Sun, 20 Feb 2011 00:19:00 +0000
I love food...gourmet, comfort, fusion, ethnic, it doesn't matter, as long as it is properly prepared. Since I adore cooking as much as eating, dining out is a rare occasion. So when the opportunity arises, I want to be pleasantly surprised. In a city with over 500 restaurants, there are but a few handfuls that are not chains. Not that the food is unacceptable in these establishments, I just don't eat to eat, I want the experience of dining on foods that were made with passion and traditional beginnings. This desire brought me to the doors of the Khorasan Kabob House.Located in a small strip mall along one of the city's busiest streets, it does not have curb appeal, but the warm greeting softened the road rage. A colorful board of specials put those unsure of the cuisine at ease and warned those looking for fast food that this may not be the place for you...saving the few tables available for those who are hungry for this style of food. And do come hungry, the portions are healthy and delicious!
When the menu was delivered to our table, I was very pleased to see a concise menu. Multi-paged selections always scare me. After years in the restaurant business, I know that large menus equal not-quite-so-fresh ingredients. Offer what you're good at!
Although they call themselves a kabob house, I noticed that few guests had ordered them, nor did we. Appetizers were passed on, but only because it was lunch time. After our order was placed, we sipped on Mango Lassi, a refreshing beverage made of mango pulp, yogurt, honey and I believe tumeric was added for the bright color and the medicinal value that eases gas, which can be a problem with the spicier foods to come.
It took about 20 minutes for our entrees to arrive. The time went by quickly as we perused the beautiful selection of rugs available for sale while listening to the regional music. The decor is simple, not much for atmosphere, tables a little too close, but who cares, the aroma wafting out of the kitchen is intoxicating.
The plates arrived steamy warm. Fragrant basmati rice and roti bread were the vessels to sop up the sauces from the lamb and chicken dishes.
The Lamb Korma was richly flavored. Korma is meat or vegetables braised in stock and spices, then slowly incorporating yogurt to thicken the sauce. Ample chunks of lamb mingled with an occasional sighting of lima & green beans. You select the degree of heat. I chose medium, didn't want to burn the flavor of coriander and cumin. It was a perfect blend! The "Chopped" judges would have complained that there was unedible items, but I personally enjoy pulling out cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and cardamom pods. Authenticity, not a pre-fab spice blend...
A house specialty, Afghan Chicken Karri, four pieces of chicken on the bone in a beautiful yellow curry sauce. The curry was delicious. However, the chicken was a bit undercooked. It did not fall from the bone, which made for a messy hand pull.
Desserts from this region are sugar laden, but how can you resist Sweet Jamon. Little balls of dough, deep-fried, then placed in a sugar syrup with hints of rose water. They also offer Baklava and a Nut Honey Ice Cream.
Overall, I enjoyed the food. In the future I would like to try their soup, the Subzi spinach and heck, why not a kebob! They do take-out, so some evening when I don't feel like cooking, I have a few friends who I know would pick it up on their way to our house and we could enjoy a messy, leisurely dinner together with a few bottles of gewurtz or alsacian riesling. Reds are tough to pair with curry, but I think a Rhone would work. Sounds like a perfect excuse to try their cuisine again.
Sun, 02 Jan 2011 01:26:00 +0000
A bottle of G.H.Mumm's Cordon Rouge Brut and a little Tsar Nicoulai Malossol California Estate Caviar, stuff some Creme Fraiche in a Fiskas Puff Pastry, top with caviar... Simple recipe for a fabulous way to toast in the new year.
Champagne Mumm is one of the largest land-holders in all of Champagne, with over 600 acres. It is a distinctively fresh, full-bodied champagne with impeccable finesse that delights after a few minutes in the glass. Let the fireworks escape to expose the creamy fruit & toast. Almost craved a gingersnap with orange marmalade...though the caviar was exquisite! Some popcorn with truffle salt was a perfect tease.
Cordon Rouge has worn its famous red ribbon since 1876, now synonymous with the house's credo of excellent quality. It has become an icon of the champagne category and epitomizes Georges Hermann de Mumm's maxim of "Only the best". Which leads into the caviar.
The White Sturgeon is indigenous to the Pacific Northwest and has been swimming in these waters for millions of years. Almost 30 years ago Tsar Nicoulai pioneered the process of farming these sturgeon and today produce the finest caviar almost year round at an aqua farm in California's Central Valley. They are the only caviar company with a James Beard Award and have long standing relationships with some of the country's top chefs, including Thomas Keller, Charlie Trotter and Wolfgang Puck to name a few. Sustainable caviar is "a statement of good taste" - not just in the quality and culinary sense, but in the environmental and sustainable sense. The silky pearls tasted and smelled of the ocean, not briny...
Day One - favorite taste on my palate...