Binnur's Turkish Cookbook - Delicious, healthy and easy-to-make Ottoman & Turkish recipes

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Quince with Thick Turkish Cream

(Kaymakli Ayva Tatlisi)

Quince with Thick Turkish Cream
2 quinces
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups water
3 or 4 cloves
1 tsp lemon juice

4 tbsp Thick Turkish Cream (Kaymak)
Handful pistachios, chopped
Handful almonds, blanched, sliced

Peel and cut in half the quince. Discard the seeds, but don't throw them away! Place them with the cut sides facing up in a shallow pan. Sprinkle the sugar on top. Add the water, cloves and the seeds in it. Cook over low heat with the lid covered until they are soft and the colour turns to a nice autumn colour.

Place the cooked quince on the service plate. Add lemon juice into the syrup left in the pan, and cook for a few more minutes. Let it cool and pour the syrup on the quince. Leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

Place one tablespoon of Thick Turkish Cream (Kaymak) on top of each quince. Sprinkle some pistachios with almond slices and serve.

I suggest that you serve this dessert with a spoon. While eating, make sure to get some quince, Kaymak and syrup with each spoon :)

Meal Ideas:
- Tomato Soup with Cream, Lamb with Garlic in the Oven and Potato Salad.


Monday, December 25, 2006

New Year

Check out the International Recipes section for a delicious, easy-to-make New Year's soup: Champagne Soup.

Thick Turkish Cream


Thick Turkish Cream
500 ml (2 cups) 3.25% homogenized milk
500 ml (2 cups) whipping cream 35%

8x8x2 (2L) Pyrex dish

Bring the milk and cream to boil at least for about 10 minutes, stir occasionally in a large pot. Pour it into the Pyrex dish.

Meanwhile pour water in a large shallow cooking pan and bring to boil. Then turn the heat down to simmer. Put the Pyrex dish on the rim of the pan (picture). The Pyrex dish's bottom shouldn't touch the surface of the water. Simmer like this for exactly 8 hours, then turn the heat off.

Let the Pyrex cool down on the counter. Keep it in the fridge for 24 hours. Letting the kaymak in the fridge for 24 hrs will help for thickening. Kaymak forms on top in the Pyrex dish, with some remaining milk present at the bottom. So lift one corner of the Kaymak, and pour out the milk* into a bowl. Now Kaymak is left in the Pyrex. Cut it in 3 or 4 pieces, then roll them up.

Put one piece of Kaymak on a serving dish, pour some honey, sprinkle some crumbled pistachio and a few pieces shredded almond on top and enjoy :)

~Try not to swing the pyrex when taking down from the top of the pot and when putting it in the fridge. ~Minimum movement is required for more kaymak!

You can also serve Kaymak any kind of Turkish Dessert made with pastry like Turkish Baklava, Revani or Apricot Dessert.

Give Turkish Kaymak a try, it's very delicious :) You can mix Kaymak with honey or jam using a fork and spread it over a fresh Turkish Rustic Bread slice, sprinkle some pistachios or almonds on top and have it for breakfast, you'll enjoy it :)

If you want thicker Kaymak, use 4 cups (1L) of whipping cream 35%, and use a 3L Pyrex dish.

* Don't throw out the milk. You can use it to cook any kind of Turkish Dairy Dessert. For example, Turkish Rice Pudding - Turkish Baked Rice Pudding.

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Lamb with Garlic in the Oven

(Firinda Sarimsakli Kuzu Budu)

Lamb with Garlic in the Oven
Leg of lamb 1.3 kg (about 3 pounds), de-boned, fat trimmed
10 garlic cloves
1 lemon zest
1 lemon juice
1 tbsp oregano

Pierce the lamb in 10 places and insert the garlic cloves in each slit. Rub the lamb with lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper. Cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to marinate overnight in the fridge. The following day discard the plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour before cooking. Put parchment paper on the oven tray and place the lamb on it.

Preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C). Place the tray on the middle rack of the oven and bake the lamb for 35 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 F (190 C) and continue to bake until done to your liking (somewhere around 25 minutes a pound). My total cooking time was ~2 hours. Remove from the oven, and let the lamb sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Then slice it up. Place on a serving platter and pour some of the juice on top. Garnish with oregano.

Makes 4 servings.

Meal Ideas:
- Tomato Soup with Cream, Potato Salad, Appetizers and Quince with Thick Turkish Cream.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Turkish-style Potato Salad

(Patates Salatasi)

Turkish-style Potato Salad
2 medium sized yellow potatoes


60 - 70 ml extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tbsp lemon juice

2 fresh green onions, chopped
Some red onion, sliced

Boil the potatoes in water. Remove the skin and cut them in medium sized chunks. Whisk all the dressing ingredients. Toss it with the potatoes while they are still warm. Sprinkle fresh green and red onions all over, serve.

Meal Ideas:
- Tomato Soup with Cream, Lamb with Garlic in the Oven, Quince with Thick Turkish Cream.


Monday, December 18, 2006

Tomato Soup with Cream

(Kremali Domates Corbasi)

Tomato Soup with Cream
1 tbsp + 1 tsp butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 2/3 cup diced tomatoes, canned
3-4 stems of parsley
1 pinch oregano
1 bay leaf
1 pinch sugar
1 pinch nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups warm chicken broth
1 tsp flour
1/3 cup cream

Saute the onion with 1 tsp butter for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato, parsley, bay leaf, oregano, sugar, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes at medium heat. Add 2 cups of warm chicken broth. Cover and cook at medium heat.

Discard the bay leaf. Pour it into the blender and blend until smooth. Meanwhile, melt 1 tbsp of butter in a pot, then take away from the stove. Add the flour, whisk well, then put it back on the stove. Slowly add the tomato puree in it and stir. Add the cream, stir and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat off and serve.

Makes 2 servings. This soup is also known as Safak Corbasi, which translates to Dawn Soup.

Meal Ideas:
- Lamb with Garlic in the Oven, Turkish-style Potato Salad, Quince with Thick Turkish Cream.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Turkish-style Zucchini Gratin

(Kabak Graten)

Turkish-style Zucchini Gratin
3 small zucchini

1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp fresh dill and parsley mixture, chopped

1 tsp butter
1 tbsp flour
100 ml milk, warm

Peel the zucchini. Cut them half in lengthwise. Make a slit around the seeds with the tip of a small knife. Remove and discard the seeds with a teaspoon. Mix the filling ingredients with a teaspoon and fill in the zucchini equally.

In a small pot, melt the butter, add flour and mix them with a wooden spoon. Slowly add warm milk and stir. If you like, you can whisk it. Cover the zucchini with this topping.

Place parchment paper on your oven tray. Arrange the zucchini on it. Preheat the oven 190 C (400 F). Cook for about 25 minutes until the tops are golden.

This is served as an appetizer. You can also serve this dish with Pilaf with Tomato as a light lunch:)

6 servings.


Sunday, December 10, 2006



1 can of chickpeas (540 ml), washed, peeled*
3 garlic cloves, smashed with salt
Juice of ~1 lemon
3/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
2 tsp cumin
100 ml water
Salt for taste

2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp pine nuts, lightly roasted

Mix all the ingredients using a food processor until it is smooth. Place on a serving dish.

Heat the sunflower oil in a small skillet and add the paprika. When the oil starts bubbling, turn the heat off and pour over the hummus. Sprinkle pine nuts all over.

Serve hummus as an appetizer with small, toasted pide slices.

* 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.


Friday, December 08, 2006

Creamy Yogurt Dip


Creamy Yogurt Dip
1 cup creamy yogurt
2 garlic cloves, smashed with salt
1/2 tsp mint
2 tbsp dill, chopped
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of crushed red pepper

Mix all the ingredients and place on a serving dish. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and garnish with black olives and radish.

Serve with toasted pide slices.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Caviar-stuffed Eggs

(Havyarli Yumurta Dolmasi)

Caviar-stuffed Eggs
3 eggs, hard boiled
1 tbsp black or red caviar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 pinch crushed red pepper

Cut the eggs in half lengthwise. So that the eggs don't tip over while the insides are facing up, cut off a small slice from the bottoms, so they're flat. Place a strainer on a bowl. Remove the yolks and press them through the strainer using the back side of a tablespoon. Add in the Caviar, lemon juice and crushed red pepper. Toss with a fork, don't use a spoon! Arrange them inside the egg white shells, and don't force them in by pressing.

Place them on a service plate and garnish with chopped dill. Keep it in the fridge for about 30 minutes before serving.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Amulet Borek

(Muska Boregi)

Amulet Borek
3 sheets of Phyllo Pastry

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 fresh green onion, only the white part, finely chopped
1/3 cup parsley or dill, chopped
1 egg yolk

1 egg white

1/2 cup sunflower oil

Mix the filling ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Put the egg white in a small bowl to stick the edge of the borek and leave aside.

Place the three sheets on top of each other on the counter with the long side front of you. Cut in 4 equal pieces from top to bottom (picture). Now you should have 12 narrow and long pieces of phyllo pastry. Put one teaspoonful filling on the bottom end of each sheet (picture). First fold it diagonally with the bottom right corner from outside to inside forming a triangle (picture). Continue to fold triangles from the bottom side of the pastry, going up (picture). Spread the egg white with your finger on the open end of the last fold and close it up.

Finish all the sheets. Heat up the sunflower oil on the stove in a frying pan. Fry each borek equally over medium heat until they take a light golden colour. Don't turn your back to the stove as they fry quickly and may burn:) Place them on a paper towel to soak up the extra oil.

Serve Amulet Borek while they are still warm as an appetizer or with Turkish Tea as a snack.

* The Phyllo Pastry may dry while you're rolling them - try to be quick or cover the unused ones with a clean towel while you roll the rest.


Saturday, December 02, 2006

Zucchini with Walnut Dip

(Cerkez Kabak)

Zucchini with Walnut Dip
2 medium sized zucchini, grated
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 fresh green onions, finely sliced
1/2 cup yogurt
1/4 cup walnuts, crumbled
1 slice of bread, crumbled (French or Italian style)
1 garlic clove, smashed with salt

Red Pepper Sauce:
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp red pepper (paprika)
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper

Saute the zucchini with 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan until all the water evaporates. Let it cool down. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss. Place on a service plate.

To make the sauce, heat up the olive oil in a small pan, add the red pepper in it and turn the heat off. Don't burn the pepper! Pour all over the zucchini and serve with toasted French baton bread or toasted pide slices.