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

Friday, August 30, 2013

Purslane Salad with Green Lentil-Roasted Pepper and Walnuts

(Mercimek, Közlenmiş Biber ve Cevizli Semizotu Salatası)

Purslane Salad with Green Lentil-Roasted Pepper and Walnuts
Purslane, washed and drained or rosettes
1 handful green lentils, cook until tender and rinse
Red or orange or yellow bell peppers, roasted, peeled

Lemon juice or pomegranate paste
Extra virgin olive oil

Place all the salad ingredients in a salad bowl. Whisk thedressing ingredients and pour all over them, toss.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Shepherd's Yogurt Soup

(Çoban Aşı aka Sraysır - Mediterranean Region)

Shepherd's Yogurt Soup
1/4 cup Turkish bulgur, small or medium or large grain
1 cup plain yogurt
1-2 fresh mint leaves, sliced

Green part of spring onions, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil

Wash and drain the bulgur, soak into the boiling water in the bowl. When the bulgur grains are expanded, drain. Let it cool down. Then mix it with yogurt, mint and salt. Keep it in the fridge.

If you like, add a couple of ice cubes or a little bit of water into it before serving. Drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle some cumin and the green part of the spring onions on the top.

Serve with onion and Tandoori bread on the side. It is a great traditional Turkish cold yogurt dish (or soup) for hot Summer days.

*This rustic meal is popular for shepherds or farm workers of the Mediterranean region. They throw a handful bulgur into yogurt in the thinned copper bucket and close it just before their leave their home. They wrap the lavash bread or yufka and bulb of onion in their bundle. The bulgur absorbs water from yogurt and gets softer until lunch time. They crush the onion with their fist. Now they can have their healthy lunch to collect some energy to finish the day:)


Monday, August 26, 2013

Romain Lettuce Stew with Lamb

(Marul Yemeği - Tire - Izmir)

Romain Lettuce Stew with Lamb
1 head romaine lettuce
200 g ground lamb, lean
4-5 green onions, chopped
1 medium tomato, peeled, diced
1 tbsp rice, rinsed
2 tbsp crushed tomatoes, canned
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Dill, chopped

Cook the ground lamb with salt and pepper in a medium-size pot. Tear lettuce into bite-size pieces, then add into the pot along with the rest of the ingredients. Cover and cook at low heat. When it is cooked,sprinkle some dill over the top.

Serve while still hot with a big dollop of Turkish yogurt and sprinkle some dill on the top. Serve with Turkish bread and spring onions on the side.

2 servings.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Fig Cheesecake

(Taze Incirli Labneli Pasta)

Fig Cheesecake
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (or wholewheat or oatmeal or ginger cookies)
2 tbsp sugar
2-3 tbsp butter, melted

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

Fresh figs, rinsed with cold water, chilled
Apricot jam (or marmalade) for glaze

9 inches (22cm) spring-form pan, the bottom lined with the parchment paper

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.

Arrange the fig slices on top. Brush with the apricot jam. Cut into slices and serve.

*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.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Deep Fried Mussels

(Midye Tava - Istanbul)

Deep Fried Mussels
~25 mussels, cleaned
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sunflower oil

6 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup beer
1 tbsp butter, melted
2 egg yolks

Heat the oil in the pan. Whisk all the batter ingredients in a large bowl.

Dip each mussel into the flour, then into the butter. Arrange them on the wood skewers. Then, gently lower them into the hot oil and deep-fry until golden.

Place them on a plate with a paper towel to soak up extra oil. Serve Fried Mussels with Tarator Sauce while still hot.

Turkish-style Tarator Sauce for Seafood
(Tarator Sos)

1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts, ground
1/2 cup day old Turkish bread, ground
2 garlic clove, mashed with salt
1 cup plain yogurt, at room temperature
2 tbsp olive oil

Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Serve Tarator Sauce with Turkish-style Fried Mussels, Turkish-style Fried Calamari...etc.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Grilled Meatballs with Cheese

(Kaşarlı Köfte)

Grilled Meatballs with Cheese
250 g ground lamb, medium or regular
250 g ground veal
1 slice of Turkish bread without the crust (1 cm thick); soak the bread into milk, then squeeze the milk out
1 small onion, grated
1 egg
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 cup Mozzarella cheese, grated

Knead all the kofte ingredients for about 3-4 minutes. Give them a cylinder shape. Press them on the top with your two fingers.

Set the oven to grill. Arrange the meatballs on a wire. When the one side is cooked, flip and cook the other side of the meatballs.

Serve the Grilled Meatballs with Cheese with Kidney Bean Salad.

~18-19 Grilled Meatballs.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Fresh Fig Jam

(Taze Incir Reçeli)

Fresh Fig Jam
1 kg fresh figs, rinsed with cold water
3 or 3 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
Juice of one lemon

To prepare the syrup; place the water and sugar in a medium-size saucepan. First bring to a boil and turn the heat down to medium-low. After 25-30 minutes add the figs and cinnamon. Continue to cook for about 10-15 more minutes. Add the lemon juice, stir and turn the heat off.

Remove the pot from the heat and cool for a few minutes. Pour carefully into canning jar and seal. Store in a dark and cool place.

*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.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Stuffed Mussels

(Midye Dolma - Istanbul)

Stuffed Mussels
35-40 mussels
1/3 cup hot water
Olive oil, to glaze the cooked mussels

3/4 cup rice, washed and drained
2 medium-size onions, chopped
2 tbsp currants
2 tbsp pine nuts
1 tsp dry mint or fresh mint, chopped
2 tbsp dill, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water

Saute the onions with the olive oil for about 10 minutes in a medium-size pot at medium-low heat. Do not burn! Then, add the rice, sugar and salt, stir. Cover and cook at very low heat until the rice looks see-through. Add the nuts, currants, mint, dill and 1/2 cup water. Stir occasionally at low heat. Cook until all the water evaporates and put them aside.

In the meantime, clean the mussels, scraping with a knife. Half open the round part of the shells; and with a knife, cut out the beards. Stuff the empty half of the shells with the rice filling and close up. Place the shells in a large pot with 1/3 cup water. Place a small plate upside down over the shells (this is to prevent the shells from unfolding while being cooked). Simmer for 20-25 minutes until the water is absorbed.

Let it cool down first, brush with a little olive oil. Then, place them on a serving dish. Serve the Stuffed Mussels chilled or at room temperature with lemon wedges.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Samphire Salad

(Deniz Börülcesi Salatası - Aegean Region)

Samphire Salad
Branch of Samphire
1 or 2 clove garlic, sliced or mashed
Extra virgin olive oil
Lemon juice
Red pepper flakes, optional

Cut off the white roots, separate the stalks from each other and wash.

Add the samphire into the boiling water without salt and boil for about 7-8 minutes (depending on the toughness). Drain and rinse under cold running water.

If the main stalks are too thick; brush them off with your fingers. Place them in a serving dish. Sprinkle the garlic slices and dress it up with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice while it is still warm. Serve as a salad or as a side dish:)

*Do not add salt in water while its boiling. Because Samphire contains a lot of salt in it:)
**You can also eat young samphire as a raw vegetable; it's crunchy, delicious and unique:)
***Samphire aka Sea Asparagus or Sea Beans or sea fennel


Monday, August 12, 2013

Split Zucchinis with Chicken Filling

(Tavuklu Kabak Karnıyarik)

Split Zucchinis with Chicken Filling
2 medium zucchinis
Extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water + 1 tbsp crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup chicken breast and legs, boneless, skinless, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
1-2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 large tomato, peeled, diced
2-3 mushrooms, cleaned, sliced
1 tsp red pepper paste
4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp paprika

2 tbsp mozzarella cheese, grated

To prepare the filling; in a medium-size pot, saute the onion with olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken and garlic, continue to saute. When the smell of garlic comes out add the rest of the filling ingredients. Cover and cook until chickens are tender at medium-low heat.

Meanwhile, peel the zucchinis. Make a room with the tip of a small knife at the top. Remove and discard the seeds with a teaspoon (picture). Season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange the zucchinis in an oven proof dish. Preheat the oven 400 F (190 C). Cook for about 25 minutes.

Fill the zucchinis equally with the filling using a teaspoon. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the tops. Drizzle a little bit olive oil all over. Mix the 1/4 cup water with crushed tomatoes, pour into the casserole dish. Put it back into the oven. Cook until the cheese melted and the tops are light golden.

Serve the Split Zucchinis with Chicken Filling with Pilaf with Orzo or Tomato Pilaf and homemade yogurt as a light lunch:)

2 servings.


Friday, August 09, 2013

Snow Peas Omelet

(Taze Bezelye Kayganasi)

Snow Peas Omelet
125 g Snow Peas, washed
1 tbsp butter or 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp yellow corn meal

Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the snow peas. Whisk the eggs, corn meal, salt and pepper in a bowl. Immediately pour eggs over vegetables, cook both sides.

If you like, sprinkle a little bit paprika. Serve while still warm.


Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Mixed Green Salad with Urfa Cheese

(Urfa Peynirli Yeşil Salata)

Green Salad with Urfa Cheese
Mixed greens(romaine, oak leaf lettuce, arugula, radicchio...etc), washed
Cherry or grape tomatoes, washed, cut in half
Urfa cheese*, cut in bite size, if you can't find it you can use Boccaccio cheese:)
Walnuts, crumbled, lightly toasted
Few slice of white or red onion
Turkish Black olives

Extra virgin olive oil
Pomegranate paste

Place the greens on a serving dish. Sprinkle the remaining ingredients all over. Whisk the dressing ingredients and pour over it. Serve this delicious salad immediately.

*Urfa cheese contains a lot of salt. Therefore, soak it in lukewarm water for half an hour, then drain.


Monday, August 05, 2013

Mastic Pudding with Tel Kadayif

(Tel Kadayıflı Sakızlı Muhallebi - Istanbul)

Mastic Pudding with Tel Kadayif
2 + 1/4 cups homogenized milk
1/3 cup heavy cream, 35%
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp mastic (roll glass on the mastic to make it powdery or use mortar)
1 tsp butter, unsalted

To prepare the Mustic Pudding; place all the ingredients except mustic powder and butter in a medium-size cooking pot. Stir constantly for about 10 minutes to make it thick. Then add the powdered mastic and butter, continue to cook for about one more minute while stirring. Take it off the stove. Pour into the blender. Blend for about 6-7 minutes over medium speed. Immediately pour into individual bowls.

Shredded Dough (Tel Kadayif):
4 handful Shredded Dough (~1/2 cup), crush the dough into small pieces in your palm
1/4 cup walnuts, crumbled
4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter, unsalted, melted

Meanwhile, saute all the tel kadayif ingredients in a Teflon pan until the color turns to light golden colour while stirring. Turn the heat off. Divide equally over the puddings. Let it cool down. Keep it in the fridge before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Bairam Menu:
- Asparagus Soup, Eggplant Tava, Sauteed Vegetables with Black Olives and Feta Cheese, Long Beans in Olive Oil, Börek, Mixed Green Salad with Urfa Cheese.


Friday, August 02, 2013

Long Beans in Olive Oil

(Antakya Usulü Taze Börülce (Libye) - Antakya - Mediterranean Region)

Long Beans in Olive Oil
250-300 g long beans or Chinese beans, wash, trim both ends
1 small onion, sliced
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large tomato, peeled, diced
1 small red Bell pepper, diced
1 tsp red pepper paste
1 tbsp crushed tomatoes, canned
1/2 tsp sugar

Place all the ingredients in a medium-size pot. Cover and cook until the beans are tender at low heat. Let it cool down first.

Place the "Long Beans in Olive Oil" on a serving dish. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over the top. Serve at room temperature or chilled with the any kind of pickled vegetable.