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

Friday, February 28, 2014

Eggs with Creamy Yogurt

(Tuzlu Yoğurtlu Yumurta - Hatay)

Eggs with Creamy Yogurt
1 tsp butter
4-5 tbsp creamy yogurt
2 eggs
Red pepper flakes

Melt the butter in a small size pan at low heat. Add the creamy yogurt in it. Season with salt. Heat at low until the juice is absorbed. Make room and crack the eggs. Cover and when the egg white is cooked, remove it. Do not overcook the egg yolk!

Season with some red pepper flakes and serve the Eggs with Creamy Yogurt with freshly baked Turkish bread for breakfast or lunch.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Semolina Soup

(Irmik Çorbası)

Semolina Soup
1 piece of beef neck
1 onion, cut in 4
1 small celery root, peeled, cut in 4
3-4 branches of parsley, washed
4-5 cups water

1/3 cup semolina

1/2 cup Turkish plain yogurt
1 egg yolk

2 tbsp butter
1 tsp mint
1 tsp paprika

Place the beef neck, onion, celery, parsley and water in the medium sized pot. Turn the heat to medium and start to cook. Remove the scum from the surface using a spoon. Turn the heat down to low. Cover and cook until the meat falls off the bone so that it will be tender. Remove the bones. Strain the juice. Discard the celery and onion but parsley.

Pour the juice back into the pot. Add the semolina, beef, parsley, salt and pepper into the pot. Close and cook for about 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk with yogurt. Take a ladle of soup and blend well with the sauce. Slowly pour this mixture into the pot while stirring. Simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Melt the butter in a small pan and add in the paprika and mint. When it starts bubbling, pour over the soup. Serve while still hot with the fresh Turkish bread.

3-4 servings.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Pickled Red Cabbage

(Mor LahanaTurşusu)

Pickled Red Cabbage
1/2 head of red cabbage
1 tbsp salt

For the pickling liquid:
2 cups water
1/2 cup vinegar
2 tbsp salt
1 tsp liquid oil
1 tbsp lemon juice

Remove and throw away the white center of the cabbage. Cut it in thin slices (julienne cut) on a wooden board, put into a large bowl. Sprinkle 1 tbsp salt all over and squeeze the cabbage pieces with your hand. Put aside for at least half an hour. This way the cabbage will soften and won't be bitter. Then rinse and drain.

Meanwhile, bring to boil water, vinegar, salt, liquid oil and lemon juice for 3-4 minutes into the pot. Turn the heat off. Put it aside to become tepid. Layer the cabbages into the large clean glass jar (or jars). Cover the cabbages with this water. You can discard the remaining water. Tightly cover the jar. Keep the jar upside down. Keep it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days before serving. Serve with any kind of Kebap or barbecued meat:)


Friday, February 21, 2014

String Cheese Börek

(Dil Peynirli Börek)

 String Cheese Börek
3-4 sheets of Phyllo Pastry
1 tbsp butter, melted

String Cheese, adjust the length of the cheese to the phyllo sheet

1egg + 1 tbsp water, beaten
1/4 cup sesame seeds + 3/4 cup bread crumbs + Salt + Pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).

Place the two sheets (or three sheets) on top of each other on the counter and place them vertically. Spread the butter all over the surface. Place the third sheet on them. Divide them into three parts from top to bottom. Place the cheese on the long side of each sheet. First fold the ends from the outside to inside, then roll it up (picture). Do not squeeze too much. Pastry may break during baking!

First dip the borek in the egg mixture, and then into the mixture of sesame seed. Arrange them on the oven tray on top of parchment paper.

Bake until they turn to a golden colour. Let them cool down a little bit!

Serve as an appetizer or supper with Turkish Tea.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bulgur Pilaf with Green Lentils

(Mercimekli Bulgur Pilavi - Turhal - Black Sea Region)

Bulgur Pilaf with Green Lentils
1/2 cup Turkish bulgur, large grain, washed and drained
1/4 cup green lentils, soaked in water overnight (don't boil or it will lose the vitamins)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp canned crushed tomatoes
1 tsp red pepper paste
1/2 tsp cumin

1 medium size onion, sliced
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Start to cook the lentils in 1 cup of water. When the lentils are tender, add more water to make it 1 cup in the pot to cook bulgur pilaf. Then add the bulgur, crushed tomatoes, red pepper paste, cumin, salt and pepper, stir. Close and cook until all the water evaporates at low heat.

Meanwhile, saute the onion with olive oil until it is softened at medium heat. Toss it into the cooked bulgur pilaf. Let the Bulgur Pilaf with Green Lentils stand for about 5 minutes.

Serve it with Ayran, Cacık or pickled vegetables.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Turkey with Lentils, Chickpeas and Wheat

(Keledoş – Kelecoş - East Anatolia)

Turkey with Lentils Chickpeas and Wheat
1/2 cup turkey, chicken or lamb, in cubes
1 tbsp butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup green lentils, soaked in water overnight, rinsed
1/4 cup crack wheat
1/4 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed
3 cups warm water
100 g. Heliz or spitang herbs* (boiled in water, drained) or chard, finely chopped
1/2 grated kurut** or creamy yogurt

Tomato paste onion saute:
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp tomato paste

Mint-Red Pepper Butter:
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp mint
1 tsp paprika or red pepper flakes

Saute the onion with butter for 1-2 minutes. Add the turkey meat and saute for 2-3 minutes while stirring. Then add the lentils, chickpeas, crack wheat, warm water, salt and pepper. After 4-5 minutes add the kale into the pot. Cover and cook until the food reaches the desired consistency. Turn the heat down to low. Slowly add the kurut or strained yogurt, stir. Simmer for a few more minutes without lid.

Meanwhile caramelize the sliced onion with butter at low heat. Add the tomato paste, stir, then add in the dish.

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. As soon as it starts bubbling, stir in the crushed red pepper and mint. Then pour all over the top of the dish and serve.

2 servings.

* To make this dish, the herbs like Heliz or Spitank which grows in the Aladağ and Katavin mountains are used. Heliz is a very special herb used in cheese making.

** Kurut, Keş peyniri, Sürk, Taş Yoğurt, Kurutulmuş Yoğurt; whey-drained traditional dried yogurt buttermilk; goat's ewe's, cow's milk; used in soups and other food preparations, also crumbled and used as cheese.

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

(Çikolata Kaplı Çilek)

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
500 gr large strawberries, washed

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate
2 tbsp heavy cream

Melt the chocolate in a saucepan over medium heat, stir in the cream and whisk until well mixed, for about 2 minutes. Don't boil it!

Dip the strawberries in the chocolate sauce and place on parchment paper. Let them cool and serve with Turkish Coffee and/or Cherry Liquor.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Poached Mackerel

(Uskumru Buğulama - Istanbul)

Poached  Mackerel
2 Mackerels; discard the guts, wash with cold water and drain
1 small onion, sliced
2-3 parsley stems
1 Bay leaf
2 tbsp + 4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice

Cut some parchment paper and spread 2 tbsp olive oil in the middle. Place the parsley stems, Bay leaf and onions. Arrange the fish on top. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle lemon juice and olive oil as well. Fold the parchment paper over the top and the sides to prevent the juice from leaking out. Place it on the oven tray.

Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Cook for about 20 minutes on the middle rack. Then remove the tray. Be careful when you open the paper due to the steam coming out. Place the fish and the vegetables in a service plate. Serve with the Arugula Salad.


Monday, February 10, 2014

Mussel Pilaf

(Midyeli Pilav / Midye Salma - Istanbul)

Mussel Pilaf
10-12 mussels
1 cup rice, washed and drained
4 medium onions, chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 or 2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp pine nuts
1 tbsp currant
1 tbsp dry mint
1 1/2 cups hot water

Clean the mussels, scraping with a knife. Half open the round part of the shells and, with a knife, cut out the beards.

Saute the onion with olive oil for about 5 minutes in a medium-size pot. Add the rice and salt, stir and cover. Cook at very low heat until the rice looks almost see-through. Add the sugar, nuts, currants, mint, tomato paste and hot water. Cover and cook at low heat. When you start seeing holes on the surface of the pilaf, add the mussels and stir slowly. 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 back. Let the Pilaf cools down. 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 back on. Let the Pilaf cool down.

Serve at room temperature or chilled.

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Saturday, February 08, 2014

Milky Papara

(Sütlü Papara)

Milky Papara
2 or 3 days old bread
Pinch of salt or sugar
Cheese, optional (I used grated mozzarella)

Place the bread bites in a bowl.

Add the salt or sugar and cheese and heat the milk a little bit. Pour over the breads. Have it with a spoon as a breakfast or supper.


Friday, February 07, 2014

Bread Soup

(Ekmek Aşı / Ekmek Çorbası)

Bread Soup
2 -3 slices of a few days old Turkish Rustic bread, broken up into bite-size chunks

1 tsp butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 tsp paprika
2-3 cups of bone or beef broth
2 eggs, beaten

Place the bread bites in a soup bowl.

Saute the onion with butter and olive oil until softened. Add the garlic, stir. When the smell of garlic comes out, add the paprika and beef broth, bring to boil. Slowly add the beaten eggs after 2-3 minutes and stir. When the eggs are cooked, pour over the breads. Serve immediately.

2 servings.


Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Roasted Potatoes - Onions with Bread

(Ekmek Arasında Közlenmiş Patates - Soğan - Gaziantep)

Roasted Potatoes - Onions with Bread
Red pepper paste
Red pepper flakes
Extra virgin olive oil or butter

Turkish bread

Roast the potatoes and onions. Peel and drizzle olive oil or butter over them while still warm. Season with mint, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Spread some red pepper paste inside of the bread. Stuff the mixture into the half loaf of a freshly baked Turkish bread. Serve with tomatoes and pickled peppers.


Monday, February 03, 2014

Grilled Meatball-Mozzarella Cheese Casserole

(Fırında Kaşarlı Köfte)

Grilled Meatball-Mozzarella Cheese Casserole
Grilled meatballs
Lavash bread or Pide, cut in bite size

Tomato, sliced
Cubanelle pepper, cut in medium size
Mozzarella cheese, grated

Pre-heat the oven to 500° F (260° C).

Place the lavash bread or pide on a casserole dish. Arrange the grilled koftes on it. Place the sliced tomatoes and green peppers and sprinkle the cheese all over the tops.

Keep it in the middle rack of the oven until the cheese is melted. Immediately serve with Pickled Long Green Peppers and Ayran by the side.