Kotlet (Potato and Meat Patty)


Everybody in the family raves about my mom's Kotlet. Kotlet,  beef and potato patties,  is amongst many things I miss about living at my parent's. It's fluffy and crispy and it goes well with a piece of Lavash or Sangak (if you are lucky to find this bread),  tomatoes and Torshi or pickles. So I tried very hard to replicate my mom's recipe and even though it turns out great, it never is the same.

Serving: 4 people


1 pound lean ground beef
4  medium to large size  Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 large onion
4 eggs
2 cups bread crumbs
Cooking oil
Salt and pepper to taste


Cook the potatoes, remove the skin and set them aside to cool down.
Use the small holes in your grater to grate the onion. This is that hardest part, if you get over this, you are pretty much good to go.  Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes or use your grater for this part. Mix the ground beef,  grated onions and the potatoes together with your hand. Add salt and pepper and mix well.

Mix the eggs together and add them to the potato and meat mixture. Mix well until you get a smooth but not so soft and runny mixture. At this point, you should be able to shape your patties easily without them falling apart.

 Start making your patties in whatever shape you like with 0.3 inch thickness. Traditional Persian kotlet is oval shape, but making your own shape is not going to change the taste. Thickness of the patties is important since we don't want to burn the patties or undercook them.

Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan (preferably a bit deep to reduce the oil splashing all over your kitchen).

Spread the bread crumbs on a flat surface and coat all the patties with the bread crumbs on both side. Make sure the patties are not soft and you can pick each one up without it falling apart.

Fry the patties on both sides, one side at a time. When one side is turning brown, you can flip it over. The patties absorb a lot of oil and you have to constantly make sure there is enough oil in the pan so they don't burn.

 After both sides are brown, move them out of the pan and put them on a sheet of paper towel to absorb the excessive oil.

Serve with tomatoes, some Lavash and pickles or Torshi.


Front Coffee

Front Cafe San Francisco, Potrero hill

One thing I love about the up and coming Dogpatch neighborhood in San Francisco is its unique cafes.  Located on the border of Poterero Hill and Dogpatch, Front Coffee takes coffee to whole new level.
The cafe, a converted garage in the back of an art studio, opened up last summer in the back of an art studio on Missisipi and Mariposa.

They roast their own coffee in their charming, small cafe. If you are lucky, you get to see how they do it and smell the roasting beans. All the baristas are well mannered and very well dressed, in fact they all wear a vest and a tie at all times. Sometimes the studio's door is open and you get to peek at what they are working on.

On the side of the street, there are a few wooden tables and benches, always adorned with cute flowers.

Front Cafe San Francisco, Potrero hillOk enough about how the cafe look like,  let me tell you about front coffee. The taste is nothing like I have tasted before.  The cappuccino is easily the best I've had in San Francisco, and we all know how San Franciscans are "particular" with their coffee.

A cup of cappuccino and a pastry from Front, certainly makes my morning.

So be sure to visit Front Coffee if you are ever in the neighborhood, you are not going to be disappointed.

Quinoa Salad with Avacado and Black Beans

I love Quinoa, but I always run out of ideas on what to make with it. Sometimes, I just add it to my green salad. It adds a nutty flavor to it and makes it more  filling and I wouldn't have to wake up hungry in the middle of the night.  It's nutty flavor and fluffy but yet crunchy texture goes well with pretty much any vegetable. It is also very good with black beans and avacado. This salad is a very simple and can be put together in 10 minutes. The only inconvenient part is that you have to let the quinoa cool down before making the salad, unless you like to eat warm salad.

  1 Avacado
  1/2 cup quinoa
  1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  1/4 of a cucumber
  1/2 cup black beans
  1 lime
   Olive oil
   Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the quinoa, let it sit in the fridge for about 15 min to cool down. Cut the cherry tomatoes in 2 or 4 pieces (I like to cut them into 4 pieces).  Mix all the ingredients together and add olive oil, squeezed lime juice and salt and pepper.


Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata

Chicken Schnitzel has always been one of my favorite meals. I don't quite know how such a German dish was so popular in Persian homes. In fact it was so popular that, like many other English word in Farsi,  it was renamed to Shenisel at the butcher shop where you could buy the breaded chicken and just fry it at home. It was usually served with french fries and of course ketchup and lime juice at our home, just because we Persians like to add lime juice and ketchup to everything.

Why I am talking about Schnitzel in a post about Chicken Piccata? Well, it's technically the same thing, except it's served with a delicious tangy sauce made with white wine and lemon instead of ketchup.

Serving: 2 people


2 pieces of thinly sliced chicken breast
2 lemons
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


Sliced lemon
Chopped parsly


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a sheet pan with baking sheets.

Sprinkle each piece of chicken with salt and pepper.  Place the flour, bread crumbs and the beaten egg in three different  plates.  Dip each piece of chicken first in flour, then in the egg and lastly in the bread crumbs. Make sure the chicken is fully covered with the ingredients.

Heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the chicken over medium heat on both sides until browned.

Place the chickens on the sheet pan and bake for 5-10 minutes.

Prepare the Sauce:

Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Add white wine,  lemon juice,  and salt and pepper. Boil over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Spoon the sauce over each breast, garnish with sliced lemon and sprinkle with some chopped parsley.

You can serve this dish with some sautéed potatoes and mushrooms.