The end of August was celebrated by a trip to our local Turkish restaurant the Grille. We feasted on home baked sesame bread, starters of Borek (pastry stuffed with feta) and a ezma a spicy fresh veg mix. Mr M had an Iskender kebab, pitta, lamb chunks, tomato sauce and yogurt. I went for a traditional lamb Shish kebab. A great end to a good month.
Our month of French food began with a lazy tea of frittes and ouef and bacon. Proper service resumed today.
Succulent duck breast, pan fried to crisp up the skin and then oven cooked and rested before serving. Accompanied with peppery puy lentils and a tart plum sauce made with our own plums. A good start Mr M gave it 8.5.
A short post tonight as my swiftkey keyboard is still on strike and it takes too long to type without its genius predictions!
A good meal and similar in flavour to one of the tagines we had in Morrocan month. Slow cooked lamb in a broth flavoured with cinnamon and all spice, a smokey hint from the chestnuts and some sweetness from the shallots. Another good Claudia recipe, Mr M says 8.5.
From the Arabica cookbook, but apparently originally coming from Georgia, one of the many countries bordering Turkey.
Some boned chicken joints were fried in butter and oil alongside a few chopped cloves of garlic. The chicken was then set aside while some plums from our garden, halved and with stones removed, sauteed in the same pan. Afterwards, the chicken went back in while a sauce of chilli flakes, red wine vinegar and plum jam heated in another pan.
Served with bulgar wheat with chickpeas and feta. Scored 8 out of 10th by Mrs M.
A return to Turkish dinners after a long break, think we missed a blog on Shepherds spinach a simple tasty spinach, rice and lamb mince meal. Any how today I went for something quick and comforting courtesy of the ever dependable Claudia Roden.
Crushed tagliatelle in a feta flavoured egg custard sauce with green salad. Simples. Boil milk, pour onto beaten eggs. Crumble in feta. Cook pasta til al dented, pour into a greased dish. Top with feta sauce and bake in a medium oven for half an hour.
Mr M gave it just 6.5 out of 10, essentially a posh pasta bake I think it was a bit simple for his liking after a week of super fresh seafood and bbq. Hopefully the next few days of Turkish offerings will fare better!
Another lovely recipe from Turquoise, this one appealed as I love pistachios!
To make the crust I pulsed bread into crumbs added chopped pistachios and sesame seeds, lemon zest and lots of sumac. The final ingredient was grated parmesan. To coat the chicken I first dipped the breasts in egg wash, then flour, then the nut mix.
Coating the chicken was a slightly messy affair. If I made these again I wouldn’t bother with the flour stage as I think it hindered the crumbs from sticking. I would probably also make my mix finer as it was hard to get it to stick to the chicken. The quantities were a bit on the generous side too, so we now have some nice stuffing for something!
Nonetheless once these had been fried till golden and then baked in a hot oven for 10 minutes they smelt amazing and tasted lovely, crunchy crust contrasting nicely with moist chicken. A well deserved 8 from Mr M.
A nice healthy dinner last night, this was a dish from the lovely Turquoise cookbook.
Chopped onions and peppers were softened in oil with dried mint. Chilli was added, plus chickpeas and a tin of tomatoes with a good litre of stock. This simmered for half an hour before bulgar wheat was added for a final 15 minutes of cooking. Just before serving fresh mint, paprika and the juice of a lemon were added.
A hearty soup with a nice tang from the lemon and something very Mediterranean about it from the mint.. Mr M liked it giving it 8 out of 10.
Mr M indulged in some tasty little puff pastry meat pies on Thursday. They were filled with lamb mince, raisins, pine nuts and parsley. Another good recipe from Claudia, I gave them 7.5.
On Friday we had a fresh and tasty bulgar wheat based salad with cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, peppers and some feta.
Yesterday’s dinner was meant to be a more ambitious kofte similar to the Lebanese Kibbeh, but the time involved put us off attempting such a fiddly recipe from our Turquoise cookbook and instead I reverted to Claudia. We ate small parsley flavoured lamb kofte on top of a bed of yoghurt, layered on a spiced tomato sauce which topped crispy pitta bread. All flavoured with plentiful lemony Sumac and a touch of lemon juice. Butter browned pine nuts added an aromatic flavour and some more crunch.
This was quite easy to make, but I suspect the fiddly kofte would have got a higher score than the 7.5 we gave this.
Another Claudia recipe, so pretty simple to make and the results were quite pleasing, but after the punchy Mexican spices this was a little bland.
First I skinned and chopped tomatoes. Next these were blended to a pulp and a little more stock was added to make up to the cooking liquid for the rice pilaf.
Once the liquid had come to a boil then we’ll washed basmatti rice was added and cooked without stirring for 15 minutes. When it was done, plenty of butter was stirred through.
Pan fried chicken was dusted with sumac and served on top of the rice, with plenty of parsley. Mr M said it was a 7, I would have been more generous as I liked the rice!
A quick and easy start to a month of Turkish cooking. We returned to the recipes of Claudia Roden, I didn’t really associate fish like Tuna with Turkey but this appealed. A nice change from last month’s cheese fest!
Tuna steaks were seasoned and a little lemon squeezed over them. I cooked and mashed potatoes, then stirred in olive oil generously. Seasoned. Added parsley and chopped spring onion. I normally like my mash really creamy but the olive oil was a treat as something different.
The tuna steaks were cooked in a hot oil for about minute each side (I didn’t quite manage to keep it rare) then served with oil, parsley and lemon dressing, the mash and some boiled veg.
Tasty and light Mr M gave it 7.5.