Cherry Laurel sun-cooked marmalade

August 20th, 2018 § Comments Off on Cherry Laurel sun-cooked marmalade § permalink

Cherry Laurel or Prunus laurocerasus is a fruit native to the Black Sea region of Turkey. It is naturally grown especially in North Anatolia and Northern Aegean coast.

It is an evergreen shrub or small tree and the leaves are dark green.The cherry laurel tree is a valuable ornamental plant for its attractive dark and evergreen leaves, and clusters of white flowers in the spring. The tree has pleasant fruits when fully ripe, which became a valuable and popular fruit in the recent years. Seeds of cherry laurel are easily spreading by birds. The cherry laurel fruit is a small, turning red to black when it ripes.

It is mostly found as fresh fruit in local markets, and the fruit is used in making marmalades, cakes and pekmez -especially consumed by locals- as well as it is eaten as dried. As it is a natural antioxidant, for its health benefit, the market value has increased in Turkey.

This recipe is from my beloved sister.

  • 1 kg cherry laurel
  • 700 gr water
  • 750 gr sugar
  • 1/2 fresh lemon juice

Wash the cherry laurels.

Put 700 gr water into a pan and boil. When it comes to boiling point add the washed cherry laurels in it.

Boil them until the cherry laurels soften, about half an hour. Put the aside to cool.

Before pressing put your kitchen gloves and don’t panic! This will be a bit messy!!

Press the softened cherry laurels by hand and a sieve to mash them until you get a beautiful scarlet coloured puree.

Put the puree into a pan, add the sugar and simmer until it thickens. Before taking it from oven, add the 1 t.lemon juice and simmer for another 5 minutes. Fresh lemon juice adds pectin and acidity to the marmalade and help it to gel.

If you overcook your marmalade, the sugar will caramelize and the colour spoils. For that reason it is better to undercook it.

Then allow the pan in the direct sun, to stand several days by covering it with a cheesecloth, until the syrup thickens and forms jelly like consistency without changing the beautiful colour.

Sterilize the jars by running them through the dishwasher.

Put the marmalade in jars.

Koliva ~ wheat berry memorial dessert (κόλλυβα)

June 14th, 2018 § Comments Off on Koliva ~ wheat berry memorial dessert (κόλλυβα) § permalink

This food is made to remember those who have passed and treated to all in attendance to the memorial. It is made primarily of wheat berry, which symbolizes life and regeneration. Like wheat, people are buried in order to grow and have a new life. It is a fine way to honour the deceased with the food of life.

Koliva has a soft gravel like texture and served in a large tray, spooned out into cups or on small plates.

The nutritious dessert koliva, has high in fiber and provides iron and protein.

For preperation, it requires time, patience and care.

  • 2 cups of wheat berries
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 250 gr roasted yellow chickpeas (sarı leblebi in Turkish) (powdered with food processor)
  • 1 cup petit-beurre biscuits (powdered with food processor)
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (coarsely chopped)
  • 2 T. dried currants
  • 20 gr cinnamon powder
  • 1 t. clove powder
  • 20 gr vanilla powder
  • For topping:

  • 400 gr powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • dragees (optional)
  • de-seeded pomegranate (optional as is not always in season)
  • Rinse the wheat berries and place them in a large saucepan. Put in water and soak overnight.

    Add enough water to the pressure cooker and bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the wheat berries are tender and beginning to split but not mushy.

    Drain in the strainer to cool.

    Cover an oven tray with a clean towel and spread the wheat berries in pieces on the towel for at least 4-5 hours.

    Boil the almonds for about 5-10 minutes, in order to remove the skins. Once they are peeled, pop them into a bowl of cold water with a little lemon juice to keep them nice and white.

    Then toast the almonds, walnuts and sesame seeds (optional) and allow to cool in separate bowls.

    Place the drained wheat berries in a large mixing bowl.

    Add powdered chickpeas and petite beurre powder to absorbe the moist if exit. But reserve some chickpeas and petite beurre powder for top.

    Add the rest of the ingredients one by one.

    Toss it all together very well.

    Transfer the mixture to a large platter or tray.

    Press the mixture down to smooth it and to shape it.

    Place the remaining chickpeas powder and petite beurre mixture and press.

    Sift the powdered sugar over the top to coat it thickly, almost like a frosting.

    Flatten the koliva with a small parchment paper to fine and smooth the top. So that it can be seen as it has frosting on top.

    Decorate the top with roasted almonds and almond dragees.

    The wheat berries can ferment if left at room temperature overnight and the sugar can crystallize in a moist environment.

    For that reason, if left by chance, cover and store refrigerated.

    Happy birthday Mükü

    December 5th, 2017 § Comments Off on Happy birthday Mükü § permalink


    Pan fried turbot fillet

    April 1st, 2016 § Comments Off on Pan fried turbot fillet § permalink

    An expensive refined flavour, a premium choice for this season.

    This flat fish is a good source of protein and vitamine B as well as it contains minerals selenium, magnesium and phosphorous.

    For easy elegance and for its nutrition it is a perfect choice.

    The small turbot is to be avoided as it has very thin fillets.

    Middle sized turbot more than 1½kg are the most desirable.

    Your fishmonk will be able to help you to choose for a bright turbot with unsunken eyes.

    Get the turbot to cut off the head and ready as fillet pieces.

  • turbot fillets
  • extra virgin olive oil for frying
  • 10 gr butter for each fillet
  • a bowl of flour
  • Rinse the fish with cold water and then dry it off.

    Place a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add olive oil.

    For each fillet add 10gr butter.

    Dip each fillet in a bowl of flour and shake off any excess flour.

    When the butter is melted and foaming, put the fillet one by one and cook both sides until golden.

    Season with salt and pepper.

    Serve immediately.

    Keep cooking in winter!

    December 1st, 2015 § Comments Off on Keep cooking in winter! § permalink

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