One of the things we like about Hollywood Beach is the choice of restaurants within walking distance of our hotel. There’s Mexican, Turkish, Greek, Peruvian, etc. in addition to good Italian restaurants, and American seafood.
We recently noticed the Hollywood Grill, which serves Armenian food. Not being too familiar with the menu the first time there, we ordered things we knew, like shishkababs, and salad.
Everything we ordered was good but as we ate, we noticed that the tables around us were covered with platters of unfamiliar things that looked delicious.
We went back the next night and told our waitress, Aisha, that we wanted to be adventurous and order some authentic Armenian dishes. She helped us order and explained how each dish was to be eaten.
Aisha is from Uzbekistan
The recipes were all traditional and from the Caucasus – Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. Over the course of our next 3 meals there, we had Georgian wine and Armenian beer, hot borscht, kharcho (lamb and rice soup) and hummus. We had a communally served platter of soft cheese that we rolled up in a bread something like thin pita with radishes, tomato and hot peppers, dolma (stuffed grape leave) that looked Greek but weren’t, broth filled dumplings, mussels, and something Aisha called Armenian pizza. All this with a view of palm trees and the ocean.
Too full for dessert but the coffee was perfect.
After 4 visits, we didn’t even get through half the menu. We told Tara, the manager, that if they opened a branch in New York, we’d be regulars.
I got this recipe in the New York Daily News a while back. They published it a few days before Saint Patrick’s Day and I’ve always wondered how authentic it really is with olive oil, tomato paste and red wine as ingredients. Authentic or not it’s a tasty hearty stew.
Season room temperature lamb with salt and black pepper and coat with flour. Sear until browned and remove from pot. Add more oil and sweat onions, garlic and carrots – S&P.
Make a hot spot and caramelize tomato paste then mix. Add barley, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Deglaze pot with wine.
Return lamb, stocks and bouquet garni (3 sprigs each rosemary and thyme wrapped around 3 bay leaves.)
Simmer low for 45 minutes, covered. Check for seasoning. Remove bouquet garni and add potatoes and pearl onions and cook for another 30 minutes or until potatoes are done.
Capozzelli di Angnelli Yes, it’s a lamb’s head. The padrone would get the loin, legs and chops and the peasants had to make what was left taste good.
1 lamb head, split in half
Salt and black pepper
1 tsp oregano
½ lemon plus more for serving
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup olive oil
Place room temperature halves on a platter and liberally season with salt and black pepper. Mix ½ tspn each, salt and black pepper with oregano, lemon juice, garlic and oil (save some oil to grease baking pan). Rub halves with marinade and allow to sit at room temperature for one hour.
Roast for 90 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 325o. Starting with cut side up, turn and baste with drippings every ½ hour. At the end of 90 minutes remove it from the oven and turn on the broiler.
Baste and place in broiler, eye side up, about 6 inches from flame for 2 minutes until lightly browned. When done, let it rest for about 5 minutes and serve with lemon wedges.