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Turkish cuisine provides healthy, hearty, delicious food for family and friends.
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Cookery Classes

I teach Turkish cooking classes in England,Turkey & USA, hope you can join us!,
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Turkish Cooking Classes

Let’s have a go at Turkish Cuisine; Sultan’s Delight, Zucchini Fritters, Kunefe (Kadayifi); Easier than You Think!

“Thank you for the wonderful Turkish cooking class; I learned so much about the Turkish cuisine, and couldn’t believe how easy it is to cook delicious, healthy food”; this has been one of the comments at my recent Turkish cooking class. It is always a pleasure to see participants’ enjoying the class and realize how easy to make Turkish dishes, using fresh ingredients.

It is a pleasure and lots of fun sharing Turkish cuisine, recipes, traditions at the cookery classes

Well, I have a new Turkish cookery class coming up on Saturday, 20th October, and I wanted to share what we will be up to.  The classes are friendly, informal with step by step demonstration of the recipes, and packed with useful information on where to source ingredients,  substitution ( when needed) and on Turkish cuisine and culture. If you are in the area and would like to join us, please contact me. If not, I hope the recipes may still inspire you to have a go to treat yourself, family and friends; they are delicious and easier than you think! Here is our menu for the class:

Zucchini (Courgette) Fritters flavored with Feta and Dill – Mucver. This appetizer is a wonderful way to flavor the zucchini; dill and feta really goes well with the zucchini. An important tip here is to squeeze out any excess water of the grated zucchini with a paper/tea towel. This will prevent the fritters to get soggy.  You can enjoy mucver  warm or you can make it in advance, and serve as a cold meze. It is truly delicious with garlic infused yoghurt by the side.

Zucchini fritters are utterly delicious; garlicky yoghurt would complement them well.

Sultan’s Delight –  Ragout With Pureed Eggplant And Béchamel Sauce – Hunkar Begendi

Hunkar Begendi; delicious ragout on a bed of smoked eggplant puree; for a vegetarian option, you can serve the puree with grilled vegetables.

This Ottoman classic is served with smoky tasting eggplant with cheese in a béchamel sauce. When Empress Eugenie, the wife of Napoleon III, visited Topkapi Palace – Istanbul as a guest of the Sultan, she admired the puree so much that she sent her chef to Topkapi Palace to learn the technique. Once you’ve mastered the eggplant puree, it goes well with any grilled meat or vegetables.

Smoking the eggplants is an important step to make the Hunkar Begendi, Sultan's Delight.

Important tip; if you cook the eggplants on stove top or burner, you get a wonderful smoky flavor for the eggplants. As an alternative, you can also bake the eggplants in the oven – make sure to prick the eggplants before baking.

Hunkar Begendi is one of the landmarks of our cuisine and very popular at home. It is great for entertaining; looks very inviting and the marriage of the eggplant & béchamel sauce with the ragout is divine. For a vegetarian option, why not serving the puree with Fried Aubergine (Eggplant), Courgette (Zucchini) and Peppers with Tomato Sauce; Saksuka ? 

Kunefe – Kadayifi

Syrup soaked delicate pastry strands with cheese; kunefe is an ultimate treat.

This dessert is one of the signature dishes of my hometown, Antakya (please click here for more delicious recipes and photos from Antakya). I can still remember getting the freshly baked Tel Kadayif (pastry strands) from the local bakery, watching the delicate strands forming from the huge sieve. And I can still visualize my grandmother cooking Kunefe in her stone oven in her garden, and, we, her grandchildren excitedly waiting for any leftovers of the butter soaked pastry strands….glorious days .

Tel kadayif is a dough, pushed through a sieve to form delicate strands, which looks like vermicelli. In Antakya, there are specialty shops like this, making the fresh pastry strands for kunefe.

Tel kadayif is a dough, pushed through a sieve to form delicate strands, which looks like vermicelli and when soaked in butter and baked, resembles golden shredded wheat. It is the basis for many desserts but this is the most impressive. The hot cheese should ooze out giving an interesting contrast to the syrup soaked, crunchy casing. Any unsalted cheese which melts easily can be used – mozzarella works well too. It can be baked in one big pan or smaller ones as individual portions.

Kunefe recipe will be in the blog shortly.

We will finish the class with the aromatic Turkish coffee, Turkish way. Always a wonderful experience.

Turkish coffee; delicious way to end a Turkish meal.

Have you ever made any of these dishes? Could I tempt you to have a go?:) I would be more than happy to help you along the way and answer your questions, just let me know. I bet yours will be more delicious than mine:)

My late grandmother's 450 year old stone house in Antakya; the house has been a very happy place to cook and enjoy delicious food, and an inspiration for us to keep the recipes, traditions alive.

Happy Cooking, Afiyet Olsun!

Ozlem

 

 

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Hellos from Istanbul & Turkish Feast at Istanbul Culinary Institute

Our group photo at our cooking class, Istanbul Culinary Institute

Warm greetings to you all from Istanbul, Istanbul’dan merhaba! It has been over a week since we did our Turkish cooking class at Istanbul Culinary, I just had a chance to share some wonderful photos from the class. It was a delicious class, with wonderful, hardworking participants, and we knocked up 4 courses in 2 hours; many thanks to all the participants for their hard work 🙂

Making the cevizli biber - walnut and red pepper paste

Each course took below 30 minutes to prepare – with tray kebab to bake for about 45 minutes -; you can prepare healthy, delicious food in a short period of time and it is a lot of fun to share with others. Above we are making the cevizli biber, red pepper paste with walnuts and olive oil.

Here is dear Oznur, chopping and prepping for the tray kebab

Here is tray kebab ready to enjoy

Everyone worked hard and pleasantly surprised to create dishes in a short period of time; why not you have a go tonight to make the Patlicanli eksileme – smoked eggplant salad with garlic yoghurt? It may be a delicious treat for you too:)

It was lovely to cook and share Turkish food with dear foodies like Nejla

 

Istanbul Culinary's lovely cafe

Istanbul Culinary Institute also have a lovely cafe with freshly prepared Turkish and international dishes by the Institute’s students, very well worth visiting. Also, do keep an eye out for Joy’s wonderful pastry classes at the Institute!

I would like to say farewell with Kandili Iskele’s – ferry stop-  shot; Kandilli is a very quaint village on the Asian side of Istanbul, famous wiith its yoghurt; make sure to stop by there : )

Look forward to saying hello again soon, until then, warm wishes to you all from Istanbul!

Ozlem

 

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Ozlem's Turkish Table at the Hurriyet Daily News! – 7th August, 2012 –

UK-based Turkish chef returns home to teach in Istanbul

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News

Turkish cook and blogger Özlem Warren has been giving workshops on Ottoman cuisine. Warren is visiting Istanbul to conduct a class at the Istanbul Culinary Institute

Warren is not only a cook but also an admirer of Ottoman cuisine. She is conscious of the fact that it owes much to diversity of cultures that nurtured it through the centuries.

“Warren is not only a cook but also an admirer of Ottoman cuisine. She is conscious of the fact that it owes much to diversity of cultures that nurtured it through the centuries.

It may sound a little exaggerated when an expatriate says she has become a cook just because she could no longer do without her national dishes, but this is the story behind the longing that brought Özlem Warren back to her homeland to teach a workshop at an Istanbul’s culinary arts institutes…..”

Hellos and Merhabas again from Istanbul! I am delighted to share that we had an interview with the Hurriyet Daily News. It was wonderful to be able to talk about Turkish cuisine, express the great interest abroad and what can be done furthermore to promote Turkish cuisine. You can read the rest of the article at UK based Turkish chef returns home to teach in Istanbul

Today is my Turkish cooking class at the Istanbul Culinary Institute, and we have a full house : ) I very much look forward to sharing an evening of Turkish cuisine with Turkish and foreign participants, many thanks for all your support and interest.

Fasulye piyazi; a delicious, substantial salad for warm summer days

And here is a refreshing salad idea for the hot summer days; Fasulye Piyazi – Beans with red onion, tomato, boiled egg, olives . This salad is ready within minutes, it is substantial as well as delicious and healthy.

Below are a few photos about our time in Istanbul, hope you enjoy them:

I am getting the dried peppers and aubergines ready for the class tonight!

 

Dried peppers and aubergines not only make great decoration, they are very tasty too. You need to soak them for a few minuted at boiling water to soften up. Then you can stuff then witrh rice, herbs and ground meat, if you like. They are wonderful when baked with a dollop of yoghurt by the side.

As always, I can't keep my eyes off the wonderful fruit and vegetable stalls, packed with seasonal produce.

Midye Dolma - Stuffed mussels is one of the most popular street food in Turkey

 

Stuffed mussles with aromatic rice; a favorite street food, you just need a squeeze of lemon over them, delicious.

 

Another, very famous treat; Maras style ice cream, Maras dondurma. This wonderful ice cream is so thick, that you can slice with knife, a must try!

And this is my share of the wonderful Maras ice cream!

 

Some fine examples of Turkish pottery with an Ottoman design touch, loved them all.

 

 

Until next time, happy travels to you all!

Ozlem

 

 

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