Binnur's Turkish Cookbook

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

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 make a sucuk. It is eaten with the fresh Turkish bread. Stuff the bread with the sucuk ici, then have it with fork full of the meat and bite of bread or break off the corner of the freshly baked bread, open it. Generously fill with the sucuk ici...Have it with Turkish tea, afiyet olsun!

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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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Monday, October 27, 2014

Tarhana Soup with Tarragon

(Tarhunlu Tarhana Çorbası)

Tarhana Soup with Tarragon
2 servings of tarhana

Tarragon Butter Sauce:
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp dried tarragon leaves

Cook the Tarhana soup for two.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pan. When it begins spitting, stir in the mint and pour all over the dish. Serve the soup immediately.

2 servings.

What is Tarragon?
Aka pelin in Turkish and Dragon’s wort in English, tarragon is a perennial, brush-like plant that grows in almost every region of Türkiye. It stimulates the appetite and acts as a diuretic, as well as having antiseptic properties and being a remedy for gastrointestinal gas. Interestingly, an infusion of tarragon is also an instant cure for the hiccups.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Turkish Noodles with Keş/Kurut/Sürk

(Keşli Erişte - Safranbolu)

Turkish Noodles with Keş/Kurut/Sürk
1/2 cup Egg noodles (Eriste)
2 cups beef broth or bone broth
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Topping:
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup Keş*, grated
1/4 cup walnuts, crumbled

Bring to boil the bone or beef broth at medium heat. Then add in the egg noodles and olive oil, stir. Turn the heat down to low-medium. Cook until the noodles absorb all the water. Stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, prepare the topping; Lightly fry the grated Keş and crumbled walnuts in butter.

Place the noodles on a serving platter and top with the fried cheese and walnuts and serve.

1 serving.

* Kurut, Keş peyniri, Sürk, Taş Yoğurt, Kurutulmuş Yoğurt; whey-drained traditional dried yogurt buttermilk; goat's ewe's, cow's milk; used in soups and other food preparations, also crumbled and used as cheese. **According to The Oxford Companion to Food, the word “kurut” is derived from the Turkish kurumak, “to dry.”

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Bread with Spinach-Ricotta Cheese

(Ispanaklı, Katıklı Ekmek - Antakya)

Bread with Spinach-Ricotta Cheese
Bread or Pizza dough
Olive oil
Nigella seeds

Filling:
1 bunch spinach, washed, the roots cut off, drained, chopped
2-3 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup creamy yogurt
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp pomegranate syrup

To prepare the filling; rub the spinach with 1 tsp salt using your hand and squeeze out the water. Then toss with the rest of the filling ingredients. Put it aside.

Generously spread some flour on the counter. Break the dough in egg-size pieces. Flatten the dough pieces using a roller. Spread some olive oil all over the surface and stretch a little bit more with your fingers. Place some filling in the center of the dough. Leave a space around (picture). Fold the dough over the filling (picture). Sprinkle some Nigella seeds over the top (picture).

Place them on an oven tray with the parchment paper. Let them rest for 20-25 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Place the tray on the middle rack. When the top is light golden colour, take them out and drizzle a little bit olive oil all over them. Serve while still hot or warm.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Blueberry Jam

(Yaban Mersini Reçeli)

Blueberry Jam
500 g blueberries, rinsed
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 red apple, peeled, grated
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp lemon juice

Cook the blueberries, apple, sugar and water in a medium size sauce pot at medium-low heat. With a spoon, remove any scum that may have formed on the top of the jam. Cook until the mixture reaches jam consistency (app 20 minutes).

Test the jam by dabbing on one of the cold plates. Wait for a few seconds, then push it with your fingertip. If it wrinkles, it is done:) If not, cook for 2-3 more minutes. Add the lemon juice, boil for 2-3 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and cool for a few seconds. Pour carefully into the canning jars and seal. Store in a dark and cool place.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pickled Swiss Chard Stems Stir-Fry

(Pazı Sapı Turşusu Kavurması - Sivas - Central Anatolia)

Pickled Swiss Chard Stems Stir-Fry
Pickled Swiss Chard Stems (See, How to Make Pickled Chard Stems)
Onion, sliced
Extra virgin olive oil

Lightly caramelize the onion with olive oil. Add the pickled chard stems along a few strips of pickled red peppers. Continue to saute for 2-3 minutes more and serve.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Bulgur Soup with Green Beans and Feta Cheese

(Cıvırla - Erzincan - East Anatolia Region)

Bulgur Soup with Green Beans and Feta Cheese
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp butter or 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large tomato, peeled, cut in small cubes
1 cubanelle pepper, discard the seeds, chopped
1 small yellow potato, peeled, cut in small cubes
12 flat green beans, washed, cut off the tips, cut in bite size
1/4 cup Turkish bulgur, medium grain, washed, drained
3 cups water or chicken broth
2 tbsp canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp paprika
Salt
Pepper

Garnish:
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled or cut in small cubes

Saute the onion with olive oil in a medium size pot. Then add the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook at medium-low heat until the beans are tender. Add in the feta cheese, stir. Serve with Tandoori Bread on the side.

2 servings.

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Friday, October 10, 2014

Cumin-Red Pepper Bulgur Dish

(Kimyonlu Biberli Bulgur Aşı - Antakya)

Cumin-Red Pepper Bulgur Dish
3/4 cup Turkish bulgur, large grain, washed and drained
4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 tbsp red pepper paste
1 tsp red pepper paste, hot
1 cup hot water
1 1/2 tsp cumin
Salt
Pepper

Saute the onion with olive oil. Add the red pepper pastes, stir. Add the remaining ingredients, stir. Cover and cook until all the water evaporates. Let the Pilaf stand for 5 minutes.

Serve it with Ayran or Cacik and pickled vegetables.

2 servings.

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