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

Friday, June 29, 2012

Artichoke and Creamy Yogurt Dip

(Enginar Ezme)

<br />
Artichoke and  Creamy Yogurt Dip
4 Artichoke bottoms, peeled, cleaned, see Artichokes with Rice in Olive Oil
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup water
1-2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp Turkish bread without the crust, crumbled

2-3 tbsp strained (creamy) Turkish yogurt, plain
2-3 tbsp old Turkish kashar cheese or any kind of hard salty cheese
1/4 tsp paprika
Extra virgin olive oil

Place artichokes, extra virgin olive oil, 1/3 cup hot water and salt in a small sized pot. Cover and cook over a little bit under medium heat until the artichokes are tender or no more water at the bottom in it. Add the the bread without crust and garlic. Use the immersion blender to puree the mixture until its smooth. If you like you can leave some little chunks of artichokes:) Add the creamy yogurt, grated cheese and paprika, mix with fork or spoon.

Serve the Artichoke with Creamy Yogurt Dip with roasted red pepper and toasted pide slices. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil all over the top just before serve.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bulgur Pilaf with Purslane

(Semizotlu Bulgur Pilavi aka Pırparlı Bulgur Pilavı)

Bulgur Pilaf with Purslane
3/4 cup Turkish Bulgur, large grain, washed, drained
250 gr Purslane, washed and drained or 100 gr rosettes
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small size onion, sliced
2 tbsp crushed tomato, canned
1 tsp red pepper paste
1 cup hot water
1 tsp lemon juice (if you use rosettes)

Saute the onion with olive oil for a few minutes. Add all the ingredients except the purslane, stir. Cook it over low heat with the lid on. When you start seeing holes on the surface of the bulgur add the purslane and stir slowly. Cook for about 5 more minutes.

Let the Bulgur Pilaf with Purslane stand for about 5 minutes. Serve with plain yogurt or Ayran by the side. It is a great dish, especially for lunch:)

Makes 2-3 servings.

* Purslane is one of my favorite vegetables and not well known in Canada. The plant has thick, small, round shaped moist leaves. The stems are especially juicy and delicious. It grows like a weed everywhere. I used to have them in my backyard, but they were smaller than they should be. Unfortunately I moved to a condo a couple years ago so I am not able to pick them up from my backyard anymore:( Recently my friend told me that she found something that looks like Purslane at a Loblaws and Longos in Toronto. It was very easy to find it on the shelf with the name of Rosettes:) They smell like roses when you chew it:D


Monday, June 25, 2012

Urfa Style Roasted Vegetable Wraps

(Etsiz Urfa Durumu aka Firinda Patlican - Urfa)

 Urfa Style Roasted Vegetable Wraps
2 Lavash Bread or Original Tortillas, small size

Eggplant, roasted
Cubanelle peppers, cut in half, seeds discarded
Red Bell pepper,cut in half, seeds discarded
Tomatoes, halved
Extra virgin olive oil
Flaked red pepper
Turkish Kashar or Mozzarella Cheese, grated

Set the oven to broil (grill) and heat it up, or use the barbecue. Make holes in the eggplant with a fork so that it will roast better. Arrange all the vegetables on an oven tray. Roast them on the second rack from the top in the oven. Check often as some will be roasted earlier.

Peel off the skins from the eggplant and put the them in the strainer to drain the excess water. Peel the cubanelle and Bell peppers and tomato. Cut all the vegetables in small pieces or bite size. Drizzle some olive oil and season with pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Gently mix with a fork.

Set the oven to grill (broil). Place the flat bread on the tray. Arrange the roasted vegetables on the flat bread. Sprinkle the cheese all over the top. Place the tray on the second rack from the top in the oven. Cook until the cheese melts. Wrap and serve with Ayran:)


Friday, June 22, 2012

Tomato with Eggs

(Domatesli Yumurta)

<br />
Tomato with Eggs
3-4 medium tomatoes, peeled, discard the seeds, diced
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, mashed with salt
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 eggs
Parsley, chopped
Pepper flakes

Heat the olive oil and garlic in a small pan. When the smell of garlic comes out add the tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes for about 3-4 minutes at medium-low heat. Add the feta cheese, stir. Then, make room and crack the eggs. When the egg white is cooked, take it from the heat. Do not over cook the eggs yolk!

Drizzle a little bit olive oil over the top. Season with pepper flaks, salt and pepper. Sprinkle some parsley over the top. Serve immediately as a breakfast or a light meal with freshly baked Turkish bread.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ayran with Fresh Mint Leaves

(Naneli Ayran)

<br /> Ayran with Fresh Mint Leaves
3 cups plain Turkish yoğurt
~1/2 cup cold water
1 tsp salt
4-5 fresh mint leaves

First pound well the mint leaves using mortar and pestle. Then blend the mint paste with yoğurt, cold water and salt for about 35-40 seconds. Pour into the glasses. What could be better than to drink Ayran with Fresh Mint Leaves on a hot summer day:)

4 servings.

Yoğurt has been an indispensable element on Turkish tables. It is consumed plain or as a side dish, and it is a crucial part of Turkish Cuisine. Yogurt is used to make soups, sweets, and the favorite drink ayran, which is made by mixing in water, mineral water and salt. Another reason why Türks hold yoğurt dearly is that all over the world it is consumed and known as “yoğurt,” which is a word of Turkish origin.

About a thousand years ago, Türks were the first to make Yoğurt. The oldest known lexicon of the Turkish language, Kasgarli Mahmut’s Divân-i Lûgat’i Türk has an entry for the same word, and it has the same meaning. At the time, Türks still led nomadic lives and had devised numerous methods to preserve their food for their long journeys. This is one of the reasons why milk was made into yoğurt.

The best quality yoğurt is produced through the fermentation of cow and lamb’s milk. It is not surprising that dairy products made from these animals are Turkish inventions; Central Asian Türks were the first to domesticate lambs and cows. As it was first spreading into Europe and elsewhere, this thick, white dairy product was used for therapeutic purposes; in the 20th century, its daily use spreads all around the world.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Lamb Stew with Green Onions

(Taze Soganli Kuzu Yahni)

<br /> Lamb Stew with Green Onions
250 gr lamb stew, bone-in
1 + 3/4 cup hot water
1 tbsp butter
2-3 tbsp crushed tomato, canned
1 branch of green onions, cleaned, chopped
5 fresh mint leaves, sliced

1 tsp dill, chopped

Cook the lamb with their own juice. Then add 1 cup hot water and onion. Cook over medium-low heat until the lamb is tender. Add the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes over medium-low heat. Turn the heat off. Sprinkle the dill all over the dish, stir.

Serve the Lamb Stew with Green Onions with Bulgur Pilaf with Vermicelli and Ayran.

2 servings.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Plum Marmalade

(Erik Marmeladi)

<br /> Plum Marmalade
1.5 kg ripe red large plums
3 cups (750 g) sugar
2 cloves
Juice of 1 lemon

Place the plums,sugar and cloves in a medium sized pot. With a spoon, remove any scum that may have formed on the top of the marmalade. Cook until the mixture reaches jam consistency.

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

Red Velvet Marmalade

Kirmizi Kadife Marmeladi
Red Velvet Marmalade with Kaymak and roasted almonds.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Roasted Kohlrabi with Pomegranate Paste

(Firinda Nar Eksili Alabas)

<br /> 
Roasted Kohlrabi with Pomegranate Paste
Fresh kohlrabi (cabbage turnip- I grilled 2 bulbs), trimmed the ends, peeled, diced
~1 tbsp Pomegranate paste
~2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


Place the kohlrabi in an earthenware plate. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and pomegranate paste all over them.

Preheat the oven to 450 F (230 C). Place the earthenware plate on the middle rack and cook until the kohlrabi is tender. It takes app. 30-35 minutes. Stir occasionally like every 10-12 minutes. Before serve season with cumin and paprika.

Serve with grilled steak or chicken or seafood for a delicious summer side dish.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Fried Sardines

(Sardalya Tava)

<br /> Fried Sardines
4 large Sardines, discard guts, if it has few scales on it, just run the knife over the skin to remove, remove entrails, run your thumb to split, pull out the backbone than wash with cold water and drain
~2/3 cup sunflower oil

1/2 cup flour, all purpose
1/2 cup water
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp baking powder

Mix all the batter ingredients in a shallow plate with fork. Put it aside for about 30 minutes.

Place the Sardines on a paper towel to soak up extra water, dry them well. Pour the sunflower oil into a medium sized pan and heat it up over medium heat. Dip into the butter each Sardines and fry until they are golden colour.

Place the fried Sardines on a plate with paper towel on it to soak up the extra oil. Serve with lemon wedges, radish, Arugula Salad or Avocado Salad.


Avocado Salad

(Avokado Salatasi)

<br /> Avacado Salad
1 ripe avocado, cut in bite size
4-5 slice of red onion

2 tsp lemon juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

First squeeze the lemon juice all over the avocado to prevent browning. Drizzle the olive oil then season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the red onion slices over the top.

It is a great salad with any kind of seafood:)


Friday, June 08, 2012

Yogurt with Sauteed Peppers and Walnuts

(Yogurtlu-Cevizli Biber Sote)

<br /> Yogurt with Sauteed Peppers and Walnuts
400-450 g fresh Bell peppers or yellow or orange or green peppers, cut in bite size
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Garlic Yogurt Sauce:
Plain yogurt, strained for about an hour
1-2 garlic cloves, mashed with salt

Walnuts, crumbled, lightly toasted
Red pepper flakes
Extra virgin olive oil

Saute the peppers with olive oil and salt until they area little bit softened. Let it cool down.

Place the strained yogurt on a service plate. Arrange the sauteed peppers over the top. Garnish with walnuts, red pepper flakes and extra virgin olive oil. Serve as an appetizer. This goes with grilled meat, roast chicken, pretty much anything.


Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Milk Pudding in Rose Water

(Su Muhallebisi)

<br /> Milk Pudding in Rose Water
3 cups 3.25% whole milk
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp rice flour
3 tbsp corn starch

Rose water or Rose Sherbet
Icing sugar
Pistachio, crumbled

Place and whisk 1/2 cup of milk, sugar, rice flour and corn starch in a medium sized cooking pot. Then slowly add the 2 1/2 of milk into the pot while stirring. Melt the sugar over medium heat. Stir constantly for about 10 minutes to get it thick. Rinse out a shallow dish, then pour the pudding into it. The pudding's depth should not be more than 1.5 cm. Let it cool for an hour. Cover the top and place it in the fridge.

Cut the pudding in portions and place on a serving dish. Pour some Rose Water around it. Sprinkle generously icing sugar on the top. Garnish with some pistachios.

Makes 4- 6 servings.


Monday, June 04, 2012

Spinach Noodle Casserole

(Firinda Ispanakli Eriste)

<br /> Spinach Noodle Casserole
4 servings of large egg noodles, boiled and drained

Spinach filling:
1 bunch of spinach, washed and drained, chopped
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
8-10 medium size mushrooms, cleaned, sliced
2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly roasted
4-5 tbsp half&half cream
1/2 tsp paprika

White Sauce:
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour, all purpose
1 cup milk, warm
2 eggs
1/2 tsp nutmeg

2/3 cup kashar or mozzarella cheese, grated

To prepare the filling; saute the onion and mushrooms with olive oil. Add in the garlic. When the smell of garlic comes out add the spinach. Continue to cook over high heat in a pan until all the water of spinach evaporates. Then add the remaining of the filling ingredients, stir. Turn the heat off.

Meanwhile prepare the white sauce; melt the butter, add the flour, stir and cook for 3-4 minutes in a medium size pot. Slowly pour in the warm milk while stirring constantly. The milk and flour should blend very well. Season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Turn the heat off. Let it cool down for 3-4 minutes. Then add the eggs one by one, mix very well.

Add the noodles into the sauce, toss. Place half of the noodles&white sauce mixture in a medium size casserole (or individual oven proof dishes). Place the spinach filling equally. Then cover them with the remaining noodles. Cover the pasta with grated cheese equally.

Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C) and bake for about 30 minutes until the top takes a golden colour. Don't over bake it!

4 servings.


Friday, June 01, 2012

Yogurt with Honey

(Balli Yogurt)

<br /> Yogurt with Honey
Turkish Yogurt, plain
Organic Honey
Walnuts, crumbled, lightly toasted

Let the yogurt strain for 1 hour or so. Pour some organic honey and sprinkle lightly toasted walnuts all over the top of the chilled yogurt.

For breakfast or when you crave sweet...Afiyet olsun!