Monday, June 22, 2009

Turkish Style Seared Scallops (Türk Stili Tavada Tarak)


Seafood in general is enough to get me excited for a meal, especially when accompanied with a fresh, green salad and good bread. Seafood is light, nutritious and delicate which makes it attractive for any meal. Scallops, which I mostly prepare broiled or seared with wine are at the top of my seafood choices.

These particular scallops are prepared in a Turkish/Mediterranean style. The simplicity of the recipe allows me to cook them often. When served with rice pilaf and salad, scallops can make a filling and tasty meal.


6 large scallops
1 tbsp fresh or dried thyme
Juice of ½ lime
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp chopped parsley for garnishing
4 round slices of lime for garnishing

Rub the scallops with salt. Sprinkle the thyme, paprika, ground black pepper on both sides of the scallops. Keep in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to marinate.

Heat olive oil in a large pan. Place the scallops in the oil. Cook each side for 4-5 minutes until the scallops are golden brown.

Arrange in a plate. Garnish with parsley and lime slices. Serve warm.


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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Arab Kebab (Arap Kebabı)


As far as I know, this kebab is mainly prepared in the Hatay-Adana-Mersin provinces which are in Southern Turkey. Although, the ingredients are very Mediterranean, the name of this dish may not be familiar to many people. The fact that Hatay province shares a border with Syria (an Arab country), the food culture in Hatay has been influenced by Syrian cooking and flavors. Probably, that’s where the name of this dish comes from.

This kebab that is made in the pot was prepared by my husband without my assistance. It is very simple to make and it tastes really good with some good bread. Some people choose to make it with ground beef or beef cubes. For you vegetarians out there, I would substitute the meat with portabella mushrooms.

1 lb lamb (stew meat)
4 juicy ripe tomatoes (coarsely diced)
1 green pepper (coarsely chopped)
1 medium onion (coarsely chopped)
2 large cloves garlic (sliced)
3 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp cumin
2 tsp salt


Heat olive oil in a large pot. Saute the onions and garlic until the onions are transparent. Add the lamb. When the lamb takes a light brownish color, add the peppers, tomatoes, pepper, salt and cumin.


Give it a stir and close lid. Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes and then turn to low heat for another 20 minutes. If the tomatoes are not juicy, you may need to add a little water so that the dish is not dry.



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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mixed Vegetables (Türlü)


A wonderful light summer dish ‘Türlü’ encompasses a variety of vegetables with different tastes in one dish. Other summer vegetables such as okra and zucchini also can be added. This is known and consumed in most of Turkey; perhaps under different names. Rice or bulgur pilaf is a perfect complement to Türlü. Beef or lamb cubes can also be added to the recipe. Both vegetarian and with meat versions are excellent.


5 medium eggplants
3 medium potatoes
1.5 lb green beans
1 green pepper
7 small ripe tomatoes
1 cup frozen peas
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tbsp red pepper paste
3 tsp salt (adjust to your taste)
2 cups water
Water for pot

Prepare a large pot full of cold water with 1 tsp salt. Peel the eggplants in lengthwise stripes. The eggplants will have a peeled stripe and an unpeeled stripe. If the eggplants are thin, slice them diagonally, if they are thicker, cut in half and slice diagonally and place in the salty water. This will prevent them from turning brown.

Cut the ends of the green beans and cut them diagonally in an inch and half length. Peel the potatoes and cut in half. Cut each half in squares. Slice the green pepper. Peel and dice the tomatoes and set aside.

Heat the olive oil. Add the green beans and sauté for 7-8 minutes. Drain the water from the eggplants and add to the beans. Add the potatoes, green pepper, garlic and peas.

Dissolve the tomato sauce and the red pepper paste in the water. Add this mixture to the pot. Sprinkle salt. Taste the salt so that it is according to your taste.

Cook covered on high heat until the water in the pot starts to boil. Turn to low heat and cook for 50-60 minutes. Enjoy warm with rice or bulgur pilaf.



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