Potato Fingers (Patatesli Köfte)

I am back. This is the longest break I have taken so far from blogging and hope to never do it again. This was actually not an intentional break but it has been so busy for me that it was so easy to neglect my blog and e-mails. During my scarce free time I have been spending more time gardening (unsuccessfully) instead of cooking, however, I hope to cook more delightful Turkish dishes from now on and share them with you all. Once I get better in gardening I also will share the fruit my labor with you. Even though last spring I planted tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, peppers, green beans, eggplant, onions, basil, dill and a few other vegetables, we have only eaten 1 small eggplant and some basil this whole summer. The plants are growing very well but the flowers and the fruit on them keep falling for some reason. I have one bell pepper and 1 cucumber that seem to have potential to be in our salad in the next couple of weeks unless the temperature drops in Houston. I have learned quite a bit about gardening with trial and error and hope to have better luck next year and cook with the fruits of my organic garden.

Now to our dinner…yes this was our dinner tonight. They turned out so good that both my husband and I finished all these fingers in the picture tonight including the garnishes. These delicious fingers were frequently made by my mom when I was growing up. There is also a red lentil version which also tastes terrific but the potato version is more common in Southern Turkey. So I took some tips from my mom during my recent visit to Turkey on this recipe. She adds basil seeds in it but I am not a fan of basil seeds so I left them out. You may garnish with lettuce, cucumbers, radishes or any greens you like. They’re best when they’re wrapped in lettuce and eaten.

2 cups finely ground bulgur
2 medium potatoes
8 shallots
1 cup chopped parsley
1 cup olive oil
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp red pepper paste
½ tbsp salt (or adjust to your taste)
1 cup hot water

Boil potatoes for 30-40 minutes and cool. Peel and mash the potatoes and set aside.

Place the finely ground bulgur in a deep bowl. Pour the hot water on the bulgur and mix until all bulgur is soaked. Cover bowl and set aside for 15 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a shallow non-stick pan on medium heat. Add sliced onions and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the shallots are soft and translucent. Add tomato paste and red pepper paste and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add parsley and turn off the heat. Mix well and let it cool.

Add the potatoes on the bulgur and pour the olive oil, tomato and red pepper paste mixture on it. Add salt and mix for 5-10 minutes until all the ingredients are well incorporated and soft. Pull a piece of the bulgur and potato mixture and squeeze it in your palm. Repeat until all the bulgur and potato mixture is used up. Garnish with tomatoes, parsley, mint and green onions. Serve at room temperature with plain yogurt.

Note: These potato fingers taste delicious when wrapped up in romaine lettuce while eating.

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