Making barbari and mezze with Chef Behzad Jamshidi
Behzad Jamshidi, acclaimed chef and founder of Moosh NYC, gave viewers a tasty introduction to Persian dining traditions during a virtual cooking class focused on two Middle Eastern staples: barbari and mezze.
Made possible through Mastercard’s partnership with ChefsFeed, the livestream with Chef Behzad Jamshidi was designed to help home cooks broaden their culinary repertoire with dishes that are simple to prepare, pretty to look at, and delicious to eat.
Jamshidi began by preparing barbari, a thick flatbread seasoned with a mix of dried herbs, sumac, sesame, nigella seeds and rose petals. It’s perfect for getting a meal started on a positive note.
“It’s a great way to bring people together,” he said. “Whenever we host a supper club, this is, without fail, the easiest way to disarm the room.”
Jamshidi demonstrated each step of the process as viewers, armed with the recipe, followed along at home. From mixing and kneading the dough to baking, cooling, and seasoning the final product, he made it easy for even the most novice bakers. And, as he explained, it’ll still taste good even if you don’t do everything perfectly.
“No matter what you do, it’s very forgiving, and you’ll be in the ballpark of something very delicious,” Jamshidi said. “You can forgive yourself if it doesn’t turn out 100% the first time.”
Once the bread was in the oven, he turned his focus to mezze, cautioning viewers not to be daunted by all the different flavors and ingredients.
“People sometimes feel intimidated by mezze, but it just means fun bites you can have with the bread,” he said. “It’s really batch-prepared things that stay well in your fridge and recipes that are easy to prepare in one or two steps.”
He showed how easy mezze can be by whipping up a half dozen plates in a matter of minutes. Highlights included tomatoes tossed with olive oil, lemon, vinegar, and za’atar spices; feta with herbs; salted cucumber with oil and dukkah (an herb and spice blend); and a yogurt and honey dish perfect for dipping. An attractive presentation is key.
“With mezze, it’s important to build color,” he said. “You eat with your eyes first, and then you smell the aroma.”
Before signing off, Jamshidi enlisted the help of colleague and beverage expert Sarah Boisjoli to recommend a drink pairing.
“I like pairing mezze with a Pét-Nat, which is short for Pétillant Naturel and is a trending style of natural sparkling wine,” Boisjoli said. “It’s not quite as effervescent as champagne, but it makes up for it in aroma and robustness of flavor, and it’s perfect for when there’s a big mix of food on the table.”
Download recipe: Behzad Jamshidi Barbari Bread and Mezze
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