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Turkish food tomorrow

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Frank Deis

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Turkish food tomorrow

by Frank Deis » Sat May 25, 2013 12:41 am

I've gotten interested enough in Turkish food that I've bought some Turkish language CD's for the car, and am thinking of maybe a trip there next year. At any rate tomorrow night our neighbors will be making lamb kebabs and I think Brik (brique?) which is Tunisian -- egg and tuna in a turnover.

I will be making the zucchini salad on page 70 of "Plenty" -- and I have added the "burned" eggplant puree that is part of the dish Hünkar Begendi, and Turkish green beans (which are more or less the same as Greek green beans, everything Turkish seems to have a Greek equivalent). I have asked Louise to make her famous hummus, and a dessert that involves kataifi.

If you have never used kataifi, it is weird stuff, phyllo dough cut up into the texture of hair. And one thing you can do with it is just make a "hairy" baklava. But we are making Küneife, knefa, kanaif, whatever. Briefly, imagine a pie. The bottom "crust" is this hairy stuff doused with butter and cooked golden brown in a hot oven. Top crust, ditto. The "filling" is some kind of cheese or milk layer. You chop pistachios on top, and as you serve, people pour syrup over the top. It is especially delicious in Antakya which used to be Antioch in SW Turkey.

Pulled out some nice wine from the cellar too...
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Re: Turkish food tomorrow

by Jenise » Sat May 25, 2013 12:06 pm

Very cool! Regarding Brik, I'm somewhat familiar with Armenian food which is essentially the same as Turkish food, and the turnovers you refer to, regardless of filling, they pronounce "BOR-ek", two syllables. I've also seen it spelled with a 'g' on the end, also--there seems to be no one right way to get the word from their language to ours, and I'm sure regional accents produce variations. Anyway, I love that kind of food! Would make a cool topic for our supper club, too.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Turkish food tomorrow

by Frank Deis » Sat May 25, 2013 2:33 pm

I don't have control over the Brik - Börek and in fact I hadn't thought about the possibility that those were the same dish. Thanks, I will have to look into that. Our friends, who did the initial design for the dinner, love to cook Brik because they trained for the Peace Corps in Tunisia. And it's practically the national dish there.

Louise hates it when I burn eggplants, actually I had to do 2 dangerous things and I did them both this morning. I had to burn eggplants and I had to "stripe" zucchini slices on a grill pan. Both of these cause some smoke, you have to get things really hot, and Louise doesn't like the smells, the smoke alarm going off, etc. And I hear about it at some length from her. Maybe I can modify the technique and do those steps out on the Weber. But for the zucchini salad I toasted some hazelnuts in the oven (this is Plenty, page 70). Gee whiz, I don't think I have ever had a freshly toasted hazelnut. The hazelnut flavors in commercial desserts, even nutella, are always so stale or borderline rancid that I really have not been able to understand why the Europeans are so fond of them. Today, I understand, wow this is great and I am going to be looking for excuses to do more hazelnut recipes. Especially since we bought some hazelnut oil to redouble the flavor. Thanks Costco for selling hazelnuts!!
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Re: Turkish food tomorrow

by Karen/NoCA » Sat May 25, 2013 5:45 pm

You may be interested in a beautiful book by Greg and Lucy Malouf, "Turquoise, a chef's travels in Turkey". It is coffee table size, has beautiful photography, lots of recipes, and takes you to many places; Istanbul, Bosphorus, underground cities, Aegean coast, Pergamum, Silk Road, Gaziantep, and much more...lots of food photos too.

Here is a recipe from the book that I do a lot with summer tomatoes.

Partly dried tomatoes with pomegranate.

4 1/2 pounds small vine ripened Roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
3 ounces evoo
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 120°. Place tomatoes, cut side up on metal racks fitted into baking trays. Whisk together the oil and pomegranate molasses and lightly brush each tomato. Sprinkle salt nd pepper and bake for 5 hours until the tomatoes have shrunk and shriveled. Remove from oven and leave on rack to cool. Arrange the cooled tomatoes in layers in a shallow container separating each layer with greaseproof paper. They will keep in the refer for up to 10 days.
Makes 2 1/4 pounds
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Re: Turkish food tomorrow

by Rahsaan » Sat May 25, 2013 7:09 pm

Frank Deis wrote:I had to burn eggplants and I had to "stripe" zucchini slices on a grill pan. Both of these cause some smoke, you have to get things really hot, and Louise doesn't like the smells, the smoke alarm going off, etc. And I hear about it at some length from her.


My wife also doesn't like any evidence of 'burn' on food, although in her case she swears its because of negative heath effects (carcinogens?)

Otherwise, the meal sounds great.
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Re: Turkish food tomorrow

by Frank Deis » Sun May 26, 2013 1:00 am

My neighbors dropped the "brik" idea -- and marinated their lamb in pomegranate, and made some fabulous Naan on the grill.

So it really was a mostly Turkish meal. The recipes in "Plenty" and "Jerusalem" owe a certain amount to the Ottoman past, Jerusalem was part of the Ottoman empire for several centuries, and a lot of eggplants get burned there. Trying out my Pimsleur Turkish I talked to the lady on the corner -- they are Sephardic Jews, and she was born in Istanbul. After she complimented me on my accent (I know about 8 words in Turkish at this point but I say them well) we talked about food and she said "we eat that sort of food every night!" She was giving me tips on cooking tomatoes and onions together before adding the string beans etc.

@Karen/NoCa, thank you for the suggestion. I am familiar with the name Malouf, I think it's a Lebanese Christian name. A lot of Christian Arabs in my area have started car dealerships, and I know we have a "Malouf Buick" or something. I will certainly look up Turquoise on Amazon.

Rahsaan, that doesn't entirely surprise me, I have run into that attitude before. A good "wine" friend, Flemish, lectured me when I visited him and talked about some smoked cheese (or something smoked) that I had enjoyed. He said eating smoked foods would eventually cause cancer. On the one hand as a Biochemist I have an intimate inside knowledge of why those arguments make sense. On the other hand, being at an age where I arguably have one foot in the grave anyway, I am a little hard to convince not to eat something delicious because it might kill me in 40 years.
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Re: Turkish food tomorrow

by Frank Deis » Sun May 26, 2013 1:15 am

Since I posted it I might as well put a copy here. Dessert tonight was Küneife, a very popular Turkish dessert. I have a question -- how many people here have used Kataifi, and what did you use it for??

Click the link for more information, and a picture, click the link.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/03/magaz ... .html?_r=0


kuneife.jpg
(137.3 KiB) Downloaded 1547 times
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Re: Turkish food tomorrow

by Jenise » Wed May 29, 2013 8:51 pm

Frank Deis wrote:I don't have control over the Brik - Börek and in fact I hadn't thought about the possibility that those were the same dish. Thanks, I will have to look into that. Our friends, who did the initial design for the dinner, love to cook Brik because they trained for the Peace Corps in Tunisia. And it's practically the national dish there.


I have run into the coincidence before, most recently when planning my contributions to a Morroccan meal with our supper club. In Morrocco, they call a filled pastry a Briouat, and while considering that I googled for various possibilities. I found various spellings as well as various recipes that seemed to claim that their version, whether rolled up in a log shape like a Chinese egg roll and stuffed with shrimp or triangular and filled with ground meat like an Indian samosa, was THE Briouat. One of the latter, btw, called theirs a Kefta Briouat, another word with various spellings that you would recognize from Turkish cuisine (as I recognize it in Armenian).
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Turkish food tomorrow

by Frank Deis » Wed May 29, 2013 9:44 pm

Köfte in Turkis, Keftades in Greek -- Koubideh in Persian. Basically seems to mean chopped meat, "meatballs" or chopped meat kebab.

In Persian cooking for some reason they use a sort of sword as the skewer for Koubideh or Kofte Kebab. Keeps the meat from rotating on the skewer.

It's a little funny considering the huge animosity between Greeks and Turks that their food is 90% the same but with different names!

And Middle Eastern food is pretty much the same from Morocco to Pakistan (if not Indonesia).
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Jacques Levy

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Re: Turkish food tomorrow

by Jacques Levy » Thu May 30, 2013 1:02 pm

Frank Deis wrote:Since I posted it I might as well put a copy here. Dessert tonight was Küneife, a very popular Turkish dessert. I have a question -- how many people here have used Kataifi, and what did you use it for??

Click the link for more information, and a picture, click the link.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/03/magaz ... .html?_r=0


kuneife.jpg



I make knafeh often and I use the kataifi to make it. One thing though is I find the strands too thick to manipulate and so I put them in a food processor and pulse until they become thinner, smaller and more manageable.
Best Regards

Jacques
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Re: Turkish food tomorrow

by Frank Deis » Thu May 30, 2013 4:55 pm

Thanks for the reply Jacques! Naturally I read a variety of recipes and one did indeed suggest putting the kataifi in the Cuisinart. We considered that but I wanted it to look like the picture in Bittman's article in the New York Times Mag, and Louise thought she could handle the strands as long as they were a bit shorter. So after the kataifi thawed I cut it into 4 inch lengths with a chef's knife. Then Louise worked in some butter and milk and it was basically quite easy to handle after softening. That recipe with the Cuisinart also suggested just using fresh mozzarella as the creamy center filling. We compromised and used the rice flour bechamel from the NYT recipe but in lesser quantity, and tore up half as much fresh mozzarella as the other recipe had said. I think we sort of hit the golden mean after the moz melted and merged with the bechamel. Evidently Claudia Roden used the term "Knafe" -- what language would that be? Turkish is Küneife, obviously Turkish due to the umlaut, but often the vowels shift while the consonants stay the same...
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Re: Turkish food tomorrow

by Jacques Levy » Thu May 30, 2013 5:34 pm

Hi Frank,
Knafe is what this is called in Lebanon and Israel (so Hebrew and Arabic)

I use fresh ricotta usually, the knafe I have tasted in both Israel and Lebanese restaurants in NYC use some melting sweet white cheese a little more chewy than regular mozzarella.
Best Regards

Jacques
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Re: Turkish food tomorrow

by Frank Deis » Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:07 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:You may be interested in a beautiful book by Greg and Lucy Malouf, "Turquoise, a chef's travels in Turkey". It is coffee table size, has beautiful photography, lots of recipes, and takes you to many places; Istanbul, Bosphorus, underground cities, Aegean coast, Pergamum, Silk Road, Gaziantep, and much more...lots of food photos too.


Thank you, I bought the book from Amazon, and I have already used it. The pictures are just gorgeous!!

For more pictures that will drive a person crazy scroll thru this

https://hande.wordpress.com/2007/06/25/ ... -and-raki/

The part about "3 AM" may be obsolete now that the Islamist government has imposed a 10 PM curfew...
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: Turkish food tomorrow

by Mike Filigenzi » Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:31 pm

Wow! I want to go to Turkey.
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