Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Turkish Home Cooking in Bodrum: Making your own Yoghurt

Turkish Home Cooking in Bodrum: Making your own Yoghurt: Did you know that "Yoghurt" is a Turkish word ? Historians say that yoghurt was first made by Turkish Nomads in Central Asia a...

Making your own Yoghurt

Did you know that "Yoghurt" is a Turkish word ? Historians say that yoghurt was first made by Turkish Nomads in Central Asia around 800 BC. Ever since it is in our diet and is the most liked and used sauce over food, or eaten as it is or drink as Ayran(salty yoghurt drink).  When the western world found out about yoghurt, they started eating yoghurt mostly with sugary stuff to make it sweet. In Turkish diet yoghurt is savory in most cases, we do have some desert made with yoghurt but not as much. In this post I am sharing on how you can make your own yoghurt at home. It is very healthy for your body and making your own yoghurt is even better, my grandmother died at 100 years old and she would eat yoghurt everyday in her life :)

To make your own yoghurt first you need to find good daily milk, preferably raw and a good quality yoghurt to use as a starter. It is always much better to use a clay pot, but if you don't have it pyrex pots are also working. You will need a big towel to cover up the pot.

Ingredients ;
1 Liter of Milk
2 tea spoons of Yoghurt

Directions ;

Bring the milk to boiling point on a high heat stove, when it starts boiling than reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes ( if you want a thicker yoghurt you can go up to 45 minutes ) Than pour the milk into clay pot or pots. While it is cooling take your yoghurt out from the fridge bring it to room temperature. When the boiled milk comes down to about 40 degree's Celcius that is the time you will put the yoghurt in, the practical and old fashioned way to understand if the the milk is at right temperature is to clean up your hands and put your 5th finger in milk and see if it is not burning your hand but still warmer than your body temperature. When the milk is at right temperature, mix a small amount of milk with the yoghurt in a small glass make sure it is smooth, than mix it with the milk in the pot or pots with a spoon. The tip here is to keep the clay pots to stay, you should not move the pots after the yoghurt is mixed in the pot. Than cover the pots with a towel or something that would keep the heat in there and let it stay an overnight. In the morning take your pots into the fridge and let it cool for several hours than you can use your yoghurt as you like. Once you have made your yoghurt always keep a small amount to keep your yeast for yoghurt alive.

If you like yoghurt to be thick like the Greek Yoghurt, than sieve your yoghurt in a cheese cloth, but never throw away the liquid you can always use it in soups, it is very healthy and tasty.
Bon apetite !

Monday, October 9, 2017

Bodrum Style Fig and Pommogranate Pavlova

Not a Turkish recipe this time :)
When I was asked by the "Russian Cultural Day's" organizers to do a cooking show at the organisations. I thought this was a challange. I am neither Russian, nor a chef who knows Russian Cuisine but I am very nostalgic about the great Russian Restaurant in Istanbul "Rejans". It was a very interesting place in Beyoğlu ( Pera), run by a Russian said to be noble family. At first my grandfather used to take me there, than it was my favorite place for many years until day closed down. I hear now it is reopened but I am scared loose my found memories to try. I remember some favorites in the menü,  Chicken Kievsky and Duck a'la orange as main course, the cucumber pickles were priceless and a desert I can not forget was Pavlova. It took me years and many unsuccesful attempts to cook these special dishes. Since I am going to do the show on a stage with no kitchen utencills to make the kievsky and the duck.  I decided on a Pavlova, Bodrum Style. So this is the recipe I will be doing on October 14th at 4pm at the Bodrum Denizciler Kahvesi area ;

Bodrum Style Fig and Pommogranate Pavlova 

For the Meringue

  • 4 egg whites
  • 250g sugar
  • 1 tsp apple vinegar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • For the Topping
  • 250 gr Cream
  • 100 gr Thick Yoghurt (süzme or greek)
  • 4 tbs sugar
  • 4 tbs Mandalin Jam or Honey or Mapple Syrup
  • 6 Figgs and some pommogranates to decorate
  • Directions ;
  • Whip the egg whites with a hand blender until they are stiff, than start adding sugar in small amounts at each addition (1tbs each time) when all the sugar is added add vinegar, cornflour and vanilla extract. Line oven tray with baking paper and draw a circle (28cm) in the middle. Place the meringue in the circle and make a crater in the middle. Than cook it in preheated oven at 130 C for one hour. Do not take the meringue from the oven until it has cooled down. 
  • For the topping whip cream with sugar until it is stiff than and the yoghurt. Place this mixture on the crater of the meringue and top it with fresh figs and pommogranate, on top of drizzle the mandalin Jam.
  • Bon Apetit !  Afiyet Olsun !

Monday, August 8, 2016

Cook Colorful feel better

This is a food blog and I love sharing my recipes with the world. This time I need to say a few words about how we all feel at these strange and frustrating times. Most of us are in a state of unconsciousness, like you have taken stress pills or like the aftermath of an operation where you feel dizzy and can not really understand what is going around you, we want to wake up and go on with our lives but that does not happen. Since june last year nothing has been normal in this country. Many young men have been killed at fights with ISIS or PKK at our south eastern border, it almost became normal to listen to the news to hear more soldiers dying everyday, than the terrorist attacks in our major cities many more young people dying, and finally the unsuccessful coup that has terrorised our minds. So many conspiracy theories flying around we are trying to fish the reasonable ones to keep our sanity. What more, in Bodrum where we are you can not recognize any unease people are still on the beaches as if nothing is happening in the country, makes you sometimes think this all is imagination. Above all no more cruise lines visiting our harbours, no tourists taking any tours or cooking courses and having no income to hope for surviving and a better future for our children brings us to the borders of depression.

Could not put myself together to write another recipe since March but here I am and think cooking and cooking colorful make us all feel much better so here it goes, a classic Turkish Recipe called Imam Bayildi with a twist ;

Ingredients ;
1 red , 1 yellow, 1 green bell pepper all sliced thinly
1 carrot sliced thinly
1 onion sliced thinly
1 dried persimmon ( you can use any dry fruit like appricots, prunes etc)
10 small eggplants
7 - 8 wallnuts
1 spoon redwine vinigar
1/2 cup olive oil to fry the eggplants
1 bowl of water with 1 lemon sliced in it and 1 table spoon salt take away the bitterness of the eggplants.

Directions ;
Take the skin of the eggplants in stripes, and make a slit as shown on the picture below, make sure you do not cut all the way you will need to make small boats to fill in the stuffing. Place all the eggplants in the bowl with lemon and salt let is stay until you prepare the stuffing.

For the stuffing put 2 spoon fulls of olive oil in the pan stir fry all the vegetables, add persimmon and walnuts and add vinigar remove from heat.
Dry the eggplants with a kitchen towel and fry them with the rest of the olive oil. Once they are fried open up their bellies as on the above picture.  Place the eggplants in a pyrex pan than fill in the stuffing we made earlier.

 Add 1/2 cup of water and bake for 25 minutes at 180 C
Serve together with other Turkish Mezze.
Bon Apetit !

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Oven roasted Baby Zucchini's

 When these baby zucchinis arrive at the markets, this is a must do. If you ever grow zucchinis in your garden you know, how good the crop can be you, you would not know what to do with them.
Well this is one good way to cook them easy and super delicious.

Ingredients ;
6 baby Zucchinis
6 sticks of mozeralla or feta cheese
2 cloves of garlic crushed
paprika, nigella seeds, oregano
1/6 cup of olive oil

 Mix olive oil and the herbs some salt and black pepper, spare a small amount and use the rest to cover the cheese, let the cheese stay in this mixture for one hour  .
Cut the zucchinis as shown in the pictures, make sure you do not cut the zucchini to the end you need to leave a small space at the bottom to make sure they to do not fall apart. Than rub the zucchinis with the olive oil mixture but add a little bit more salt before you rub them. Let these wait an hour too. After one hour line your oven tray with baking paper, stuff the cheese in the zucchinis, cook at 180 C (350 F) for about 15 minutes. We like them a little cruchie if you like to have a soft texture than you will need to cook for 30 minutes.
Bon Apetite !  Afiyet olsun !

Monday, January 25, 2016

Quince in Olive Oil

In Turkey, we love cooking with Quince. Most popular in Turkish Cuisine is a delicous dessert served with clotted cream or it can be cooked in a clay pot with lamb a mind blowing main course. Apart from these most popular dishes thinly sliced quince is a side snack to drink raki ( in Greece it is Ouzo, in Lebanon it is Araq, in France it becomes Pernot ) With my back ground, from the western part of Turkey where we eat everything with olive oil, I created this recipe which became one of the most populars in our restaurant, Quince in olive oil with Raki !

Ingredients ;
4 Quince's chopped into bite size squares ( approx 1,5 kg), tossed in water with 1 spoon flour and 1 sliced lemon
1 big or 2 small onions sliced very thin
1 table spoon sugar
1/2 cup chopped fresh fennel
1 spoon raki or ouzo or pernot
1/3 cup olive oil

Directions :
Fry the onions with sugar in olive oil, when they start to turn their color, add the sieved quince to the mixture and stir. When it starts brizzling again than add 2 spoons from the water you have taken the quinces out. Few minutes later add the raki cook for another 5 minutes and add the fennel close the lid and cook for another 5 minutes. Let it cool and serve.

Afiyet Olsun ( Bon Apetite !)

* Special thanks to Shelley Tepperman for the pictures

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Milky puff Boreks

I have been a lazy cook book author to be, this winter. My recipes had to wait, many family affairs going on when your parents get older but the best thing was our first grand doughter arrived in November could not help knitting for a baby girl after 3 boys.

Recipe for Milky Puff Böreks

Ingredients ;
4 Yufka's ( Filo's about 1 kg ) devided into 6 big triangles.
1 cup milk
1 spoon baking powder
1/2 cup feta cheese mashed
1/2 cup ricotta
1 bunch of parsley chopped
1/2 bunch of dill chopped 
1 egg for the stuffing
1 egg for the batter
1/4 cup sunflower oil
Mix the two cheeses together, add parsley and dill and whip the egg into the cheese mixture and the baking powder.
Prepare the batter add the egg to the milk whip, and add oil salt and pepper.
On each triangle pieces of filo put the cheese mixture at the bottom of the triangle like you are rolling cigars, than from one end roll them into a rose. Put these roses in a greased pyrex pan and add the batter, put all of them into the fridege for minimum 1 hour. 
 Line a oven tray with baking paper and take the roses out of the milk batter and line them into the tray sprinkle with black sesamee or poppy seeds or sesame and bake in the oven until they are golden brown for about 20 minutes.
Bon apetite, Afiyet olsun.