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Turkish Cuisine Recipes

by Terrie Wright Chrones

introduction  |  glossary  |  recipes  |  sources

Eggplant Salad (patlican salatasi)
Serves 4 as main dish, 6 as appetizer

This classic dish is famous -- charring adds a smoky flavor. In Arabic versions, tahini, sesame paste, is used.

3 large eggplants, unpeeled
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
salt to taste
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups plain yogurt

Pierce the eggplants with a fork. Place them in a dry iron skillet over a high burner or under the broiler. If you can cook over charcoal, even better. Turn them and continue cooking for half an hour until the skin is charred on all sides and the eggplant is soft. Place on a plate to cool. Cut the eggplant lengthwise, and scoop out the pulp, avoiding the skin. Squeeze out the excess moisture, and mash with a fork. In a large bowl or processor, place the eggplant, and other spices with yogurt. Blend until it is a puree. Place on a bowl and garnish with olive or tomato slices. Chill for 1/2 hour before serving. This will keep for several days.

Shepherd's Salad (choban salatasi)
serves 6

A classic Turkish salad, very refreshing. Have all the vegetables cut into similar sized dice. English cucumbers work best, remove seeds from the larger ones.

2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
3 small green peppers, wax peppers or other mild hot green pepper.
6 radishes thinly slices
1 white onion., sliced into rings, or three green onions white part only, sliced
1/2 C flat Italian parsley, finely chopped.

6 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix dressing and gently toss just before serving.

Lentil and Mint Soup (ezo gelin chorbasi)
serves 6

Red lentils are available in import markets of India or the Middle East. Dried mint, not fresh is used for the topping.

1 C red lentils, soaked in water for one hour and drained
8 C chicken stock
1 onion, grated
1/4 C rice or bulgar
2 T tomato paste, diluted in 1/4 cup cold water.
1/4 C butter
salt to taste
1 tsp. paprika
1 T dried mint

Place lentils, stock, onion, rice or bulgar, tomato paste, butter, and salt into a sauce pan. Cook stirring occasionally on very low heat until lentils are tender and soup is creamy. (about one hour or less) Add paprika and mint, and let soup simmer for 5 minutes before serving.

Lamb Casserole (kuzu guvec)
serves 6

1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed, cut into 3" lengths
3 large tomatoes, skinned and cut into wedges
1 medium eggplant, peeled, and slices crosswise
1/4 lb. okra (optional) tops trimmed
2 medium zucchini, slices
3 green bell peppers, seeded and cut into eighths
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T butter
2 lb. lamb, cut into one inch cubes
1/2 C water
2 bay leaves
2 medium potatoes sliced into 1/2" thick rings
salt and pepper
1 T butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute onions and garlic in butter in a large pot. Add meat, saute for 15 minutes. Add water and bay leaves. cover, simmer until the meat is tender. Transfer the meat mix into a casserole. Arrange potatoes in a layer on top of the meat then, place remaining vegetables in layers over the potatoes. Add salt and pepper, dot with butter, cover and bake in a medium 350 degree oven until vegetables are tender. Add hot water if necessary. Serve hot as a man course with pilaf and salad.

Cream Stuffed Apricots (kaymakli kuru kayisi)
serves 6

This is a simple and unusual dessert. Marscapone sweet cheese replaces the hard to find Turkish kaymak.

1 lb. dried apricots.
2 1/2 C sugar
3 C water
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 lb. heavy whipped cream or marscapone
3/4 C grated pistachio nuts

Soak apricots in cold water overnight and drain. Heat sugar and water together over medium heat for ten minutes, then add
apricots. Cook until apricots are tender and syrup is formed. Add lemon juice and remove from heat. With a perforated spoon. transfer apricots to a plate to cool. With a spoon, half open the apricots and fill the inside with the cream or cheese. Arrange the apricots, slit side up on a platter, pour over them as much syrup as they absorb. Garnish with the grated nuts.

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