Binnur's Turkish Cookbook

TurkishCookbook.com - Delicious, healthy and easy-to-make Ottoman & Turkish recipes

Friday, August 01, 2014

Summer Soup with Chickpeas and Yogurt

(Nohutlu-Yoğurtlu Yaz Çorbası)

Summer Soup with Chickpeas and Yogurt
1 cup plain yogurt
1 clove of garlic, mashed with salt
1/2 cup cucumber, grated
1/3 cup canned chickpeas*, rinsed, peeled
Salt

Garnish:
Cumin
Mint
Paprika
Extra virgin olive oil

Mix all the ingredients in a medium-size bowl. Keep it in the fridge.

If you like, add a couple of ice cubes or a little bit of cold water before serving. Drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle some cumin, mint and paprika on the top.

Serve with Tandoori bread on the side. It is a great Turkish cold yogurt soup for hot Summer days.

* To peel the chickpeas; Soak them in hot water for about 5-10 minutes. Then gently rub them with the palm of your hands while they are still in the water.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Artichokes Stuffed with Fresh Fava Beans Puree

(Enginar Çanağında Taze Bakladan Fava)

Artichokes Stuffed with Fresh Fava Beans Puree
4 Artichokes - peeled, cleaned (see Artichokes with Rice in Olive Oil)
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt

Fresh Fava Beans Stuffing:
1 cup fresh fava beans, shelled*
1 small onion, sliced
A little water
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt

Garnish:
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh parsley or fresh dill, chopped

Place the artichokes, onion, olive oil, sugar and salt in a medium shallow pan. Cover and cook until the artichokes are tender at low heat. Do not open the lid. Let them cool down.

Meanwhile, cook the stuffing ingredients in a small pot with the lid at low heat. Let it cool down first. Then pour it into the blender and blend until smooth. Then place artichokes on a serving platter. Place the stuffing using a tea spoon or pastry bag on top of the each artichoke. Drizzle some olive oil and garnish with dill. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

* Peel the beans out of the big pods. Peel the outer shells using a small knife.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Zucchini with Summer Vegetables and Bulgur

(Kabak Aşı - Aegean Region)

Zucchini with Summer Vegetables and Bulgur
1 medium onion, sliced
1 long red sweet red pepper, iscard the seeds, cut in medium size
1 cubanelle pepper, discard the seeds, cut in medium size
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, diced
2 medium zucchinis, peeled, cut in medium size
4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 handful medium grain bulgur, rinsed
Salt
Pepper

Garnish:
Fresh mint leaves, chopped

Place all the ingredients in a medium-size pot. Cover and cook at low heat until the vegetables are tender.

Garnish with fresh mint leaves. Serve with bread and Cacık and green garlic on the side.

2 servings.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Cucumber-Yogurt Dip

(Salatalık Ezme)

Cucumber-Yogurt Dip
1 cup plain Turkish yogurt
1 cup grated cucumber
2-3 tbsp dill
1-2 mint leaves, julienne cut
1-2 cloves garlic, mashed with salt
Salt

Garnish:
Extra virgin olive oil
Cayenne pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle some cayenne pepper over the top.

Serve with dried yufka or pide or a slice of Turkish rustic bread or rye bread...

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mastic Milk Pudding with Labne

(Labneli Sakızlı Muhallebi - Istanbul)

Mastic Milk Pudding with Labne
12 Petit Beurre biscuits (2 biscuits for each bowl)

Mastic Milk Pudding:
1 1/2 cups milk 3%
3/4 cup whipping cream 35%
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
3 tbsp flour, all purpose
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp mastic, roll glass on the mastic to make it powdery (or use mortar)
~
1 tsp butter, unsalted
250 g Labne cheese

Garnish:
Hazelnuts, walnuts or pistachio, crumbled
Fresh fruits
Jam or marmalade

Place 2 biscuits at the bottom of each bowl.

To prepare the milk pudding; place all the ingredients except Labne cheese and butter in a medium-size cooking pot. Stir constantly to make it thick enough. Then add the butter, continue to cook for about one more minute while stirring. Remove it from the stove, let it cool down a little bit. Beat Labne cheese at low speed or use a small egg-beater.

Pour into the individual serving bowls. Let it cool down first. Cover and refrigerate. Garnish the muhallebi with nuts or fresh fruits or jam and serve.

6 servings.

*Labne cheese: a soft, cream cheese made from strained yogurt. Labne is easy to make and low in calories, making it the perfect alternative to traditional cream cheese. Labne can be used just as you would normally use cream cheese, as a spread on bagels or a dip for your favorite fruit and vegetables.

Bairam Menu:
-Artichoke Soup, Lamb Pilaf with Morello Cherry, Grape Rolls with Artichokes in Olive Oil, Roasted Eggplant Salad - Antep Style, Börek with Soda Water, Fresh Flat Beans Fritter and Mastic Milk Pudding with Labne with Turkish Coffee on the side.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Lamb Pilaf with Morello Cherries

(Etli Vişneli Pilav - Erzurum)

Lamb Pilaf with Morello Cherries
~250 g lamb, cut in cubes
1 cup hot water (for lamb)
1 small onion, chopped

Pilaf:
3/4 cup long-grain rice, rinsed
1 1/2 cup hot water or chicken stock (for pilaf)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp all spice
1 tsp salt
Pepper
~
~200 g fresh Morello Cherries (sour cherries), pitted, cut in half

Cook the lamb cubes with their own juice. Then add 1 cup hot water and onion. Cook at low heat until the lamb cubes are tender and all the water evaporates.

Then add the remaining ingredients into the pot. When you start seeing holes on the surface of the pilaf, add the cherries and stir slowly. Cover and continue to cook until the rice absorbs all the water.

Remove the cooking pot away from the heat. Remove the lid, place a clean kitchen towel on the rim of the pot covering the top and put the lid back on. Let the Pilaf stand for about 5 minutes (we call this the brewing time) before serving.

2 servings.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Roasted Eggplant Salad - Antep Style

(Söğürme - Gaziantep - South East Anatolia)

Roasted Eggplant Salad - Antep Style
1 large eggplant, roasted, peeled, cut in cubes
1 large tomato, peeled, diced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 cubanelle pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, sliced
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt
Pepper

Garnish:
Red pepper flakes
2 tbsp butter

In a pan, saute the onion, tomato and pepper with olive oil for 4-5 minutes while stirring at medium heat. Add the garlic, salt and pepper. When the garlic gets a little softer, stir in the roasted eggplant. Continue to saute for about 5 more minutes. Turn the heat off. Sprinkle some red pepper flakes. Heat the butter up and pour all over it and serve with the pide.

Roasted Eggplant:
Before putting in the oven, make holes on the eggplant with a fork so that it will soften and cook better. Place it on an oven tray and roast for about 35 minutes on broil. Then peel it and cut into cubes.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Grape Rolls with Artichokes in Olive Oil

(Asma Yaprağında Enginar Sarma - Ottoman Kitchen)

Grape Rolls with Artichokes in Olive Oil
Grape leaves, washed one by one, boiled for 2 minutes, drained and the stems cut off
Water
Extra virgin olive oil
~
3-4 lemon slices
Dill, finely chopped

Filling:
12-13 small sized artichokes, trimmed, sliced
1/2 cup red or white onion, sliced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 tbsp currants
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp mint or 2 fresh mint leafs, sliced
Salt
1/2 cup water

To prepare the filling; saute the onion with olive oil, add the rest of the filling ingredients. Cover and cook until all the water evaporates at low heat. Then, let it cool down.

The filling goes into the matte (not shiny) side of the leaf. Grab a leaf and lay down on a plate with the shiny side down. Use a teaspoon to place the filling on it. First fold over the top, then the two sides and roll to close it up. Line up all the rolls in the pot side by side tightly, without any holes in between.

Pour in enough water to cover the rolls from the side of pot. Cook at low heat until most of the water evaporates. Leave a little bit of water at the bottom, it will go away as it cools down. Drizzle 4-5 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle some dill all over the rolls and let them cool down in the pot.

Serve at room temperature or chilled with lemon wedges.

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Artichoke Soup

(Enginar Çorbası - Istanbul)

Artichoke Soup
4-5 large size artichokes*, cut in medium size both hearth and bottom
1 cup water + half of lemon juice
~
2-3 spring onions, only the white part, thinly sliced
5-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp flour
1 + 1 cup water, warm
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt
Pepper
~
2-3 tbsp yogurt, plain -at room temperature
Dill, chopped

Leave the cleaned artichokes in the water & lemon juice mixture to prevent discoloration. Then drain and discard the water.

Saute the onion and flour with olive oil for 3-4 minutes at medium-low heat in a medium size pot. Add 1 cup warm water, stir. Cover and cook until the artichokes are softened. Mash them a little bit with a back of the fork or pulse 2-3 times with a hand blender. Then add 1 cup hot water, nutmeg, sat and pepper, stir. Cover and continue to cook for about 8-10 more minutes. Turn the heat to down to low.

Meanwhile, place the yogurt in a bowl. Take 2-3 spoons of the soup and whisk with well. Slowly pour over the soup, stir. Simmer for about 2-3 minutes, turn the heat off. Sprinkle some dill and serve.

*In Canada, the large-sized artichoke is equal to the medium-sized artichoke in Türkiye:)

2 servings.

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Labne Cheese with Seasoned Olives

(Labne ve Çeşnili Zeytin)

Labne Cheese with Seasoned Olives
Labne cheese
Turkish black olives, chopped
Turkish green olives, chopped
Red pepper, crushed
Oregano
Mint
Extra virgin olive oil
Walnuts or hazelnuts, crumbled

Spread the cheese on the serving platter. Season the olives with red pepper flakes, mint and oregano. Sprinkle the cheese along with the nuts. Drizzle some olive oil.

Serve with the dried yufka or pide or a slice of Turkish rustic bread.

*Labne cheese: a soft, cream cheese made from strained yogurt. Labne is easy to make and low in calories, making it the perfect alternative to traditional cream cheese. Labne can be used just as you would normally use cream cheese, as a spread on bagels or a dip for your favorite fruit and vegetables.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Fried Eggplant Strips with Summer Vegetables

(Kırlı Patlıcan Kızartma - Aydın - Aegean Region)

Fried Eggplant Strips with Summer Vegetables
4 small size eggplants - peel the skin in strips lengthwise without removing the stalks, soak in 2 cups of water with salt for about 15 minutes, dry with paper towel
Liquid oil for frying
~
2 large tomatoes, peeled, diced
1 medium size onion, sliced
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt
Pepper
1 cubanelle pepper, sliced
8-10 garlic cloves, unpeeled

Fry the eggplants on both sides until golden brown. Then, place on a paper towel to soak up any extra oil. Place them in an oven-proof dish. Cut lengthwise into four by keeping the stalks.

Meanwhile saute the tomatoes, salt and pepper with 1 tsp olive oil at low-medium heat for about 15 minutes. Pour the tomato sauce over the eggplants equally. Arrange the green pepper strips and garlic cloves over the tops.

Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C). Place the dish on the middle rack of the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Serve warm or chilled.

4 servings.

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Monday, July 07, 2014

Pasha Kebap

(Paşa Kebabı - Ottoman Kitchen)

Pasha Kebap
2 medium size eggplants - peel the skin in strips lengthwise. Cut in medium size, soak in 2 cups of water with salt for about 15 minutes
1/2 cup sunflower oil for frying
~
400 g lamb, cut in cubes
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
8 medium size mushrooms, cleaned, sliced
1 cubanelle pepper, discard the seeds, cut in bite size
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, discard the seeds, cut in cubes
Salt
Pepper

Garnish:
Mozzarella cheese, grated
Cayenne pepper

Squeeze the eggplants with your hand and dry them with paper towel. Fry the eggplants until light golden colour. Then, place on a paper towel to soak up any extra oil.

Meanwhile, fry the lamb cubes with butter until the color of the meat lightly turns in a pan. Put it aside. Saute the mushroom, cubanelle pepper, tomato salt and pepper with olive oil for 3-5 minutes at medium heat in the same pan. Turn the heat off. Add in the fried eggplant and lamb, stir.

Transfer to the oven proof dish. Sprinkle the shredded cheese and red pepper on top. Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C) and bake until the cheese melts. Serve with Turkish Pilaf with Orzo.

2 servings.

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Friday, July 04, 2014

Leek Soup

(Pırasa Çorbası)

Leek Soup
1 medium leek, washed and cut in thin slices
1 medium size yellow potato, peeled, cut in small pieces
1 tbsp butter
1 cup vegetable stock or chicken stock
~2 cups water
Salt
Pepper
~
4 tbsp creamy Turkish yogurt
~1/4 cup carrot, grated

Saute the leek with butter for 2-3 minutes. Then add the potato, vegetable stock, water, salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are tender. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth.

Add the creamy yogurt, stir. Sprinkle some grated carrot over the top and serve.

2 servings.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Fresh Flat Beans Fritter

(Taze Fasulye Mücveri - Ottoman Kitchen)

Fresh Flat Beans Fritter
~200 g green flat beans, trimmed, cut in very thin slices
2-3 spring onions, finely chopped
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 tbsp dill, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
4 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
Salt
Pepper
2 eggs
~
Liquid oil for frying

Garnish:
Spring onion, sliced
Dill, chopped

First, boil the green beans for 3-4 minutes, drain. Let it cool down. Add all the remaining ingredients, with the eggs going in last (as it quickly makes the mixture watery) in a bowl using a spoon.

Pour some sunflower oil in a large skillet, about 1 cm deep. When the oil warms up, take a lump of the mixture (a couple large spoons' worth) and place it in the skillet. Fry each side approximately 3 minutes at medium-high heat. Then, place the pieces on a plate with a paper towel to soak up extra oil.

Garnish with spring onion and dill. Serve with a bit of yogurt on top of each piece - yogurt with garlic especially goes well. Flat Green Beans Mucver can also be a great sandwich for lunch:) I highly recommend it.

9-10 Fresh Flat Beans Fritter.

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Monday, June 30, 2014

Harem Pilaf

(Harem Pilavı - Ottoman Kitchen)

Harem Pilaf
1 chicken breast, ~150 g -skinless, boneless, cut in cubes
1 tsp butter
1/4 cup hot chicken stock
6-7 mushrooms, cleaned, cut in medium size
1 tbsp grape molasses
~
1 tsp butter
4 dried apricot, sliced
4 prune, sliced
3 tbsp Sultana or Golden raisins
3 tbsp almonds, bleached, slivered
3 tbsp walnuts, cut in big pieces
~
3/4 cup long-grain rice
1 cup hot chicken stock
2 tbsp butter
Salt
Pepper

Melt 1 tsp of butter in a pot, add the chicken cubes and mushrooms and saute for 2-3 minutes while stirring. Then, add 1/4 cup chicken stock and cook until a little bit of water is left. Add the grape molasses, stir. Put it aside.

Saute the apricot, plum, raisins, almonds and walnuts in a separate pan for 2-3 minutes. Put it aside.

Wash the rice several times with warm water and drain. Then, cover the rice with hot water and leave out for 15 minutes, drain. Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a cooking pot. Saute the rice for 2-3 minutes while stirring. Pour 1 cup of hot chicken stock in it. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat to low and cover and start to cook. After 5 minutes, add the cooked chicken, dried fruits and nuts and gently stir with a fork. Cover and continue to cook until the rice absorbs all the water.

Remove the cooking pot away from the heat. Remove the lid, place a clean kitchen towel on the rim of the pot covering the top and put the lid back on. Let the Pilaf stand for about 5 minutes (we call this the brewing time) before serving.

Makes 2 servings.

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