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

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Mulberry Jam

(Karadut Receli - Aegean Region)

Mulberry Jam
1 kg Mulberries
1 kg sugar
1 lemon juice
1 pinch essence of lemon (optional), to prevent crystallization

Layer mulberries and sugar in a saucepan overnight. The following morning, add lemon juice and start cooking over medium heat. Stir until the sugar melts. Cook for about 25-30 minutes. Add the essence of lemon into the jam 10 minutes before you turn the heat off and stir. At that time it may look runny but it will thicken when it cools.

Wait until it cools down, then place into a clean jar and close the lid tightly. Store in a dark and cool place.

Put some thin slices of Feta (White) Cheese* on bread then pour some Mulberry Jam on it. This is the way I love to have it, give it a try:) This delicious jam belongs to the Aegean Region, as do grape, fig and mastic jams.

* Always store Feta Cheese in a container with a lid soaked in spring water in the fridge. This way the cheese will leave its salt in the water.

Mulberry Jam

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Roasted Eggplant, Green Pepper & Tomato Dip

(Lutuka, From the Thrace Region)

1 large eggplant
2 cubanelle peppers, cut in half, seeds discarded
2 large tomatoes, halved
2 garlic cloves, smashed with salt
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped

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. Place the eggplant, cubanelle peppers and tomato halves on an oven tray and place in the oven. Roast the tomatoes, cubanelle peppers for about 15 minutes, the eggplant for about 20-25 minutes. Turn the eggplant over occasionally during roasting.

Peel off the skins from both the eggplant and cubanelle peppers and cut in small pieces. Put the them in the strainer to drain the excess water.

Meanwhile peel the tomatoes. Put the tomatoes and the smashed garlic in a pan. Saute over medium heat to evaporate excess water. Take it off the heat.

Toss roasted eggplant, cubanelle pepper, tomato, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl. Place on a service plate. Sprinkle parsley all over and serve with roasted Turkish Bread or Pide (pita) slices as an appetizer with any kind of Kebab.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Turkish Shish Kebab

(Sis Kebap)

Turkish Shish Kebab
500 gr lamb, cut in medium sized cubes

50 ml milk
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, grated

3 tomatoes, cut in half
3 cubanelle peppers, cut in half, seeds discarded
1 onion, peeled, cut in 8s

Pour all the marinade ingredients all over the lamb cubes and toss. Place into a glass bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to marinate overnight in the fridge. The following day let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour before cooking.

Arrange lamb cubes on the skewers. Make 2 skewers for 1 serving. Preheat your barbecue or oven (grill). Place the skewers on the rack along with the peppers, tomato halves (inside up) and onion. Make sure to turn the skewers so that all sides of the lamb are cooked equally for a total 10 minutes.

Makes 3 servings.

Meal Ideas:
- Ezo Gelin Pilaf, Stuffed Mushrooms and Mastic Pudding.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bulgur Pilaf with Roasted Vegetables

(Kozlenmis Sebzeli Bulgur Pilavi)

Bulgur Pilaf with Roasted Vegetables
Bulgur Pilaf:
1 cup Turkish bulgur, large grain, washed and drained
1 medium size onion, cut in small pieces
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp red pepper paste
1 3/4 cup hot water
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp cumin

1 zucchini, washed, cut in half lengthwise
1 small Japanese eggplant, washed, cut in half lengthwise
3-4 garlic cloves, do not peel
1 red pepper, washed, cut in half, discard the seeds
1 cubanelle pepper, washed, cut in half, discard the seeds
8-10 small mushrooms, brushed
1 onion, peeled, cut in 8
1 tomato, washed, cut in 4
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Set the oven to broil (grill), and heat it up or use the barbecue. 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 the garlic, tomato, red and green peppers. Cut them all in bite sizes. Sprinkle salt and pepper and drizzle extra virgin olive oil all over them. Gently mix with a fork (picture).

Meanwhile to cook the bulgur pilaf: Saute the onion with olive oil for a few minutes. Add all the pilaf ingredients and stir. Cook over low heat with the lid on.

Gently toss all the roasted vegetables with the cooked pilaf using a fork. Serve it hot or warm as a light lunch. It is a great vegetarian dish:)

Makes 2 servings.

Meal Ideas:
- Ayran, Lemon Cake with Turkish Coffee.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Artichokes with Rice in Olive Oil

(Pirincli Enginar)

Artichokes with Rice in Olive Oil
5 large artichokes

5 tsp rice, washed, drained
1 small onion, chopped
2 tbsp dill, chopped (half to be used after cooking)
1 tbsp sugar
50 ml extra virgin olive oil (half for cooking, half for after cooking)
3/4 cup + 3/4 cup hot water

How to prepare Artichokes:
Trim the base of the stem (picture). Break off all the dark leaves (don't throw away, see below) until you are left with just the light coloured, tender leaves in the centre (picture). Scoop out the light green leaves and choke with teaspoon and discard, then rub with lemon (picture). Clean off the bottom part with a knife (picture). Now, the artichoke is trimmed. Leave in the water & lemon juice mixture to prevent discolouration.

Saute the onion with olive oil in a pot. Add the rice, salt and sugar, and cook for a few minutes over medium heat. Pour 3/4 cup of hot water in it, stir and put the lid on. Turn the heat down to low, cook until the rice is soft, add dill and toss.

Place the artichokes in a shallow pan, fill them with the rice equally. Pour 3/4 cup of hot water into the pan from the side, cover the lid. Cook until artichokes are fork tender over medium-low heat. If necessary add little by little more hot water.

Arrange them on a service plate, pour the remaining half of the olive oil over and sprinkle some chopped dill on top. Serve cold.

Meal Ideas:
- Sultan's Pleasure, Carrot Salad and Cherry Jello Dessert.

Artichoke Leaves
(Enginar Yapraklari)

Artichoke Leaves

Don't throw out the leaves. They are very delicious, light coloured and crunchy. It's not much but you'll enjoy having them. My mum used to prepare this sauce in a small bowl before starting to prepare the Artichokes above.

Extra virgin olive oil
Lemon juice

Throw out the first 2 line of the leaves, then after breaking every leaf, soak the white root part of the leaf in the sauce. It is only one delicious bite. I hope you will enjoy it like my mum and I did :)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Fried Mixed Vegetables with Sauce

(Karisik Sebze Kizartmasi)

Fried Mixed Vegetables with Sauce
1 medium eggplant, peeled in lengthwise strips, cut in small cubes
1 zucchini, cut in small cubes
1 medium potato, peeled, cut in small cubes
1 cubanelle pepper, seeds discarded, cut in chunks
1/2 cup sunflower oil

Yogurt Sauce:
1/2 cup yogurt
1-2 garlic clove, smashed with salt

Tomato Sauce:
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 heaping tbsp of diced tomato, in can
2 heaping tbsp of crushed tomato, in can

Soak the eggplants in 2 cups of water with salt for about 20 minutes. Squeeze and dry them with paper towel. Meanwhile combine all the tomato sauce ingredients in a small pot. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Make sure it doesn't dry out.

Fried the all the vegetables orderly in sunflower oil. Afterwards, place on a paper towel to soak up excess oil. Let it cool. Then place them on service plate. Serve it with yogurt sauce or tomato sauce (or both of them).

Meal Ideas:
- Turkish Hamburger, Kidney Bean Salad and Orange Cake with Turkish Tea.