Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sabroso: Harvard Cookin' Girl

With our cousin Adriana's recent (fantastic and beautiful!) wedding, our upcoming trip and visiting family in town, we've been neglecting our dear blog. There have been several blog posts started, with each of us writing a bit here and there so this post is long overdue!

One of the bridesmaid duties a couple of weeks ago was throwing the bachelorette party. Adriana wanted a low key girls night and she is a total foodie (so are we if you couldn't tell). Candice had gone to a cooking class with Adriana and Tia and fell in love with Bibi, the owner and chef at Harvard Cookin' Girl in La Jolla. We couldn't think of a better evening to celebrate Adriana than to enjoy a wonderful meal and learn some new recipes along the way.

Bibi is well versed in all cuisines but since she is Persian, we figured we could not go wrong with that choice! We were so engrossed in Bibi's fantastic stories about herself, her cooking and tidbits about each spice and dish (not to mention the food itself!) that we did not take nearly enough pictures. We plan on returning for another class soon after we get back from our trip so we will try to capture more of her beautiful dishes. 

We started with Mast-o-Khiar, a yogurt and cucumber dip similar to tzatziki. It was a refreshing appetizer and paired perfectly with the main dish as well. 

The entree was out of this world, a Chicken Plum Braise. Along with the Bokhara plums, Bibi added very generous amounts of saffron with pinches of cinnamon, rose petals and cardamom. I mean, are you kidding me? Dream dish, right there. She chose this as the entree as it is a warm, comfort food that is often served at celebratory events. Her close friend, Marjane Satrapi, wrote a book named after the dish, Chicken with Plums, which was made into a film, Poulet aux prunes, last year. We can't wait to read/see it now.

What we love about Bibi is that she truly caters the entire night to you, engages with you and takes everything into account. The planned dessert was actually Persian Wedding Cookies which we learned are very similar to Mexican Wedding Cookies with the addition of cardamom. We went off course though when she was telling us about another dessert she had recently made that had us all drooling. Roasted pineapple with black pepper and Kahlua, served over vanilla ice cream. To die for.

We ended the meal with Bibi's own blend of tea to which she added orange blossom water. 

We cannot recommend Bibi's classes enough. She is so passionate and talented, a true delight. Thank you Bibi! And Congratulations Adriana! 

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