All posts filed under: Mains

Palamut(Bonito) Freekeh Sarma with Tahini Soy Sauce

Let’s have a break from the Sicilian story and talk about what I’ve been cooking. I’ve been cooking more Asian foods lately and experimenting a combination of Korean and Turkish flavours. I have affinity  to everything wrapped or rolled, which is ‘sarma’ in Turkish. It sounds even similar to the Korean word for wrapping, ‘ssam’! You’ll see this stuffed leaves or stuffed vegetables everywhere in Turkey, and they are usually made with rice and meat. Of all, the most common type is stuffed vine leaves and I have a very funny story to tell. We had a big row over the vines in our garden over the summer. Some friends of an upstairs granny came around to pick vine leaves from time to time but I ignored them, finding it rather cute that people even in the city go around foraging. Also, the vines needed pruning anyway. But then one day I came home to find the ladies in the garden and the vines stripped naked of leaves so I told them not to pick the leaves from inside. One day while our helper lady was …

Asparagus New Season Garlic in Polenta Tart Crust

I will have to give a darn good excuse for such a long silence this time, won’t I? What could it be? Yes, I’m getting married..finally!! I’ve been running around for the past 3 weeks – in order of importance – to find the venue, set the date, collect necessary documents and get them notarised, do a medical checkup, which I don’t know what for,  find the wedding dress, and so on. I had no idea what I was putting myself into; it’s quite a lot of work. I was secretly planning for a small intimate event in a winery until I got an absolute ‘NO’ from Mr.O’s parents, and my wedding plan started to shape up in a form completely different to my original ideas. Of course, I was disappointed and they acknowledged it but there is no point in trying to persuade Mr.O’s parents risking disharmony and stress, especially since all guests will be Turks, to whom a wedding is all about dancing. If I’d insisted, the winery wedding could have come true …

Baked Artichoke Bottoms Stuffed with Mushroom and Goat Cheese

If you follow me on FB or Instagram, you’d probably have seen some photos of the lovely weekend trip to Çanakkale. I did a wine tasting, ate local specialities such as cheese helva (peynir halvasi), ice cream, and oğlak(kid), yeah!, which can be eaten only through March and April. I’ll dedicate a whole post on the trip later because I think what I saw and did there is worth a whole page and it wasn’t all about food this time. Also, April is extra special for that area because of the Battle of Gallipoli and Anzac Day. So today let’s just talk about food and sharing food. Spring conjures up asparagus and artichoke. Do you remember I was eating lots of white asparagus in France? I sometimes see them in jars at Metro supermarket but I don’t buy them of course – strictly shop locally and find alternatives! In Turkey, when you go to farmers’ markets these days, you see many guys trimming artichoke bottoms. The artichokes here are bigger and how they are cooked …

cauliflower

Cauliflower Steak with Thracian Wine

Winter is almost over as the temperature is heading for the 20 range and the daylight saving will start in started a couple of days ago. For some reason, WordPress is working again so I’m going to cram blog! I couldn’t because of the unbelievable nation-wide power outage yesterday, but it’s more to do with my personal affairs happening all at once lately, which makes it very difficult to sit down and write. Amid all this, I find it important to continue writing and let things off my chest. Some of you might have detected some sort of change in my voice as if molten lava boiling its way through a tiny crack. Well, I’m dramatising it a bit but I think there will be quite a huge change with my life soon but until it really happens, I’ll keep silent not to stir up the good karma, however, I’ll try my best to keep you informed and inspired just about everything I come across, culture, food, history, and my observations and random thoughts, which …

Slow Food…11 Hour-Cooked Duck and Sweet Potato Sage Gratin Cheat

It’s been quite a while after the last post about after the Korean event, it’s been full-on but mostly because of me cooking Korean food and socialising offline. I had many people requesting for a Korean dinner and ended up cooking Korean food nonstop for two weeks. I’ve never cooked so much Korean food in such a short period, which was a good exercise to review my Korean palate but also meant that I didn’t have interesting recipes to write about. So after serving the last Korean dinner to Mr.O’s parents, sister and her friend, and cousin, I decided to put a full stop to Korean food for a while and get back to exercising my culinary brain. I’ve had enough of making dumplings and rolling kimbap. Having said that, I’m not sure when the full stop will be removed as I see growing enthusiasm for Korean food after the event so I’m thinking of creating some Korean-inspired recipes occasionally. The downside of Korean food is that it’s very difficult to match it with wines …

Coconut Crumbed Mung Bean Sprout Fritters

Patience…patience… Life in Turkey is very slow, so slow that waiting is big part of my life. Take a deep breath and let it be, let it go… Boşver… the word Mr.O often throws at me who frets over small things. I’ve been waiting for my knife to be delivered for over 5 months, though I was told 3 months. What kind of knife, you would wonder, right? I ordered a special knife when we had a family trip to Babakale. I’m still waiting, bugging Mr.O’s dad to find out if it’s on its way or it’s still being made. We were told that the knife will be passed on to the family friend who is living there and then she will bringing it to a relative in Çanakkale, and then finally to Istanbul, not by post but in person, who will come to Istanbul, and god knows when it will happen. At the moment, two of my knives, Opinel and Sürmene, and guess who won in the tomato slicing competition, which is the best sharpness …