Author: Namie

Brussels sprout kimchi

Fermented Goodies: Brussels Sprouts, Mustard Greens Kimchi

Better late and never! The latest freezing temperature, I hope, will do some justice to this post. But then again, there isn’t a right time for fermentation obsession, is there? I took advantage of the cold weather with drizzles and gutsy wind, I busied myself with much delayed winter chores. But before I begin, I send out my apology for not being able to do the annual kimchi workshop, nor any Korean food events this winter. But I certainly will this year! I hope that you still made your favourite kimchi to store away for months to come. On my part, so caught up between two jobs, I was getting anxious that I might not be able to make any kimchi myself. The bigger issue than time, though, was not finding Napa cabbages in Canakkale! As a desperate resort to stock some fermented goodies, I made kimchi with Brussels sprouts and mustard greens, called ‘hardal otu‘ in Turkish. There are three things that give me a sense of security, and they are Kimchi/Cheese/Wine. Neither a man …

Turkish wine USCA

Sommeliers’ Selection Turkey 2018

Beside repeated barrel tastings at the winery, there are some exciting official wine tastings lined up this year, and I’ll share them as they happen. First, let’s start with Sommeliers’ Selection Turkey 2018 I attended a week ago. The event, organised by Gustobar, was held in The Marmara Taksim and there were about 200 wines by 50 Turkish producers. It’s been a while since I last bought any Turkish wines, which had drifted away naturally in the course of time. So I was delighted at the chance to reconnect with them. I went to only the Sunday tasting and masterclass, and I’ll share my observations with you. Let’s start with ‘Walk Around Tasting‘. #1, Open Your Wine Horizons And feed your curiosity. The rule number one is always first try the wines you haven’t tried before. I don’t normally drink white wines so tasting events are a good opportunity to try them. My first sip was Sevilen Isabey, which had been raved by many people. It was indeed a delicious and lively white, similar in style to NZ Sauvignon Blanc. …

Kavala

Foodie Guide to Kavala via Alexandroupoli, Greece – Cross-Border Trips

I’m really smitten with the hospitality of the people in northern Greece. Since spring is not far away, Istanbulites might be planning a short escape for gastronomy and for the pantry. So I’m writing a compact foodie guide to northern Greece for locals and tourists alike, perhaps, Anzac tourists to Canakkale? It will be a shame not to make a trip while in Turkey, considering how easy and pleasant it is. It is so close, only 3 hours, from Canakkale, and the pleasure and the value for money is far greater than Turkey. This time I went with a Turkish friend(DE) and her father, and since it was their first time in Greece, I suggested visiting Kavala after Alexandroupoli so that they can experience something different. So what can foodies do in Alexandroupoli and Kavala? Let’s begin. Alexandroupoli – Idyllic Little Cosmopolitan Alexandroupoli is small and easy to navigate, making it perfect for a quick breather with peace and quiet, and food. It’s insanely close from Canakkale so I’ve already made three trips in the …

pork kimchi

Slow Roast Kimchi Pork with Super Crispy Skin – Paired with Mavroudi or Mavrud of Thrace

Celebration and indulgence… That night marked the end of the long-distance living or dual location households. It’s OVER! Hooray! It was hard; it was costly; it was stressful; it was emotionally damaging. I know many couples are doing this, whether or not by choice, and I wonder how they manage it. Well, it didn’t fit for us and the biggest struggle was not being able to eat together and, for him, not finding any food outside. When I asked what he wanted for dinner on his moving day, he screamed ‘PORK!’. So I took out two packets of pork shoulder cut from the freezer the first thing in the morning. I scored the skin in a criss-cross pattern and rubbed it generously with coarse salt. I also drizzled some kimchi juice over the meat and sprinkled Schiuan pepper and rosemary. After resting in the fridge the whole morning, it was ready for the oven. Since the cut was individually packaged, not in whole, I had to find a way to make it sit with the skin …

nutella bread

Boozy Naughty Nutella Flower Brioche

Belated Happy New Year to all my readers! Another year has rolled in silently, and my first post in the new year is a sunflower Nutella brioche. My mind has been racing with many thoughts and some new plans to simplify my life are brewing slowly, which explains the silence. 2017 was a very volatile year in terms of relationship and work, which involved two-city life. It has finally come to an end and we will start 2018 with more stability. Fingers crossed xx What it would mean, though, that I won’t be able to eat with you in Istanbul as much as I’d like to. It’s already happened, I know, since I took a semi-permanent séjour at the winery. Having said that, my winery posts are among the most popular posts on my blog! Anyway, I’ll continue to inspire with delicious stories, travels, more adventures as a cellar rat and a WSET Dip student, and the stories of living in Canakkale. Nutella… Mr.O has a weakness for it.  Hey, who isn’t? But not for …

pumpkin tortellini

Pumpkin Leek Tortellini with Duck Ragu

Finally comes the duck story… And I’m afraid yet delighted that you’ll hear more duck stories this winter. How come? Well, I’m spreading the duck spirits around me and so many people are eager to eat more of the delicacy. Leading up to the last day of my sejour at the winery, I was thinking hard everyday about the duck: how and when to cook it.  Sensing the accumulated anticipation of almost two months, I decided to get the task over and done with. Originally, it was destined for Duck a l’Orange, but I incorporated a Chinese Peking Duck method by adding more herbs and oriental spices such as star anise and cinnamon, and also by drying out the skin for crispiness. The warm aromas had the effect of stimulating a holiday mood as well. After resting in the fridge overnight, rubbed with salt and spices, it was ready for the oven the next morning. Despite some unexpected events, I managed to cook it for as long as 2.5 hours. The tough parts, the wings …