the region it comes from. "Kufteh-berenji" (Rice Kufteh) (my most favorite) is from the central parts Iran while the Azari version has split peas.
Presented in this post is a fusion Kufteh with Mexican spices and herbs. In lieu of aromatic herbs, I use cilantro. I also use fresh green garlic (used in Persian cuisine when in season). If you can’t get a hold of green garlic, ramps are the best substitute, otherwise a mixture of  green onion and garlic is perfectly fine. Kufteh is traditionally poached in tomato sauce. Here I bake the balls instead and serve them with nacho green chili cheese sauce.

Ingredients: (yields 18)
Rice mixture(recipe follows)
Meat mixture(recipe follows)
2 Oz (~55 gr) sharp cheddar
Cheese sauce(recipe follows)
Rice mixture:
1 cup Jasmine rice
2 cups water
1 TSP salt
(Alternatively, 2 cups cooked left-over rice)
Meat mixture:
3 TBSP vegetable oil
1 medium white onion, finely chopped 
3 springs green garlic (substitute with ramp or green onion), finely chopped (should be around a cup)
1 large Poblano, finely chopped
1 TSP cumin powder
½  TSP coriander  powder
½ TSP Cayenne powder
1 TBS dried marjoram
1 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 TBSP fresh lime juice
2 Pounds (~900 gr) 80/20 ground chuck
Green chili nacho sauce:
1 TBSP vegetable oil
1 TBSP flour
1 TBSP garlic, grated
3.5 Oz (~100 gr) green chili puree (New Mexico chill, preferably)
½ cup whole milk
3.5 Oz (~100 gr)  Velveeta

Cook the rice with water and salt until dry and al dente. Make the meat mixture. Add the oil to the hot pan and sauté the onion, green garlic and Poblano till translucent. Add all the spices and marjoram.

Combine the mixture with rice, chopped cilantro and fresh lime juice. Spread on a sheet pan and freeze for 10 minutes to cool.

When the rice mixture is completely cool, mix in the cold beef. Do not over mix otherwise the balls won’t be as soft as they should be.

Form 18 balls. I used 1/2 recipe here.

Pre-heat the oven on 400 F (205C). Cook for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle the cheese on top after 25 minutes and cook for more 5 minutes. 

For sauce, make a blonde roux with oil and flour. Add the garlic and green chili and heat for 1 minute. Add the milk and lower the heat.

Add the Velveeta and keep stirring until the desired consistency is reached.