Wednesday, June 8, 2011

We the Foodie People...Week 1: Assyrian

Ben and I have started a new project...or maybe the word experiment would be a better fit. As we were sitting down to dinner a few weeks ago, we started discussing our love of food...not just food, but good food. Both of us enjoy trying edibles from different cultures and would love to travel the world and taste the many different flavors and unique dishes that are offered each country. However, neither of us are millionaires and therefore cannot afford to drop everything and go. So, we decided to bring the cultures home to our own dinner table.

The experiment? There are 26 letters in the alphabet and many countries that begin with each letter. So for each letter of the alphabet we've chosen one country in the world. Each week, we will do oodles of research, find authentic recipes and cook the food from one country for an entire week. Since neither of us are big breakfast people, we're only making dinner dishes from each country, except for Saturdays..and on Saturday we've planned an authentic breakfast (which will be our brunch), a big dinner and authentic dessert.

Of course, we had to pick a pretty busy month to start our project, but c'est la vie...our schedule is always busy! Each week we will experiment with the food and plan to blog about them the following Monday...complete with pictures and sometimes a favorite recipe! Yes, I'm a few days behind, but with 24 pies to bake for a wedding this weekend, our week has already been crazy...

Last week, though, was our first week, so beginning with the letter "A" our food choice was Assyrian...and now for the pictures!

Day 1: Marinated beef, Potato Piroshki, an Assyrian salad, Lavash (from the Assyrian market) and hummus. I completely forgot to snap a picture that first day (actually, we had company over for dinner, so I was a bit preoccupied...), so the picture above is what I had for lunch the following day...gotta love leftovers!

Day 2: Khipti ~ An Assyrian soup/stew dish that has sautéed onions, these meatball things and a tomato sauce which is served over baked rice. As side dishes, we had another Assyrian salad and Lavash...which we used to scoop up the Khipti.

Day 3: Lamb Kebabs, Tabouli, more Potato Piroshki, Lavash and dips. Ben's family came over for dinner that evening, which is one of the reasons why we had the Piroshki again...they were so good that we had to share!

Day 4: We had leftover Khipti. We also drank Assyrian tea all week (which is SO good that we've continued to drink it!) You don't sweeten your tea, you put a special sugar cube in the front of your mouth so that when you sip your tea, each drink is sweet!

And our big dinner consisted of Koobideh, Shiraze Salad, Baked Rice, Grilled Tomatoes, Lavash and you guessed it...Piroshki! We had two leftover from the other night and we couldn't let them go to waste!

We celebrated Ben's birthday on Monday of last week, and he really wanted Italian, so we only had five Assyrian nights. However, they were all really good, and it was hard to decide which was our favorite dish. But we both agreed that the marinade on the beef the very first night was soooo good, that we're going to share the recipe here...

Marinade (approximate amounts):
2 c. yogurt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
salt & pepper, to taste

Cilantro, chopped
lemon wedges

All of this cooking makes a body tired...and speaking of tired, Lilyana is ready for her nap.
Check back later to see family updates and on Monday we'll debrief you on our week in the British Isles!


Mrs.Rabe said...

Thanks for that recipe! It sounds husband loves to try new foods - I am less adventuresome but this sounds like a winner to me!

Lilyana is so sweet...


Anthony said...

I think this is an amazing idea! I really liked the Potato Piroshki, and they were not hard to make!:/ (You have to love a recipe that is really good, and one that is easy to make.:))

I am not even going to attempt to pronounce some of those names, but it all looked really good!:)I like the idea of drinking tea in that manner, for you are sure to receive a sweet taste every sip.:)

Thanks for sharing your ideas, pictures, and your food!;) Love to the three of you!

Anton, Esq. to be

Louisa McFarland said...

Loved this post, I really enjoy middle eastern food so am looking forward to trying this marrinade. Can't wait to see what you try next week. Our favourite British food at the moment is Yorkshire Puddings, as well as all the sweet puddings they have, especially since it is winter here.

Lauren said...

What a wonderfully fun idea! I would love to try this out myself!

Mikaela said...

You are incredible! Now I want to try Assyrian food myself!

Simply Tiffany said...


It was a really good marinade! We'll be keeping that one in the books! :)


*laughing* Those are some of my favorite recipes! Although, it's fun to have in-depth recipes that are reeeeeally good...then you feel quite accomplished. :)

Hehe...they aren't that hard to pronounce, actually.


You must be in Australia, then? *grin* We didn't get to the puddings, though I was looking forward to them! Maybe next round! :)


It really is fun! We've been enjoying it!


*laughing* Thanks! The recipes are actually pretty easy, very healthy and reeeally good! :)

Melani B. said...

I'm actually Assyrian - and I'm glad you enjoyed our delicacies!

Try these sometime!

& for further Assyrian recipe links:

It's been over 1.5 years since you started, you should take stroll down memory lane & revisit. :P

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