Binnur's Turkish Cookbook

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

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Molasses-Apricot Rice Pudding

(Pekmezli Kayısılı Sütlaç)

Molasses-Apricot Rice Pudding
1/3 cup short grain rice, washed and drained
1 1/2 cups water
~
3 cups whole milk
1 cup of half&half cream 35%
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
3 tbsp corn starch, melted in 4 tbsp milk (use from 3 cups milk above)

Molasses-Apricot Sauce:
8 dried apricots
2 tbsp Sultana or Golden raisins
6 tbsp grape molasses
2 tbsp dried mulberries

Garnish:
2- 3 walnuts, crumbled or sliced almonds

To cook Rice Pudding; Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to boil, then add the rice and lower the heat. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes (until a little water is left) in a medium size pot. Add the cream, milk, vanilla extract, sugar and salt. Then slowly add the dissolved corn starch. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook at medium heat until you see bubbles on the surface. Turn the heat off after one minute or so. Pour into 6 small glass bowls with a ladle.

Meanwhile to prepare the molasses apricot sauce; Cover the apricots and raisins with water and cook for 2-3 minutes, drain. Then mix with the mulberries and grape molasses. Equally pour the sauce over the Rice Pudding.

Garnish with walnuts. Serve warm or chilled.

6 servings.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Sea Bass with Fennel

(Rezeneli Levrek)

Sea Bass with Fennel
Sea Bass Fillet (or any white meat fish)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Lemon juice
~
1 small-size fennel bulb, cored, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt
Pepper
~
1 tsp sesame seeds, roasted
1 tbsp black olives, finely chopped

Saute the fennel, onion, salt and pepper with olive oil at low heat in a pan until they are tender, then mix with the sesame seeds and black olives.

In the meantime, spread some olive oil on each side of the fish and season with salt and pepper. Cook the fish either in the oven or by frying each side in a Teflon pan. Squeeze on it some lemon juice. Transfer the fish on a serving platter topped with the sauteed vegetables.

Serve with any kind of green salad or Arugula Salad on the side.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Spicy Ground Veal Noodle Soup

(Cılbır Çorbası - Amasya - Black Sea Region)

Spicy Ground Veal Noodle Soup
~150 g ground veal
1 tbsp butter
1 egg
1 large tomato, grated
2 tbsp canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp hot red pepper paste or red pepper flakes
2 cups beef or bone broth
~1 cup water, warm
1/2 cup eriste (Turkish noodles)
Salt
Pepper

Garnish:
Parsley, chopped

Saute the ground veal with butter until the colour turns to light brown. Do not overcook! Break the egg, cook until it’s done while stirring. Add the grated tomato, crushed tomatoes, red pepper paste, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes at medium heat. Add in the water. When it starts to boil, add the noodles, stir. Cook until the noodles are softened at medium-low heat.

Garnish with some parsley and serve while still warm.

2 servings.

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Monday, December 08, 2014

Stuffed Dried Eggplants and Peppers in Olive Oil

(Zeytinyağlı Kuru Dolma)

Stuffed Dried Eggplants and Peppers in Olive Oil
10-12 dried eggplants
10-12 dried peppers
2 1/2 cups water

Stuffing:
1 cup rice, rinsed
2 medium-size onions, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp red pepper paste
1 tsp allspice
1 tbsp mint
1/2 tsp paprika
4 tbsp pomegranate syrup
Salt
Pepper
1 cup water

Soak the dried eggplants and peppers in hot water for half an hour and drain.

Meanwhile, to prepare the stuffing; Saute the onion with olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add the rice and salt, stir and cover. Cook at very low heat until the rice looks almost see-through. Then, add the remaining ingredients. Cook until all the water evaporates, stirring occasionally at low heat. Put it aside and let it cool down.

Stuff the vegetables with the filling using a teaspoon. Leave some space at the top. Squeeze or flatten the tops to close them up.

Arrange them in a medium-size pot along with 2 cups of water. Place a small plate upside down over the Dolmas - this is to prevent the tops from opening during cooking. Cover and cook at medium-low heat.

*You can find the dried eggplant, dried pepper or dried okra at the local Turkish Grocery Stores.

Dietician Turgay Köse: Dried fruits and vegetables have high nutrient levels
"When foods are dried properly, their nutritional value is actually high compared with their fresh counterparts. With no water, these fruits and vegetables harbor no bacteria either. The only real loss is that after being dried, their vitamin C levels go down. If fruits and vegetables are exposed to sulfur while in the drying process, or if they are kept in the shade, or if, before drying, they are heated briefly in steam, the loss of vitamins is decreased. Storing them in dark and cool places can really protect vitamin levels. When buying fruits and vegetables, make sure you choose the freshest ones, the ones which are most plentiful that season. So really, dried fruits and vegetables can be quite healthy. But of course, due to the decrease in water levels, their calories are four times that of their fresh versions. So, it's really better not to consume them in undue quantities.”

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Thursday, December 04, 2014

Green Lentil Stew with Ground Beef

(Sengeser - East Anatolia Region)

Green Lentil Stew with Ground Beef
3/4 cup lentils, soaked in water overnight, rinsed
~150 g ground beef
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 cups warm water
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 small tomato, peeled, diced
1 small cubanelle pepper, discard the seeds, chopped
3 tbsp canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp cumin
Salt
Pepper
~
Plain Turkish yogurt, at room temperature

Cook the ground beef and onion in a medium size pot by stirring frequently. Add in the remaining ingredients. Place the lid open on half way. Cook for 20-25 minutes at medium-low heat until the lentils are softened, stir occasionally.

Serve it with a dollop of Turkish Yogurt in each serving.

Makes 2-3 servings.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Bulgur Pilaf with Chestnuts and Quince

(Kestaneli Ayvali Bulgur Pilavi)

Bulgur Pilaf with Chestnuts and Quince
3/4 cup Turkish bulgur, large grain, washed and drained
Half quince, peeled, cut in bite size
1 tbsp grape molasses
2 tbsp butter
6 roasted chestnuts, peeled
1 small onion, sliced
3-4 medium size mushrooms, cleaned, cut into 4 pieces
3/4 tsp red pepper paste, hot
1 tbsp red pepper paste
1 cup hot water
Salt
Pepper

Garnish:
Pomegranate seeds

Saute the quince and onion with butter and grape molasses for 2-3 minutes at medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients, stir. Cover and cook until all the water evaporates. Let the Pilaf stand for 5 minutes.

Garnish with the pomegranate seeds and serve.

2 servings.

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Mushrooms Sauteed with Chickpeas

(Alanya - Alanya Usulu Mantar Kavurma)

Mushroom Saute with Chickpeas
~25 medium-size mushrooms, cleaned, sliced
1/4 cup onion, sliced
1/3 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2-3 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup water
Salt
Pepper

Saute the onion with olive oil and butter for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and continue to saute for 2 more minutes. Then, add in the mushrooms, chickpeas and water. Season with salt and pepper. Saute 4-5 more minutes at medium heat while stirring occasionally.

Serve while still warm.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Butternut Squash Cheesecake

(Balkabakli Labneli Pasta)

Butternut Squash Cheesecake
Crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (or wholewheat or oatmeal or ginger cookies)
2 tbsp sugar
2-3 tbsp butter, melted

Filling:
4 eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup cream 35%
300 g labne cheese*
300 g creamy yogurt, room temperature
2 tbsp corn starch

Topping:
500 g peeled butternut squash, cut in bite size
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1-2 tbsp water

9inch-22cm. spring-form pan, the bottom lined with the parchment paper

To prepare the topping; cook all the topping ingredients in a medium-size pot at low heat, mash while still hot. Strain the puree through a medium mesh strainer. Let it cool, cover and keep in the refrigerator.

Pre-heat the oven to 325°F (160°C).

In a bowl, stir the crumbs, sugar and butter until well moistened; press onto bottom of pan, put in the freezer.

Meanwhile; In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the eggs with sugar. Then add the rest of the ingredients, mix until smooth on low speed. Pour it over the crust.

Bake it for about an hour. Allow the cake to sit at room temperature for an hour before chilling. Cover with plastic wrap. It is essential to chill overnight.

Gently run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake before removing spring-form ring.

Spread the butternut squash puree over the top equally. Gently run a knife around the edge of the cheese cake before removing the spring-form ring.

*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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Friday, November 21, 2014

Sujuk (Turkish Sausage) Stuffing

(Sucuk İçi - Kayseri)

Sujuk Stuffing
500 g ground veal from breast meat (brisket), medium or regular
1-2 garlic cloves, mashed with salt
2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
Black pepper
~
1/2 cup hot water

Mix all the ingredients with your hand and knead. Start to saute in a large Teflon pan using a wood spoon to break up the ground veal at medium heat. When the colour of the veal turns, add the hot water and continue to cook until there is no water in it while stirring at low-medium heat. Serve immediately with the freshly baked Turkish bread or pide on the side.

It is a great dish for brunch at weekends:)

Actually, “Sucuk içi” is a mixture of meat to stuff the casing and to make a sucuk.
It is also eaten without the casing; just cook the sucuk ici and eat with the Turkish bread.
You can eat it either with a fork full of the meat and bite of bread, or by stuffing the corner of the bread with the cooked sucuk ici. Have it with Turkish tea!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Red Lentil - Bulgur Soup with Caramelized Onion

(Aşlık Çorbası - Erzincan)

Red Lentil - Bulgur Soup with Caramelized Onion
1/4 cup Turkish bulgur, small grain, washed, drained
1/2 cup red lentil, washed, drained
3-4 tbsp canned crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp red pepper paste
1 tsp red pepper paste, hot
1 cup beef broth
3 cups warm water
Salt
Pepper

Garnish:
1 medium size onion, sliced
2-3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp dry mint

Cook all the soup ingredients in a medium size pot at medium heat.

Meanwhile caramelize the sliced onion with butter at low heat. Then add in the soup. Season with the mint. Serve the soup with lemon wedges.

2-3 servings.

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Swiss Chard Salad with Feta Cheese

(Peynirli Pazı Salatası)

Swiss Chard Salad with Feta Cheese
Bunch of Swiss chard, washed
5-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2-3 green onions, chopped
2 medium size tomatoes, peeled, diced
Salt
Pepper
1/4 cup feta cheese, cut in cubes
2-3 tbsp walnuts, chopped, lightly toasted

Garlic-Yogurt Sauce:
1/2 cup Turkish yogurt, plain
1-2 garlic cloves, mashed with salt

Stack individual leaves on top of one another and roll them up lengthwise. Then cut them into thin slices. Chop the stems, too.

Saute the onion and stems with olive oil for 2-3 minutes in a large pot. Add the Swiss chard leaves, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cover and cook until the Swiss chard is softened. Do not overcook! Turn the heat off, add the feta cheese and walnuts, mix. Let it cool down.

Serve the salad with Garlic-Yogurt Sauce.

2 servings.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Pot Kebap

(Tencere Kebabı)

Pot Kebap
~350 - 400 g lamb cubes
1 tbsp flour
1 medium size onion, thinly sliced
1-2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp butter
1 medium size carrot, peeled, sliced
3/4 cup frozen green peas, rinsed with hot water
4-5 whole sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
~400 g Jerusalem artichokes
1 3/4 cups hot water
Salt
Pepper

Garnish:
Dill, chopped

Cook the lamb cubes in a medium size pot at medium heat until there is no water in it. Then add in onion, carrot, flour and butter and saute for 7-8 minutes at low-medium heat. Do not burn it!

Add the remaining ingredients except Jerusalem artichokes. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes. Then add in Jerusalem artichokes, stir. Continue to cook until Jerusalem artichokes are tender, it takes app 6-7 minutes at medium heat. Garnish with dill and serve with Turkish Rice Pilaf or Turkish bread on the side.

2 servings.

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Friday, November 07, 2014

Rice Pilaf with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

(Kurutulmuş Domatesli Pirinç Pilavı)

Rice Pilaf with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
3/4 cup long-grain rice, washed, drained
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp butter or 4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4-5 sun-dried tomatoes, in oil, chopped
1/2 cup carrot, grated
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup hot chicken broth
2 tbsp currants
2 tbsp pistachios
Salt
Pepper

Saute the onion with butter in a pot for 3-4 minutes. Add in the rice, sun-dried tomatoes, carrots, garlic, salt and pepper and continue to saute for 3-4 more minutes. Then, add the currants, pistachios and chicken broth into the pot. Cover, turn the heat to low and cook until the rice absorbs all the water.

Remove the cooking pot from the heat. Open the lid, place a clean kitchen towel across the top of the pot on the rim, and cover. Let the Pilaf stand for about 5 minutes.

2 servings.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Spicy Spread with Walnuts

(Aydın Çemeni - Aegean Region)

Spicy Spread with Walnuts
2/3 cup walnuts, pounded
1-2 garlic cloves
5-6 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp red pepper paste
1 tsp red pepper paste, hot
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
Salt
Pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Serve with dried yufka or pide or a slice of Turkish rustic bread or rye bread...

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Friday, October 31, 2014

Spinach, Chickpeas and Sujuk Stew

(Sucuklu Nohutlu Ispanak)

SSpinach, Chickpeas and Sujuk Stew
1 bunch of spinach, washed and drained, chopped
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp butter
5-6 slices of sujuk
1/3 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed
2 tbsp canned crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted (optional)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
Salt
Pepper

Saute the onion with butter in a medium size pot. Then add the sujuk slices and lightly fry both sides. Then add in the remaining ingredients, stir. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes at medium-low heat. Serve with Ayran on the side.

2 servings.

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