Armenia…

Wednesday, September 14 –

This meal was probably one of the fastest I have made (from this project) yet. I did change the type of fish I used, because I keep almost loving the white fish dishes I’m making, but not quite. So I chose to use cod this time, knowing it was a delicious, flaky white fish that would cook well with most spices. Wonderful Boyfriend de-boned the fish filets again, freeing up my hands for chopping and cooking the sauces. I started with chopping all of the onions and peppers. (I took it down to 1.5 onions in each recipe again, since it worked so well last time the recipes called for 2 onions each.) I put them on to cook in the oil and water respectively. Then I got all of the herbs and spices ready and set aside; then I got started on the chickpea salad. Once the chickpea salad was done, after adding a little bit more lemon, lots more paprika, and some finely diced garlic, it got set aside.

The artichoke dish is my one (slightly) funny story of the night. I got all of the veggies and the tomato sauce ready and bubbly, then I went to look for the two packages of frozen artichokes (I was only doing half the recipe) and I could only find one! Everything came out of my freezer, and sure enough, no more artichokes. So I scooped out half the tomato and veggie sauce and set it aside to turn it into something else this weekend (Italian something, probably). In went the one package of artichokes, and I let it simmer as I finished with the fish.

Next I put in the spices and tomatoes for the fish sauce, letting it cook down a little more. I chose to not blend the veggies because I thought it would be good with the chunky sauce on top. Once I spread the veggies and sauce on top of the fish, the fish almost disappeared. I put it in the oven for about 15 minutes and tested the flakiness, and it was about perfect.

I made rice for Wonderful Boyfriend and Roommate Extraordinaire (I’m on a new diet that doesn’t like rice, so I passed on it this time). And everything went onto the table at the same time and it smelled heavenly.

Roommate Extraordinaire brought the wine again (fair trade, don’t you think?) and we all sat down to eat. The table was almost too quiet as the food was quickly devoured. The guys and I made short work of our plates, looking up at each other as we were scooping up the last bites – we hadn’t even poured second glasses of wine and we were already done! I’d say that would mean that we liked it a whole lot. The better fish definitely helped, and the juices from the sauce made it flake perfectly and melt on my tongue.

Things I have learned: The geography lesson as we sit at the table and consider the map (yes, it is placed on the wall right next to the dining table) is almost as much fun as the cooking lesson. The three of us agree that we haven’t bothered to study geography since middle school, and we are surprised by all of the interesting facts we find while we are googling things like, “Is the Caspian Sea salt water or fresh water, and why?” Brushing up on facts about the rest of the world makes me feel a little more connected with the rest of the planet and a little more aware of places that I read about in the newspaper. I highly recommend spending a little time with a map and realize how much you don’t know about the world – and then start looking up the answers.

Thoughts about wine: We drank Pinot Noir and Malbec this time, and the Pinot Noir was a wonderful choice with dinner. We sipped the Malbec after dinner as we sat around talking, and it was a much thicker, richer flavor, so I’m glad we waited to drink that bottle so it didn’t overpower the flavor of the fish.

Armenia
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.thearmeniankitchen.com and www.armeniapedia.org)

Baked fish (Epvatz Tsoug)

  • 2 lbs. Haddock fish (or your choice)
  • 2 green peppers, sliced
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • ¼ cup olive oil (or subst.)
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped fine
  • 1 qt. canned or fresh tomatoes

Wash fish and lightly salt and pepper. Lay out in baking pan. (preferably Corning Ware roaster) Put aside for a few minutes until you cook your sauce.

Put oil in saucepan. Sauté garlic, onions, peppers until transparent. Add crushed tomatoes. (Blend if you have a blender). Salt and pepper to taste. Add lemon juice, curry powder and cook for about 10 minutes. Add parsley, cook another minute and pour over washed fish. Bake at 350o until the fish draws most of the sauce. Serve with rice pilaf. Serves 4

Artichokes (Enguinar)

  • 4 pkgs. artichokes, frozen
  • 2 lge. onions, sliced very thin
  • 1 tsp. dried dill
  • 1 tsp. parsley
  • 1 lge. can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • salt, pepper to taste

Cook onions in water until soft, 5 to 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except artichokes. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add artichokes and cook until tender. This may be served as an appetizer. Serves 6-8

Armenian Chickpea Salad

  • 1 16-oz. can of chickpeas (also known as garbanzos)
  • three green onions, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 medium lemon
  • 1/2 bunch chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika

Directions: Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Add parsley and onions. Add paprika. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze in the lemon juice. Add the oil. Toss and serve chilled. Add fresh chopped garlic for a bit more bite!

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About devouringworldbites

A girl on a mission to cook, eat, and write about the world, one country at a time. View all posts by devouringworldbites

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