Jeweled Rice

_MG_4728There is nothing I love more in Persian cuisine than the rice. Don’t get me wrong, the kabobs, stews and plates of fresh herbs with feta are divine, but there’s something about the rice that always screams comfort food. My favorite preparation is when the rice is cooked at the bottom of the pot until a crispy bottom, Tah-deeg (which literally means “bottom of the pot”), is formed. It’s the part of the dish that could ruin friendships as each person fights for that last, crunchy bite. I recently learned the art of making Persian rice from an expert, my friend Negin’s mom. (more…)

This is How We Roll


Sushi is a powerful food. It is memorable for most home cooks, not just because it involves an expansive amount of prep work but because it is so often done in the company of friends. Roommates, sisters, husbands, girlfriends–everyone has a story, whether it’s a tempura disaster, exploding rolls, a particularly exquisite fillet of tuna, or hysterical laughter around the table as someone puts a little too much wasabi in her mouth. Some of my best college memories revolve around the process of making it or eating it: that night we thought five rolls wouldn’t be enough for two, so we made a sixth; the New Year’s a significant other and I nearly burned down the house trying to make tempura; weeknights at the hole-in-the-wall on Telegraph Ave. (more…)

Holy Mole

cincodemayoWe hope you all had a happy Cinco de Mayo, amigos!  Yep, I just said that. Once a holiday to honor the ideals of freedom and democracy in the first years of the Civil War and celebrated by Mexican-Americans to commemorate an unlikely victory in a fight to end occupation, the celebration of Cinco de Mayo has been seized enthusiastically by margarita-happy gringos. This isn’t to say that the original or true meaning of the holiday has been lost. Uniquely American in origin, the day is now a widely-embraced celebration of Mexican heritage. In a state that was formed from Mexican territory and in which 30% of the population identifies as Mexican-American, it’s accompanied by a very visible display of pride. For the two of us, it also means an excuse to make an elaborate feast.  (more…)