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

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast

(Ispanakli Tavuk Dolmasi)

Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast
2 small size chicken breasts, skinless, boneless, flattened by a mallet

1 tbsp butter
1 small onion, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, chopped
3 large mushroom, sliced
1/2 cup chopped spinach, frozen-thawed and squeezed
3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 pinch red pepper, crushed

1 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 pinch red pepper

2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup sunflower oil

Prepare the Filling:
Saute the onion with butter and salt for about few minutes in a pan. Add the garlic and saute until the smell of garlic comes out. Add the mushrooms saute for about 5 more minutes. Add the spinach, red pepper, salt and black pepper and turn the heat off. When it is cool down add feta cheese, toss.

In the meantime, pound the chicken breast until they are thin. Season with salt and pepper. Divide and spread the filling equally over the surface of the chickens and fold. Brush the chickens with melted butter. Mix the red pepper and sesame seeds in a plate. Then cover the stuffed chickens with the sesame seed mixture.

Heat the sun flower oil and butter in the frying pan. Fry the both sides on low medium heat.

Meal Ideas:
-Pilaf with Eggplant , Arugula Salad with Walnuts , Cantik and Almond Pudding .


Friday, August 28, 2009

Arugula Salad with Walnuts

(Cevizli Roka Salatasi)

Arugula Salad with Walnuts
One bunch of Arugula
Tulum cheese -I used goat cheese-to find a Tulum cheese is rather difficult here:)
One handful of walnuts, crushed in medium size, lightly roasted

2 tbsp pomegranate paste or Grenadine syrup
50 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp crushed red pepper

Discard the Arugula stems, break off the leaves into smaller pieces with your hand. Place on a serving dish. Whisk all the dressing ingredients. Pour all over the Arugula and toss. Add goat cheese (or Tulum Cheese) and walnuts pieces all over the top.

This salad goes very well with any kind of fish or chicken dishes:)


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sweet Peas in Olive Oil

(Zeytinyagli Bezelye)

Sweet Peas in Olive Oil
350 gr sweet peas, frozen
1 small potato, cut in cube
50 ml extra virgin olive oil (half for cooking, half for after cooking)
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 small carrot, cut in cub
2 green onion, sliced
1/2 cubanalle pepper, cut in cub
2 tbsp crushed tomato, canned
1 1/2 cup warm water
1/2 tsp sugar

Saute the garlic, carrot, green onion, cubanalle pepper with half of olive oil until the garlic smells come out medium-low heat. Then add the sweet peas, potato, sugar, salt, crushed tomato and warm water. Put the lid half way on, cook until the vegetables are tender.

Let it cool down first. Pour the rest of the olive oil and sprinkle chopped fresh dill all over it. Then, place it in a serving dish. Serve the dish at room temperature or chilled with lemon wedges.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Split Börek with Feta Cheese

(Peynirli Karnıyarık Börek)

Split Börek with Feta Cheese
6 sheets Phyllo Pastry

2 tbsp salted butter, melted
50 ml milk, warm

150 gr feta cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp parsley, chopped

Tomato, sliced in 6
Cubanelle pepper, discard the seeds, cut in 6 long peaces

Prepare the filling: Mix feta and parsley.

Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Place the 1st sheet of Phyllo Pastry on the counter, brush some sauce all over it. Put the 2nd sheet on it, lightly brush the sauce on it. Cut them with a knife and divide in two. Put some filling on the bottom side of each sheet. First fold the long sides over the filling. Then close up the top (picture). And fold down each one. Brush the open end with the sauce and close it up. Finish all the sheets.

Place parchment paper on an oven tray and arrange the Borek with the folded side facing down. Gently slash the tops and open up on each pastry with a knife. Don't go to the ends, leave some space (picture). Brush the tops with the sauce. Cover the open faces with tomato and cubanelle pepper.

Preheat the oven 375 F (190 C). Bake for 20 minutes until the tops take a golden colour.

6 Split Börek with Feta Cheese

Friday, August 21, 2009

Gardener Kebab

(Bahcivan Kebabi)

Gardener Kebab
150 g lamb, in cubes
1 cup + 1 cup hot water
1 small onion, cut in four or 4 pearl onion
1-2 garlic clove, sliced
2 tbsp butter
1 small carrot, peeled, cut in sliced
1/2 cup sweet peas, frozen
1 small zucchini, removed the seeds, cut in bite size
1/2 cubanelle pepper, cut in bite size
1/2 red bell pepper, cut in bite size
1 large tomato, peeled, diced
2 tbsp crushed tomato, canned

2 tbsp dill, chopped

Cook the lamb cubes with their own juice in a medium size pot. Then add 1 cup hot water and cook on low heat until the lamb pieces are tender. Then add the onion, saute for about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and when the smell comes out, add the rest of the ingredients with 1 cup hot water except dill. Cover the lid halfway. Cook for about 20 minutes on a little bit under medium heat.

If it necessary you can add a little bit more hot water, I didn't! Turn the heat off, sprinkle the dill all over the dish. Serve it while still hot.

2 servings

Meal Ideas:
-Aegean Style Vegetable Pilaf , Apricot Compote ,
Carrot Pate with Black Olives
and Gullac .


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Aegean Style Vegetable Pilaf

(Ege Usulu Sebzeli Pilav)

Aegean Style Vegetable Pilaf
3/4 cup long-grain rice
1 cup hot water or chicken stock
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
Pinch pepper

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely sliced
1 small eggplant, peeled, cut in cubes, soak into the salty water
about 15 minutes, drained and squeeze excess water
1 small zucchini, cut in small pieces
1/2 cup brown mushrooms, cleaned and sliced, I used cremeni mushroom
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut in bite size
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
4 tbsp dried currants, soak into the hot water for 10 minutes and drain
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper
1-2 garlic cloves, chopped


Some fresh mint, chopped
Some fresh dill, copped
1 tsp lemon zest

To cook the Pilaf:
Wash the rice several times with warm water and drain. Then cover the rice with hot water and leave for about 15 minutes, then drain. Melt the butter in a cooking pot. Saute the rice with butter for 2-3 minutes while stirring. Pour 1 cup of hot water or chicken stock in it. Add salt and pepper. Turn the heat to low, cover and cook until the rice absorbs all the water.

Take the cooking pot away from the heat. Open the lid, place a clean kitchen towel across the top of the pot on the rim and put the lid on it. Let the Pilaf stand for about 5 minutes. We call this brewing time.

When the pilaf starts brewing, start to cook vegetables.

In a large skillet, saute the onion with salt and olive oil for about 1-2 minutes. Add rest of the vegetables except garlic. Saute them until they are tender on medium heat for about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic 2-3 minutes before turn the heat off.

Gently toss all the vegetables with the cooked pilaf using a fork. Place it in the serving dish, then sprinkle fresh mint, dill and lemon zest all over it. Serve the dish warm or at room temperature as a light lunch. It is a great vegetarian dish:)


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Apricot Compote

(Kayısı Kompostosu)

Apricot Compote
6 fresh apricots, peeled, pitted, sliced
1/3 cup sugar
2 cup water
1/2 tsp almond extract

2 tbsp almonds, blanched, sliced, lightly toasted

Bring the sugar and water to boil in a medium cooking pot. Turn the heat down to very medium-low. Add the apricots and almond extract in it. Cook for about 5-6 minutes at medium heat.

Pour into a bowl and let it cool. Then chill in the fridge. Add the almond slices. Serve in individual bowls with Pilaf on the side on hot Summer days:)

Happy Ramadan!


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fish in Bread

(Balik Ekmek - Istanbul)

Fish in Bread
Fish- I grilled fresh whiting Merluzzo fille -tasty and price is right!
Arugula Salad
Red onion, sliced
Tomato, sliced
Lemon wedges
Crushed pepper

Stuff the fish in half a loaf of freshly baked Turkish bread. Squeeze some lemon juice and sprinkle crushed pepper all over the fish. Serve it with Arugula salad, tomato and onion slices. The traditional accompaniment for Balik Ekmek is Pickle Juice or Şalgam Juice:)

After the delicious sandwich I suggest you to have Tahini & Grape Molasses as a dessert:)

Balik Ekmek / Fish Sandwich
When you visit the Golden Horn in Istanbul you can always find fish sandwiches sold directly by the fishermen. They have grille and pot to fry freshly caught fishes from Bosporus waters in their boats. The smell makes you feel hungry even if you are full. It is hard to ignore not to have Balik Ekmek when you pass by these fishermen because the smell is irresistible.

When I make Balik Ekmek at home the smell or the taste won't be the same! Perhaps, Balik Ekmek has to be eaten in Golden Horn from the hands of the fishermen who have been serving it for centuries:)


Friday, August 07, 2009

Pasta with Feta Cheese

(Beyaz Peynirli Makarna)

<br />Pasta with Feta Cheese
2 servings of bowtie pasta
3 tbsp butter

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup parsley, chopped

Boil the pasta with salty water following the instructions on the package, drain. Melt the butter in a pot. Toss the pasta, season with salt and pepper. Place the pasta on a serving dish. Mix the feta cheese and parsley and sprinkle all over it. Serve this delicious easy to make pasta with Tomato Salad with Onion .

2 servings.


Saturday, August 01, 2009

Tomato Salad with Onion

(Soganli Domates Salatasi)

Tomato Salad with Onion
Tomato, peeled, diced
Red onion, sliced*
Parsley, chopped
Crushed Pepper (red pepper flakes)

Extra virgin olive oil
Wine vinegar

Place the tomatoes, red onions and parsley in a salad bowl. Whisk all the dressing ingredients and pour all over them, toss. Sprinkle some crushed pepper on it. Wait for 15-20 minutes before serving it.

You can dunk the freshly baked Turkish bread into the salad and have it as light lunch on a summer day:)

*If you like you can crush the onion with salt by using your hands and rinse, then add into the salad:)