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Turkish cuisine provides healthy, hearty, delicious food for family and friends.
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Regional Signature Dishes; Mains, Sides and Desserts

Ozlem’s Turkish Table; pumpkin recipes, book fair, cookery class

Merhaba dear All,

Beautiful still life from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book coming up, by Sian Irvine Photography

Exciting times ahead, as we are almost there to start the pre-order for my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland, as of early November, please stay tuned! With a special tribute to my southern Turkish roots and family stories, this book has been lovingly written and prepared with beautiful images by Sian Irvine Photography, I really can’t wait to share with you all.

Here are a few special events coming up as well as delicious autumn/fall flavours, showcasing pumpkin and squash, I hope you enjoy it:

Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland is at Riverhouse Barn Book Fair, October 28th

One of the still life shots with my family photos, from my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland, coming up. Image credit: Sian Irvine Photography

I am delighted to be participating the Riverhouse Barn Book Fair in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England on Saturday, October 28th at 12 noon with GB Publishing. Together with other authors, I will be introducing my upcoming cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland and introducing southern Turkish cuisine, my roots, Antakya- Antioch, with Turkish delights for everyone! Hope you can join us for a wonderful literary themed weekend.

A Turkish Festive Table cookery class with Ozlem Warren, Divertimenti Cookery School – London, Hands On Masterclass – Saturday, December 2nd

Radish salad with tahini sauce, image credit: Sian Irvine photography

Antakya’s traybake kebab, tepsi kebabi, will be a part of our cookery class on Dec. 2nd at Divertimenti cookery school. Image credit: Sian Irvine Photography

Please join us on Saturday, December 2nd, from 11 am to 2.30 pm for a festive class, as I will be sharing Southern Turkish specialties from my upcoming cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. With a tribute to my roots, you will prepare authentic Southern Turkish flavours as you cook alongside with us. Recipes include ‘Tahini Bread Rolls with Sesame Seeds’, ‘Muhammara’ (Walnut and red pepper paste dip), ‘Leafy Greens with Peppers, Pine nuts and Aleppo Pepper Flakes’, ‘Radish Salad with Tahini Sauce’, ‘Tepsi Kebabi’ (Traybake kebab with roasted vegetables), ‘Kunefe – Kadayifi’ (Pastry strands with melted cheese in light syrup) and Turkish coffee.

Price : £115

Participation is limited, please kindly book through Divertimenti Cookery School at this link

Leafy greens with pine nuts, pepper and onions, a delicious course at our Dec. 2nd cookery class, at Divertimenti

What I have been cooking lately…

Candied pumpkin dessert with walnuts, southern Turkish Style – Cevizli Kabak Tatlisi

Candied pumpkin dessert with walnuts; Cevizli Kabak Tatlisi

We all have pumpkins in our minds at this time of the year; I love its natural sweetness and comforting, luscious flavor. This scrumptious candied pumpkin dessert is popular in Turkey and it is so very easy to make. Pumpkin is baked here in its very own juice with sugar and the result is an exquisite dessert with the full flavor of pumpkin, also fancy enough to share with family and friends.

This lovely light dessert, Kabak Tatlisi, is wonderful served with crushed walnuts. In Turkey, it is also served with our thick clotted cream, kaymak. If you can’t get kaymak, clotted cream also complements this dessert well. Here’s the link to my candied pumpkin dessert with walnuts, Cevizli Kabak Tatlisi.

Bulgur meatballs with squash and chickpeas, in yoghurt and mint sauce

Bulgur meatballs with squash and chickpeas in yoghurt and dried mint sauce

Stews with yoghurt has a special place in southern Turkish cuisine. I recently re-created Gaziantep’s Stew with bulgur meatballs, in yoghurt and mint sauce – Yogurtlu, bulgurlu kofte -. The traditional recipe also has lamb in it, in my version I omitted the extra meat and added the seasonal squash to  the dish.  The chickpeas worked really well in the stew too; not only very healthy, but brought a different texture and wonderful flavor. The dish turned out to be a very satisfying  and substantial meal yet surprisingly light. Here’s my recipe for the Bulgur meatballs with squash and chickpeas, in yoghurt and mint sauce, I hope you enjoy it.

Happy autumn/fall and Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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Gavurdagi Salad Variation with watercress, pomegranates, walnuts

Gavurdagi Salad Variation with pomegranates, watercress and walnuts – image credit; jennychef.com

There is one tomato salad that you often come across wherever you are in Turkey; Gavurdagi Salad. Named after the Gavur mountain, part of Tarsus mountains in Southeast part of Turkey, this delicious salad is from the Gaziantep region, where many wonderfully delicious and spicy Turkish dishes come from. Gavurdagi Salad won’t typically have walnuts in it but I love the marriage of sweet and juicy tomatoes with the crunchy walnuts in my version here. The sweet and sour pomegranate molasses dressing, Nar Eksisi really complements this salad too. Here’s my recipe to if you like to make pomegranate molasses, Nar Eksisi, at home.

We made this wonderful salad at my Turkish cookery class on Dec. 14th with more variation; I added watercress and pomegranate seeds to my salad for extra freshness and texture. It really worked well and everyone greatly enjoyed it! My sincere thanks to dear Jenny for the salad image here from our Turkish cookery class. Jenny also happens to be a passionate cook and cookery teacher, please check her blog JennyChef !

Gavurdagi salad is an important part of the meze spread at kebab houses in Turkey, served with the delicious Turkish pide bread, butter and the crumbly Turkish white cheese.  You can also enjoy this delicious and easy salad as a starter or accompaniment to grills, kebabs like my home made Iskender Kebab and casseroles.

My very best wishes to you all for the Festive Season and New Year, in good health and happiness. Saglikli, Mutlu bir Yeni Yil Dilegiyle,

Ozlem

5.0 from 3 reviews
Gavurdagi Salad Variation with watercress, pomegranates, walnuts
 
Named after the Gavur mountain, part of Tarsus mountains in Southeast part of Turkey, this delicious salad originates from the Gaziantep region, where many wonderfully delicious and spicy Turkish dishes come from. This time, I made a variation of this wonderful salad and I added watercress walnuts and pomegranate seeds for extra freshness and texture, worked really well. You can enjoy this delicious and easy salad as a starter or accompaniment to grills, kebabs like my home made Iskender Kebab and casseroles.
Author:
Recipe type: Healthy Salads
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 200 gr watercress
  • ¼ onion, finely chopped
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 50gr/2oz/1/3 cup walnuts, crushed – about pea size each –
  • 15ml/1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 30ml/2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 5ml/1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 5ml/1 tsp sumac – optional-
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • ⅓ pomegranate seeds to serve
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, rub the chopped onions with the spices and seasoning; salt, sumac, red pepper flakes and ground black pepper – that will soften the onion and enable the spices to blend in well.
  2. Add the tomatoes, parsley and walnuts to the onions.
  3. Then stir in the pomegranate molasses and the extra virgin olive oil and give them a good (but gentle) mix.
  4. Stir in the watercress and combine well.
  5. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over the salad and serve.
  6. Afiyet olsun.

29th January 2017 Turkish Cookery Class -a wonderful foodie gift

Lahmacun, popular Turkish thin pizza with ground meat and vegetables topping, will be at our Jan. 29th class

Lahmacun, popular Turkish thin pizza with ground meat and vegetables topping, will be at our Jan. 29th class

Leeks, carrots, onions and rice cooked in olive oil; Zeytinyagli Pirasa

Leeks, carrots, onions and rice cooked in olive oil; Zeytinyagli Pirasa, is at our Jan. 29th class.

Get 2017 off to a healthy and wholesome start with my  selection of Turkish supper dishes from my homeland at our Turkish cookery class at Divertimenti Cookery School on Sunday, January 29th, 12 pm – 3.30 pm. Packed full of flavor and easily reproduced at home without having to spend hours at your cooker, you will be surprised at the simplicity of such stunning dishes. During the class you will also be joined by the Turkish coffee expert, Ozerlat Coffee, who will carefully demonstrate all the rituals behind Turkish coffee making whilst offering you plenty of opportunity for tastings. Menu will include ‘Mercimek Corbasi’ (Lentil soup with cumin and red pepper flakes), ‘Zeytinyagli Pirasa’ (Leeks and carrots with olive oil, rice and lemon), ‘Lahmacun’ (Turkish thin pizza with minced meat and vegetables), ‘Cezerye’ (Caramelised carrot delight with walnutsTurkish Coffee and Turkish Delight.

Turkish coffee, enjoyed by everyone at our Turkish cookery course.

Turkish coffee, rituals and how to make it will be presented by Ozerlat Coffee at our Jan. 29th class

The classes may also make a wonderful gift for the festive season and New Year. You can view the class details and book through Divertimenti Cookery School at this link, hope you can join us!

 

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Cabbage with bulgur, ground meat,spices; Bulgurlu Lahana Kapuska

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Cabbage with bulgur, ground meat and spices -Bulgurlu Lahana Kapuska

One of the joys of making stuffed cabbage rolls, Lahana Sarma, is the prospect of enjoying the equally delicious Lahana Kapuska; Cabbage with bulgur, ground meat and spices. Lahana Kapuska, almost a sort of deconstructed cabbage rolls, is not only easy to make but also a great way to use up the left over cabbage parts when making stuffed cabbage rolls.

Kapuska is a popular hearty stew and has many versions in Turkey. The name Kapuska is actually derived from the Russian language for cabbage and has many versions throughout Russia and Eastern Europe (Kapusta for instance is a wonderful cabbage based dish enjoyed in Poland). In Turkey, there are many versions of Kapuska with ground meat, chunks of meat, rice or bulgur. In Southern Turkey, we like to make Kapuska with bulgur, ground meat, onions, flavored with red pepper paste, dried mint and red pepper flakes. It is such a comforting and wholesome meal served with plain yoghurt; very easy too. For a vegetarian version, simply omit the meat.

Kapuska with bulgur, cabbage, red pepper paste and ground meat, Southern Turkish Style

Kapuska with bulgur, cabbage, red pepper paste and ground meat, Southern Turkish Style

Turkish hot red pepper paste, Biber Salcasi, is a rich, delicious paste of juicy, spicy red peppers and we use it often in Southern Turkish cookery. You can make your own red pepper paste at home with my recipe if you’d like. If you prefer a milder taste, you can replace the red pepper paste with tomato paste in the recipe and sprinkle red pepper flakes to your taste.

I hope you enjoy my Kapuska recipe with bulgur. Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

4.8 from 4 reviews
Cabbage with bulgur, ground meat,spices; Bulgurlu Lahana Kapuska
 
Kapuska is a popular hearty stew and has many versions in Turkey. In Southern Turkey, we like to make Kapuska with bulgur, ground meat, onions, flavored with red pepper paste, dried mint and red pepper flakes. It is such a comforting and wholesome meal served with plain yoghurt; very easy too. For a vegetarian version, simply omit the meat.
Author:
Recipe type: Turkish style Cabbage Stew with bulgur
Cuisine: Southern Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ½ head of medium cabbage or left over cabbage leaves from cabbage rolls - 700 gr, washed and coarsely chopped (remove the hard stalk in the middle)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 225gr/ 8 oz. / 1 cup coarse bulgur
  • 225 gr / 8 oz. ground (minced) beef or lamb
  • 1 tbsp. red pepper paste (optional; you can use additional 1 tbsp. tomato paste if not using red pepper paste)
  • 1 tbsp. double concentrated tomato paste
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 10 ml / 2 tsp. dried mint
  • 5 ml / 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (or more, if you like spicier)
  • 16 fl. oz. / 2 cups hot water
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Plain yoghurt to serve
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and stir in the ground (minced) meat. Sauté for 2-3 minutes over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and coarsely chopped cabbage to the pan and sauté for another 4 -5 minutes (their volume will shrink as they cook).
  3. Stir in the bulgur, tomato paste, red pepper paste and water. Combine well.
  4. Add the lemon juice, red pepper flakes and dried mint and season with salt and ground black pepper.
  5. Bring to the boil then cover and cook over low heat for 15 - 20 minutes or until all cooked.
  6. Serve hot, with sprinkles of dried mint and red pepper flakes over top and a dollop of plain yoghurt by the side.
  7. Afiyet Olsun.
Notes
For the vegetarian version of Kapuska, simply omit the meat.

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