Recipe: Persian Chicken and Prune Stew (Khoresh Aloo)

Persian Prune Stew (Khoresh Aloo)

Persians have mastered the art of combining meat with fruit. Coming from someone who never really cared for the two together, I can tell you that Persians do it well and this dish is a prime example.

If you're squirming from the sound of prunes and chicken in stew form, let me try to describe it to you before you decide you're gonna hate it. The base is sweet, tangy and almost candy like. The chicken combined with the slow cooked onions, and some salt + pepper provide the savory elements needed to give it the sweet/salty phenomenon (but more on the sweet side). Serve this stew on a bed of fluffy basmati rice and you've got something that will satisfy your tastebuds in a totally different way.

This recipe calls for pomegranate paste, which is a thick molasses-like paste made of pomegranate concentrate. You can find this at your local Persian grocery/specialty store.

Persian Chicken and Prune Stew (Khoresh Aloo)
- 2 cups of prunes
- 1-2 chicken breasts, cut into 2.5 inch strips (depends on how much meat you want)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups of water
- 2 Tbsp of pomegranate paste
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste

1. In an oiled pan, saute the onions until translucent (about 2-3 minutes). Add the  chicken and saute for 3 minutes until partially cooked and lightly brown on the outside.

2. Add the water and prunes. Bring the water to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes, covered with the lid on. Add more water part way through if necessary. If the heat is too high, the water may evaporate.

3. While simmering, uncover the stew and with a spatula, mash up 1/4 of the prunes so that it helps form a thick sauce. Add 2 Tbsp of pomegranate sauce, salt and pepper to taste, and mix well. Turn off the heat and serve hot.

You can use any type of chicken you want. Feel free to use all dark meat or mix it with both white and dark. If you prefer a more meaty stew, go ahead and add more chicken to the recipe.

Venture to Ottawa South. Black Dog Bistro, Ottawa (Manotick)

Black Dog Bistro

If you don't get out to Manotick often, or ever, here is one reason why you should: Black Dog Bistro.

Black Dog Bistro in Manotick recently went through a significant renovation, and it now has an updated menu and a great new space. The menu has a slight French flare offering choices like nicoise salad or mussels & frites. Their PEI mussels are highly recommended - big, tender, sweet, juicy and very fresh. Their hot smoked trout is also really good. The trout is perfectly seasoned with a nice smoky flavor.

Their French Onion soup was recently featured in the 'Pilsner Urquell Perfect Pairings Cookbook', a limited edition cookbook featuring restaurants from across Canada for the chef at home.

Black Dog Bistro

French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup

Smoked Trout Salad
Smoked Trout Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Fresh PEI Mussels in a Roasted Garlic, White Wine and Tarragon Sauce

5540 Main Street
Manotick, Ontario, Canada
Telephone: 613-692-3779

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Funky Food Ilustrations by Anek

Anek's simple and colorful food illustrations are creative and sophisticated. Kitchen art is tough to master. Most are tacky or very mainstream looking, and in all fairness, it's not easy to make a salad, a jar of olives, or herbs look inspiring.

A graphic designer and illustrator in Croatia, Anek primarily focuses her work on food as it has always been a big part of her life (especially her Granny's recipes). Her artwork is featured in restaurants and products across the globe including the UK, New Zealand and Portugal. 

Suminoya All You Can Eat Japanese BBQ, Sydney

Suminoya Buffet

It's not everyday that an all you can eat restaurant is worth mentioning, but Suminoya Japanese BBQ is. Situated in the heart of the business district in Martin Place, Suminoya specializes in authentic Japanese charcoal BBQ with superb quality food.

Although they do have dinner a la carte, the all you can eat buffet dinner is what is popular here. The buffet service is 90 minutes long and starts as soon as you place your first order. Everyone at the table must have the same buffet meal to keep it simple. Becareful of ordering too much because you can get charged for leftover food. There are 2 types of buffet: the gourmet is $45 and the premium is $55. The premium meal is the gourmet option + premium options like sashimi plates, Wagyu beef loin, Shabu Shabu style pork loin, garlic prawns, beef fillets, and unlimited beef tongue.

Salmon and Tuna Sashimi

Shabu Shabu Style Pork Loin

Tongue Plate
Beef Tongue


Raw Octopus and Scallops
Raw Octopus and Scallops

Suminoya Buffet
Suminoya Charcoal BBQ Grill


Dipping Sauces
Dipping Sauces

1 Hosking Place
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Telephone: 02 9231 2177

 Suminoya Japanese on Urbanspoon

Recipe: Carrot and Zucchini Quinoa Patties

Quinoa Patties

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a good option if you are looking for protein alternatives. It is also gluten-free which is great for the celiac disease sufferers out there. In addition to it being high in protein, quinoa is a good source of fiber, magnesium and iron.

One way to eat quinoa is in burger form. Adding grated carrot and zucchini adds moisture to the patties, and the touch of cinnamon and cayenne is the secret to why these patties taste so good. If you're looking for a sauce to go with these, a spicy salsa will pair nicely.

This recipes makes 16 patties.

Carrot and Zucchini Quinoa Patties
- 6 cups of cooked quinoa (approx 1 3/4 - 2 cups of uncooked quinoa makes 6 cups cooked)
- 3 scallions, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
- 1 medium zucchini, grated
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 3/4 cup of cheese (any kind you like)
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
- 1/8 tsp of cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper
- 1/2 + 1/8 tsp of salt
- extra virgin olive oil

1. Cook the quinoa as per package instructions. Mix all of the ingredients except for the eggs until evenly distributed. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and then add it to the quinoa mixture. Mix well.

2. With your hands make 2 inch patties, making sure the quinoa is tightly packed. In an oiled pan over medium-high heat, pan fry each side for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.

Quinoa Patties

Zinio Magazine Giveaway!

I am giving away 10 free Zinio magazine subscriptions to my fabulous readers!

If you've never heard of Zinio, they are a digital newstand and bookstore that offers thousands of magazine subscriptions and books for your computer or mobile device. For magazines, you can purchase either a full subscription or a single issue.

They currently have a holiday sale offering up to 50% off on select magazines such as La Cucina Italiana, Vegetarian Times, Wine Spectator and Clean Eating. This is the time to load up on magazines!

Better Homes and Gardens magazine is also offering special holiday issues at a discount to help you plan for the upcoming parties and festivities.

For a chance to win 1 of 10 Zinio Magazine Subscriptions to any magazine of your choice, leave me a comment and let me know which magazine you've got your eye on between now and Thursday Dec 20Winners get to pick one full subscription to any magazine of choice offered on Zinio. That's literally thousands of choices. For example, 1 subscription to Epicure will get you 12 free digital issues.

The giveaway ends Thursday Dec 20 11:59PM ET and 10 winners will be selected using

In addition to leaving a comment, make sure there is a way I can get a hold of you, either by including your site information or by sending me your contact information via the contact form. I know, the blogger comment form is somewhat of a pain. But be sure to leave a comment. That is your ticket for a chance to win. Good luck!

Butcher's Happy Hour at Fatted Calf Charcuterie, San Francisco

Fatted Calf Charcuterie, San Francisco

Fatted Calf is an artisinal charcuterie that specializes in high-quality local, organic, hormone-free and hand crafted meats. Packed into their little store front is a myriad of meats and artisan products. You can get pretty much any meat you desire offering everything from beef shoulder, bone-in lamb leg roast, boston butt to pork trotters, pork offal, Spanish style chorizo, house made sausages, rilletes and pates.

In addition to their butcher counter, they also offer a small menu of soups, salads and sandwiches. Their classic meatloaf sandwich with pickled red onion, leaf lettuce and whole grain mustard is a local favorite. But it's not far off from their pulled pork sandwich with bourbon and blue bottle BBQ sauce, or porchetta sandwich with meyer lemon mayonnaise, fennel, carrot and radish slaw.

Every Wednesday, between 5:30 - 7:00PM, you can stop in for Butcher's Happy Hour where you can sip, eat and talk meat with the butcher's at no cost.

If you've always wanted to learn how to chop up a whole hog, prepare pates and terrines or make your own black truffle sausage, regular classes are offered ranging from $175-200/person.

Pork at Fatted Calf

Fatted Calf Charcuterie

Fatted Calf Charcuterie

Meatload Sandwich

Fatted Calf Charcuterie
320 Fell Street
San Francisco, Califonia, USA
Telephone: 415-400-5614

Fatted Calf Charcuterie on Urbanspoon

Glammed Up Pork Belly, Poutine and Pulled Pork at Odile, Ottawa (Gatineau)

Dutch Baby
Dutch Baby
This dutch baby, offered on the brunch menu, should be reason enough for you to visit Odile. A fluffy crepe souffle bowl filled with warm baked apples, melt in your mouth pork belly, sharp aged cheddar, drizzled with a thick sweet maple syrup. Drooling yet?

Odile, a follow on restaurant to Marysol Foucalt's Edgar, is just as charming but with a more grown up feel. Although very similar in menu options, Odile feels a bit more sophisticated and refined. Unlike Edgar, Odile is also open for dinner.

While the menu changes weekly, you can expect to see dishes like duck confit poutine with rabbit jus or pulled pork with cornbread cubes and cheese stuffed pepper on their brunch menu.

Duck Confit Poutine
Duck Confit Poutine with Rabbit Jus, Gouda, Poached Eggs and Fingerling Potatoes

Pulled Pork with Corn Bread
Cornbread, Pulled Pork, Avocatdo, Cheese Stuffed Pepper and Poached Eggs

47 Avenue Montclair
Gatineau, Quebec Canada
Telephone: 819-205-4425

Odile on Urbanspoon

Get Your Daily Dose of Art and Coffee at Gallery Cafe, Sydney

Gallery Cafe, Sydney

There are countless places to have brekky in Sydney. It all depends on what you are looking for. If you want more of a local community grassroots feel with large portions, then Gallery Cafe is the way to go. What makes this space neat is the colorful artwork that infests the warehouse-like walls. The 2-level cafe can display over 80 pieces of art at any given time. You can spend as much time in an art gallery as you would at this cafe.

Their french toast with bacon & maple syrup is a good choice, with layers of sweet and salty sprinkled with a generous amount of icing sugar. Their chorizo dishes are also a great choice like their Spanish omelette topped with spicy tomato coulis or creamy chorizo scrambled eggs.

French Toast and Bacon
French Toast with Bacon and Maple Syrup

Chorizo Scrambled Eggs
Creamy Chorizo Scrambled Eggs

Spanish Omelette
Spanish Omelette

Gallery Cafe
43 Booth Street
Sydney, NSW, Australia (Annandale)
Telephone: 02 9692 8449

Gallery Cafe on Urbanspoon

Direct Fair Trade Golden Berries. Amazing Dried Fruit from Level Ground Trading.

Level Ground Trading Golden Berries

If you love tomatillos, chances are, you'll love the golden berry as well. Inca berry, Aztec berry, Cape's all the same thing. Contrary to the name, the golden berry is not actually a berry. Its a member of the nightshade family similar to the tomato and eggplant, with the tomatillo being its closest relative.

Golden Berries

The dried golden berry has a sour, tart flavor and can be eaten raw or cooked. It is considered a superfood that is high in Vitamin A and C. It is also high in protein and a great source of bioflavonoids. In the natural medicine world, the golden berry has been used to treat asthma, rheumatism and malaria. On a more benign level, it can help with weight management and better organ function.

Level Ground Trading sells direct fair trade golden berries, which are vine-ripened and organically grown in the volcanic soil of Narino, Columbia. They are free of sulphites, additives and preservatives. They have partnered with Fruandes to ensure a sustainable income to small scale farmers.

The partners also sell pineapple sourced from the jungles of Casana, mangoes near the Magdalena River Valley, and coconut and bananas from Colombia's coastal regions. You'll be amazed at the quality of their fruit. It's how fruit should taste all the time.

Brother Juniper's Restaurant Serves Up One of the Best Breakfasts in Memphis

Brother Juniper's Restaurant

One of the best places for breakfast in Memphis is Brother Juniper's Restaurant. You are guaranteed to be satisfied here. Here are 5 easy reasons why:

1. It's got a great casual vibe.
2. The food comes in large portions.
3. The ingredients are always fresh.
4. The service is extremely friendly.
5. The restaurant entrance houses original paintings by local artist George Hunt, an extremely talented mixed media artist who has managed to stay somewhat under the radar despite the popularity of his art (one of his paintings was displayed in the White House and private collectors of his art include Eddie Murphy and Anthony Quinn).

One thing you have to be careful in Memphis is that their soy milk is always a sweetened vanilla soy milk...even at Starbucks. Opt for regular milk if you prefer an unsweetened soy milk. Love the retro mug!


Whether or not you are a Rachel Ray fan, the breakfast labelled her favorite is really good! The San Diegan open face omelete sits on a bed of sour cream topped with portobellos, tomatoes, bacon, green onions, feta and cheddar cheese. You have a choice of cheese grits, homefries, toast or biscuit as your sides. Sprinkle some of their secret blend hot sauce on this omelet and you'll be laughin.

San Diegan Open Face Omelete
San Diegan Open Face Omelet

If you want something satisfyingly filling, try their potato dishes. They are huge bowls of home fries tossed with lots of cheese and various toppings.  A favorite is P2 served with gyro meat, mushrooms, tomatoes, mozzarella, & feta cheese. For sides, you have a choice between biscuit or toast.

Gyro Potato Dish
Potato Dish with Gyro Meat
3519 Walker Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Telephone: 901-324-0144

Brother Juniper's College Inn on Urbanspoon

Alfred Coffee Table, Inspired by Waiter Holding a Tray

Smart design hardly goes unnoticed. This Alfred Coffee Table, designed by Italian designer Giorgio Bonaguro, is an elegant table inspired by a waiter's five fingers when holding a tray. It's five legs, all with different dimensions and in different positions, delicately balance a round table top that represents the tray a waiter holds. The plexiglass top comes in different colors - red, orange, yellow, green and white.

Giorgio Bonaguro is industrial and interior designer based in Milan.

You'll Get The Urge to Get Your Hair Done While Dining at Beauty Shop, Memphis

Beauty Shop

Have you ever had the urge to get a perm while dining out? Well you may at the Beauty Shop restaurant in Memphis. What once used to be a real beauty shop where Pricilla Presley got her hair done, Beauty shop is now a converted funky little restaurant that serves world inspired food. It kept some of the original beauty shop fixtures as part of the restaurant decor, providing lots to talk about and look at over your meal.

Beauty Shop

This is a Karen Blockman Carrier restaurant, a woman who left her successful career in New York City to move back to her hometown in Memphis to start a series of successful restaurant that have made a mark. She is credited for bringing style and eccentricity to the city of Memphis with places like Automatic Slim's Tonga Club and more recently, Do Sushi.

The watermelon and wings with white Szechuan pepper, sugar dust and sweet chile lime sauce is highly recommended along with their thick creamy Nutella homemade milkshake.

Watermelon and Wings
Watermelon and Wings in White Szechuan Pepper, Sugar Dust and Sweet  Chile Lime Sauce

Pastrami on Rye
Pastrami on Rye

Beastie Boy
Beastie Boy Sandwich: Roast Beef, Horseradish, Provalone, Roasted Red Peppers, Lemon Aioli

Salmon Gravlax Club
Salmon Gravlax Sandwich with Fresh Fruit

Beauty Shop
966 South Cooper Street
Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Telephone: 901-272-7111

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