Kebab or Nothing!

Have no fear, kebab houses are near – at least in Richmond Hill!  When summer comes to a close so, too, does storing away your backyard barbeque.  Luckily, I found one Persian eatery that keeps hot coals aflame, literally fanning of charcoal – in old-school fashion – year round. TaftanContact arr

Chicken, lamb or beef?  When it comes to tasting a selection of skewered authenticity at its fastest, I make my way to one particular dine-in/take-out establishment for some fired meaty perfection.  Despite its small corridors, Taftan Kebab upkeeps tradition serving Persian cuisine in mountainous portion-sizes and flavour – both, BIG!

TaftanK arrOpting for my usual – “Shah Abbasi” – if you ask, you shall receive.  Request made and order fulfilled, I got my hands on a very hefty package.  Here, they just ‘meat-it!’  Container overflowing, my preferred dinner plate consists of a kebab trio – ‘joujeh’ (chicken breast), ‘koobideh’ (ground beef), and ‘barg’ (beef tenderloin) – made to order, with delectable juices dripping over a “king-size” bed of fluffy saffron-infused basmati rice.  Not only does it smell like b.b.q. heaven, the taste of the saffron and lemon juice marinated chicken kebab is above and beyond your local mall “shish” order; fresh and succulent, I got what I wanted insofar as char-flamed protein – superiorly moist, no dry ‘jerky’ strips here.

Sumac arrAs much as I am contently occupied with my Persian ‘beloved’ – kebab – the next best thing, in succession to sword-length meat-covered skewers, is sumac.  What in the world?  For those not in the know, ‘sumac’ is a dry seasoning; grainy to the touch, deep red in colour, and sour in taste.  Ripping two sumac packets – just as one would treat ketchup – I generously coat my kebabs with this tart topping.  Slow ingestion is beneficial, I’m aware; but, believe me, this meal did not require “One Thousand and One Nights” to devour – no postponement necessary for this ‘kingly’ meal!

Copyright © DISHFUL, 2013.

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Season’s Gr-eat-ings!

October is a month that marks many seasonal preludes.  More than burnt tinges of red being apparent on fallen poplar and maple leaves, the initiation of sweater-weather is reminiscent of delicious holiday warm-ups to anticipate.  Standing in my kitchen, pouring my daily brew – coffee – my mug of neutralized-acidic comfort reminds me of one particular toasty fall offering – Turkey Day.

With a drop in the barometer, finding a tantalisingly manner to seek some heat-retreat on this thankful day was easy.  Strategically volunteering to resume my annual kitchen post, dessert-making and turkey basting, my dual-positions served me well; periodically opening the modern-day hearth – stainless steel oven – not only allowed me to keep a watchful eye on the savoury ‘goods’ but, too, released a welcoming steamy backdraft that appeased my senses.  From start to finish of cooking production, fast-track a quarter of a day later and, finally, edible abundance – roasted pepper squash, moist turkey carvings, and generously herbed and butter-intoxicated sides – in all its succulent glory.  Fortunately, the earlier arrival of Thanksgiving – compared to our American cousins – is, without a doubt, an occasion for which Canadians are to be thankful – humbly, of course.

Turkey Dinner arr

While everyone’s prudent to maintain their table-side manners, over-indulgence – during the holidays – is a must!  Let’s be honest.  If not now – the holidays – when?  It would be a shame, to say the least, to pass up the opportunity to sample the fruits of your family’s labour.  With thanks in mind, and hunger on the rise, I did what any good daughter would do – I politely made my way down the food-chain of holiday dishes, and filled my plate with a journey of aromatic flavours.

Blame it on tryptophan!  Undeniably scrumptious, my gobbled meal left me feeling satisfied, loved, and incredibly stuffed.  Loaded on a surplus of heart-warming cinnamon and nutmeg-kissed helpings of veg could mean one thing; one full plate eaten within one hour leaves for one appropriately-fitting intermission prior to dessert – power nap.

Just recounting epic portions leaves me tired.  My goodness!  Why do we do this to ourselves?  First, we’re cautious not to fill-up on breakfast, in anticipation of ‘the meal’ ahead.  Then, we over-eat convincing ourselves it’s a one-time guilt-free occasion; and, only to endure a day-long recovery period, followed by a capricious annunciation to abolish all-things-turkey until next year.  Lesson unlearned:  delicious food is meant to be tasted, never wasted.  In the spirit of the holidays, indulgences must be satisfied, belts will continue to be loosened, and in good measure, safe-guards will be put into gear to look forward to upcoming cornucopia of eats.  In other words, do yourself a favour and appreciate future harvests by making a very grateful investment in stretchy pants – “spandex, all spandex!”

Copyright © DISHFUL, 2013.