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Turkish Foods & Cuisine

 Turkish Foods & Cuisine

Coban Salatasi Turkish Cuisine (Turkish: Türk Mutfağı) is mainly the heritage of Ottoman Cuisine, which can be described as a fusion and refinement of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. Turkish cuisine has in turn influenced those and other neighbouring cuisines, including that of western Europe. The Ottomans combined various culinary traditions with influences from Middle Eastern Cuisines, along with traditional Turkic elements from Central Asia - such as yogurt, creating a vast array of specialities - many with strong regional associations. Turkish cuisine varies across the country. The cooking of Istanbul, Bursa, Izmir, and rest of the Aegean region inherits many elements of Ottoman Court Cuisine, with a lighter use of spices, a preference for rice over bulger, and a wider use of seafoods. The cuisine of the Black Sea Region uses fish extensively, especially the Black Sea anchovy (Turkish: hamsi) has been influenced by Balkan and Slavic Cuisine, and includes maize dishes. The cuisine of the southeast—Urfa, Gaziantep and Adana is famous for its kebabs, mezes and dough-based desserts such as baklava, kadayıf and künefe. Especially in the western parts of Turkey, where olive trees grow abundantly, olive oil is the major type of oil used for cooking. The cuisines of the Aegean, Marmara and Mediterranean regions are rich in vegetables, herbs, and fish. Central Anatolia has famous specialties such as keşkek, mantı and gözleme. A specialty's name sometimes includes that of a city or region, either in or outside of Turkey, and may refer to the specific technique or ingredients used in that area. For example, the difference between Urfa Kebab and Adana Kebab is the thickness of the skewer and the amount of hot pepper that the kebab contains. Urfa Kebab is less spicy and thicker than Adana Kebab.

Below are recipes for a few of the more popular foods found in restaurants in holiday resort destinations.

Adana Kebap

    Ingredients:
  • 500 gr lean ground mutton
  • 100 gr fat from lamb tail, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped or 1 tbspfull red pepper paste
  • 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • Salt to taste


Mix all the ingredients together with your hands. Make a fist-sized ball and skewer it. Squeeze it on the skewer so that it thins and lengthens to acquire the shape shown in the picture. Cook on a grill. You can also barbeque tomatoes and green peppers on the side.

Serve with pita bread. Adana Kebab will taste better if you prepare the meat in advance and keep it refrigerated overnight.

Kofte

    Ingredients:
  • 500 gr regular ground beef
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 onion, grated
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Mix all the ingredients using your hands. Give a round, hamburger shape as shown in the picture. Grill or fry in the pan with some sunflower oil. Makes 8 medium-sized kofte. Try serving with french fries, grilled hot peppers and slaw.

Kofte


    Dough Ingredients:
  • 7 gr active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 + 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil + 1 tsp olive oil

    Topping:
  • 250 gr lean ground beef
  • 1 tomato, peeled, diced
  • 1 tbsp red pepper paste, hot
  • 3-4 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • Pepper
  • 1 cubanelle pepper, discard the seeds, slice in 1/8's

    Glaze:
  • 1 tbsp yogurt mixed with 2 tbsp water
In a small bowl, mix the yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup warm water. Stir well so the yeast dissolves. Let it rest for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl sift the flour and salt. Add in the bubbly yeast mixture, 3/4 cup warm water and olive oil. Mix and place the dough on the lightly floured counter. Knead well for about 10 minutes until it becomes smooth (no more crumbles). Then spread 1 tsp of olive oil inside a clean bowl. Place the dough inside and turn it upside down to spread the olive oil all over the surface. Then cover it with a clean, damp towel. Put aside for about an hour at room temperature until the dough rises to double its size.

Place the dough on the lightly floured counter. Press all over with your hands to get rid of any air bubbles. Cut the dough in 4 pieces with a knife. Knead and give a ball shape to each, cover with a damp towel, and put aside for about 15 minutes. Use your hands to flatten and then use a roller give a long oval shape each one. Place the mixed ground beef all over the top. Then arrange 2 slices of pepper on top. Fold the long sides towards the inside, then twist the ends to give a boat shape.

Place the parchment paper on an oven tray, then arrange the dough on top. Brush some yogurt mixture along the edges.

Preheat the oven to 500 F (250 C). Place the tray on the middle rack and bake for about 15 minutes. Immediately brush butter or olive oil on the edges.

Serve with parsley, red or white onion, sumac or lemon wedges.

Makes 4 Turkish Ground Beef Pide.

Doner Kebap

    Ingredients:
  • boned Lamb or Chicken
  • tomatoes
  • onions
  • peppers
  • salt to taste
The meat used for döner in Turkey is mostly lamb, but the chicken variant has also made its way in the very large Turkish street food milieu.

There are many ways of preparing the meat for doner kebabs, but the more common and authentic method is to stack marinated slices of lean lamb meat onto a vertical skewer in the shape of an inverted cone. The meat is cooked by charcoal, wood, electric, or gas burners. The döner stack is topped with fat (mostly tail fat), that drips along the meat stack when heated. At times, tomatoes, and onions are placed at the top of the stack to also drip juices over the meat, keeping it moist. In Turkey, most restaurants prepare their doner early in the morning, and serve the last portion by the end of the afternoon.

The cooked meat is then wrapped in a flour tortilla or inside Pita bread - your choice. Add sliced tomatoe, chopped onions, and hot peppers. Salt to taste.

Etli Biber Dolmasi

    Ingredients:
  • 500 gr. green peppers (suitable for stuffing)
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 1/2 cup water
    Filling:
  • 400 gr. ground meat (without any fat)
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1/3 glass rice
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 bunch chopped dill
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Cut off the stalks and tops of appoximately 12 peppers to form a lid and remove all seeds. Clean and wash the insides of the peppers and leave aside. Put margarine and thinly sliced onions in a pan and saute until the colour of the onions changes. Add ¾ glass water and previously washed rice, and cover. Cook over moderate heat for about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from heat, add the ground meat, chopped dill, black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt and knead for about 5 minutes. Peel the tomatoes, cut them into small pieces, add to the mixture and mix them all ingredients together. Stuff the peppers with this mixture, replace the lids of peppers and place in a pan. Add 2 tablespoons margarine, 2 teaspoons of salt and 3/4 cup of water, close the lid of the pan and cook for about 40-60 minutes on stove on moderate heat, put into a serving dish and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Coban Salatasi

    Ingredients:
  • 5 medium tomatoes
  • 2 small onions
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • white goat cheese
  • Salt to taste


Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Crumble white cheese to taste and use a lemon and olive oil dressing over the top. Be sure to include finely diced fresh garlic in the dressing.

Serve with pita bread.

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