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

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Candied Chestnuts in Syrup

(Kestane Şekeri - Bursa)

<br />Candied Chestnuts in Syrup
500 g chestnuts
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
1 tsp vanilla extract

When buying chestnuts, choose the fat ones, as they will be more delicious. Soak the chestnuts in water for about 15-20 minutes to soften them. Using a small knife, cut the shells horizontally on the top (fat) side. Place the chestnuts in a medium size pot, cover them with the water. Boil them for about 5 minutes. Remove the shells and inner skins using a small knife.

Clean the same pot, add sugar, water and vanilla extract in it. Boil it for about 5 minutes. Add the chestnuts into the syrup. Cover and cook for about an hour over just under the medium heat.

Let the chestnuts cool down first in the pot. There should be a little bit syrup left. If the syrup is too much, cook a little bit longer without the lid.

Place them into the glass container with the syrup and keep it in the refrigerator. For servings, place them individually in the candy cups.

New Year Eve's Menu:
-Potato Soup, Chicken with Cherry Sauce and Appetizers.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Chicken with Cherry Sauce

(Vişneli Tavuk)

Chicken with Cherry Sauce
1 whole chicken
1 lemon, cut in 4
1 small onion, peeled
1 tsp oregano
2 tbsp butter, room temperature

Cherry Sauce:
1 cup red sour pitted Cherry compote juice, in jar-in light syrup
4 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp corn starch
1 1/2 cup cherries
1 tbsp butter, unsalted

1 /4 cup sliced almond, roasted

Wash the chicken and dry it with paper towel. Season with salt and pepper inside and outside of chicken. Also season with oregano inside of it and place lemon wedges and onion in it. Spread the butter all over the chicken with your hand. Place chicken in a oven dish, cover with aluminum foil. Preheat the oven 500 F (260 C), cook for about half an hour. Remove the aluminum foil, reduce the heat to 350 F (180 C), cook another 1 hour. Let sit chicken 10 minutes, then cut in four.

In the meantime prepare the sauce; Place the sugar, honey, cinnamon and corn starch in a small pot. Slowly add 1 cup of cherry compote juice and stir constantly to avoid lumps over medium heat. When it gets thicker, add in the cherries and butter. Cook for 1 more minute and turn the heat off.

Place the baked chicken pieces on a serving dish. Pour the cherry sauce over the chicken, sprinkle some roasted almonds and serve with Pilaf with Orzo.

4 servings.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Potato Soup

(Patates Çorbası)

<br />Potato Soup
2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled, cut in small cubes
1 small onion, chopped
1 small carrot, peeled, cut in small cubes
2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cubanelle pepper, chopped
1 Bay leaf
2 1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest

Saute the onion and carrot with butter for 2-3 minutes at medium heat in a medium-sized pot. Add the potatoes and continue to saute for 4-5 more minutes. Add the flour and stir one more minute. Now add the chicken broth, cubanelle pepper, salt and pepper. Cook until the carrot pieces are tender at low-medium heat. Add the parsley, lemon juice and lemon zest. Discard the Bay leaf. Immediately pour into individual bowls and serve.

Makes 2 servings.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Turkish Pastrami Borek

(Paçanga Böreği)

<br />Turkish Pastrami Borek
4 sheets Phyllo Pastry

~150 gr Pastırma (Turkish Pastrami), sliced, remove the chemen*, break in medium size pieces
1 tsp butter
1 medium tomato, peeled, discard the seeds, cut in small cubes
1/4 cup Kaşar or mozzarella cheese, grated

1 egg yolk

Saute pastırma with tomato and butter over low-medium heat for about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Place two sheets on top of each other on the counter and position them vertically. Cut them in three strips from top to bottom. Put some filling on the bottom side of each sheet, sprinkle some cheese on top. First fold the ends from the outside to the inside, then roll it up. Soak the open end in the water and close it up (picture).

Place parchment paper on an oven tray and arrange the Borek with the folded side facing down. Brush the tops with egg yolk.

Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Bake for 15-18 minutes until the tops take a golden colour.

*If you like, fry each borek equally over medium heat until they take a light golden color. Don't leave the stove as they fry quickly:) Place ones that are done on a paper towel to soak up extra oil.

6 Turkish Pastrami Börek.

*Chemen: Cumin paste (a condiment prepared from ground cumin seeds, red pepper, and garlic and used to coat the outside of pastırma).


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fried Green Pepper with Tomato Sauce

(Domates Soslu Biber Kızartması)

<br />Fried Green Pepper with Tomato Sauce
4 Cubanelle Peppers or long green peppers
1/2 cup sunflower oil

2 large tomatoes, peeled, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
50 ml extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed pepper

Place sunflower oil in a medium sized skillet. When the oil heats up, fry the peppers on both sides until golden brown. While you're frying the pepper, cover it with a paper towel since the oil will spit. Afterwards, place on a paper towel and wait until they cool down. Then peel off the thin layer of skin with your hands. Meanwhile, remove the seeds from the pepper.

Combine all the tomato sauce ingredients in a small pot. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Make sure it doesn't dry out.

Put the peppers on a serving dish. Pour the tomato sauce over it and refrigerate. Serve the dish at room temperature or chilled as an appetizer. Try serving this dish with bread.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Fried Diced Liver with Red Peppers

(Arnavut Ciğeri)

<br />Fried Diced Liver with Red Peppers
500g lamb liver, peel the membrane and remove the nerves then cut in cubes
1 tsp paprika
1/2 cup flour, all purpose
1 cup olive oil for frying
Crushed red pepper (red pepper flakes)

Season the liver with paprika. Then roll them on the flour. They should be coated well with flour.

Meanwhile, heat the oil up in a large frying pan. Fry the livers, turn them occasionally. Take them out with a perforated spoon and place on a paper towel to soak up extra oil. Season them with salt and red pepper flakes. Serve with the Onion Salad by the side.

Onion Salad:
Red or white onion, sliced
1/2 tsp salt
Parsley, washed and drained
Some sumac

Rub the onion slices with salt. Mix with the parsley and onion, sprinkle some sumac all over it. Then serve.


Saturday, December 05, 2009

Turkish Green Olive Salad

(Yesil Zeytin Salatasi)

<br />Turkish Green Olive Salad
1/2 cup green olives-filled with red pepper, in jar, drained, sliced
1/2 head of Romain Salad, washed, drained
1 small carrot, finely grated
1/4 cup walnuts, small pieces

4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp pomegranate paste or Grenadine syrup
1 pinch cayenne pepper, crushed
1 garlic clove, mashed with salt

Break the leaves of green salad with your hands. Place it in a salad bowl. Arrange the green olive slices, carrot and walnuts on it. Whisk all the dressing ingredients pour all over, lightly toss them all. Garnish with parsley.


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Turkish Red Pepper Dip with Yogurt

(Yogurtlu Kırmızı Biber Ezmesi)

<br />Turkish Red Pepper Dip
1 red pepper, roasted, peeled and finely chopped with knife
1/2 cup Turkish yogurt
3/4 tbsp red pepper paste
1/4 tbsp red pepper paste, hot
1-2 garlic clove, mashed with salt
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Mix all the ingredients and place in a bowl. Sprinkle some crumbled walnuts over the top. Serve with toasted Turkish pide or bread slices.

Roasted Red Pepper:

Cut off the tops of the red peppers. Discard the seeds. Cut each pepper in half. Set the oven to broil (grill), and heat it up. Place the red peppers on an oven tray (inside facing down) and place in the oven. Roast them for about 15 minutes. Leave them in a paper or plastic bag for about 10 minutes to peel off the skin easily. Alternatively, you can barbecue it until softened. Just place the red peppers out side facing down on the barbecue.