All posts tagged: vegetarian

Dolma – Stuffed Vegetables with Lentil and Sheep Feta

Yippee, I finally made it! After the embarrassing presentation of my dolma at a dinner, I had another go at these dried vegetables, which you’ll see hanging in every spice and grocery store in Turkey. They look so strange at first but they’re cored and dried zucchini, eggplant and capsicum, which are the essential ingredients for Turkish olive oil dolma (zeytinyagli dolma), donc, rice-stuffed vegetables. What you see is chili paste from Hatay, the furthest region bordered by Syria and famous for lots of spicy dishes. Oh, the chili pate is quite addictive, though not as hot as Thai or Mexican chilies. One Sunday evening, I made an attempt to impress Mr.O’s dad, who always cooks for me. But what a disaster it was! I was going to keep the failure secret but I decided to share the story in order to prevent potential victims  like me, who might try to make the dolma. I’d only made dolma with fresh vegetables up to that point. These dried vegetables need a lot of time to soak …

Mussel Korma Curry – Turmeric Power

Where I am is a small village called, Confort, and I’m having a very “confortable” holiday. I wish I could wake up everyday to the green scenery and walk about in silence except the sound of birds. The only downside of being in a small village up in the mountain is no access to public transportation and good boulangeries for breakfast bread. Here it’s necessary to have bread and other groceries in the freezer and everyday necessities whenever possible. When I’m in the desperate need of something, I have to walk for 1.5 hours to the centre through La Voie du Tram, which is an old tram way that was transformed into a path where people can walk, run or ride a bicycle. It runs over 3 km and 2 km extra to reach the town centre. On the route, I see many people running and wonder how French people love sports and exercises whether they exercise in order to eat like me. The first time I took the tram way I got lost and …

Clam and Scampi Chowder – with couscous, no cream

Sometimes tt’s good to make complaints, but not often. Since my public ranting about the lack of seafood in Turkey, I’ve had more chances to eat seafood, I mean rare seafood. Scampi! One evening Mr.O came home with bags full of all kinds of unusual seafood that I hadn’t seen or eaten here; big flathead type fish, squid and scampi with eggs. It was too much to finish in one meal. First, I boiled the fish and boned it, then ate it with lovely homemade garlic aioli. I reserved the liquid in the pot and processed it to make fish stock. The liquid was gelatinised overnight in the fridge and it became easier to spread it in a thin layer in a plastic bag, which is an alternative way to store liquid stock. Homemade demi-glace is stored in ice cube makers and chicken stock is stored in one-cup portion in plastic bags. How many people are bothered to do this nowadays even if it’s so easy? The next day I used the leftover fish to …

leek feta chilli muffins

Leek Feta Muffins with Green Chillies

Sometimes I wonder which country I live in. My fridge and pantry are filled with foreign food items and French wines, but when I look out of the window I see red flags hanging out on the window seals of people’s houses. And I hear the call to prayer in the evening while eating dinner – now I sleep through the morning call that strikes at 6.30 and it doesn’t bother me any more. Other things that remind me of where I am include these white mulberries, the taste of dill and huge yogurt containers, which have many uses. As I am petite and good at climbing trees, I was asked to pick mulberries. These mulberry trees are everywhere across Turkey and the sweet fruit drop on to the streets, making footpaths sticky, and sometimes they will hit your head or drop on to the screen of your iPad when you’re lounging in the shade of those trees. They are so sweet that they can be boiled down to syrup or molasses and used as …

Halloumi Spinach Stack with Garlicky Beetroot Hummus

Ok, so I mentioned about detoxing and getting back to normal routines and eating in the previous post, right? I’m not really talking about the detox diet that women so often religiously talk about; I simply mean going off alcohol for a while, at least until this Friday because on Saturday I will be tasting some wines with my foodie friends. Before Nice, Mr.O and I tried to eat up everything that might go spoilt, but we couldn’t finish the cooked beetroots. I was meant to char-grill a bunch of capsicums to store but didn’t get around to do it. So it was the time. I love char-grilling them over the stove, though some people prefer the oven because of the mess it makes. But this pan, which I accidentally found while looking for a heat diffuser for Persian rice, happened to be what Turkish people use. You can char-grill any veggies, even seafood! So at lunchtime, even though I was not fully in the mood for cooking and taking photos, I couldn’t resist it when I …