Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Variations on a Theme

*Remember tvorog and blueberry pie, also known as pie-oh-my for its jaw-droppingly rustic appearance? I baked another pie a few days ago, taking my own advice from last time.

Although this version was far more attractive, I think the recipe is inherently flawed. Isn't it disappointing when you want to love a recipe but the result isn't really worth it? Last time I thought the deep pie dish was at fault for the dough not baking through all the way. This time I used a shallower dish but still ended up with a thin strip of raw dough right under the cheese filling.

I sadly have to conclude that the wonderful cheese/blueberry filling is too thick and wet for this type of dough. There has to be a better use for it, though. A pre-baked tart shell, maybe? We’ll see.

*Besides Central Asian food, my other cooking interest in Middle Eastern food. There's some overlap between the two. Claudia Roden's The New Book of Middle Eastern Food has a few Armenian, Georgian and Uzbek recipes, and Anya von Bremzen's Please to the Table features a lot of food that could pass for Middle Eastern. In fact, the first recipe in the book is for tahini and hazelnut dip, which, we are told, comes from Azerbaijan. The next recipe is for cucumber and yogurt dip, by way of Armenia.

Stuffed vegetables are well known to both cuisines, so today I made stuffed zucchini. The filling I wrote about here. Both Roden's and von Bremzen's cookbooks have similar recipes for lamb and rice filling with spices. Instead of broiling the hollowed zucchini shells, this time I sautéed them in olive oil for 10 minutes. Stuffed, baked and ate with my fingers. Yogurt would have been an authentic condiment, but I was out. Sour cream made a pretty good replacement.

*The New York Times' the Frugal Traveler explores Georgia and Kyrgyzstan. The food is good, the prices are cheap, tourists are scarce and the locals are friendly. I want to sleep in a yurt and eat goat stew with plums and tarragon, too. Take me with you, Frugal Traveler!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The pie does look good, but I think any filling with dairy ingredients has to go into a partially baked shell.

I remember making a really disappointing goulash for company; it sounded so good on paper and was a lot of work and wound up tasting so blah. I wished I had made my regular beef stew which is very tasty.

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