Organic or regular tomatoes???
The minty smell of freshness
Landing in Michigan the Epicurious Kids were already in a heated debate over their next culinary adventure with their cousins Paulo and Sofia. Russia was the initial plan for the botched Easter menu, but after an informal poll with the family, Iran seemed to be the popular choice. Kabab Koobideh (minced lamb) with Maast-o-Khiar (yoghurt sauce) and some grilled fish Maahi Kabab and then some rice or polow (pilau) of course…
Trying to squeeze in some food shopping and cooking time with 4 kids under the age of 8 was an ordeal in itself. In between errands and childcare, we decided to make a quick stop at the local Meijer´s and buy 5 simple ingredients: minced lamb, tomatoes, cilantro, cumin and pomegranate juice. It was crunch time and we only had 30 minutes to find, purchase everything and pick-up Sofia and Sasha at school. EZ enough, I thought. I underestimated the sheer size of American stores. The distance between the green section to the meat section was about 30 aisles and a 5 minute sprint with 3 kids in tow…
Sourcing ground lamb in Michigan --- EZ!
Prepping his beautiful fish
When the ingedients were finally sourced, girls picked up at school, we set up in the kitchen, the fish station the lamb station and the prepping area. Everyone was eager to start cooking, cutting and stirring… we needed some order amidst the eager faces and excitable hands. Inigo couldn´t be separated from his favourite protein, fish, while Paulo and Tristan were given the minced lamb to make the kebabs… For Paulo´s first time in kitchen stadium, he was eager and naturally skilled in using his hands and knife. A good listener, he watched as his cousins handled the fish, cut off the gills and seasoned in the pomegranate mixture (intriguing ingredient!). Now it was his turn to do it. Success at the first try!
Epi Kidz boost local economy by hiring local help
Tristan mentors Paulo in the art of prepping fish
However, the concentration levels fluctuated from intense concentration to Bakugan brawls in the living room and an impromptu tag game in the garden. Everyone was still eager to run back in the kitchen, in between steps to lend a helping hand. Inigo, in the meantime, was seriously finishing off his fish preparation and madly mixing in the spices for the kebab mixture. Sofia was peeking cautiously into the kitchen trying to figure out the commotion. She wanted to wait at the last minute to participate in this craziness.
After mixing in the dry spices into the minced lamb mixture, the kids added some chopped garlic, onions, coriander. The Pilau was slowly cooking, and Sofia wondered why the rice was yellow. From the turmeric, explained Tristan. She wrinkled her nose unconvinced.
Each his own stations
It takes a village to stir polow!
The Three Muskateers
The anticipation was palpable as the kids kept rushing between the kitchen and the grill where their uncle Gino was busy tending to the kebabs and the fish. “When is the Iranian food ready?!” they kept chirping every 1 minute. They were clearly excited to sample their own concoctions.
After a few more minutes, four tiny tummies were ready at the table to feast on their creations. We decided to make it easy on ourselves by buying the pita bread. After quickly whipping up Maast-o-Khiar — a yoghurt, cucumber dip for the kebab,
we set the table and celebrated a job well done. Sofia was the first to taste everything. An avid foodie and enthusiastic eater, she was neck-to-neck with cousin Inigo. Too bad baby Sasha has to watch the chaos from a distance—for now.
Sasha surrounded by her posse
Kabab Koobideh with Maast-o-Khiar and Pita Bread
The second Epicurious Kids meal abroad was a resounding success. The kids were proud of their work and exhausted. Nothing like sharing a meal together with loved ones. In this case the secret ingredient is: family!
Next stop… perhaps Iraq. Right now, we are hangin´with the posse.
One for All and All for One! Yum!
Thumbs up for Iran! Cuisine that is...