Baked barley with potatoes, mushroom and blue cheese

December 10th, 2012 § 0

  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 100 gr potatoes
  • 20 mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic (sliced)
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T blue cheese
  • 2 T any kind of yellow cheese made of sheep’s milk
  • thyme
  • Cook barley in pressure cooker with enough water.

    Peel the potatoes and boil them.

    Clean the mushrooms and cut into cubes.

    Cut the potatoes into cubes.

    In a saucepan, saute the mushrooms with 1 T butter and sliced garlic. Add the cubed potatoes and stir.

    Drain the barley and mix with the sauteed vegetables. Add blue cheese, thyme and put the mixture into two buttered oven forms.

    Sprinkle top with cheese.

    Bake in 200° C  pre heat oven until golden for 25 minutes.

    Kebap on skewers with smoked aubergine puree

    July 7th, 2012 § 0

    We are forgetting our traditional foods, as hundreds of new foods are appearing every year. Because of practical conveniences – such as can be stored for a long time, the new foods are very popular.

    Today there is a need to examine our forgotten dishes and to adapt them to our daily life for future generations.

     This authentic Turkish şiş kebap with smoked aubergine (Hünkar beğendi) is a perfect summer dish to remember one of our traditional food. Şiş literally means skewer.


  • 250 gr ground meat (beef or lamb)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1  bunch of finely chopped parsley
  • 3 cloves (mashed)
  • salt, black pepper
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil (if it is a low fat meat)
  • 1 t cumin
  • thyme
  • Mix all the ingredients of  meatball well for at least 5 minutes with hand. Cover and let leave 3-4 hours in the refrigerator for better flavour.

    Shape the mixed meat into sausage shape  and thread the meat onto a wooden bamboo skewer.

    Grill the meats in a pre heated  200 ° C oven to a greased paper oven tray, until done.

     For Hünkar beğendi (smoked aubergine):                            
  • 2 medium aubergines
  • 1 T flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 T. kaşar (??????)- It is a pale yellow cheese made of sheep’s milk
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 T hazelnut oil
  • Pierce the aubergines in several places with a fork and bake in a 200 ° C oven until soft. Peel off skin and mash the pulp fine.                  

    Meantime, put oil and flour in a pan and stir with a wooden spoon continuously. Add mashed aubergines, salt and pepper. In order to be creamy, stir with a hand mixer for a short time.                 

    Add slowly the milk, keep stirring until you get an aubergine puree.

    Place the aubergine puree on a serving plate. Put the kebabs with wooden skewers on top of the plate and serve immediately.

    Stuffed kale leaves with cabbage rolls

    April 28th, 2012 § 1

    It is time again to make a bit of nutritional cleaning with the arrival of spring.

    Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables for a perfect support of the body’s detoxification system.

    Let’s boost our metabolism, optimize digestion and eat to lose weight and get energy for summer.

  • 20 kale leaves (stems removed)
  • 20 cabbage leaves(stems removed)
  • 1 T. rice (rinsed)
  • 1 T. large grain bulgur (rinsed)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 300 gr. medium ground meat
  • 1 T. red pepper paste
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. pepper
  • In a pot put water, add a pinch of salt and sugar. Steam kale leaves in a covered pot with a steamer basket for 5- 10 minutes.

    Pull off large outer leaves and trim away thick, tough ribs.

    Chop onion fine. Mix with rice, bulgur and ground meat in a bowl. Add red pepper paste, salt and pepper.

    Drop a spoonful of the mixture in the center of each kale leaf and wrap around meat securely. Repeat the same for the cabbage leaves.

    Place stuffed kale and cabbage leaves in a pan. Put an aluminium plate upside down (or some other weight) directly on the dolmas, to prevent the leaves from unwrapping.

    Add 1/2 lemon juice and cook for 15 minutes with 1/2 cup water.

    Serve with Turkish yogurt.

    You can reach a similar dish, meat stuffed cabbage leaves (sarma) from here.

    Broccoli, Brussels sprout and Romanescu cabbage gratin with chicken

    March 15th, 2012 § 0

     This is my all-time favorite vegetable gratin!

  • 1 Romanescu cabbage
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 100 gr Brussels sprouts
  • 2 medium sized chicken breasts
  • 1 T fresh coriander (finely chopped)
  • 10 slices of bread crumbs
  • 1 clove garlic
  • black pepper flakes
  • salt
  • Boil the chickens in a saucepan with 1 cup of water until cooked. Take the chicken breasts off from the pan and put Romanescu cabbage to the chicken broth you have in the pan.

    After 5 minutes put broccoli and Brussels sprouts successively. The vegetables will be more delicious when boiled with a natural chicken broth.

    Cook the vegetables until crisp tender.

    Shred the chicken breasts.

    Place the vegetables to an ovenproof dish. Put the shredded chicken. Sprinkle with black pepper flakes, salt, 4/3 of the bread crumbles and chopped fresh coriander.

    for bechamel sauce:        

  • 2 cups of milk
  • 50 gr butter
  • 4 T flour
  • grated nutmeg
  • salt  
  • Put butter into a milk pan let it melt.

    Add flour and stir over low heat making a paste. Add milk by small degrees first, stir it.        

    Pour the rest of the milk stir until it comes to full boil. Add grated nutmeg. If it is chunky, use a hand blender to mix extremely pure.   

    Put the crashed garlic and the rest of the crumbles to the bechamel sauce.

    Spread this bechamel sauce over the vegetable-chicken mixture.  Make sure all the vegetable chicken mixture are coated with the sauce.

    for top:

  • 150 gr Cheddar cheese
  • 50 gr Parmiggiano cheese
  • Drizzle the grated cheddar cheese over the sauce.         

    Bake at preheated 200° C oven for 20 minutes.

    Sprinkle with grated Parmiggiano cheese and bake additional 15 minutes or until it is golden.

    Serve hot.

    Black Sea anchovy rice pie

    March 1st, 2012 § 0

    Let’s make a rice pie with the little prince of fishes, that is anchovy, cloaked in thin fillets of anchovy or hamsi as we call in Turkey.

  • 600 gr. anchovy fillets  
  • 1/2 cup rice (soaked in warm water for 30 minutes)
  • 110 ml water
  • 1 medium size onion (chopped finely)
  • 1 T. pine nut
  •  1 T.  currants (let them puff in water)
  • 1 t. sugar
  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tomato juice (grated)
  • 1 bunch dill(chopped finely)
  • cumin, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, dried peppermint
  • salt and black pepper
  • For the pilav:   

    Saute onion in olive oil until wilted. Add pine nuts and currants. Add tomato juice and a little bit less than 1/2 cup water.

    When it boils, add rice and salt. Lower the heat. When all the liquid is absorbed, add the spices, sugar and dill.

    Let pilav stand a few minutes, as the rice must be al dente. Because it will be cooked again together with the anchovies in oven.

    For the anchovies and assemble: 

    Clean and bone the anchovies. Split open the anchovy and remove the guts. Gently tear out the hack bone and tail. Remove the heads of the anchovies.

    Grease a 25 cm. diameter oven tray and line up the bottom of the tray with half filleted anchovies.

    Spread the half cooked pilav, then arrange the rest of the anchovies lining up on top like a tile. The anchovy fillet skin side will be outwards.

    Fold the bottom anchovies above and let them wrap with top, to be firmly lock together. 

    Sprinkle 1 T. extra virgin olive oil on top.   

    Bake at 175 ° C until golden brown (30 -35 minutes) and serve while still hot.

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