Hosting a Persian dinner

My church has an annual spring auction event to raise money for our youth group’s summer trips. This year, my friend Amy and I sold tickets to a homemade Persian dinner, which happened last night.  Most of the items on the menu were things that I had made (and blogged about) previously, during the March Persian cooking experience. Those included Pistachio Soup, Cauliflower Kuku, Chicken Kabab, and Adas Polow (this is the rice and lentil mixture shown below with chicken kabab around the outer rim of the plate).

One new item that we made was something I saw in a magazine recently. I don’t think it was attributed to Persian/Iranian culture, but it seemed to fit the overall theme. So we made these cucumber, feta and toasted walnut bite appetizers. No recipe is really required, it’s that easy – and such a delicious crunchy and salty bite. We had to hold ourselves back from eating them all before our guests arrived!

The other new item on the menu was a Persian rice cookie made with rose water. Rose water is a common ingredient in Persian sweets, though a bit unusual and “perfume-y” for the American palate. We served the cookies with a couple small scoops of mango sorbet, sprinkled with pistachios. Our cookies turned out very flat compared to those represented with the recipe on the mypersiankitchen blog, but there are probably a couple of reasons for that. One, the battery in my scales was dead, so I didn’t have a chance to verify the weight of the dry ingredients, and two – I was using rice flour purchased from an Asian market, which may have been a different consistency than Persian rice flour. Regardless of the look, the cookies tasted very good, with a melt-in-your-mouth, very airy consistency.

Overall, I think the crowd felt like they had gotten their “money’s worth”, and we had a great time fellowshipping and laughing together too!

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