Wednesday, 28 May 2008

TURKISH LAMB WITH ROSEMARY & THYME ( Biberiye ve kekikli kuzu)

Hi ALL , this is an all in one dish which is filling and nutritious. It is best cooked slowly but you can achieve equal results using the pressure cooker if you are in a hurry.
The above pictures show 2 versions of the dish. One with added beans, the other with new potatoes. My family love them both.
Serves 2-3

  • 300 g lean lamb chunks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 400 g fresh tomatoes, about 6-7 medium, cut in large chunks
  • 200 g onions, about 2 large, chopped
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic, left whole
  • 75 g leeks, green bits, chopped
  • 100 fresh peppers ( i used yellow ones )
  • 200 g white beans or new potatoes,
  • 2 tbsp Rosemary and thyme, chopped finely
  • Salt and black course pepper to taste.

    • METHOD
      Heat the oil in the pan and brown the meat, add tomatoes onions, garlic, cover and cook very slowly for about an hour or until the meat is soft. Then add the beans, leeks, peppers and herbs and cook further 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables cook to your taste. Season with salt and black pepper, sprinkle more herbs just before serving.

      COOK'S TIP

      Cooking time with pressure cooker is 15 minutes for the meat then 5 more minutes to finish it off with the vegetables.
      You can also cook this dish with chicken or beef rather than lamb to suit your taste.

      Tuesday, 27 May 2008


      This simple yet nutritious dish is filling, tasty and quick to make. With each portion you will have vitamins D, E, iron all the daily requirement for selenium. Serves 2


      • 2 leeks, chopped finely
      • 50 g mushrooms, chopped
      • 75 g tomatoes, chopped
      • 1 fat clove of garlic, crushed
      • 1 level tsp coarse black pepper
      • 1 tbsp olive oil
      • Little salt
      • Hand full of fresh thyme, chopped
      • 150 g cooked haricot beans
      • 2 tsp of tomato paste
      • 200 ml vegetable stock or hot water
      • 2 fillet of ready to eat peppered smoked mackerels
      • 100 g feta cheese, crumbled
      50 g of RISI ( RISONI ) pasta per person to serve.


      First add the leeks, mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic in a pan with the olive oil, stir and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water for approximately 6-7 minutes. Reserve 200 ml pasta water (or vegetable stock) for the sauce. Drain the pasta.

      Add thyme, beans, tomato puree and pasta water to the leek and mushroom mixture. Stir and cook for 3 minutes. Turn the heat off, add mackerel fillets, some feta cheese, mix and serve immediately with riso pasta. Sprinkle some thyme and feta just before serving.

      COOK'S TIP

      • If you cant find risi pasta, any small sized pasta of your choice will be just fine.
      • Arpa sehriye ( risi ) pasta is produced from durum wheat semolina also called risoni. Widely available in continental food stores.
      • I used haricot beans from my freezer but a can of drained beans will work just the same

      SUGAR FREE FRUIT CAKE (Sekersiz kek )

      HI ALL, this is my latest healthy creation of fruit cake which I can enjoy without feeling guilty. I used my favorite dried fruit and nuts but you can choose your own to suit your taste. All the fruit have natural sweetness so no need for sugar and I only used 100 ml olive oil so it is not so bad for a large cake like this one. I hope you enjoy it.

      • 400 g self raising flour
      • 1 tsp baking powder
      • 2 tsp ground mix spice
      • 100 g grated carrots
      • 100 g prunes, chopped
      • 100 g dried apricots, chopped
      • 100 g mix dried fruit
      • 100 ml good olive oil
      • 50 g glazed cherries, halves
      • 50 g sun flower seeds
      • 3 eggs, whisked
      • 3 tbsp orange juice
      • 3 tbsp runny honey
      Grease and line a 25 cm cake tin. Sieve the flour together with baking powder and mix spice. Add carrots, all the fruit and seeds to the flour. Mix it well with a wooden spoon. Then add the eggs, oil and orange juice and honey and stir it together to form a soft dropping consistency. Spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake in a preheated oven, 180c, 160 fan, gas mark 4, for 45- 50 minutes or until the fine skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre of the cake. Leave the cake to cool in the tin before turning out.

      Thursday, 22 May 2008

      PILAV RICE WITH CHICK PEAS ( Nohutlu pilav )

      This is my favourite rice which is fragrant and lovely to serve with curries OR serve it cold with the salad and coleslaw. It keeps well in the refrigerator for a quick snack when feeling peckish. Serves 4-6

      • 1 onion, chopped finely
      • 2 tbsp olive oil OR
      • 1 tbsp olive oil for low fat rice
      • 1 tsp garam masala
      • 1 tsp grated ginger
      • 1 tsp chopped chilli pepper(optional)
      • 1 tsp sea salt
      • 1 tsp ground black pepper if no chilli added
      • 250 g basmati rice, washed and drained
      • 200 g cooked chick peas
      • 600 ml hot water.
      TO COOK
      Fry the onion in oil until golden brown. Add garam masala, ginger, chilli, mix for a minute or so until the heat draws out the fragrance. Next add the washed rice mix it well to coat with oil and spices. Pour in the boiling water, add chick peas, salt and pepper. Stir once and let it boil for 2 minutes on high heat. Then turn the heat down to half, put the lid on tight and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add chopped fresh parsley or coriander just before serving.

      • If you want the rice more spicy, use more garam masala
      • Cooking with a non-stick pan is best
      • I buy the dried chick peas in large packs, steep and cook them in advance. Then freeze them for later use.

      MILD STEAK MINCE CURRY ( Kiymali kori )

      Here is a mild curry dish for those who are not keen on spicy food. Serves 2

      YOU NEED
      • 400 g lean steak mince
      • 1 tsp olive oil or no oil if low cal
      • 1 onion, chopped
      • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
      • 2 tbsp frozen mix peppers
      • 1 tbsp tomato puree OR
      • tin of chopped tomatoes
      • 500 ml water
      • salt and pepper to taste
      • 1 or 2 tsp of garam masala
      • fresh chopped coriander

      Heat the oil in the frying pan, add the mince, onion, garlic and stir it .Cook until it is brown. Add frozen peppers, tomato puree and water. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring it to boil then simmer with lid on for 15 minutes. Add more water if needed. Add garam masala and cook it further 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped fresh coriander just before serving.

      NOTE: 500 ml water if you are using tomato paste. If you are using tin tomatoes you need less water.

      BULGUR SALAD ( Bulgur Salatasi)

      Bulgur wheat has a light, nutty flavour and texture. You can get them coarse or fine in size. This dish is easy to prepare and very nutritious. Serves 2
      • 100 g fine bulgur
      • 6 fl oz/175ml hot water
      • 3 tsp olive oil
      • 3 tsp lemon juice or white wine vinegar
      • 1 chilli pepper, chopped (optional)
      • Salt and pepper to taste
      • Mix salad of lettuce, rocket, spring onion, tomatoes and parsley
      Put bulgur in a bowl and add 175 ml of boiling water. Cover tightly and let it stand to soak for 15 minutes. Then add the oil, lemon juice, chilli, salt and pepper. Wash all the salad ingredients and chop finely. Add to the bulgur mixture and toss together. You may need more oil and lemon juice to your taste. Serve with jalapeno peppers.

      Tuesday, 13 May 2008

      LENTIL KOFTES-Mercimekli Kofte

      This VEGETARIAN KOFTE is best eaten warm on a bed of lettuce or rocket leaves, it is also good as a cold appetizer straight from the fridge. Serves 2

      • 100 gr red split lentils
      • 500 ml water
      • 1 red onion, chopped
      • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped( optional )
      • 1 tbsp olive oil
      • 2 tsp tomato puree
      • bunch of chopped fresh herbs or 1 tsp dried herbs
      • Sprinkle of cumin powder, paprika, chilli powder and salt
      • Juice of half a lemon
      • 50 g FINE bulgur ( fine bulgar wheat )
      Wash the lentils, put in the pan with  1 pint/ 500ml water.  Add onion, garlic, oil and bring it to boil. Then simmer for 1o -12 minutes with the lid on, tilted. Add the spices, tomato puree, herbs, lemon juice and bulgur. Mix it and cook it all together further 2 minutes or until all the water has absorbed. Turn the heat off, cover the pan with the lid tight and let it stand for 15- 20 minutes until it is just warm. Take a tea spoonful of the mixture and shape it like little koftes ,when it is warm enough to handle. 
      NOTE= Bulgur wheat will  soak up all the liquid and it should be mushy consistency.

      I have tried this dish with 1 tsp of olive oil, it was equally delicious. So it great as a slimmer food too.

      LOW FAT FILO PIE - Tava boregi

      Hi All, this is a very easy version of many recipes made with filo pastry in Turkey. Majority of filo pastry pies and boreks baked in the oven but this is cooked on the stove and called lazy cook's borek because it is quick to make and hassle free.. This is especially popular when  friends get together for the  afternoon tea. Serves 6.


      6 jus-rol  Filo Pastry - defrost if frozen-
      oil for greasing the pan

      • 2 eggs
      • 200 ml milk
      • 2 tsp olive oil
      • Black pepper
      PREPARE THE EGG MIXTURE by mixing whisked eggs, milk, olive oil and black pepper.

      • 3-4 boiled medium potatoes(mashed or grated)
      • half a packed of spinach(chopped)
      • 1 onion, finely chopped
      • 100 g feta or Edam cheese, grated
      • pinch of cayenne pepper
      • Bunch of parsley and dill(chopped)

      Mash or grate the potatoes, add chopped spinach, onion, crumbled feta cheese or grated edam cheese. Chop up the herbs and mix it all together. Season with cayenne pepper. Set aside.


      Grease a large non stick frying pan.

       Take one pastry sheet, dip in the egg mixture to moistened it. Carefully lift the sheet from egg mixture and lay in it the frying pan. Don't worry if the pastry breaks, just arrange it so that bottom of the pan is fully covered. Do the same with 2nd and 3rd sheet of pastry, tucking in the edges. Now scoop all the filling mixture on top of the third sheet in the pan. Then get the 4th sheet of filo, dip in the egg mixture and lay on top of the filling. Do the same with rest of the pastry.  So we laid 3 sheets of pastry and then the filling, finally remaining 3 sheets of filo over the filling to complete the process, tucking in the edges. Turn the heat on  high for 2-3 minutes then turn it right  down to the lowest setting. Cover the pan  with the lid  and cook the pie very slowly for 10-15 minutes. Turn it over and cook the other side for 10 minutes or until it is crispy and golden in colour. Let it cool, cut in to squares and serve it warm. Afiyet olsun- Enjoy...

      Wednesday, 7 May 2008

      CHICKPEAS WITH AUBERGINE &CHORIZO( Sosisli,patlicanli nohut) )

      A tasty combination of spicy chorizo sausages, chickpeas and aubergines makes this dish delicious served with fried rice or noodles. It is also quick to prepare ready in no time at all.

      YOU NEED
      • 100g spicy sausages, sliced
      • 2 tbsp oil
      • 1 onion, chopped
      • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
      • 1 tbsp tomato puree
      • 200g cooked chickpeas
      • Half of aubergine, cut into small chunks
      • 1 tsp paprika
      • 1 tsp turmeric
      • 500 ml water
      • Handful of mixed herbs or little dried herbs of your chose
      • Salt and pepper to taste.

      Heat the oil in the pan add sausages together with chopped onion. After 5-7 minutes of cooking, add garlic tomato puree, chickpeas, aubergine, herb and spices. Add water and stir it well.Simmer for further 7-10 minutes. Season with salt and ground black pepper before serving.
      Serves 2

      LOW FAT COOKIES ( Az yagli biscuvi )

      HI ALL, these are delicious cookies which where fun to make  and very popular with family and friends. 

      • 175g peanut butter
      • 2 tbsp olive oil
      • 75g granulated sugar
      • 2 eggs, beaten
      •  250g plain flour
      • 1 tsp baking powder
      • pinch of salt
      • 1 tsp cinnamon
      • 25g sultanas
      • 25g chocolate chips
      • 25g sesame seeds
      • 2 tbsp honey
      • 100 ml milk
      • extra sesame seeds for sprinkling

      In a large mixing bowl, beat together peanut butter and olive oil. Add the sugar and eggs gradually. Sieve the flour with baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Mix sultanas, chocolate chips and sesame seeds with the flour then mix all into the peanut mixture. Add honey and milk. Mix all together to form a soft dough. Lightly grease the baking sheet and place teaspoonfuls of mixture on the tray. Sprinkle the cookies with extra sesame seeds and bake in preheated oven 180C, 350F, Gas mark 4 for 15 minutes. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool. 
      Makes 40.

      Thursday, 1 May 2008

      POTATO SALAD ( Patates salatasi )

      YOU NEED
      • 300 g boiled  new potatoes
      • 2 tsp olive oil or sesame oil
      • 1 tbs vinegar or lemon juice
      • 2 spring onions, chopped finely
      • pinch of cayenne pepper
      • Some chopped lettuce
      • Salt and pepper to taste
      • Olives and cherry tomatoes to decorate
      Dice the potatoes, add the rest of the ingredients and mix it well. Decorate with olives and tomatoes before serving. Serves 2.


      (Serves 4)
      • 8 chicken thighs
      • 2 medium onions, chopped in large chunks
      • 4 cloves of garlic, left whole
      • 2 tsp grated ginger
      • 2 tbsp tomato puree
      • 4 tbsp dry white wine
      • 1 tsp cinnamon
      • 1 tsp ground black pepper
      • 2 stalks of rosemary
      • 225 ml/8fl oz hot water
      • little salt to taste.
      First wash and trim skin and fat from  the meat. Leave it to drain. Then dry fry the chicken pieces on both sides until golden in a non stick pan. Add onions, garlic ginger, tomato puree, cinnamon and wine, stirring. Add the water and rosemary springs into the pan. Cover with the lid and cook on  a low heat for 30-35 minutes or cook it in the slow cooker and forget about it until it is time to serve..Season with salt and pepper before serving. 


      This sauce is great to keep in the fridge to use for salads, vegetables and cold dishes. I griddled some vegetables( above ) and used this sauce,  it was delish!!!

      YOU NEED
      • 1 lb/450g tomatoes
      • 1 green chilli (optional )
      • 2 fat clove of garlic
      • 2 oz  walnuts
      • bunch of fresh parsley
      • 2 tsp olive oil
      • Half of whole lemon (unpeeled )
      • 4 oz/125g low fat feta cheese
      • dash of soy sauce
      • Salt and black pepper to taste. 
      Chop lemon, chilli,tomatoes and put all the ingredients except feta cheese in a food processor, pulse it 2-3 times. Spoon the mixture into a dish and crumble the cheese and mix it well with a fork. Transfer the sauce into sterilized jars and pour little olive oil over the top and keep it in the refrigerator.

      SALMON WITH SUMAK ( Sumakli Somon baligi )

      This sweet but piquant Turkish style salmon dish will be perfect for entertaining. Added lemon juice and sumak makes this dish mouthwatering. Serves 2

      YOU NEED
      • 2 Salmon steaks
      • 2 Cloves of garlic, grated
      • 2 tsp  sumak
      • 1 tsp coarse black pepper
      • 1 tsp brown sugar or honey
      • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
      • 2 tbsp lemon juice or white wine vinegar
      TO SERVE
      • Mixed roasted vegetables
      • Extra sumak
      • Lemon wedges

      Mix all the marinade ingredients in a shallow dish. Make small slits on the fish and  place the steaks in the marinade making sure they are covered. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge to marinate for 2-3 hours.
      Remove the fish from marinade and cook in the griddle pan over a medium-high heat 3-4 minutes each side. Transfer the salmon to a serving plate with roasted vegetables and lemon wedges. Sprinkle some sumak over it just before serving.