Reader Liza Rosenberg and Ghormeh Sabzi

LizaPlease welcome Liza Rosenberg of Something Something. Liza lives in Karkur, Israel, with her husband, six year-old son and a goldfish who’s trying to live forever.

  1. What do you remember about family meals and your mother’s cooking style when you were growing up? I’ve always enjoyed my mother’s cooking. Unless it was a special occasion, her cooking wasn’t anything fancy, but it was still good. Like me, my mother was never really one of those women who particularly liked to cook. When it came to special occasions, the meals were always outstanding.
  2. How is your cooking style different from your mother’s? My tastes in food are more international than hers, so I tend to use more unusual spices than she did – different Indian spices, Middle Eastern spices, etc. Also, because my husband is Persian, I’ve learned how to cook a number of Persian dishes, which I also love (more so the eating, and less the cooking itself).
  3. How did you learn to cook? I think I’m still learning! But seriously. I’ve learned different things from my husband, who loves to cook. There’s been lots of trial and error as well over the years. Sometimes I’ll eat a meal somewhere and like it so much that I’ll scour the internet until I come up with the easiest possible recipe, and then try to repeat it. Cooking isn’t something that comes naturally to me, so I’m always a little nervous about it, even when I’m following a recipe. I’m always pleasantly surprised when I succeed.
  4. Do you entertain, and in what circumstances? What is the biggest party or meal you have hosted to date? My husband has a large family, and we occasionally have them over in whole or in part. We recently had a lot of people over the house for a celebration, and we served everything buffet style.
  5. How has your cooking style evolved over the years? As my tastes have changed and as I’ve grown more confident, I’ve tried my hand at more things, like the Persian food.
  6. Can you recommend any cookbooks, TV shows or websites that have inspired you? Alas, no. I just use whatever pops up on the radar any given moment.
  7. What is the most unusual dish you’ve ever made? I made a dish using brain once. Never again…
  8. What is the oldest item in your kitchen? The newest?The oldest item would have to be a meat grinder that we inherited from my mother-in-law. It doesn’t actually work anymore, but we’ve got it perched on a shelf because it’s got a funky, retro look to it. I’m not sure what the newest item is at the moment, but I’m hoping that it will soon be a cappuccino maker. 🙂
  9. What would you like to change about your cooking style in the coming year? I want to get better at making fish. I love fish, and would love to start including more of it in my culinary repertoire, such that it is.

Please share a favorite recipe.

Ghormeh Sabzi

Ingredients: (6 servings)

  • 750 grams boneless stewing lamb or beef
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup of cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 2 cup dried limes (or fresh lime juice)
  • 3/4 cup black-eye beans or kidney beans
  • 1 large potato, diced (optional)
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 cup spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1.5 cups spinach, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup coriander, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup tareh (garlic chives), finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup shanbelileh (fenugreek), finely chopped (optional)

Directions:

  1. Trim meat and cut into 2 cm (3/4 inch) cubes. Fry onion over medium heat in half of the oil until golden. Add turmeric and fry for 2 more minutes.
  1. Increase heat, add meat cubes and stir over high heat until meat changes color and begins to turn brown. Reduce heat.
  1. Add water, black-eye or kidney beans, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer gently for 1-1.5 hours hours until meat is tender. Time depends on type of meat used.
  1. Fry potatoes over high heat in the remaining oil until lightly browned. Add to sauce, leaving oil in the pan. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  1. Add prepared vegetables to frying pan and fry over medium heat until wilted. Add to sauce, then add dried limes (or lime juice), cover and simmer for further 10-15 minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve with white rice.

Comments

  1. I love Persian food, and can’t wait to try this recipe, perhaps for this coming Friday night. But where can I find fresh limes? Would the dried limes be easier to find in the market?

  2. Thank you for the interview to both of you. This dish looks awesome!

  3. Miriyummy – I actually prefer using dried limes, which you should be able to find at the shuk/market. When it comes to all the greens, there’s also room for flexibility. You can definitely substitute those you don’t like so much with others that you do like – mint also works very nicely. I also tend to add extra lemon juice, but that’s because I like it to have a stronger lemony taste.

    Ilana-Davita – Your welcome, and it’s definitely awesome! 🙂

  4. @Miriyummy, limes are available here in the shuk for a few weeks in the summer, around August.

    About four seconds after we arrived last summer, there was an article about it them in the Jerusalem post, and I went to Machane Yehuda, bought a huge heap of them and juiced them, then froze in ice cube trays.

  5. @Liza and @Kate — thanks for your advice and help. I am really looking forward to playing with this.

  6. Liza, good luck to the goldfish. Hearing about Karkur reminds me of the Ehud Banai song. That is a good thing! Hannah, such a nice site!

  7. Liza and Kate, thanks for the lime suggestions. Miri and I-D, let us know how it goes. Deena, thanks for visiting!

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