Sunday 5 February 2012

Be My Valentine! Seni Seviyorum xxx

If French is the language of love what about Turkish! To the Turks I believe it would be food. Food is thier way to express themselves to one and all, to thier children, to thier friends, to thier spouses and lovers.

I would like to introduce a challenge from Very Good RecipesBe My Valentine. Be creative and the best entry wins.  Remember make them good as I will be one of the judges. I would like to thank Stepane for choosing me to be one of the judges.  You have until February 27th to get your entries in. Here are the links to the rest of the judges blogs for the February challenge.

Han Ker from Hankerie
Irini from Irini Savva
Katie from Down Home Foodie
Kristen from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
Leslie from Culinary Chronicles
Michelle from The Adirondack Chick
Minna from Naked Plate
Teri from The Freshman Cook

Since my Valentine is Turkish I thought I would make a dish that he would enjoy so that means Turkish Food. We will probably be having a glass or two of wine with dinner and what do Turks like with alcohol at a meal? Yes thats right Meze.  I will be making Meze dishes for our special evening and this will be the feature.

Yes this is a salad but the Turks love salads and my husband will love this.  This is Pembe Sultan surounded with the classic Shephards Salad.  So quick and easy to make.

Pembe Sultan

1 kilo of cooked beetroot - you can boil it or roast it to be fancy - you can add it in raw if you like but it doesn't give you the deep red colour.
garlic, minced
yogurt - 1-2 cups

Peel and grate the cooked beetroot.  Add everything else, stir and serve.

Shephards Salad

2 finely diced cucumbers
3 finely diced tomatoes
1 finely diced onion
lemon juice
olive oil

Mix everything together in a bowl then serve.

Monday 30 January 2012

Cig Kofte Urfa - Raw Meatballs

I couldn't think of another name for this post so I just translated the meaning.  This is a very famous dish from Sanli Urfa.  This is a Kofte(meatball)recipe using red meat that you form into the kofte's but you don't cook them after, so the meat is left raw.  There are other variations that I will post substituting the meat with walnuts.

The photos come to me courtesy of Ahmet Usta from Urfa Cig Koftesi Sevenler.  Ahmet Usta has a facebook page that I came across with some great photos.  I contacted him and asked if he would mind me using some of his photos he most graciously responded saying I could.

This is an easy recipe to make with the process being straightforward.  If you are Turkish there is alot of tradition around making it and I have only seen men making this dish.  There is also quite alot of kneading involved and you probably need about 30 good minutes to do the job properly or if you are like me doing it in a food processor is quite acceptable as long as your Turkish guests are none the wiser.

I'll show you the photos first followed by the recipe.  This recipe can have some variations with the meat with these photos showing the use of egg.  The cooked egg is kneaded in with the bulgur, meat mixture then formed.

Our guy kneading away

Showing consistency

Adding in the cooked egg

Finished plate with pickles

Tray with kofte, pickles, hot chillies, mint sprigs and some radish slices

The story for this food goes that Abraham had caught a deer that he gave his wife to make food for him.  Nothing could be found to make a fire and this is the dish she came up with.  I am sure thousands of Turks would love to thank her for this very popular dish.

2 cups fine bulgur
250gr fat free dark coloured meat, diced
6 tbs hot chilli powder
1 tbs salt
pinch of cinamon
pinch of pepper
half bunch spring onions, diced
1 onion, diced
1 cup finely chopped parsley
1 tbs pepper(tomato)paste

Put everything into your food processor until well mixed.  Slowly add in small amounts (tbs) water and keep processing until you get a consistency like the photo. If you want to add in the egg cook a couple of eggs in the fry pan and mix in.  If you want to do it the hard way add everything together and knead for 30 - 45 minutes with Turkish music on in the background to keep you focused.

You can serve like the photo which is on a plate or make into individual portions (meatball size).  This is nice with Ayran.

Thursday 5 January 2012

Turkish Food, Australia

Having come back here has been very good with all my family adjusting to thier new lives.  We have met a few long term ex pat Turks and a couple of newcomers.  All seem to have only good things to say about thier adopted country. Eating Turkish food here has been another experience, all very delicous but if it is truely authentic I will let the true Turk foodies argue over the fine points.

Our local Turkish food supplier sells pide at the mall.  The owner of this establishment is very nice as are his staff one of which has been my oldest son for the past couple of years.  The taste of his pides is authentic but the pides themselves well I will just say I have never seen pides like this before in Turkey.

One of the lovely employees
Chicken, cheese and mushroom

If you come to this pide place you will enjoy delicous Turkish Pides served by a friendly staff.