Thursday, May 30, 2013

Soft Patty with Cheese


Today I want to share a patty recipe. Actually it has a different name, but I prefer to create my own. You can try this recipe with spinach and cream cheese or ground meat and onion.











Ingredients

  • 3 pastry sheets
  • 1/2 cup of sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese
  • Parsley
  • 1 dessertspoon yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Sesame, black or flax seeds
  • 2 liters of boiling water
  • 1 liter of cold water

Preparation

You can find pastry sheets in any Middle East shop, or you can use filo dough. But I cannot say that filo dough will be good as thick pastry sheets in this type of patty. Cut them into four pieces (if you use filo dough you do not need to cut). Take a glass baking pan and apply some oil at the bottom with the help of a brush. Lay one piece of pastry sheet down at the bottom.


Take a large pot and add boiling water, salt and a little bit oil in it, put on medium heat. Add cold water in a large bowl and place it a place close to the pot. Take a piece of pastry sheet and put it into boiling water and wait about one minute.

After one minute take it from hot water and put into cold water just for couple of seconds. After taking it from the cold water spread it on top of the pastry sheet you have placed on the baking pan.

Apply oil on surface of the boiled pastry sheet with the help of a brush. Repeat the same procedure for half of the sheets, and then add the mixture of mozzarella, feta cheese and chopped parsley on top of the sheets (you can use spinach instead of parsley if you want).


Repeat the boiling procedure to the other sheets, until one piece left. Put last piece (preferably a good looking one) on very top. Add yogurt into the oil left and apply this on very top with a brush. Decorate with Sesame, black or flax seeds. 


Preheat oven to 400 F and bake it about 40 minutes. Then take it from the oven and wrap it with a tablecloth and wait about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, slice into squares. Your patty is ready.






Enjoy!







Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Eggplant Moussaka


Moussaka was originated from Middle East countries and spread to the East Europe through Ottoman Empire. I will show hot to make eggplant moussaka. You can use other vegetables, such as squash, potato..

Ingredients

  • 4 Japanese eggplants (I had only regular ones, but Japanese is better for this recipe)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 lb ground meat
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup of vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 2 cups of water
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Parsley 

Preparation

Peel and slice eggplants and put in a bowl together with water and salt. Like in the picture. After 15 minutes take eggplants and put on a paper towel, let them dry. Fry them in a pan.


In another pan put some oil, chopped onions and ground meat and cook. After they are roasted, add peeled and chopped tomatoes and salt and pepper. Cook another ten minutes.


Take a flat pot and put some eggplants on the bottom. Add meat mixture on top of eggplants, and then put eggplants on top of meat again.

Repeat this procedure until you use all ingredients. Add 2 cups of warm water and cook about 20-25 minutes in medium low heat. You can add chopped parsley to decorate, after it is cooked.








Enjoy!


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Crimson Tabbouleh


Tabbouleh is a salad that was originated from Syria and Lebanon and spread through the other Middle East countries.It is also popular in Haiti, because of Arab immigration. I will share a Tabbouleh recipe with tomato paste, that is why I call it Crimson Tabbouleh.

Note: This recipe is for two people.






Ingredients

  • 1 cup of Bulgar wheat 
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 2 green onions or one regular small onion
  • 1/2 tomato
  • Parsley
  • Fresh dill
  • Fresh mint
  • 2 pickles
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons red flare pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/2 lemon juice

Preparation

Put Bulgar wheat in a a large bowl which has a lid. Add boiled water on it, the water should be 1/2 inch above the wheat. The amount of water you used for Tabbouleh is important, if you add too much water it will be juicy, but if you do not add enough water, it will be crunchy. After adding water, close the lid tightly.If you do not have a lid you can put a plate or tray on top of it.

The point here is wheat should suck all the water before it gets cold. After 15, 20 minutes open the lid and take wheat to a large plate or tray. Add tomato paste and spread all over the wheat until it gets red. Like in the picture.
Then add oil and all spices, spread them with your hand. You can use a spoon as well, but it is always better to do it with hand. After tomato paste and all spices are spread evenly, add chopped onion, tomato, pickles, parsley, dill and fresh mint. You can also add small pieces of lettuce, if you do not have enough green. Lastly add lemon juice. Your Tabbouleh is ready.


Enjoy!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Red Bean soup



Note: this recipe is for 4 people.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb red beans
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 5 cups of water

Preparation

Put red beans in a large bowl add cold water and leave it for one night. Then, strain the excess water, put in a large pot add some cold water. Boil them approximately 30 minutes, until they get soft.

To prepare the sauce; take a pan, put olive oil and chopped onion in it. Roast onions and then add chopped carrots, roast them together a few more minutes. Lastly add tomato paste and cook a few more minutes. Add this sauce to boiled beans, add salt, sugar and cook it in low heat about 30 more minutes. Your soup is ready.
Enjoy!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Strawberry Jam


I want to show you how to make traditional strawberry jam, without using any preservers.













Ingredients

  • 1 gallon of strawberry (I do not like this type of measurement, but they were selling as a gallon)
  • 5-6 cups of pure cane sugar
  • 1/2 lemon juice

Preparation


After washing the strawberries, take out their leaves and cut in two or three pieces and put them into a large pot. Then add sugar on top of strawberries. I have added 5 cups of sugar, but you can add more if you like more  sweet jam. The point here is to cover all strawberries with sugar. Like in the picture.
Wait couple of hours until the sugar melts, then put the pot on  medium heat and wait until it boils. After it is boiled there will be some foam on it, take out all this foam. Otherwise jam will not taste good and spoil sooner. Reduce the heat to low and boil it until  the jam become thick, then add the lemon juice and take it from the heat. This should take about one hour. Wait until it gets cold to put in jars and leave the jar open couple of hours. You can keep your jam in a place which is not exposed to direct sunlight. You do not need to put in fridge, unless the weather is too hot.
Enjoy!

Chicken Pizza and Mediterranean pizza



Even though pizza is an Italian dish, I think most cultures have dishes similar to pizza. Traditional Italian pizza do not have a lot of toppings; at most three. If pizza has a lot of toppings they call it 'Pizza Americano', which means American style pizza. Another item inspired by American style is 'Coffee Americano' which is simply espresso with more water. For Italians it is not a good quality coffee, as it has higher percent of water in it.

Today I will share two kinds of pizza recipe. The first one is with chicken and jalapeno peppers and the other one is with pepperoni.



Ingredients

For the dough

  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 1 dessertspoon dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup of warm milk
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Warm water

For the sauce

  • 1/2 cup tomato or red pepper paste
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Oregano
  • Water

For chicken pizza

  • 1 thin sliced chicken breast
  • Jalapeno slices
  • Sliced black olives
  • Mushrooms
  • Grated mozzarella
  • 1/4 onion
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Oregano

For Mediterranean Pizza

  • Pepperoni
  • 2 baby bell peppers
  • Sliced black olives
  • Mushrooms
  • Grated mozzarella
  • Corns
  • 1/4 tomato
  • Fresh dill

Preparation

To prepare the dough put flour into a large bowl, add salt, sugar, yeast, warm milk and oil and start kneading. Add water slowly while you are kneading the dough, until it become soft like earlobe. Then keep it in a warm place one or two hours until it rises.

Meanwhile to prepare the sauce, mix tomato paste, ketchup and spices in a small bowl. Add some water until it becomes liquid enough to spread over the pizza base.  


When the dough is ready, take it from the bowl and put on the counter (use some flour to prevent sticking). Cut it into two pieces. Take one piece and start to make the base with a roller. If you want a thicker pizza, you can make it with your hands without using a roller. To do that, first you need to apply some oil on the base of the pan, then put the dough on it and give the shape of pan to the dough. I prefer to use the pan with some holes under, I think it is the best kind to bake pizza.



If you made the base with roller, place it on the pan, it will not fit well to the pan, so fix it with your hands.  Push the dough towards the edges and scratch the edges with a knife, like in the picture.
Then spread the sauce over the base and add 1/4 cup of grated mozzarella on the sauce. If you do not like too much cheese on your pizza, you may not put in on the sauce, as we will add more mozzarella on the very top in the end. Repeat same steps with the other piece of dough.



To prepare chicken pizza, first cut the chicken breast in thin slices and marinate it with salt, black pepper and oregano. (you can use any kind of spices you like).  Put chicken breast on the pizza in a decorative way, then add sliced onions, mushrooms, jalapeƱo slices and black olives.




To prepare Mediterranean pizza, chop bell peppers, mushrooms and tomato. First put pepperoni on the base, and then add peppers, mushrooms, black olives and tomatoes. On very top spread corns and decorate with fresh dill.
Preheat oven to 425 Fo and bake the pizza for about 13 minutes. After 13 minutes check the bottom of the pizza, if it is baked well add some grated mozzarella on very top and bake 3 more minutes. Your pizza is ready.


Enjoy!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Foil chicken



This recipe is  same with salmon in foil, just the ingredients are different.

Note: This recipe is for 1 person







Ingredients

  • 1 piece of chicken breast
  • Sweet or jalapeno pepper
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/4 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1 dessertspoon butter
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Oregano

Preparation

Cut chicken breast in very thin slices and slice onion, pepper and tomato. On two aluminum foils spread chicken on the base, then put pepper, onion and tomato. Then spread mozzarella and chopped butter, lastly add spices and cover the foil tightly. Cook it in the same way instructed in salmon recipe. 

Note: you can put mushrooms in it, but it will become very juicy.
Enjoy!




Salmon


I want to share a salmon recipe that will be ready in 10 minutes. A convenient and healthy dinner, especially if you do not have much time.

Note: This recipe is for 1 person










Ingredients

  • 1 piece of fresh or frozen salmon
  • 1/2 package baby spinach or broccoli (optional)
  • 1 green and 1 red pepper (optional)
  • 2 pieces of garlic
  • 1 small or 1/2 big onion
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Preparation

Take two sheets of aluminum foil and put one of them on top of the other. Slice onion and spread them on the aluminium foil. Apply olive oil, vinegar, small pieces of garlic, salt and pepper on both sides of salmon and put it on top of the onions. Put the spinach or broccoli on top of salmon. Then put another aluminum foil sheet on very top and close the edges very tight. This is important, because the food will be cooked with the steam in the foil. 


Put a large pan on high heat and wait about five minutes, then put aluminum foil on the pan and cook about five minutes, the foil should rise within this time.
 If it does not rise, you can cook five more minutes. But be careful, as fish is cooked faster than chicken. After turning of the heat, wait five more minutes to take it from the pan. You can open it with a knife, but be careful, the hot steam will come out as soon as you open it. Enjoy:)

Note: You can use any kind of green vegetables or spices you like for this recipe. I use spinach or broccoli  cause I believe they go together with fish very well.
Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Chocolate and Banana Cake

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 3 eggs
  • 3 bananas
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3/4 cup of vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or powder vanilla
  • 1 dessertspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa 
  • 2 1/2 cup of all purpose flour

For the sauce 

  • 2 bars of dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1/2 cup milk

Preparation

Crush eggs, banana and sugar in a rondo and add milk, oil and vanilla extract, whisk. Add cacao and whisk again. To add flour first mix baking powder and flour in a bowl and add to the banana mixture with the help of a strainer.This will make baking powder spread over the cake evenly and rise better.  

Preheat oven to 350 F and bake the cake for 45 minutes. To understand that if the cake is cooked, you can stick a toothpick to the cake, if it is clean then your cake is ready. If it has still some dough on it, you need to bake your cake more.


For the sauce; put the milk in a sauce pan and place on medium heat. Add sugar, cacao and flour, stir well. Lastly add little pieces of chocolate bars and wait until they melt.


After you take the cake from the oven, wait until it gets cold then turn it upside down and take it out from pan and pour the sauce on it.



Note: you can make the cake in any shape you want, such as loaf, muffin..
Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What do I mean by 'teaspoon', dessertspoon' and 'tablespoon'?


I guess it would be difficult for people in different cultures to decide what is a teaspoon or dessertspoon. So I decided to show their pictures.

Teaspoon

Dessertspoon


Tablespoon


Chicken with soy sauce and Turkish style rice pilav


Rice and chicken is always a good combination. I decided to combine two recipes from different cultures and create my own recipe. Soy sauce has been used by Chinese since 3th century. Pilav has a place in Turkish history since Ottoman empire, espcially in Ottoman Palace various kinds of pilav was served to Sultans.

Note: This recipe is for one person only







Ingredients

Chicken with Soy Sauce

  • 1 thin sliced chicken breast
  • Sunflower, vegetable, or canola oil
  • 1 dessertspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 dessertspoon wheat/corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon sesame
  • 1 teaspoon black seeds
  • Oregano
  • Fresh dill
  • Water

Turkish Pilaf

  • ½ cup of white rice
  • 1 dessertspoon of barley noodles
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • Sunflower, vegetable or canola oil (but it is best with butter)
  • Water

Preparation


Cut the chicken breast in small pieces and fry it on a pan with very little oil. In a small cup combine, soy sauce  balsamic vinegar, starch, sesame, black seeds and oregano. Add a little bit water and mix. After the chicken is roasted add soy sauce and cook about one minute more in low heat. Take it to the plate. I prefer to put fresh dill on top of it, but you can use any kind of fresh herbs.


To prepare rice pilaf, first wash the rice in a bowl and use a strainer to filter the water. Take a pan with a lid and put some oil in it together with noodles, cook them on medium heat until noodles get darker.
Then add the rice to the pan, but be careful rice should contain very little water. Otherwise it will be dangerous.  Roast rice and noodles in low heat less than one minute, then and warm water (not too hot or too cold) and salt. The most important thing in making pilav is to put just right amount of water, if you put more it will be very soft, if you put less it will be very hard. So how will you know that you put right amount? It is not so difficult, it should be right above the rice. Like in the picture:

Remember, you need to add more water if you roast rice longer. Close the lid and cook it until there is no water left. Now you can turn off the heat and mix the rice with a wooden spoon.  









Put a paper towel under the lid and wait for 20 minutes. Like the picture on the right. Your rice will be ready after 20 minutes.


Enjoy!



How to make yogurt?


Today I want to show you how to make yogurt. Yogurt was consumed by medieval Turks in 11th century and at first it was fermented with ant eggs.










Ingredients

  •      1 gallon of whole or reduced fat vitamin D milk (it is best if you can find raw milk)
  •           ½ cup of yogurt
  •           A little bit sugar

Preparation

First take a large pot and put all the milk in it and heat it until it is boiled.  After that wait around 15 minutes (this time depends on the kind of pot and the amount of the milk) until it gets a temperature that will not burn your finger. You can check it with your little finger. The most important thing in making yogurt is to find correct temperature. So even if you cannot make it in the first time, you will be more successful after trying couple of times. When you find the correct temperature, add the yogurt and a little bit of sugar, like a teaspoon, in the milk. Then cover it with several blankets, as it has to stay in the same temperature all the time. Put it in a warm place and do not open it 8 hours. After 8 hours open it and check if is thick enough, if it is not you can wait another two hours.  After opening it, wait until it gets cold and put it in the refrigerator. If you want a thicker yogurt, you can put a clean, no color cloth on top of it to suck the water in it.  Your yogurt will be ready in couple of hours.
Enjoy!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Apple Pie


Apple pie is a dessert with a long history. Because of the high price of sugar, apple pies were made without sugar in 14th century. I do not use much sugar in apple pie, so my recipe will be similar to ancient ones.
Note: These ingredients is for one large pie. I used a small pan, so I had some extra dough.





Ingredients

For the dough

  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 stick butter (4 ounce)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 dessertspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or powder vanilla

For the fill

  • 4 apples (any kind)
  • 3 tablespoons of grape molasses
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 cup of walnut
  • Cinnamon

Preparation


To prepare the dough first you must combine the butter and sugar, by kneading them together until butter become soft. Then you need to separate the yolk and white for only one egg, and spare the yolk to use later. Add one egg, one egg white and vanilla to the mixture, then mix the flour and baking powder in a bowl and scatter them together on the mixture with the help of a large strainer. Adding the flour and baking powder together with a strainer makes baking powder spread all over the dough evenly and rise better. The dough in the picture is dark, because I used brown sugar. While preparing the fill, you can keep the dough in the fridge.


To prepare the apple mixture, peel, cut and grate the apples and put them in a pan with sugar. Cook them together until it become juicy, then take it from the heat and add crushed walnuts, cinnamon and grape molasses. Actually what makes this apple pie different from others is the grape molasses, as it does not contain any added sugar (if you can find all natural one), but tastes very good. You can find grape molasses in the stores which sell Middle East food.



Take the dough and spare approximately one fourth of it to use later. Take a round shape pan and apply some oil or butter on the base to prevent sticking. 

Then put the dough on the base and give it the shape of the pan with your hands, you can also make a thinner dough on the counter by using a roller and put it on the pan afterwards. Then put the apple mixture on top of the dough, spread it evenly. 

Take the rest of the dough and give it an oval shape with a roller. 

Cut about half inch bands and put them on the apple mixture vertically and horizontally to make squares.  Apply the egg yolk on these bands with the help of a brush.

Preheat oven for 400 F0 and bake it about 30 minutes until the top bands become darker. Enjoy!
My favorite anime:))