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cookingProf Almond Baklava



In the spirit of Mother’s Day, this week’s cook spotlight features a user very dear to Food52’s heart: our very own Assistant Editor Nozlee’s mother, cookingProf. A computer science professor based in Oklahoma, cookingProf hails from Tehran, where she grew up making daily visits to the produce market and cooking at her grandmother’s apron tails. It’s obvious that these skills got passed down through the family, as well as a shared love of one, distinct cooking tool; both cookingProf and Nozlee name their spatulas as their most treasured kitchen possessions. Like mother, like daughter.

As her name suggests, cookingProf’s recipes read like a lesson in Iranian and Persian cuisine, teaching us the intricacies of both their savory and sweet dishes. In fact, you could make a perfect meal out of cookingProf’s recipes, learning something from each and every course. Start off with her Zesty Cucumber Yogurt Dip, with some pita chips for dipping. Then, serve Iranian/Persian Herbed Celery Chicken with Crispy Potato-Crusted Rice, or learn a lesson in flavor and texture from Jeweled Rice (Iranian/Persian Morausa Polo). For dessert, Almond Baklava (pictured above) is a must – a sweet ending for what must be this cookingProf’s most popular class.    



Read our profile Q&A with cookingProf below.

What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?
Tripe slow-cooked in tomatoe sauce with onions, garlic, garbanzo and navy beans. Breaded fried calf brains sandwich. They were delicious.

What do you cook when home alone?
A simple pasta with basil pesto, ... an elaborate fancy sandwich for one. Depends on my mood.

Your most treasured kitchen possession:
My perfect-width, perfect-angled old Rubbermaid spatula.

The ideal number of guests for a dinner party is: