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Turkish Cooking Classes

Our Turkish Cookery Course in Amman, Jordan; A Very Special Trip

Making Sarma, Stuffed vine leaves with participants in Amman, Jordan

Making Sarma, Stuffed vine leaves with participants in Amman, Jordan

Merhaba All,

I have just returned from Amman, Jordan, where we had our 3 day Turkish cookery course; it was a very special trip from the start to beginning and I wanted share some highlights here with you.

JA University students helping out at our Turkish cookery course.

JA University students helping out at our Turkish cookery course.

Preparing for our Turkish cookery course in Jordan, love the fresh produce

Preparing for our Turkish cookery course in Jordan, love the fresh produce

My huge thanks first of all to dear Mrs Suhair Kilani and Panthera Jordan for organising our Turkish Cookery Course in Amman; Mrs Kilani has done so much for spreading the word on Turkish cuisine and make our course happen 2nd time in Jordan, my heartfelt thanks to her. It was very special to return to JA University to teach and I love being with the students there. They have been very enthusiastic and hard working; always a very happy feeling being inspired by them and be able to inspire. I was very touched by all the kindness and generous hospitality of our Jordanian friends , it really has been a very special trip.

Turkish Jordanian Friendship Association Opening

Turkish Jordanian Friendship Association Opening

With dear Suhair Kilani and Manar Bilbesi at the Turkish Jordanian Friendship Association

With dear Suhair Kilani and Manar Bilbeisi at the Turkish Jordanian Friendship Association

I had the honor to be the guest speaker at the opening of the new premises of the Turkish Jordanian Friendship Association. It was an honor to be able to meet Turkish food lovers and have a chance to talk about Turkish cuisine. I have been so touched by dear Jordanians’ love and interest for Turkish cuisine and Turkey.

Potato and bulgur patties at our course in Jordan, it was a huge hit!

Potato and bulgur patties at our course in Jordan, it was a huge hit!

Gozleme, Anatolian flat breads with spinach and cheese, another very popular dish from our Turkich cookery course

Gozleme, Anatolian flat breads with spinach and cheese, another very popular dish from our Turkish cookery course

Zeytinyagli Sarma, Stuffed vine leaves with aromatic rice from our class, big hit

Zeytinyagli Sarma, Stuffed vine leaves with aromatic rice from our class, big hit

We had over 14 classic Turkish recipes we made during our Turkish cookery course. It was wonderful to see the keen interest from the participants and their enjoyment; some of the highlights have been Potato and bulgur rolls with pomegranate molasses, stuffed vine leaves with aromatic rice,  Gozleme, Anatolian flat breads with cheese and spinach and many more.

Islim Kebabi, eggplant slices wrapped around marinated chicken

Islim Kebabi, eggplant slices wrapped around marinated chicken

Making Sekerpare with the participants

Making Sekerpare with the participants

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Cezerye, caramalised carrot paste with walnuts from our class, delicious and healthy

We also made other classics such as Iskender Kebab, Stuffed peppers and tomatoes, Dolma, this delightful, gluten-free Islim Kebabi, marinated chicken wrapped around eggplant slices,  Manti, Turkish dumplings and many more. Desserts we made included Sekerpare, Semolina cookies in syrup, Cezerye, caramalised carrot paste with walnuts, Semolina Halva and the very special Tavuk Gogsu; Ottoman milk pudding with finely shredded chicken. I will share the recipe of this unusual but delicious dessert in a separate post.

Our visit to the Turkish Embassy in Amman

Our visit to the Turkish Embassy in Amman

Our Turkish cookery course in Amman has been very generously supported by the Turkish Embassy in Amman; it was a great honor to be able to visit our Turkish Ambassador, Mr Onal, to give our thanks for their support. Also very humbled by his kind words for our contribution to Turkish cuisine, we hope to organise many more of these courses in the near future.

A delightful pomegranate tree at TIKA office in Amman

A delightful pomegranate tree at the TIKA office in Amman

Turkish tea, cay, very kindly offered at the TIKA office

Turkish tea, cay, very kindly offered at the TIKA office

More kindness and hospitality followed, we felt home at the wonderful TIKA office in Amman and seeing their garden, I was transported to my grandmother’s 450 year old stone home in  old Antakya. She used to have pomegranate, fig and walnut trees in her garden and we would wake up with the doves singing, seeing these beautiful trees and hearing the doves were a very magical reminiscence.

TV interview during our Turkish cookery course in Amman.

TV interview during our Turkish cookery course in Amman.

Giving certificates to the participants of our Turkish cookery course

Giving certificates to the participants of our Turkish cookery course

Last day of our Turkish cookery course was filmed and I was interviewed on Turkish cuisine and its perception in Amman, to be aired on national TV. We also made it to Jordanian Times apparently! So good to see all this interest for Turkish cuisine. Another highlight was giving certificates to the participants of our 3 day Turkish cookery course, they have been all so enthusiastic and wonderful.

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

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

We made everyone Turkish coffee at the end; many thanks to Ozerlat Coffee for providing our Turkish coffee, everyone greatly enjoyed the aromatic taste and the traditions, rituals behind this special drink, it really is more than a drink for us.

Our Turkish Cookery Course in Jordan has been a very special trip from start to the end, my heartfelt thanks to everyone for their warm hospitality, can’t wait to come back again!

Brief but very Special Stop in Istanbul

Hello from Istanbul; a very precious stop at the Bosphorus

Hello from Istanbul; a very precious stop at the Bosphorus

Icing on the cake of this trip has been a brief but very special stop in Istanbul afterwards; the city I adore. As soon as I landed, I was by the Bosphorus in Bebek, a very special, memorable moment!

Dear Claudia Turgut's photo exhibition at PositivIST, Arnavutkoy, Istanbul

Dear Claudia Turgut’s photo exhibition at PositivIST, Arnavutkoy, Istanbul

Mum, my lovely sister Oznur and me together, a very precious moment

Mum, my lovely sister Oznur and me together, a very precious moment

Dear friend and ex-fellow blogger, owner of the wonderful A Seasonal Cook in Turkey blog Claudia Turgut has now a wonderful new passion, photography. She and some other photographers opened this lovely photo exhibition called PositivIST, sharing Istanbul they love through their photographs. Thanks to my lovely sister, we managed to make it to the Exhibition and met lovely Claudia. The exhibition continues until October 13th, located in Arnavutkoy Istanbul and highly recommended; gorgeous photos of Istanbul from these wonderful artists.

Fascinating Bosphorus and Istanbul

Fascinating Bosphorus and Istanbul

Glass of Cay by the Bosphorus, heavenly

Glass of Cay by the Bosphorus, heavenly

 Time to say farewell to this fascinating city, Istanbul, until next time; it was a huge dose of home, seeing loved ones being at home, treasured every minute.

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Steamed Sea bass with Vegetables; Sebzeli Levrek Bugulama

Steamed Seabass Stew with Tomatoes, Peppers, Onions; Sebzeli Levrek Bugulama

Steamed Sea bass Stew with Tomatoes, Peppers, Onions; Sebzeli Levrek Bugulama

I love poaching fish with layers of vegetables in a little water and olive oil; this method of cooking is called “bugulama” (steamed) in Turkish cuisine. This way of cooking is not only healthy but also very delicious and easy to make. This recipe is also gluten-free.

I used sea bass fillets in my recipe but any fillets of white fish, as well as sardines and anchovies would work here (if you like anchovies, you may also enjoy my Poached anchovies or anchovy stew with vegetables; Hamsi Bugulama recipe at this link).  Tomatoes, onions and green bell or pointy peppers add a lovely, clean flavor in their own juice. Slices of lemon and parsley also add a delicious, refreshing taste to this all in one pot, healthy dish, packed with flavor.

I hope you enjoy this delicious and easy Seabass Stew, Balik Bugulama. You can serve steamed potatoes or this delicious baked potatoes, peppers, red onion and olives with cumin and red pepper flakes by the side.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

5.0 from 1 reviews
Steamed Sea bass with Vegetables; Sebzeli Levrek Bugulama
 
This delicious steamed sea bass stew with vegetables, Levrek Bugulama, is healthy, easy and makes a complete meal with all the fresh vegetables in it. Tomatoes, onions and green bell or pointy peppers add a lovely, clean flavor in their own juice. Slices of lemon and parsley also add a delicious, refreshing taste to this all in one pot, healthy dish, packed with flavor. You can use any other white fish fillet of your choice.
Author:
Recipe type: Healthy Turkish Fish Stews
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 fillets of sea bass – or any other white fish of your choice-
  • 1 red onion onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed and finely chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 2 green bell peppers or pointy peppers, deseeded and sliced in stripes
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, sliced thinly
  • 4 fl. oz./ ½ cup water
  • 60 ml / 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 5ml/1 tsp red pepper flakes – optional to serve
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped – to decorate
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy pan. Stir in the chopped onions and peppers. Sauté until soft, for 3-4 minutes. Add the chopped garlic, lemon juice and water. Cover and cook over medium to low heat another 5 minutes. Turn the heat off.
  2. Place the fish fillets over the cooked vegetables. Spread the sliced tomatoes and lemon over the fish. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Cover and cook over medium to low heat for 8 to 10 minutes (please check the cooking time required for the fish of your choice at its packaging, take care not to overcook the fish.)
  4. Once cooked, sprinkle the chopped parsley over and serve hot. You can serve steamed potatoes or this delicious baked potatoes, peppers, red onion and olives with cumin and red pepper flakes at my blog, by the side.
 

So Good to be Back Home

Glorious Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Glorious Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Gorgeous bays around Bodrum, Turkey

Gorgeous bays around Bodrum, Turkey

I hope you all had a wonderful summer; for us, it really was so good to be back home, Turkey. I was in Istanbul, the city that makes my heart beats fast. Seeing my favorite sights like the Hagia Sophia and catching up with family and friends were the highlights, precious times. And not to forget the glorious Turkish food! We also spent time in Bodrum, at the southern coast; magical bays, gorgeous turquoise sea, warm, friendly folks; it was a very memorable, special holiday.

My Turkish Cookery Course at JAU University, Amman – Jordan in September

Our Turkish Cookery Course in Jordan, September 27- 29, 2016

Our Turkish Cookery Course in Jordan, September 27- 29, 2016

I am delighted to be returning to Amman, Jordan to teach a 3 day Turkish Cookery Course from September 27th  through 29th, 2016.  We will be covering a feast of 14 classic Turkish recipes during our course. I greatly look forward to sharing delicious Turkish cuisine with food lovers again in Amman. Here’s the course details if you can join us.

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Acma; Turkish Style Soft Bagels

Acma, home made Turkish style soft bagels

Acma, home made Turkish style soft bagels

Acma, Turkish style soft bagels have always been one of the Turkish style breakfast treats at home for us. It is also a delicious snack you can enjoy with cup of tea, Turkish cay, all day long. I had a chance to recreate these delicious bagels at home recently, everyone enjoyed them.

We have been pleased with the result; they turned out softer inside and a little crispy outside (this home made version is a little crispier than the Acma you get in Turkey but still very delicious and satisfying).

You can enjoy Acma, sliced in half, and buttered with jam or honey. They are also delicious with a cheese of your choice, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes aside.

Acma; home made, Turkish style soft bagels

Acma; home made, Turkish style soft bagels

I hope you enjoy making Acma; Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

5.0 from 1 reviews
Acma; Turkish Style Soft Bagels
 
Acma, Turkish style soft bagels have always been one of the favorite Turkish style breakfast treats at home for us. It is also a delicious snack you can enjoy with cup of tea, Turkish cay, all day long. I had a chance to recreate these delicious bagels at home recently, everyone enjoyed them. Hope you enjoy making Acma at home!
Author:
Recipe type: Turkish style pastries
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 7 gr (1 pack) of instant dried yeast
  • 4 fl. oz. / ½ cup luke warm milk
  • 2 fl. oz. / ¼ cup luke warm water
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 4 fl. oz. / ½ cup light olive oil
  • 238 gr/ 2 cups / 8 oz. + 1 tbsp. all-purpose plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • To finish / glaze:
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp. Sesame seeds – optional -
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200 C / 400 F
  2. Combine the yeast with warm water in a bowl, stir well and let the yeast dissolve for a few minutes.
  3. Add the sugar, warm milk and the olive oil to the mixture, stir for the sugar to dissolve.
  4. Sift the flour in a large bowl and stir in the salt. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast mixture.
  5. Combine and knead the dough for a few minutes; you will get lovely, soft dough. Cover the dough with a cling film and tea towel and leave to rise at a warm spot (near an oven or in a warm airing cupboard works well) for 2 hours. The dough will double in size.
  6. Once doubled in size, divide the dough into 6 balls. One at a time, roll each dough ball between your palms to make it about 16 cm / 6 inches long. Then swirl and roll and seal the two ends together. Repeat this with the rest of the dough balls.
  7. Place the Acma rolls on a baking paper on a tray, making sure there are minimum 1 inch / 2.5 cm. between each Acma roll, as they will expand while baking. Brush with the egg mixture and sprinkle sesame seeds over the top if you’d like.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven (200 C/ 400 F) for 10 minutes. Then turn the heat down to 190 C / 375 F and bake for another 10 minutes or until the Acma has a rich, golden color.
  9. Serve warm, afiyet olsun!

Turkish cookery class at  Blid & Hatton Gatherings (The Food Studio), Medicine Garden, Cobham

Wednesday, July 13th, 10 am – 2 pm

Kisir: Spicy Bulgur Wheat Salad with Pomegranate Molasses

Kisir: Spicy Bulgur Wheat Salad with Pomegranate Molasses

I am delighted to share my next Turkish cookery class on Wednesday, July 13th, 10 am – 2 pm at the Blid&Hatton Gatherings (The Food Studio) at Medicine Garden, Cobham, England. We have a feast of a class featuring wholesome and delicious spicy bulgur wheat salad with pomegranate molasses, Kisir, ever-popular stuffed aubergines with minced meat and vegetables, Karniyarik, savory filo pastry with spinach & feta, Ispanakli Borek,  stuffed baked dried apricots, Kayisi Tatlisi and more.

Spinach and feta filo pastry pie; Ispanakli Borek

Spinach and feta filo pastry pie; Ispanakli Borek

Here’s the details and booking information, booking will be through the Blid & Hatton Gatherings, the Food Studio at this link. Early booking is advised and the participation is limited.

Ozlem1Hope you can join us!

Ozlem

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