Thursday, December 13, 2007

German Apple Pancake

This is a perfect dish for brunch and is very impressive to guests. It is easy to make, and the last bit is in the oven, which means that you don't have to stand over the stove. You have to make this in an oven proof pan - meaning one with a metal, not plastic, handle. If you don't have one, you could cook the apples first, as directed in step 3, and then put them into a preheated ovenproof pan (such as pyrex) and continue the recipe as directed. It tastes great with apples, but you could also try with nectarines or peaches. Pears will work if they are a hard variety, and bananas would be great too, but the texture would be different. Try it with other fruits and let me know in the comments! This "pancake" has a heavy egg content and does have an egg flavor, so it's probably not for you if you don't like the taste of eggs.

4 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons melted butter (or oil)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large apple, cored and sliced

  1. In a large bowl, blend eggs, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Mix in milk while stirring. Add vanilla and 2 Tablespoons of oil/melted butter. Let mixture stand 30 minutes or overnight.

  2. Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celcius (425 Fahrenheit).

  3. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a 10" oven-proof skillet and brush the butter up the sides of the pan. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of sugar and the cinnamon over the butter. Line the pan with apple slices. Sprinkle more sugar over the apples (1/4 to 1/2 cup). Cook over medium heat until the mixture bubbles.

  4. Gently pour batter over apples.

  5. Bake 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 190 C (375 F) and cook 10 more minutes.

  6. Keep your eye on the pancake after 15 minutes - it should be puffed up but not burning on top. If it starts to brown significantly, it is done and may not need the extra 10 minutes. Fan assisted ovens will require less time.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Çoban Salata (Shephard’s Salad)

diced tomatoes
cubes of “white cheese” (aka Feta)
cucumber, cubed
onion diced, optional
green pepper diced, optional
parsley, chopped
olive oil

Mix all ingredients together. Serve in a bowl. Alternately, serve on a bed of washed arugula.

Imam Bayildi (Cold Eggplant Dish)

There are different ways of presenting this dish, but the ingredients are always the same. The name means, in Turkish, "the imam fainted". Some stories claim that the imam fainted because the dish was so delicious, others claim that the imam fainted when he found out how much olive oil his wife had used to make it. Frying the eggplant is a bit of work, but you can prepare the other ingredients while it's frying so it actually does not take a huge amount of time to make. This is one of my favorite dishes...

3 long (“asian”) eggplants, or 1 large or 2 small globe eggplants
equal amount of diced tomatoes as you have uncooked eggplant
1 onion, diced large (about ½ to ¾ cup)
5 cloves of garlic, crushed slightly with the side of a knife, but not chopped.
Equal amount of diced tomatoes as you have uncooked eggplant. Can be peeled or unpeeled, seeds are ok. Canned diced tomatoes are NOT a good substitute in this recipe.
vegetable oil for frying
olive oil
green spicy pepper, optional
juice of half a lemon
chopped flat leaf parsley, for garnish

To prepare the eggplant: Peel stripes into the eggplant (don’t peel the whole thing, but leave some stripes of peel) and cut into either 1 to 2 inch cubes or 1-inch thick slices, if globe eggplant. If Asian eggplant, cut into 2-inch lengths. The shape is not too important. Place the eggplant pieces into a colander and sprinkle them with salt (try to get salt on all of the cut parts of the eggplant). Let the eggplant sit for at least half an hour. Rinse the eggplant and squeeze as much liquid out of each piece as you can without breaking the eggplant pieces. Dry each piece with a paper towel.

Fry eggplant in heated oil until brown. You will know the oil is hot enough if you press a bamboo chopstick into the bottom of the pan and small bubbles come up from it. When each piece is fried, take it out of the oil and let excess oil drip off. Place onto paper towel to drain.

For the rest of the recipe: Soften diced onion in some olive oil. Add garlic and tomatoes and stir. If you want to add a chile or pepper, chop into pieces the same size as the onion and add it now. Let these ingredients come to a simmer, then add fried eggplant and cover with boiling water (it should not be more than a cup of water, even less is ok). Add one or two teaspoons of salt, the juice of half a lemon, cover and simmer until the tomato has melted into a sauce.

Empty into a serving platter and cool. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Scrambled egg nests

I saw this recipe in the newspaper and thought it looked worth trying :) I'd just do plain scrambled or scrambled and cheese eggs, personally - maybe add some pieces of smoked salmon and capers on top? Lots of variations possible, I suppose. The cool idea is the shredded potato cups :)

In these easy and charming bites, shredded potatoes are baked in a muffin tin to form crunchy cups, which are then filled with scrambled eggs to make a festive finger food.
3 1/2 cup shredded potatoes
1/2 cup vegetable oil or butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup finely diced onions
1/3 cup finely diced bell peppers
1/3 cup diced cooked breakfast sausage
Shredded cheddar
Chopped parsley for garnish

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, toss together the potatoes, 1/4 cup of the oil or butter, salt and pepper. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the potato mixture into each cup of a 12-serving muffin tin. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of each cup, then bake until golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the nests from the oven and allow them to cool.

Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and milk. Heat a large nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the remaining oil or butter to the pan and heat. Add the onions and peppers to the pan and saute until both are soft and the onions are slightly golden, about two to three minutes. Add the sausage and cook until heated through. Add the egg mixture and stir until the eggs have set and small curds have formed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the potato nests from the muffin tin and place them on an ovenproof platter or cookie sheet. Fill each cup with some of the egg mixture, top with a sprinkling of the cheese, and place the nests in a 375-degree oven until the cheese is melted, about two to three minutes. If you like, garnish each nest with a little parsley.

Corn Bread Muffins

I'm originally from the south, and I love cornbread. Here's the best recipe I've found. I only have metal muffin tins and the muffins usually get stuck, but a friend has the silicone kind and I am definitely going to have to get some of those! These are really easy to whip up around dinnertime :)

1.5 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal (I used polenta - white or yellow, doesn't matter)
2/3 cup white sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (I used oil)
1 large egg
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400F (200C - or 180 with fan). Spray muffin tins with vegetable oil spray (I think this will make around 12 muffins).
In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl, mix oil, egg, milk, and vanilla extract.
Make a well in the center of dry igredients and pour in the mixed liquid. Stir lightly, just until blended. Don't overmix, or the muffins won't be tender.
Spoon the batter into muffin tins.
Bake in preheated oven 15-18 minutes, until the muffins have risen and are golden brown and springy to the touch.
Pop out of the tins and let cool a bit before serving.
Guten appetit! :)


4 egg whites
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pint heavy cream
6 kiwi, peeled and sliced
Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 9 inch circle on the parchment paper.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gradually add in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until thick and glossy. Overbeaten egg whites lose volume and deflate when folded into other ingredients. Be absolutely sure not a particle of grease or egg yolk gets into the whites. Gently fold in vanilla extract, lemon juice and cornstarch.
Spoon mixture inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper. Working from the center, spread mixture toward the outside edge, building edge slightly. This should leave a slight depression in the center.
Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack.
Remove the paper, and place meringue on a flat serving plate. Fill the center of the meringue with whipped cream, sweetened if desired. Top whipped cream with kiwifruit slices.


Everyone loves this recipe. You don't have to bother with the parsley oil, but it looks nice and tastes special.

4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
two 1-pound 3-ounce cans chick-peas, drained and rinsed (about 2 cups)
1 cup well stirred tahini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
4 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted lightly

In a food processor or with a hand blender, purée garlic with lemon juice, 1/4 cup of the oil, and 1/2 cup water, and the salt. Slowly add the chickpeas and 2 tablespoons of pine nuts, scraping down the sides, until the hummus is smooth and add salt to taste. Add water, if necessary, to thin the hummus to the desired consistency and transfer the hummus to a bowl. In the food processor, cleaned, purée the remaining 1/4 cup oil with the parsley until the oil is bright green and the parsley is minced transfer the parsley oil to a small jar. The hummus and the parsley oil may be made 3 days in advance and kept covered and chilled. Divide the hummus between shallow serving dishes and smooth the tops. Drizzle the hummus with the parsley oil and sprinkle it with the pine nuts. Serve the hummus with pita and carrots.

Fruit Pizza

Layer 1

Purchase one roll of Pillsbury sugar cookie dough (in the refrigerator - NOT
freezer - section.) Put it in the freezer for 20 minutes before using.
Slice the dough to medium thickness (about ¼ inch) and arrange cookie slices
on an ungreased pizza pan (you can use a disposable aluminum one). Make sure
the cookies are touching each other. Put that in a 300 degree oven until
cookies are done but not brown - about 15-20 minutes. Take out of oven and

Layer 2

8 oz cream cheese, softened by leaving out of the refrigerator one hour
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Cream together the ingredients.

Layer 3

Assorted fruit. Try to choose fruit for their colors. I like to use kiwis,
canned mandarin oranges, fresh strawberries, rasberries, blueberries. Other
good fruits to use might be mangoes, pineapple, nectarines, blackberries,

Layer 4

½ cup orange juice
1/8 cup lemon juice
1/8 cup water
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Mix together the sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan until well mixed. Add
liquids and stir until dissolved. Bring to a boil. Once liquid has boiled,
continue to boil for 1-2 minutes, until thickened.


Prepare layer 4, set aside. Prepare layer 1. While it is cooling, prepare
layer 2 and fruits. When layer 1 has cooled to room temperature, spread
layer 2 on layer one. Arrange fruits. Pour layer 4 over pizza slowly. You
may not need to use all of layer 4. Refrigerate fruit pizza at least one
hour before serving.


What you need: (you should be able to find everything at a regular grocery store)

9x13” glass baking dish
pastry brush or paint brush that has never been used for toxic materials

1 ¾ cup cold water
1 ¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1.5 cups walnuts or pistachios
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1 package filo dough

Heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Make the syrup. Combine the cold water with the sugar in a saucepan. Boil the mixture for 5 minutes, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. The syrup is ready when it is light yellow. Turn off the heat and stir the lemon juice into the syrup. Put the syrup aside and let it cool.

Make clarified butter: In a saucepan, slowly melt the butter. After a while, the white part of the butter will float to the top. Remove the white part and throw it away. The other part is called clarified butter.

Chop the walnuts and mix them in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Take the glass pan now and brush the inside of the pan all over with a little of the clarified butter. Now, open the filo dough and cut it in half (the short way). The sheets will now fit in the pan. Put one sheet in the pan. Brush it with a little more butter. Continue layering the dough and brushing with butter until half of the filo has been used. Filo dries VERY quickly, so work fast!

Now, spread the walnuts into the pan. Sprinkle a little water on them, so that the next layer of filo will stick to the walnuts.

Now, layer the rest of the filo dough with the butter as you did with the first half. When you have put the last sheet of filo, brush the top layer and edges with butter.
Using a sharp knife dipped in hot water, cut through the dough halfway (to the walnuts) making triangle-shaped pastries.

Put the baklava in the center of the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, lower the heat to 325 and bake for 30 more minutes, until the top is light golden. Remove the baklava from the oven and then let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Recut the pastries along the lines all the way to the bottom of the baking pan. Now, pour the cold syrup evenly over the cut lines. Sprinkle some more nuts on top of the baklava, if you want. Now, let it cool completely before serving.

Afiyet olsun!

Zucchini Bread

2 cups shredded raw zucchini
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts
Beat eggs, sugar, and oil together. Add flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and walnuts. Mix together by hand. Add drained zucchini. Mix well. Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake 1 hour at 350° F.

Soft Prezels & Bagels

2 tablespoons warm water, plus 1 1/3 cups warm water
1 package dry yeast
1/3 cup brown sugar
5 cups flour
1/2 cup baking soda
Kosher salt
Mustard, as an accompaniment
In a large mixing bowl, mix 2 tablespoons warm (110-115 degrees F) water with the yeast to dissolve it. Then stir in the remaining warm water and brown sugar. Place bowl on a mixer and using a dough hook, gradually add the flour and continue mixing until it forms a ball. You may not need to add all the flour – play it by ear. Turn it out onto a work surface and knead the dough to make it smooth. Use enough flour on your work surface so the dough is not sticky.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
Butter 2 sheet pans. Bring 2 quarts of water and the baking soda to boil in a large saucepan. Cut dough up into golf ball size pieces. Then roll them into 1/2-inch thick worms. Form a U then cross the ends, twisting at the middle. Fold the ends back down to meet the U (which is now an O) and press to secure the dough. (basically: make a pretzel shape). Drop it into the boiling water for 30 seconds then fish it out and place it on the greased sheet pan. Sprinkle with kosher salt, sesame seeds, or anything else you like. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown.
I served the non-salty ones with honey butter. YUMMY! You can freeze or refrigerate some of the dough for later use :)
Yield: 20 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Difficulty: Medium

To make bagels with the same dough:

Preheat oven to 425 F. Bring water with some salt (no baking soda) to a boil while you’re working with the dough. Form balls of dough a little smaller than the size of your fist and press down to make a shape like a bagel without a hole. Poke your finger into the middle of the dough, then spin it around your finger to form a hole in the bagel. The hole will shrink a little. Let bagels rise for about 5 minutes. Then put them into the boiling water and boil for a few minutes on each side. Remove bagels and place them on greased baking sheets. Add toppings while the bagels are still wet from having been boiled. Put bagels into preheated oven for 20- 30 minutes, or until golden. Enjoy them while they are hot or store in plastic bags (once cool) for up to 5 days.

Shirley’s B&B Whole Wheat Bread (quickbread – nonyeast)

My parents and I stayed at Shirley’s Bed & Breakfast on Vancouver Island years ago. I liked the bread that Miss Shirley served so much that I asked for the recipe. I never made it, because it needs buttermilk, bran, and whole wheat flour, things I don’t normally have. I recently read that one can often substitute yogurt (which I always have on hand) for buttermilk in recipes, so I decided to give it a try, and it worked. I hope you try this recipe, because even though it sounds like a lot of work, it’s not, and the result is a fantastic breakfast bread. It’s yummy (albeit a little less healthy) warmed up in the microwave with some butter slathered on it. Enjoy!

Makes: 2 loaves
Preparation time: 1.5 hours, start to finish

5 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup bran (I prefer oat bran, wheat bran also ok)
1 cup Sunny Boy or Red River cereal
(if you cannot find this cereal (which is usually with health foods or in the oatmeal section) you can substitute with 1/3 cup cracked wheat, 1/3 cup cracked rye, and 1/3 cup flax seeds. You can often find this combination in healthy grain hot cereals)
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking soda
¼ cup demerara or brown sugar
1 liter plain nonfat yogurt (about equal to 4.5 cups)
¾ cup milk, any type
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix all dry ingredients.
Stir in yogurt, milk, olive oil, and honey. Stir until moist, but do not over-stir. It will seem a little dry and tough – not stretchy like yeast bread, but not moist like banana bread.
Put the dough into two greased bread pans (regular loaf size).
Reduce oven to 325 F and bake one hour.
Then, turn off oven and keep oven door closed, and let bread sit in oven 15 more minutes.
Remove from oven and allow bread to sit on counter a few minutes before popping it out of the pans. Allow them to breathe upside-down for an hour or so before putting them in plastic bags, in the fridge, or slice them and put them in Tupperware.

Irmik Helvasi (Wheat dessert)

½ kilo (2 cups) irmik (semolina - old style (not instant) cream of wheat can be used)
2 cups milk or half milk half water, room temp or hot
Slightly less than 1 cup olive oil
2 cups sugar
A few spoonfuls of pine nuts

Stir irmik, oil, and pine nuts in a heavy pan (with a tight fitting lid – you’ll need it later) continually over medium heat until pine nuts are hazel in color. Then add the milk/water mixed with the sugar. It may splatter, so please be careful. Stir and cover. The irmik will absorb the liquid within around half an hour. Can be eaten warm, room temperature, or cold. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon to serve. For a slightly lighter dessert, use 3 cups of liquid rather than 2.

Zeytinyağı kereviz salatası (Celery Root Side Dish)

1 medium celery root
1 carrot, diced
3 tablespoons peas (optional)
½ onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar
dill, fresh parsley, to garnish

Sauté onion in olive oil in a large skillet. While it is softening, peel celery root with a sharp vegetable peeler, and cut off knobby ends, saving as much of the root as possible. Slice into 1/2" to 1” thick rounds and place rounds over olive oil. Add diced carrot, peas, a sprinkle of dill, the salt and sugar, the lemon juice and ½ cup of water and cover. Slowly simmer until celery root becomes soft. When root is soft (the texture should be like that of a boiled potato that you’re going to use for potato salad), place the rounds individually onto a plate, and top each one with the cooked carrots, peas, and onions. Garnish with a sprinkle of dill and fresh parsley, and serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Kısır (cracked wheat salad)

3 cups small cracked bulgur wheat, rinsed
6 cups water
1 onion, grated
Chopped tomatoes, to taste
6 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup chopped mint (optional)
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup chopped firm lettuce (such as romaine)
3 green onions, chopped

1 small green chile, chopped
Cumin, to taste
¾ cup olive oil
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Lemon, to taste
Salt, to taste

Preparation Instructions:

Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a saucepan with a tightly fitting lid. Add bulgur, stir once, cover tightly, and turn off the burner. Let sit until bulgur has absorbed water, at least ten minutes.

Put grated onion, tomato paste, chopped fresh parsley, chopped green onions, chopped green chile, cumin (start with about a half teaspoon), and a few sprinkles of cayenne pepper into a large mixing bowl. Stir a few times to mix.

Uncover the bulgur and fluff it up. Put hot bulgur into bowl and mix together with other ingredients. Add olive oil and salt (start with a teaspoon) and stir with a wooden spoon until mixed or knead with your hands to mix ingredients well. Taste for seasoning. Add oil if dry, tomato paste and/or cumin if bland. Add salt, to taste. When it tastes good, add tomatoes, mint, and lettuce, and stir. Serve on a bed of lettuce with fresh lemon squeezed on top.

Pogaça (savory pastries)

½ cup butter
1 lb. Feta cheese
½ cup olive oil
2 eggs
½ cup warm water
4 tbsp fresh or dried mint
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp oregano (to taste

1 egg, lightly beaten
Sesame seeds, as garnish

Cooking Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Make the filling: crumble the cheese in a bowl or mash it with a fork. Add the eggs and mint and mix well. Season with pepper, if desired.

Make the dough: melt the butter but don’t let it bubble. Remove it from the heat and add the oil and warm water. Gradually add the flour, mixing with a wooden spoon. The dough will be very soft and should not stick to the sides of the bowl.

Take a piece of dough and roll it into a ball about the size of a golf ball. Make balls of dough until you have used all the dough. To fill the dough, pat a ball into a thin round about 3” in diameter. Place a teaspoonful of filling in the center of each round and fold the round in half, forming a half-moon. Using the tines of a fork, seal the edges securely.
To bake, place the pastries on ungreased baking sheets and brush them with the beaten egg. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Etli yaprak sarması (grape leaves with meat stuffing)

Uncooked rice
Dried or fresh dill
Tomato paste
Dried mint
Ground turkey or beef
Salt & black pepper, to taste

As you notice, there are no measurements for this recipe. Add part meat and ¼ part rice. Now add dill and dried mint to taste ~ the mix should be scattered with both, as you would season spaghetti sauce. Add salt according to your personal preferences. Do not get bogged down in the measurements.

Now, pull up your sleeves and mix the vegetables, meat and rice together with your hands! The moisture from the vegetables and meat that is released as the dolma cook will be absorbed by the rice. Add about one inch of water to the bottom of the pan and to this add a few spoonfuls of tomato paste. Cover the pan and heat it on medium-low heat until the dolma are cooked ~ about half an hour. Serve hot with plain yogurt.

Sarma (Yalancı Yaprak Dolması)

1 (16 pz) jar grape leaves, drained

1 lemon, sliced


3 tbsp currants
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp virgin olive oil
1 tbsp dried dill (or 2 tbsp fresh)
3 tbsp pine nuts
1 tbsp dried mint
1 small onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 tsp tomato paste
1 tbsp sugar
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Cooking Instructions:

To make the stuffing, heat the olive oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, and cook the onions until partly soft, about 2 minutes. Add pine nuts and cook them about two minutes, until they are golden brown (watch that they don’t burn). Add the rice and give it a good stir. Now add the currants, sugar, cinnamon, tomato paste, and 2 cups hot water. Then put the mint, dill, and parsley. Stir the mixture, cover the pot, and turn off the heat. Do not remove the lid for 20 minutes, at which point the rice should have absorbed the water. Let the stuffing cool 30-40 minutes. When it has cooled, add a small amount of salt and black pepper.

To prepare the grape leaves, bring 2 quarts water to a boil, unroll the grape leaves, and place them in the boiling water for 2 minutes to soften the leaves and rid them of the brind. Using a slotted spoon, remove the leaves from the water and drape them over the edge of a colander to drain. With a sharp knife, cut out the small protruding stem from each leaf. Set the grape leaves aside.

To stuff: Put a grape leaf on a plate vein side up, and with the notche where you removed the stem closest to you, place one tablespoon of stuffing at the end of the leaf in a line about the size of a baby pre-peeled carrot. Fold the end nearest you over the filling, then fold both sides of the leaf over the filling. Roll up the leaves but not too tightly, because they could burst.

Line the bottom of a heavy saucepan with grape leaves. Place sarma parallel to each other in the bottom of the pan. Pour one cup of water into the pan. Line the top with lemon slices and weigh down with a heavy plate (one small enough to fit inside the pot). Cover the pot and on the stovetop over medium heat bring the liquid to a boil (about 5 minutes). Reduce the heat and let simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the sarmas are tender and the water has been absorbed.

Transfer to a serving dish and refrigerate. Serve chilled. Garnish with lemon wedges, tomatoes, and chopped parsley.

Sarımsaklı Patlıcan Salatası (Garliky Eggplant Dip)

2 eggplants
Lemon, to taste
Garlic, 2 cloves
Olive oil or butter
Salt, to taste

Cooking Instructions:

Roast eggplant in the oven on medium heat until deflated or over an open flame (grill or gas range). Peel eggplant while hot and put some lemon juice on it so that it doesn’t turn black. Add mashed garlic cloves and olive oil or butter, and salt, to taste. Mix and serve with pita bread.

Börülce Çorbası (Black Eyed Pea Soup)

½ onion, diced
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 tablespoon rice (uncooked, white)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup black eyed peas
Salt, to taste

Cooking Instructions:

Soak black eyed peas in cold water for 15 minutes to half an hour. Rinse and put in a saucepan with 8 cups of cold water and rice. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Boil until peas are almost cooked (about 15 to 20 minutes). It is very important to cook them in UNSALTED water. While they are cooking, soften diced onion in olive oil. When the onions are soft, add tomato paste and try to break it up with the back of the spoon. When the peas are almost cooked, take one cup of water from them and add it to the oil-tomato paste mixture. Add all of this back to the soup and season (it will need quite a bit of salt, for lack of stock).

Sütlaç (Rice pudding)

½ cup short-grain rice
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups water
Pinch of salt
4-1/4 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ cup heavy cream (optional)
Ground cinnamon
¾ cup sugar

In a medium-size saucepan over high heat, bring the rice to a boil in the water. Lower the heat, cover, and cook very gently for about 25 minutes, until the rice is tender and has absorbed the water. Stir in 4 cups of the milk, the cream (optional) and the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil. Meanwhile, dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining ¼ cup cold milk then gradually add it to the boiling rice mixture, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

Lower the heat to medium, add a pinch of salt and the vanilla extract, and simmer for about 15 minutes, uncovered, stirring frequently. Transfer the mixture to individual serving dishes (small bowls) and let it cool. Place in the refrigerator for several hours to chill the pudding. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and serve.
[1] Borrowed from The Sultan’s Kitchen cookbook, p. 146. (see references, page 1)

Türk kahvesi (Turkish coffee)

To correctly make Turkish coffee, you will need a special small pot called a cezve. Cezves come in various sizes – from a single serving to 5 servings. These can be found at some cooking stores in larger cities and at Middle Eastern markets. They can also be purchased from online Turkish groceries.

Coffee for two:
2 teaspoons Turkish grind coffee (pulverized)
2 espresso-cup sized cups of cold water
2 teaspoons sugar

Put cold water into cezve. Mix in coffee and sugar. Bring to a rising boil over medium heat, do not stir while it is brewing! When it is about to boil, pour some foam into each cup. Put the cezve back on the burner and bring to a boil. Pour remaining coffee equally into the two cups.


This yogurt drink is both refreshing and healthy ~ Americans are often unwilling to try yogurt that isn’t sweet, but be brave and give Ayran a try. After all, yogurt has 50% more calcium than milk! In addition, people with lactose intolerance are often able to eat (or drink!) yogurt because the cultures in yogurt digest the lactose. “Yogurt” is one of the few words in the English language that was borrowed from Turkish. The “g” in the word has an accent in Turkish (yoğurt) and is a silent “g”. It is thus pronounced /yo-urt/.

1 cup plain yogurt (lowfat, nonfat, or full fat all ok)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold water
Ice to serve (optional)
Blend together yogurt, water, and salt in a blender or with a hand blender. Serve with ice, if desired

Sigara boreği (cigarette-shaped pastries)

In Turkey, this snack is made from “yufka,” an unleavened soft flatbread that is somewhere between the consistency of fillo dough and flour tortillas. If you can’t get yufka, you can substitute Chinese eggroll wrappers, available in most grocery stores.

1 package eggroll wrappers
1 teaspoon dill, fresh or dried
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (buy it whole and crumble it yourself – pre-crumbled feta is expensive and the flavor is compromised)
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
Light olive oil, for frying

Water, to seal
rollIn a small bowl, mix cheese, egg, dill, and salt. Take an eggroll wrapper and put about ½ tablespoon of filling in one corner. It is not a lot of filling, don’t put too much or they will be hard to wrap. Wrap according to diagrams, using water to seal. Continue until you have used all of the filling. Fry in a small amount of oil until light brown in color. Remove from pan and place on paper towel to drain excess oil. Serve hot.

Karnabahar ezmesi (cauliflower salad)

1 package frozen cauliflower pieces or one head of cauliflower, cut into large pieces
3 cloves garlic, mashed or chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small container plain yogurt
½ teaspoon salt
Dried or fresh mint, for garnish
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Bread or melba toasts, for serving

Steam or boil the cauliflower until it is soft and easy to mash. Drain and cool slightly. Put cauliflower in a bowl and mash it. Add garlic, yogurt, and salt and mix until smooth. In a cool, small frying pan, add oil and tomato paste and mix together. Warm this mixture and pour over the top of the cauliflower. Sprinkle with mint to garnish.

Sarımsaklı havuç salatası (garlicky carrot salad)

This recipe is everyone's favorite. It is unbelievably simple to make, is healthy, and tastes great. Every time I've taught a Turkish Cooking class and asked what everyone's favorite dish was, this one wins it every time (and therefore gets taught every time).

10 carrots, grated or julienned
4 cloves garlic, mashed or chopped
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 small container plain yogurt
Bread or melba toasts, for serving

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan or wok. Add the carrots and about ½ teaspoon of salt and cook until carrots are soft. Do not brown the carrots!

You must continue stirring them occasionally as they cook so that they do not brown. While they are cooking, mix yogurt and garlic in a bowl. When carrots are soft, add them to the bowl with the yogurt-garlic mixture and stir until mixed. Serve warm or cold with bread.

Köfte (meat patties)

1 lb Ground beef or turkey (not reduced-fat)
½ cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
1 grated onion
1 teaspoon cumin
Olive oil, for cooking
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Cooking directions:

In a bowl, mix together all ingredients except oil. Mix them together with your hands, then form walnut-sized balls. Press down the balls to form patties. Sauté in a small amount of oil. Serve as a side dish or in a sandwich. You can also top them with freshly made tomato sauce.

Zeytinyağlı Barbunya (Pinto beans in olive oil)

2 cups dried pinto or cranberry beans
3 large cloves of garlic, smashed lightly so as to break slightly
Olive oil
1 potato, diced large
1 onion, chopped (not too small)
4 large tomatoes, diced or 1 small can unsalted tomato purée
1 carrot, sliced
Tomato paste

Chopped parsley, for serving

Cooking Instructions:

The night before: soak the beans in cold water overnight. Or, if you are going to make this at night, you can start to soak the beans in the morning. They should soak for at least 8 hours.

When the beans have soaked for at least 8 hours, drain and rinse them. Put them in a large pot with cold water, and bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat to a slow boil and cook until beans are cooked but not soft. They should not be mushy, just crushable. They will be cooked again, so we do not want them to be mushy. When they are ready, drain them and run cold water over them for a few seconds to stop the cooking.

In the same pot, heat half a cup of olive oil. Add onion and cook until softened. Now add tomatoes, carrot, potato, and garlic. Stir and cook one minute. Add beans. Add water to the level of the beans, add about a tablespoon of tomato paste, and stir. Bring to a slow boil and cook until potatoes are cooked through. Add salt to taste (approx 1-2 tablespoons is probably the right amount) and cool. Serve cold with chopped parsley on top and lemon wedges.

Mercimek Çorbası (Red Lentil Soup)

Mercimek Çorbası (Red Lentil Soup)

3 carrots, grated or julienned
1-2 Diced tomatoes or tomato purée
1 large or 2 medium onions, diced
Mint, dried or fresh
1 potato, grated or julienned
1 tablespoon cumin
3-4 tablespoons Olive oil
Dried hot chili peppers (optional)
4 lg. cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
Bay leaf
Tomato paste
Salt, to taste
1 cup red lentils

Cooking Instructions:

In a soup pot, heat 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is warm (but not smoking), add onions and carrots. Sauté until soft. Add one tablespoon of cumin (less, or none if you do not like cumin), and stir. Let this simmer for about half a minute, to release the flavor of the cumin. Add one and a half tablespoons of dried mint, or a large handful of chopped fresh mint and the garlic. Stir once more, and add diced tomatoes or a small can of tomato puree (without any added flavorings). Stir again. Now add the grated potato (a small handful of rice can be substituted) and about one cup of red lentils and stir. To this, add six cups of water. Stir in a tablespoon of tomato paste. Add one bay leaf and a couple of dried chili peppers (break them if you want the soup to be spicy). Simmer until the red lentils have become very soft or dissolved. Mix in one or two teaspoons of salt, to taste. Serve with fresh mint sprinkled on top, if desired.

Measurements are not at all important for this soup to come out well. The only thing to be sure of is that you have enough water for the lentils. If you add rice, also be sure not to add too much because it absorbs lots of water: this recipe is easier to make with a potato than with rice, but the rice makes it a complete protein. If you want to use both, you can, just keep your eye on the water. If the soup seems to be getting too thick, you can always add more water at any time.