Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Green Bean with Olive Oil (Zeytinyağlı Taze Fasülye)

In my opinion, cooking vegetables in season makes a big difference in the taste of a dish. I try to purchase vegetables and fruits in season because I believe they are fresher and taste better. One of those vegetables that I prefer in season is green beans. There are already a few other green bean recipes posted on Turkish Food Passion and here is one more! It’s light, delicious and healthy green which is usually eaten cold or at room temperature. It can be served as a salad, appetizer or a side dish.

1 lb green beans
2 large ripe tomatoes (peeled and sliced)
2 shallots (sliced)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp salt
¼ cup water
¼ tsp ground black pepper

Remove the ends of the beans and cut in thirds. Heat olive oil in a large pan. Sauté garlic and shallots until shallots are transparent. Add beans to the pan and mix. Cook for 5 minutes stirring a few times. Add salt, black pepper, vinegar and water. Arrange the tomatoes on top of the beans and cook for 30 minutes on medium heat. Lower heat and cook another 30 minutes. Let it cool and serve cold.

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cookies with Pistachios (Antepfıstıklı Kurabiye)

Recently, Turkish Food Passion has been attempting to broaden its dessert repertoire due to its limited number of published dessert recipes. Today, Turkish Food Passion presents its first cookie recipe. The cookies are made with ground pistachio nuts which are commonly used in Turkish desserts. Hazelnuts or almonds may be substituted for pistachios. These cookies will go perfectly with a cup of coffee or tea any time of the day. Enjoy.

Yield: 18-20 cookies

1 cup flour
1 stick softened unsalted butter (4 oz)
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup finely ground pistachio
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp baking powder

Using a Stand Mixer:

Combine softened butter, egg, vanilla and sugar in the stand mixer bowl. Using stand mixer wired whip attachment, whisk until all ingredients are integrated. Start with speed 2 to and gradually increase to speed 8.

Change the wire whip attachment and replace with the flat beater attachment (make sure the mixer is turned off and unplugged when doing this). Fold in the rest of the ingredients except the pistachios and mix at speed 4. Once all the ingredients are married, add pistachios and mix again for 1-2 minutes until pistachios are distributed evenly.


Combine softened butter, egg, vanilla and sugar in a bowl. Whisk until all ingredients are integrated. Fold in the rest of the ingredients except the pistachios. Once all the ingredients are married, add pistachios and mix again for a few more minutes until all pistachios are distributed evenly.

Grease a cookie sheet. Take spoonful of the cookie dough and drop on the greased cookie sheet with no particular shape.

Bake at 350° F for 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool for 2-3 hours. The cookies can be stored in air tight jar to keep them fresh. Enjoy with hot tea.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Parsley Omelet (Maydanozlu Omlet)

Parsley omelet is a simple, quick and tasty egg dish that we often had for brunch at home in Turkey. It can be consumed for breakfast, lunch or even for a light dinner. When I am busy and need something quick to eat, I resort to this delicious omelet.

It is customary to use butter or vegetable oil for omelets and some other dishes in Turkey, however for health reasons I always choose to cook with olive oil. In Turkish cuisine, we have a whole new group of dishes called ‘Zeytinyağlılar’ meaning ‘Dishes with Olive Oil’ which are always made with olive oil and always without meat which are usually eaten at room temperature. The hot dishes can be made with olive oil, vegetable oil or butter. For example, rice pilaf and omelets are typically made with butter or vegetable oil.

You may notice that for almost every recipe published in my blog I have used olive oil (extra virgin). Butter is only used for baking purposes in my kitchen and I think that is more than plenty of butter for our bodies. If the butter in stores was natural and completely made from milk, I would not hesitate using it more often. One of those days I will try to make my own butter because I know how delicious natural butter can taste. If you insist on using commercially produced butter, you can substitute the butter for olive oil in my recipes.

Now comes the omelet recipe.

4 eggs
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp olive oil (or butter)
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp ground black pepper
Pinch of salt

In a small bowl add the eggs, parsley, black pepper, paprika and salt. Mix until the eggs are integrated with the parsley.

Heat oil on medium heat and pour the egg parsley mixture on hot oil. Leave on heat until eggs are cooked. To cook eggs faster, cover the pan for a couple minutes.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Cherry Compote (Vişne Kompostosu)

The summer is here and so are the colorful and tasty fruits. Being a fruit person, I love buying many varieties of fresh fruits every week. Yesterday evening, I went grocery shopping and could not resist buying so many different types of fruits. One of those fruits that made it to my cart was cherries. I usually savor all these succulent fruits plain, however this time I made an exception and made the delectable cherry compote recipe that is very common in Turkey. Almost any type of fruit can be used for compote. The result surpassed my expectations as I am not a big fruit dessert person. It turned out sweet and very refreshing. This is a keeper so I will continue to make compote with other fruits. Here is the recipe.
½ lb fresh red cherries
½ cup sugar
3 cloves
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp honey
½ cup water

Wash and dry the cherries. Remove the stems and pit the cherries. Do not discard the stems and seeds; they will add additional flavor to the compote. Place the cherries in a small pot add sugar, cloves, vanilla and water. Place the stems and seeds in a cheese cloth, tie the cloth and place in the pot with the rest of the ingredients. Let it boil on medium heat. Reduce heat and let it simmer for 5-6 minutes. Remove cheese cloth and discard. Add honey and stir. Remove the compote from heat. When slightly cooled, put in a small serving bowl and place in the refrigerator. Enjoy cool.

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Broiled Jumbo Shrimp (Izgara Karides)

I am back to posting recipes again. This past month I was traveling quite a bit, so between heavy work load and travels I did not get a chance to cook at all. Although I love exploring new and interesting places to eat when we are on vacation, eating out was getting old after a full month which is probably the longest I have gone without cooking in the past five years. Finally this past weekend I had some delicious home cooked meals visiting family which was exactly what I wanted.

I am kind of starting to cook again this week as time permits however more cooking and baking will take place in my kitchen beginning next week which translates to additional delightful Turkish recipes showing up on my blog. As mentioned before, there will be more focus on desserts, cakes and cookies but for now, we will have to settle for this luscious, simple shrimp recipe that my husband and I made together a couple months back. I hope you enjoy it, we sure did.

Note: I tried to attend to comments between travels as much as I could, however I did not have the chance to respond to your e-mails. As soon as I can I will respond to your e-mails. Thanks for understanding.

9 jumbo shrimp
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp red pepper paste (pureed kind)
1 tsp thyme
1 garlic clove (chopped)
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses

Clean and divine shrimps and place in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and marinade over night.

Turn on oven broiler and broil for 5 minutes on each side. Serve with pilaf and vegetables.

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