Tag Archives: family

¡hot plate! souberag and havaboor

6 Feb

Savory and I started doing these long-distance cooking dates recently where we both cook the same dish on the same day, and this weekend we took it back to his roots and went all Armenian–making souberag (a cheese pastry) and havaboor (a broth-based soup with egg and lemon).

These dishes went well together for a couple of reasons: First, because in terms of preparation, you can focus on each one separately and still have them both finished at the same time. And second, because the citrus flavor of the havaboor provided a really nice complement to the souberag, and while neither dish has meat you still leave the table feeling satisfied (and very, very full!).

The first step to making souberag is the most important: Put a pound of cheese into a bowl. Without eating all of it.

A WHOLE POUND of cheese. Hands off!

Next, butter up 10 layers of phyllo dough to give your cheese a comfy cushion of deliciousness, place cheese directly on top and then cover with 10 more layers of phyllo dough. Yes, you butter those layers, too–right before you top it all off with a magical egg and milk mixture and let it sit, basking in all its glory, for 30 minutes.

Souberag, anxiously waiting to be baked

Now it’s time to turn our attention to the soup:

Havaboor, before

Here, there’s a little trick: While the broth is cooking with the egg noodles, rice and salt, you froth the eggs and stir in the lemon, and then toss in a couple spoonfuls of the heated broth (to brace it for what’s coming, I suppose) and then stir it into the broth. The texture that comes from frothing the eggs is absolutely what makes this dish.

Yum and yum.

Dinner’s ready! Or as Savory’s grandma used to say, hrammetsek! Note: The parsley garnish on the soup is essential–as is mentally preparing yourself for the yumminess that’s about to happen in your mouth.

A special thank you to Josh and Mama Savory for the recipes and language assistance, and for sharing these cooking adventures with me!


’tis the season for popcorn balls

4 Dec

Grandma Marie's famous popcorn balls

I think everyone has special holiday treats that are a part of their family traditions. For the Welkers, it’s Christmas cookies and popcorn balls, lovingly prepared by my godmother, Grandma Marie (you know, the one who makes the heavenly canned peaches).

Grandma Marie used to make these every single year, but it’s been a while since she’s done it–so when my mom called me to tell me they’d gotten a box, I immediately begged for her to send me one. (Love you, Mom!) Popcorn balls are just one of those things that make me think of the holidays and being a kid; as I unwrapped my popcorn ball from this year’s batch, I could practically hear my mom warning me I would get cavities if I ate too many.

Naturally, that never stopped me from devouring the entire thing in one sitting.

Happy holidays to all!

hot spot: poor herbie’s

5 Oct
poor herbies

Grandpa Ed at Poor Herbies. New Jersey, 2010

I made a trip to New Jersey/New York last week and have to tell you guys about Poor Herbie’s. Poor Herbie’s is an old family run pub and restaurant in Madison, New Jersey with an Irish-American feel and an Italian-American menu. Grandpa Ed first took me there when I was a sophomore in college, and that is when I first tasted Poor Herbie’s house salad with creamy Italian dressing. My life hasn’t been the same since.

House salad w/ creamy italian dressing, Poor Herbies

House salad w/ creamy italian dressing, Poor Herbies

This trip marks the third time I’ve gotten to have that salad in the past 10 years, and even though there’s nothing to it but lettuce, tomato and dressing, I’ll be damned if it isn’t still super freaking delicious.

Of course, the company is always great, too. :)