Persian dill rice, beet salad & pumpkin cheesecake

I try to keep everything I post on this site original, either recipes that I have concocted or those that I have learned from friends and family. But I actually do a lot of cooking inspired by other food blogs. There are so many wonderful ones, and I realized that I should probably take the time to point out a good recipes when I find one.

I hosted a supper club at my house this weekend, and the theme was fall cooking. In addition to the dessert that I had signed up to make, I fixed a quick salad and a rice dish to accompany what the others brought. The entire spread ended up being delicious, but I wanted to note the recipes I made from other blogs because they got rave reviews:

Beet and endive salad inspired by this recipe in the New York Times. I used curly endive and also mixed in so standard lettuce greens. I skipped the walnuts and chives and found that the dressing packed enough flavor to make the dish work.

Dill rice with brewed saffron came from My Persian Kitchen. This was my first time trying anything from this site, and I was really impressed with the thoroughness of the recipe. I learned a neat trick to pulling out the flavor from saffron by crushing it with salt before brewing it, and the rice came out very close to what I’ve sampled in Persian restaurants. I really recommend trying this and serving it with some juicy kababs or fish.

Pumpkin cheesecake, courtesy of Martha Stewart. I make this cheesecake every Thanksgiving, and I thought it was appropriate for the fall-themed supper club because the pumpkin and spice really invoke the season. Instead of a pumpkin spice mix, I use a smaller amount of cinnamon and nutmeg and find that it works well. (A dash each of ground ginger and cloves would complete the spice mix if you were making it yourself.) What I love about this dish is that it’s kind of a crowd pleaser: The pumpkin flavor is subtle enough to make this creamy dessert appealing even to those who don’t like pumpkin pie.

Give those recipes a try, and I’ll be back with my own post again soon.

Note: I realized just now that I posted the same cheesecake recipe to this blog around Thanksgiving last year. It just goes to show what a regular part of my repertoire this particular dish has become!

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