Saturday, March 21, 2009

Butternut Squash and Purne Khoresh with Lentils

As I browsed through New Food of Life, I found that it's broken down into categories of cooking methods and not really chicken, beef, vegetables, pasta, etc., like most other cookbooks. I decided to try to make a dish from each category in the cookbook.
First up is a Khoresh. There are about 15 varities in the book, and I settled on the Butternut and Prune because I love butternut squash. The recipe calls for lamb, but I decided to sub in lentils because I don't eat lamb, and I wanted a combo protein/starch.
So what is a Khoresh? Here's the definition from New Food of Life: "Khoresh is a delicate and refined stew. It is a combination of either meats (lamb, beef, or veal), poultry, or fish with vegetables; fresh or dried fruits; and beans, grains, and sometimes nuts. It is seasoned subtly with fresh herbs and spices, then simmered for a long time over low heat. To achieve the slow fusing of flavors that characterizes khoresh, it is best to cook it in a heavy pot, cast iron if possible. I recommend a classic Dutch oven, but any heavy stew pot will do."
This dish was delicious! It's very hearty and warm. The author says to serve this with saffron rice.

Butternut Squash and Prune Khoresh
Najmieh Batmanglij

2 onions, peeled and sliced
1 lb. lamb stew meat (I used 1 c. dry lentils soaked in water for 4 hours)
1/3 c. oil
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 lbs. fresh butternut squash
2 tbsp. sugar
1/4 c. lime juice
1/4 tsp. saffron dissolved in 1 tbsp. hot water
2 c. pitted prunes

1. In a dutch oven, brown onions and meat in 3 tbsp. EVOO. Add salt, pepper and cinnamon. Pout in 2 c. water, cover and simmer for an hour.
2. Peel squash, cut into cubes. Brown squash in a skillet with remaining oil, 15 minutes or so.
3.When meat is tender, add sugar, lime juice, saffron water, prunes and butternut squash. Cover and simmer for an hour over low.
4. Check seasonings and adjust.

Note: I omitted step 1, cooked squash and onions in the dutch oven, then added the lentils with other ingredients and cooked for an hour)

This was the ONLY organic butternut squash they had at Kroger! It was giant and long - I only used the neck. I'm going to hollow out the end, then bake it for an hour with a little cinnamon and brown sugar in the 'bowl' (my mom's way) and eat it for lunch today!
There's also a photo of the saffron, it's from Trader joes. You get 1g for about $6. I need lots of saffron this week, so I bought a new bottle last time I was there.


Kelly said...

Mmmmm. That looks delicious. I love cooking with Saffron. In Wisconsin there is an awesome amish mart where they sell all kinds of grains, flours, sugars, etc. They happen to have really inexpensive saffron which makes me excited.

Ashley said...

This looks great! I adore Persian food, and there are so many interesting combinations to try! I have a few Persian cookbooks and have had a lot of wonderful meals from them!

Debbie said...

That is a huge squash! LOL. I have never cooked with saffron but heard it is expensive. Your dish looks wonderful and tasty!

Joanne said...

You made the right choice with the butternut squash, it is awesome. And trader joe's is definitely the best place to buy saffron...its so much less expensive there than anywhere else!