All posts by Ms.Arugula

Turkish Coffee – (Turk Kahvesi)

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Turkish coffee is a kind of ritual for Turkish culture. Coffee means love, enjoying time.. It is not like to grab on the way to work. In Turkish culture, the translation of breakfast is ‘before coffee’. I love drinking coffee with my hubby, parents, brother or friends. The taste of the coffee is more delicious, pleasant when you drink with loved ones. The poet says that “Not the coffee, nor the coffeehouse is the longing of the soul, a friend is what the soul longs for, coffee is just the excuse”,  Turkish coffee is indispensable for me. 😉

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Turkish coffee is strong and flavorful. It is prepared in a small pot with coffee, sugar and water. I prefer to drink it without sugar. Before serving  the coffee, you are usually asked how you want to drink it. Usually there are 3 choices with sugar, less sugar or plain . If it is not asked, you will drink your coffee with a middling amount of sugar.

To prepare;

  • Small pot, known as ‘cezve’
  • 1 demitasse cup of water for each person (cold is better)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of Turkish coffee per cup
  • 1-2 teaspoons of sugar per serving (depending on how sweet you prefer)
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Stir the ingredients well with a teaspoon until coffee mixture becomes homogeneous. Then put the coffee pot on heating source. You don’t need to stir anymore. Your Turkish coffee should be foamy at the end.
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To obtain foamy coffee you should control the foam of the coffee because it will rise slowly in the beginning but be careful it’ll get faster afterward. Before it boils remove the pot from heat. Then divide 2 teaspoons of foam to each cup. It should be divided equally to each cup. Again put the pot on heat, repeat the rising of the foam once more then divide foam to cups. Lastly, pour the coffee slowly among the coffee cups.
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I also want to tell you that fortune telling is another fun reason after you had coffee. I missed the times we enjoyed with my friends by practicing fortune telling for fun.

Turkish Style Baked Rice Pudding-(Sutlac)

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Turkish cuisine has a variety of milk-based desserts. Baked rice pudding is one of the famous one in our cuisine. It is easily found in almost all Turkish restaurants and generally preferred by Turkish women to serve to their guests. Baked rice pudding is a light, delicious, and healthy dessert that served after a meal. The traditional bowl to serve baked rice pudding is clay cup. I was planning to bring these cups from Turkey, but I was lucky that I found it in US. It is easy to make baked rice pudding. There are two steps for baked rice pudding;

The pudding is first cooked on the stove, then the clay cups are baked in the oven until the tops are very brown.

Ingredients:

  • 1 liter whole milk
  • ½ cup uncooked rice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten

Method:

  • Wash the rice and place it in a large saucepan with enough water to cover it by about ½ inch. Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat. Let the rice simmer gently until the rice is soft.
  • Using a whisk, mix together the milk, sugar, corn starch, yolk and vanilla extract. Then add this mixture to the rice. Bring them to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it boil very gently for about ten minutes. Continue stirring the pudding until scalding.
  • When the pudding thickens, continue to stir and cook for about two minutes more. Remove from the heat and fill small, ovenproof dessert cups, clay cups or disposable aluminum pudding cups with the hot mixture.
  • Fill the tray with water about 1/2 inch then place  pudding cups. Bake them in a 360° F oven until the tops are nicely browned. Let the cups cool at room temperature then refrigerate them for several hours before serving.

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Semolina Porridge with Strawberry Sauce and Ladyfingers- (Cilek Soslu Kedi Dilli Irmik Tatlisi)

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I am back again with a delicious light strawberry dessert recipe. I was away from my blog for two months when I was in Turkey. My brother got married and I was pretty busy during that time. As you can guess I didn’t cook while I was in Turkey and I ate too much Turkish food 😉 Now I’m back to share my recipes. Also I will share some pictures my Turkey trip later. Keep checking here. 😉

Ingredients:

For Semolina Porridge

  • 7 cups of milk
  • 9 tbsps semolina
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 package of ladyfingers

For Wetting Ladyfingers:

  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3 tbsps white sugar
  • 10 pieces of pureed strawberries

Strawberry sauce:

  • 2 cups of strawberry pureed
  • 2 tbsps cornstarch
  • 3 tbsps white sugar

Method:

  • To prepare  semolina porridge, in a pot combine milk, semolina and sugar. Cook and stir until mixture thickens enough.
  • While cooking semolina porridge, in the mean time mix all wetting ingredients to soak ladyfingers.
  • Pour half of the semolina porridge into rectangular shape pyrex.
  • Then dip and wet each ladyfinger with wetting sauce. Make a layer with wet ladyfingers on semolina porridge. When you are done with ladyfingers pour remain semolina porridge on top.
  • Lastly, in a pot combine all sauce ingredients. Cook until it thickens. Then place on top of semolina porridge.
  • Cover the dessert with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight, before serving.

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Fresh Fruit Tart-(Meyveli Tart)

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If I plan to make a desert, tart is always at top. After a long time, I finally made tart with fresh strawberries. My husband loved it 🙂 This Fresh Fruit Tart recipe is not from a Turkish cuisine but I love it and it is pretty easy to make and delicious too. Especially great idea for summer parties with summer fruits. All kinds of fresh berries would be perfect for it. 

Ingredients:

  For tart dough:

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1+1/8 stick unsalted butter(room temperature)

  For filling:

  • 2 cups of milk 
  • 3 tbsps all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pack of vanilla powder (1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

  For topping:

Fresh strawberries or kiwi slices or blueberries, raspberries.

Method:

Make the tart dough: Preheat the oven to 360F. In a food processor, combine the confectioners’ sugar, flour, and butter, and process until the mixture forms a ball. To remove crust from pan easily, apply small amount of butter to pan surface then sprinkle approximately half tablespoon of flour on pan. With your fingers, press the dough into a 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, taking care to push the crust into the indentations in the sides. Pat until the crust is even. Bake until very lightly browned. Set aside to cool.

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Make the filling: 

In a small pot combine all filling ingredients use beater except butter. Cook and stir until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from heat, stir butter.

Before serving, top the tart with the strawberries, blueberries, or whatever you want 🙂

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Turkish Pastry-(Karakoy Pogacasi)

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I missed my elementary school days. When I came back home from school, there were always yummy scented Turkish pastries or cakes. Now, when I smell same I remember those days. This time I wanted to share with you one of my childhood Turkish pastry which is called pogaca in Turkish. You can make these pastries for your breakfast. Don’t expect to get puffy ones, these are crispy. For filling you can use what ever you want like feta with parsley, olive, potato, or ground beef. I will give you the recipe with feta and parsley.

Ingredients:

For dough:

  • 2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cups of oil
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 egg white (use yolk for top)
  • 1+1/4 tsps baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • All purpose flour

  For filling:

  • 1.5 cups cottage cheese / feta cheese crumbled
  • 5 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • nigella seeds to sprinkle on top

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Method:

  • Make the dough: Melt the butter and energetically whisk in sunflower oil, and 1egg white. Sieve in the flour (approximately 3 cups of flour), baking powder and salt. Mix enough for the ingredients to come together – the dough will be very soft and very buttery and kind of not-come-together-yet.

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  • Assemble the poğaça: Pre-heat the oven to 360F. In a mixing bowl combine crumbled cheese, parsley. Roll the dough into a 4 cm thick roll and cut into 1.5 cm wide pieces. Flatten a piece with your finger tips into a 5 cm wide circle. Place a teaspoon of filling into the middle of the circle. Fold the circle to cover the stuffing and form a half-moon and make sure it is perfectly sealed. Brush with egg, sprinkle with nigella seeds. Bake on the middle rack until golden. Serve when still warm. Image

Crepe Bundles with Chicken and Vegetables-(Tavuklu Krep Bohcasi)

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My student life is over, at least for a while. 😉 I have more time for myself to try new recipes. I realized that I haven’t shared any recipe with chicken. Since I cooked for my friends last night, It was a great opportunity to share another delicious and attractive recipe with you. I also made Gullac which is from Ottoman palace cuisine and served generally in Ramadan. So the next recipe will be Gullac.

Ingredients:

For Crepes:

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • salt

For filling:

  • 1 lb finely chopped chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsps oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup canned vegetables (peas and carrots)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Cumin

  For toping:(Bechamel Sauce)

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Shredded mozzarella for topping

Method:

  • For crepe, blend all ingredients  in a bowl. Force batter through a fine sieve into a bowl. Heat a dry 7- to 8-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot, then brush very lightly with some melted butter. Spoon about 2 tablespoons batter into skillet, tilting to coat bottom. (If batter sets before skillet is coated, reduce heat slightly for next crepe.) Cook until underside is lightly browned, 6 to 10 seconds, then loosen crepe with a spatula and flip. Cook until just cooked through, about 20 seconds, and transfer to a plate. Make 10 more crepes in same manner, brushing skillet with melted butter as needed and stacking crepes on plate.

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  • For filling, in a saucepan heat 2 tbsps oil and saute the chicken along with the salt and pepper, cook approximately 5-7 minutes.  Then add the onion, garlic and cook until the onions are translucent. Lastly add mushrooms, peas and carrots. Cook until mushrooms are tender. Remove the pan from heat.
  • For bechamel sauce, In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy color, about 6 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, blend milk with egg yolk then add to flour. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg, and set aside until ready to use.
  • Daub 1/2 tbsp bechamel sauce on a crepe then place approximately 2 tbsps filling mixture on it. Lift the edges to form a bundle and fasten with chive. Repeat with the other crepes.
  • Place all  bundles in a slightly oiled baking dish and split up the remaining bechamel sauce and mozzarella cheese on top of bundles. Bake in an oven preheated to 400F until mozzarella cheese melted.

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Red Lentil Balls-(Mercimek Kofte)

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I decided to make this delicious, hearty Red Lentil balls for my classmates. Tonight is my last class of MBA student life. I hope they like it and share thoughts about these lentil balls. 😉

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 cup fine bulgur(cracked wheat, very tiny one)
  •  1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper paste (not harissa), or a mix of puréed roasted hot and sweet red peppers
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch of finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 bunch of green onions, chopped
  • salt

Method:

  • In a small saucepan, combine the lentils, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are soft and have absorbed most of the water, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the bulgur and remove from the heat. Cover and set aside until the bulgur is very soft, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • In a small skillet over low heat, heat the oil and add the onion, sautéing until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato and pepper pastes and mix well. Remove from the heat and cool. Add cumin, crushed red pepper and black pepper. Season with salt to taste.
  • Add the onion mixture to the lentil mixture and toss to mix. Add parsley, mixing gently. With dampened hands, form the lentil mixture into oval walnut-size balls. Serve immediately, or cover lightly and refrigerate up to one hour.

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Turkish Taboulleh-(Kisir)

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According to the poll results, I decided to share Kisir recipe with you. Thank you for participating 😉 Kisir is  one of my favorite side dishes. It is similar to taboulleh but it is much spicier. I have made kisir many times for my international friends and also for street fair events. I haven’t met anyone from any culture, country who doesn’t not like Kisir 🙂 It is really easy, healthy, and delicious appetizer.

In Turkish culture, Kisir is essential of afternoon tea hour, especially for housewives. This bulghur salad makes me fell naughty, awake, and happy 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups cracked wheat (fine)
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, minced
  • 1/2 bunch of italian parsley, minced
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tbsp red pepper paste
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste (if you don’t have pepper paste, use 3 tbsp tomato paste)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • red pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cups of olive oil
  • boiling water(1-1/2 cups)

Method:

In a bowl, place cracked wheat along with enough boiling water to cover. Then cover bowl with plastic wrap. Leave to stand for 20 minutes. This is a good time to chop veggies if you haven’t done so already.

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Fluff the bulghur wheat with a fork to loosen and to remove any crumbles. If the wheat is crunchy add more boiling water, if required leave to stand a bit longer. If not, add tomato and pepper pastes, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, salt, cumin, and red pepper, and knead well with your hands until the bulghur mixture sticks together well.

Then mix in parsley, dill, green onion,  and olive oil. Cover with stretch film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

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Now, Turkish taboulleh is ready to eat. If you like sour, you can add more lemon juice and you can serve with romaine lettuce leaves.

Meatball and Vegetable Casserole-(Izmir Kofte)


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This is one of the famous dish which can be either cooked in the oven or on top of the stove. It is generally served with rice pilaf. This meatball recipe is different than Grilled Turkish Meatball recipe, because this time we add onion, egg and spices.

Ingredients:

  For the Meatballs:

  • 450 gr /1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 2 slices of stale bread, soaked in water and squeezed dry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 bunch finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

  For the casserole:

  • 1 lb medium potatoes, sliced
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 1 green bell pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 240 ml / 1 cup water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method:

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In a large bowl, mix all meatball ingredients and knead well till the mixture resembles a soft dough. With wet hands take a piece the size of a large walnut and roll into a large finger shape about 1 inch thick. Continue until all the mixture is used. Then create layers with the meatballs and the vegetables. (As you can see in the pictures I lightly fried potatoes but you don’t have to fry it.)

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In a small bowl, mix tomato paste, water and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Cover it with aluminum foil. Preheat the oven to 400F and bake it for about 30-35 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and the sauce has thickened.

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Turkish Bagel-(Simit)

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Because of living abroad, I’m certainly missing Turkish foods, especially street foods. I’m sure many of you also missing who are far away from homeland! Turkish bagel is the most popular snack at home, work, or school. You can have Turkish bagel for breakfast with a cup of tea, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese/cream cheese and olives.

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Turkish bagel is the fast food of Turkey. There are mobile stalls everywhere in every city, especially in Istanbul. There are also many Simit Houses all around the country, where you can have simit with various fillings such as olive paste, cream cheese, kasar cheese(similar to mozzarella).

Turkish bagel (Simit) was the only food that I missed a lot when I came to U.S. I don’t remember how many times I tried simit recipes at home. But finally I made my own recipe. I hope you enjoy with this recipe as much as I did.

Ingredients:

  • 500gr (3 1/4 cups) bread flour
  • 300ml (1 1/3cups) lukewarm water
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp yeast + 1/4 cup of lukewarm water
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 125ml (1/2 cup)  molasses, like syrup
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1-1/2 cups of sesame seeds

If you have a standing mixer or bread machine the dough is pretty easy to make. If you don’t, you’ll do some exercise kneading the dough, which is not a bad thing I suppose.

In a small bowl, mix the yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup lukewarm water. Stir well so the yeast dissolves. Let it rest for 15 minutes – it will become foamy.

For making the dough, Combine the flour and salt in a bowl, then add the yeast mixture and stir. Put the dough on the counter and knead 15 minutes, until it becomes very smooth. Don’t flour the counter to knead the dough! Then cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 7-8 even sized pieces. Combine the molasses with 1cup water and 1tbsp flour in a large bowl. Place the sesame seeds on a large plate.

Working with one piece of dough at a time, use your hands to roll the dough out to make 40 cm (16″) long ropes. Fold in half so two ends align, then lift off the board and use your hands to twist each rectangle into a two stranded “rope”. Place back on the work surface and join the ends together to make a circle, pressing the ends firmly together to seal. Repeat with the remaining dough to make circles.

Preheat the oven to 460F and line a large size baking tray with baking paper. Dip each ring, first into the molasses mixture, immersing completely to coat, then drain well and toss in the sesame seeds, turning gently to coat. Transfer to the prepared tray and set aside at room temperature for about 10 minutes, to puff slightly. Spray some cold water on the sesame rings and the walls of oven using a spray bottle, then place the two trays on the second rack of the oven side by side.  Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until deep golden and cooked through.

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Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Simit are best eaten on the day of making but will keep, frozen in an airtight container, for up to 3-4 weeks.

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