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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:
https://www.amazon.com/Tehran-New-York-culinary-cultures-ebook/dp/B0861H47GS/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=tehran+to+new+york&qid=1584810930&sr=8-1

Modern Persian zucchini stew

Persian style zucchini stew is a one-pot dish of fried zucchini, stewing meat, and tomato broth. Presented here is a modern interpretation, comprised of separately cooked elements of: braised ribs, saffron poached zucchini, and broiled tomato. The result is served with oven-baked Persian rice, showcasing a new idea for Persian bread Tah-dig (crispy rice on the bottom of  pan). The idea of this Tah-dig is from my friend and colleague writer chef Leila Manoochehry. I would like to dedicate this post to her...

On braising:
In his book, The French laundry cookbook, the legendary chef Thomas Keller describes braising as:
To create something more than you start with. A filet mignon is a  filet mignon -there's little difference between the raw meat and the cooked meat. but short ribs, veal breast-they become completely different entities after they're cooked. They transcend themselves developing a full , complex, satisfying taste and aroma.
So be it! the meat was braised...

Ingredient:
For Braised Ribs:
1.1 Pounds (~500 gr) boneless beef ribs
flour, salt and pepper to dredge
1 zucchini, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion. finely chopped
Brown stock (enough to cover two thirds of ribs' height)
For saffron poached zucchini:
2 zucchinis, cut bouquetiere
1 cup chicken stock
1 TBSP butter
1 TSP saffron solution
Broiled tomato:
16 cherry tomatos
clarified butter
Persian Fancy Tah-dig:
Semi-cooked and drained rice
flour tortilla
clarified butter
saffron solution


To infuse the flavor, I added a chopped zucchini to the braising liquid


I pat dried my meat with a towel before browning. 

Then dredged the meat pieces in seasoned flour and browned both sides. 

Then added to braising vessel along with onion and zucchini pieces and the stock. 

Covered with a piece of parchment paper.

The an aluminum foil to trap the steam.

Cook in a 355 F (~180 C) oven. Braising time is affected by: your meat piece size, and the altitude of your living area. After 2 hours, I checked my meat and it was not ready. so I gave another half an hour and that worked! 

For poached zucchini, I added all the ingredients to a sauce pan. and set the heat on low.

When zucchini was tender and about to be ready, I increased the heat to reduce the sauce.
To make fancy Tah-dig, I cut a flour tortilla into strips and dredged in the remaining oil from the browning of meat.


Then fit them into my muffin pan and added parboil rice, enough to fill the cell. For instructions on the Persian style of rice, check  this post. I also added a few drops of saffron solution to the rice in the pan.

I put the pan in the same braising oven for half an hour. 


And finally I assembled my dish. With both the sauces. I reduced the braising liquid first.

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