Pomegranate juice ~ and Grenadine

November 11th, 2010 § Comments Off on Pomegranate juice ~ and Grenadine § permalink

The taste of the pomegranate is sweet, sometimes sweet and sour but pleasant. When you open it, you see hundreds of nectar sacs covered with thin membranes. Its ruby red juice is full of nutrients, because of its antioxidant character; while its seeds add flavour to food.

Its homeland is in the Himalayas of India and Iran. The Spaniards brought it to the western countries. The pomegranate has a prominent place in Turkish cuisine as Turkey is one of the largest producer.

In Turkey, we have an old custom to break a pomegranate on New Year’s eve. It is believed that when a pomegranate ceremonially broken on the ground at home, the whole year would be blessed with plenty.The Greeks have the same tradition. In addition to it, in Greece it is customary for a house guest to bring a pomegranate decoration gift when one buys a new house. They have the same tradition during New Year’s period, believing that the decoration will bring wealth.

  • 2 pomegranates (approximately 600 gr)
  • citrus juicer

Cut the pomegranates into half. Squeeze the half by using a hand citrus juicer and make circular motions. Repeat with the rest.

Consume immediately.

For grenadine:

Squeeze 4 pomegranates as indicated above.

Put the juice in a saucepan and add 4 T sugar. Bring to a boil. Then simmer for 15minutes. Pour into a sterilized bottle. It can be stored up till three months in the refrigerator.

Use it for alcoholic coctails or desserts.

Sour cherry syrup

July 6th, 2010 § Comments Off on Sour cherry syrup § permalink

The Turkish fresh fruit syrup şerbet or şurup / komposto- compote is coming from the Ottoman Palace cuisine. During the Ottoman period, some additives were using into the syrups like roots, seeds of plants, honey, blossoms, molasses, sometimes even vinegar. We call it hoşaf,  when done with dried fruits. It is a sine qua non beverage traditionally served to guests and still find place on the table of Turkish houses.

I am sure this sour cherry syrup will chill the hottest days of summer!

  • 6 T  brown sugar
  • 500 gr stoned sour cherry
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 1 lt water
  • Wash and stone the sour cherry with a cherry pitter. Put them into a wide pan. Add water and sugar to the pan. Bring them to a boil, stirring gently. Let stand medium low heat for 10 minutes. Then add the lemon juice. Close the lid of the pan and let sit until it cools. Bottle and store it in the refrigerator. Serve cold.

    You can visit here for a related recipe.

    Ayran(Butter milk)

    July 1st, 2010 § Comments Off on Ayran(Butter milk) § permalink

    Yogurt and its variety of dairy products have a broad role in our life in the history and culture of food. The Nomadic Turks found ayran by chance. One day in order to reduce the sourness of yogurt they added water in it and our popular drink is formed. Ayran comes from  the Turkish word ayırmak meaning split or spread because it is a diluted yogurt.

    Ayran is also known in many Balkan, Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries including Greece, of course not consumed as much as in Turkey.

    The secret of the taste of ayran lies in the appetizing flavour of the fat in yogurt. Ayran is antibacterial, antioxidant, rich in Calcium and Magnesium. It is recommended for low blood pressure complications as it contains salt.  

    It is preferred mostly on hot summer days with meal or just as a snack full of creamy foam on top.

  • 3 cups of full fat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup cold water (preferably iced water)
  • salt
  • Blend all ingredients until you get creamy bubbles on top.  Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

    In Turkey the most famous ayran is made in Susurluk- Balıkesir, because of  its delicate dairy products.

    Strawberry milk shake

    June 4th, 2010 § Comments Off on Strawberry milk shake § permalink

    Strawberry milk shake

    Fruit or vegetable juices are essential for us. They are indispensable beverages and always find a place on the table where healthy cuisine is served. This month’s beverage is made with organic strawberries.

    Strawberry milk shake

  • 10 medium strawberries
  • 3/4 glass of cold milk
  • sugar (optional)
  • Strawberry milk shake

    Place the washed strawberries to a blender or food processor. Add milk. If you like natural juices like me don’t put sugar to your milk shake, otherwise add sugar as you wish. Shake thoroughly. Pour into your glass and decorate with a strawberry. Serves one glass.

    Strawberry milk shake

    Lemon sorbet

    May 15th, 2010 § Comments Off on Lemon sorbet § permalink

    Lemon sorbet

    This is a magical combination of sugar, water and lemon juice.
    The Turkish word şerbet (sorbet) derives from the Arabic verb sharban meaning “to drink”. Meanwhile the Turkish şurup (syrup) meaning from which şerbet is prepared and comes from the Arabic again, which means a beverage sweetened with sugar. During the Ottoman period, the English travelers acquainted with şerbet and borrowed the beverage with its name. Then the şerbet – sorbet became universal. The French and Italians developed a form of iced şerbet similar to that made by the Ottomans with snow and they called it sorbet (sorbetto).

    In the Ottoman Empire, şerbet or fresh fruit syrup had such respect that it was served in special gilded metal vessels. In Turkey, şerbet is usually drunk chilled in summer but served hot in winter.

    Let’s make a lemon sorbet (şerbet) and offer to our guests like in the old times.

    Lemon sorbet

    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 3/4 cup lemon juice
    • 1 T. grated lemon zest
    • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)

    This is also a method of preserving fresh fruit. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook stirring sugar and water until the mixture comes to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Combine the syrup with lemon juice and lemon zest. If you have an ice cream machine pour into it and process. If not, beat or stir well.

    Be sure to taste it before you freeze it. If necessary add more sugar. Add the cinnamon stick before covering tightly to the container. Freeze until firm. Always store in the freezer.

    Serve with fresh fruits.    

    Lemon sorbet

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