Armenian Ich or Eech Salad.

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I mentioned in my last post there will be recipes that give you parsley teeth. This is one of those recipes.

My husband calls this one ‘Armenian Sang Choy Bow’ because its best enjoyed in a lettuce parcel. I call it ‘Reverse Tabouli’ because its a little bit of parsley and a whole lot of bulgur. The actual name for this traditional Armenian salad is Ich. Or Eech Salad. Or just get in my mouth salad.

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Its gloriously delicious, and its one of those salads that gets better with time. Make it and leave it overnight and see how gorgeous it is the next day. Possibly (if there is any left) even better on day 2.

Be sure to use the finest bulgur you can buy. And if you really want to be adventurous, you could even substitute it for quinoa, cous cous or any other fine grain. The main flavour here though is the combination of the pastes, lemon and the fresh herbs.

  • 1 – 1 ½ cups fine bulgur ( #1)
  • Hot water – enough to cover bulgur in a bowl
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons pepper paste
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons dry mint
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 lemons
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ cup fresh mint, finely chopped
  • ½ cup green onions/shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes finely diced

Place the bulgur in a large bowl and cover it with hot water. Leave for 30 seconds then drain well. Add all the ingredients and stir well. Cover with glad wrap and place it in the fridge for at least an hour for all the ingredients to make love. Serve and enjoy with crunchy iceberg lettuce.

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Rustic Chicken, Leek and Yoghurt Soup

Rustic chicken, leek and Yoghurt soup
Welcome to the very first post on the Gourmet Wog.

I don’t really know where this blog will lead me. At present it’s a hobby, hopefully one day I can quit my rat race job and make this my full-time job. Who knows what the future holds! Ambitious? Yeah, true that!

After being a full-time stay at home mum for a year, I thought of lots and lots of ways to keep myself busy, dreamed of the dishes I would prepare and the imaginary garden that would feed us. Who knew motherhood itself was so demanding and a job in its own right. I’ve since gone back to the corporate world full time. Now that my daughter is 19 months old and curious to see what Mummy is doing in the kitchen its time to reopen the Pandora’s box of dreams and inhibitions that this blog will hopefully fulfill.

So in Sydney at the moment, its warm and incredibly humid for an Autumn day; but come sunset, the drop in temperature is extreme and this dish is the one I crave the most on a cool crisp night.

Its rustic, ok its pretty ugly but it tastes amazing.
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So I’m pretty hopeless with ingredients quantities. Any good Wog Mumma will tell you ‘A bit of this and a bit of that’. I never make this by measurement, it’s just what feels right. Try it, you will be amazed at your ability to start picking up on flavours, what’s needed and what it is lacking.

Rustic Chicken, Leek and Yoghurt Soup
An original recipe by the Gourmet Wog

* Chicken: I use one thigh fillet per person you plan to cook for, diced.
* 1 big Leek, washed and sliced
* Butter, use as little or as much as you like. Alternatively a good Olive Oil is great too!
* 1 cup Basmati Rice
* Chicken Stock. Use home made where possible, this will make ALL the difference
* Full Cream Greek Style Yoghurt (a 1L tub is enough for 4 people).
* 2 free range eggs (can be left out if you have an intolerance, but if you do add it, it just creates another dimension of creamy yummy goodness)
* Dried Mint
Leek Chicken Yogurt Soup
Method: This is the easy part!
Saute your leeks in lots of yummy creamy butter or lavish Olive Oil until soft and gooey. Add the diced Chicken to your leeks and brown for a few minutes.
In the meantime, wash your rice in a colander until the water runs clear and add the rice to the leek and chicken combo. Stir for a minute.
To the same pan, add your chicken stock. Add enough to cover all the chicken, leek and rice and then add a little more. One more splash, just for fun.
Bring it all to the boil and cook it for 5-7 minutes, straining the impurities that may rise to the top with a spoon.
After its been boiling away, reduce the heat down to a simmer till the rice is cooked. Crack the eggs straight into your yoghurt tub (that is, if you are using the whole tub) and stir to incorporate the eggs into the yogurt. Mix the yoghurt and egg mixture straight into the pot and bring it back to the boil, constantly stirring for another 2 minutes.
At this point I would season the soup with plenty of salt and pepper and about 2 tablespoons of dried Mint. The mint adds this beautiful floral taste to the creamy soup and sticky rice.
Drizzle with a good Extra Virgin Olive Oil and serve hot with some garlic bread, toasted Turkish or a good Sourdough.
Enjoy and Bon Appetit!