Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Food and Blogging: The Turkish Edition

I asked several bloggers, to send me recipes; preferably easy to prepare, common ingredients, ethnic etc. In addition if I print the recipe, I'll plug your blog. Send recipes to me at the email address at my profile. I was going to print them all in one post, but I acquired too many. Political agreement doesn't matter. Atleast every month I'll continue this series. Leave comments about food, the blog, restaraunts etc. Everyone who sent recipes, will eventually have them published. I'm going in random order

Today we visit Turkish cuisine and blogging. One blogger lives in Turkey, moved to the US, and one who presents Kurdish/Turkish food.

Turkish Marxist/Laconian Mehmet Çagatay. He says about Batrik, I had spent my childhood in Mersin, a southern city of Turkey. There was a sort of salad (Batirik) that is uniqely belong to the region. That was my favorite food in these times


For 7 People:

1.5 cups of fine bulgur wheat
1 cup of warm water
1 Tbs sesame seeds
3Tbs tahini
1/2 cup olive oil
1 big onion, grated
1/2 Tbs salt
2 tsp cumin
1 Tbs pepper paste (could be found in Middle East stores)
1/2 bunch of mint and parsley
4 mid size tomatoes, peeled and chopped finely
4 scallions
3 anaheim peppers
2 pickling cucumber
2 leaves of lettuce
6 – 7 cups of cold water
Lemon juice, or pomegranate juice to taste

How to make it:

Put the bulgur in a deep dish and pour warm water over it. Let it soak
In a nonstick pan, fry sesame seeds finely and add tahini. When the mix becomes too thick, take it off the heat and add to the bulgur
While making sure all the ingredients are mixed well, add the grated onion, pepper paste, cumin, olive oil, salt and start kneading it. If necessary, add little amounts of water to help mixing
Add the peeled, chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce leaves and mix again
Add the cold water, to get a very think cold soup consistency
Add lemon or pomegranate juice to taste

Now to America via Turkey comes from one of my favorite bloggers recipes. Nevin presents carrot rolls (havuc kafte). She says, Here is a recipe that my kids grew up with. I have been very conscious about their eating habits ever since they were babies. I have always prepared "real" food and never taken them to fast food restaurants. I have a lot of great recipe's for kids especially.... :) (if you wish any more, I got tons up my sleeve)

This dish originated in the Ottoman Palace kitchens.. It is very typical of Istanbulian style of cooking. Not hot or overly spicy. Healthy and great for kids....

Havuc Kofte (Carrot rolls)

Serves 4 people:

- What do you need?

10 medium sized carrots, peeled and sliced
2 slices bread or bread crumbs
6 dried apricots, finely sliced
3-4 spring onions, finely sliced
2 tablespoons of pine nuts
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed (this is totally up to the cook, depending on how much you like garlic)
1 egg
finely chopped parsley and dill
salt and pepper
Few tablespoons of thick creamy yogurt

- How to prepare it?

Steam the carrots until soft. Drain well and put them in a large bowl. Mash with a fork...
Then add the bread crumbs dried apricots, spring onions, pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper, 1 egg, parsley and dill.

Tip: If there is unnecessary liquid in the mixture, add more breadcrumbs.

Mix everything together. The mixture should be moist and sticky.
Make small size oblong shapes.

On a separate flat surface, place some all purpose flour and dip the carrot rolls in it. (This may seem difficult as the mixture is so sticky, but once dipped in flour the "Kofte" are easy to handle) After dipping each carrot rolls in the flour, put them a side.

- Cooking?

Heat a thin layer of oil in a large frying pan and place the kofte in it. Roll them over to brown on all sides.
After cooking all sides, place them on a paper towel to get rid of unwanted oil.

Transfer to a serving dish and put a large spoon of creamy yogurt on top.

And now I return to Kurdish Turkish cuisine. Rastî presents Cacik--Cold Yogurt and Cucumber Soup. ,i>This soup is eaten all over Turkey, including the Kurdish Region. It's included with meals or is used as part of a meze selection, and it's wonderfully cooling on hot summer days.

Cacik--Cold Yogurt and Cucumber Soup

1/2 lb. cucumbers--preferably "Persian" cucumbers (available at Asian markets)
2 cups whole milk, whole fat yogurt--don't even think of using that nasty low-fat/no-fat kind
2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp fresh mint, finely chopped or 1 tsp dried
1/2 tsp fresh dill, finely chopped or 1/4 tsp dried
1 tsp salt or to taste
ice cubes

If you use regular cucumbers, peel and seed them, then coarsely grate. "Persian" cucumbers only need to be grated. In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt until smooth. Mix in the grated cucumber, vinegar, olive oil, mint, dill, and salt. If the yogurt seems thick, add a bit of water to thin it. Put the cacik in the refrigerator for a couple of hours until it is very cold. Serve in individual bowls, adding ice cubes for extra chill.

Alternately, mash one garlic clove and stir it in with the other ingredients. Leave the clove in the cacik while it chills, but remove it before serving. It will add just a hint of garlic flavor to the cacik.

Blogs Listed:
Mehmet Çagatay
The Nevin Politology



Memet Çagatay said...

The amazing thing is, I have completely forgotten that I sent you the recipe. (I suppose it was two years ago or so) Perhaps, your "Food and Blogging" series bound back when they are not expected. This might be a strange queue in which the participants forget they are a part of it. Anyway, isn't it exactly the joy of bureaucracy? Things don't come easy, but if they come, they are not the same thing anymore, elevated to the position of a blissful gift. Thank you very much.

Nevin said...

Ren, Thank you for your kind words and the link :) Pictures are wonderfully colorful and easy recipes to follow... I will try both Mehmet's and Rasti's food... They both look wonderful!

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

The Cacik looks awesome and reminds me a bit of Tzatziki.

Ducky's here said...

That carrot roll recipe looks real good.

jams o donnell said...

Ah now they all look delicious!

Frank Partisan said...

Keep sending recipes

Mehmet Çagatay: It's all timing. I was waiting for the best time.

Nevin: The carrot balls are popular.

DHG: Tzatziki is similar, but not an exact match. Cacik is a soup.

Ducky: I agree.

Jams: I agree.

Ardent said...

Ren, I cook a lot of Turkish food. The carrot Kofte looks good, I will try it. I think the Cacik will go really well with the Kofte.

As for the Batrik, it does not look too good. It does not look like a Turkish dish, my father would call it 'Arap Corbasi'. Any dish that looked questionable, he called 'Arab Soup'.:)

roman said...

I agree with Ardent. I hope the Batrik tastes better than it looks.
Also, does anyone still grate onions? Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes.

Frank Partisan said...

Keep sending recipes

Ardent: Thank you for visiting.
Arab Soup LOL.

Roman: Batrik is similar to tabouli salad.

dinoibo said...

Really trustworthy blog. Please keep updating with great posts like this one. I have booked marked your site and am about to email it to a few friends of mine that I know would enjoy reading
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