Liraz Charhi traveled to Los Angeles in pursuit of the Hollywood dream, and it was there that she discovered that what she really cared about was the Persian dream. Since, she's managed to release three albums of Persian music and tour around the world, collaborate with Iranian musicians underground and on stage, and she's even contributed to the soundtrack of the hijab protest.
In a new episode of A Song for the Holiday Eve, Charhi joined Hedai Ofaimme in his kitchen for some cooking, singing and conversation to celebrate the early summer days. While preparing an excellent Polish gnocchi, they spoke about the days when she didn't allow her parents to address her in Persian, the surprising reactions from listeners in Iran, and her secret and nerve-wracking recording project in Istanbul. In the pan: Klotski with trout and egg yolks for Tammuz. On the guitar: Roya. Not recommended: Watching on an empty stomach.
Artistic directors: Amichai Chasson, Hillie Moyal Wurtman
Producer: Shir Sharoni
Production department manager: Eyal Levit
Director and Photographer: Yonatan Zaid
Roya, lyrics: Liraz Charhi. Music: Uri Brauner Kinrot
Photography: Vladimir Belinski
Editors: Yoav Gershon and Eitan Mor
Sound recording and audio mix: Nitzan Perry
Makeup and hairstyling: Lee Bachar
Klotski with Trout and egg Yolks for Tammuz
At the market:
8 large potatoes (about 1.5 kg)
Approximately 700 grams of flour
For the fish:
6-8 cloves of garlic
½ cup of shelled pine nuts
½ cup of shelled and chopped pistachios
12 scallion stalks
3 trout fish (700 grams), filleted and skin-on, with all bones removed
½ cup of dry white wine
3-4 cups of young chopped chard leaves, without the tough stalks
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
Organic egg yolks, one for each diner
Salt and coarse black pepper
In the kitchen:
Start by preparing the klotski dough: Spread 500 grams of coarse salt at the bottom of a baking tray and arrange the potatoes on top, washed but not peeled. Bake in an oven preheated to 250 degrees for about 45 minutes until the potatoes are soft. Allow them to cool slightly.
Peel the potatoes and mash them, using either a moulinette (food mill) or a potato masher. Add the eggs and a bit of salt, and mix with a mixing spoon. Add some of the flour and mix together with your hands until a soft but uniform dough forms. Add a little flour each time and then continue - the amount of flour you'll need will vary based on the type of potatoes you're using.
When the dough is ready, flour it, cover it in cling film and refrigerate for about an hour.
Now to prepare the sauce: Chop the onions and transfer them to a hot pan without oil. Season with a little salt, stir with a wooden spoon and let the onions sear and brown slightly. Once the onions have browned, add the olive oil. Stir, crush the garlic and add it.
Add the pine nuts, pistachios, and scallion stalks cut into small pieces. Stir, salt and season with black pepper, then take the pan off the burner.
Slice the fillets widthwise into 2 cm wide pieces. Place in a hot pan with olive oil over high heat, one piece at a time, skin side down. Season with salt and black pepper and let the skin sear. When the part of the fish touching the pan starts to lighten, pour the wine into the pan and immediately place the chard leaves over the fish. Let the wine reduce and the chard leaves lose their volume. When they change color and turn slightly darker, gently flip the fish with a spatula and stir lightly. Take the pan off the burner.
Continue preparing the Klotski: Boil a large pot of water with a bit of salt. Divide the dough into balls the size of a fist and roll each ball of dough into an elongated cylinder 2 cm in diameter on a floured surface. Slice the cylinders widthwise into 1-cm-wide disks, then roll each disk into an elongated snake using your hands and place it on a floured surface. Cook each batch of klotski in the boiling water for a few seconds, until they float, turn on the heat under the onion pan, and if needed add a little more olive oil. Transfer the floating klotski with a slotted spoon to the onion pan and toss gently. Repeat the process until all the dough is used and all the klotski are coated with onions. Distribute them to plates, heat the fish a little more and add some of it to each plate as well. On top of each plate, arrange one egg yolk separated from a fresh organic egg and serve immediately. Before eating, mix the yolk with the fish and the klotski, and pair with a glass of white summer wine.