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Chicken Soup with Vegetables in lemon & egg sauce – Terbiyeli, Sebzeli Tavuk Corbasi

Chicken and vegetables soup in lemon & egg sauce; Terbiyeli Sebzeli Tavuk Corbasi

Chicken and vegetables soup in lemon & egg sauce; Terbiyeli Sebzeli Tavuk Corbasi

Cold winter days call for a warming meal; this delicious chicken and vegetables soup is ideal to turn  the left over bits of vegetables and cooked meat (you can meat omit for a vegetarian option) into a hearty, delicious soup. With nice crusty bread aside, this chunky soup makes a complete meal for us (and just the thing if you have a cold). Soups, Corba as we call in Turkish, have a special place in Turkish cuisine and the meals mostly start with a soup. In Anatolia, it is very common to have soup to start the day, especially in winter.

There is a special technique used in this soup; lemon juice is beaten with egg yolks to thicken the sauce and add a delicious sort of tangy flavor. This method is called “terbiyeli” in Turkish cuisine and it requires a staged tempering of the egg sauce into the hot liquid, so that the soup won’t curdle.

I have used parsnips, celery, carrots, red onion here; you can also use potatoes, regular onion or any other vegetables you like and needs finishing. I hope you enjoy this delicious, nutritious, warming soup.

Healthy, delicious chicken soup with vegetables in lemon & egg sauce

Healthy, delicious chicken soup with vegetables in lemon & egg sauce

Serves 4 – 6

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes                                     Cooking time: 30 minutes

225 gr/8 oz./1 cup cooked (left over) chicken meat, cut in small chunks (you can omit this for a vegetarian option)

75gr/3oz/scant ½ cup long grain rice (plain or basmati, if you prefer), rinsed

1 large red onion, quartered and chopped

3 celery stick, trimmed and coarsely chopped

3 medium carrots, coarsely chopped

3 parsnips, peeled and cut in small chunks

Handful of fresh flat leaf (Italian) parsley

30 ml/2 tbsp. olive oil

2 lt/ 3 ½ pints/8 cups hot chicken stock (or vegetarian stock, or water)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Lemon & egg sauce:

2 egg yolks, beaten

Juice of 1 lemon

To serve:

Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle when serving (optional)

Turkish red pepper flakes (pul biber) or chili flakes and a wedge of lemon to serve

Crusty bread to serve

Heat the olive oil in a deep heavy pan and stir in the onion, sauté for a few minutes. When the onion begins to color slightly, toss in the celery, carrot and parsnip. Stir and cook for a further 2 minutes. Then add the rinsed rice, giving a good stir. Pour in the hot stock or water and the cooked chicken pieces (if you are using), combine well. Season with salt and freshly grounded black pepper to your taste. Cover and cook over medium to low heat for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked though still have a bite to them.

 Gently pour in a ladle of the hot soup to the egg mixture and blend well.

Gently pour in a ladle of the hot soup to the egg mixture and blend well.

Afterwards, in a small bowl, thoroughly blend the egg yolks with the lemon juice. Gently pour in a ladle of the hot soup to the egg mixture for tempering and blend well. Then slowly pour this egg mixture into the simmering pan; stir constantly so that the eggs don’t curdle. Add the chopped parsley and cook the soup very gently on low heat for 3-5 minutes. Do not allow the soup to boil, or it may curdle. Check the seasoning and turn the heat off.

Warming chicken and vegetables soup in lemon & egg sauce.

Warming chicken and vegetables soup in lemon & egg sauce.

Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over and sprinkle red pepper flakes, pul biber over, if you like. Serve hot with some crusty bread and a wedge of lemon aside.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

 

Ozlem’s Turkish Table at the Turkish Chefs of the World, “Dunyanin Turk Sefleri” TV program aired on TRT Turk  TV Channel

Click to view on YouTube.

I was delighted to take part in Dunyanin Turk Sefleri, “Turkish Chefs of the World” TV program on TRT Turk TV Channel.

I was delighted to be involved in the Turkish Chefs of the World, “Dunyanin Turk Sefleri” TV program aired on Turkish National TV, TRT Turk channel (aired over 70 countries) a few weeks ago. The program was shot in major gastronomic centers like New York, Berlin, Tokyo, Vienna, Paris and London, exploring world cuisines and the presence of Turkish cuisine around the world. I was involved in their London program; the presenter and Milliyet food author Mr. Sureyya Uzmez and I talked about the vibrant London food scene and the growing presence of Turkish cuisine abroad. I delightfully mentioned the increasing global interest for the healthy, delicious Turkish cuisine and my admiration for your enthusiasm, dear readers, to learn and tackle many aspects of Turkish cuisine, from baklava to Simit, karniyarik to Turkish Delight and more. The interview is in Turkish but I thought you may still enjoy viewing, here is the YouTube link for the program (my part starts as of 2.30 minutes onwards). Hope you enjoy it!

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A refreshingly delicious Baked Chicken with Summer Vegetables, Chickpeas, Lemon Pepper & touch of Zahtar

Tangy, refreshing lemon, packed with goodness.

Tangy, refreshing lemon, packed with goodness.

I am a huge lemon fan; love its refreshing, tangy flavor and lemon is a welcome addition to most of the dishes I enjoy. My dear friend Hande knows my soft spot for lemons and she made us a delicious chicken course using this lemon pepper blend while we stayed with them in Houston. It was my first time to try this blend and I greatly enjoyed it.

Lemon pepper spice blend; delicious on fish, poultry and vegetables.

Lemon pepper spice blend; delicious on fish, poultry and vegetables.

Lemon pepper blend consists of good sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, lemon peel, garlic and onion. It is wonderful on fish and equally as good on chicken, turkey and vegetables. The spice store Penzeys  have it; alternatively, you can also make your own.

Baked chicken with summer vegetables and lemon pepper; a delicious main course you can prepare ahead of time.

Baked chicken with summer vegetables and lemon pepper; a delicious main course you can prepare ahead of time.

Hande kindly gave me some extra lemon pepper seasoning and we recently made this delicious baked chicken with summer vegetables. Runner beans, or string beans or taze fasulye are in season until about October and they are delicious in this dish. Peppers, zucchini, tomato all worked well here with the tangy lemon pepper. I also added some cooked chickpeas here, as commonly used in Southern Turkish cooking, like in this stuffed zucchini/courgettes with ground meat, tomatoes, onions and chickpeas recipe. It turned out to be a wholesome, delicious meal, (late) summer on a plate. An easy, wonderful casserole you can prepare ahead of time and leftovers freeze very well.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4

Serves 2-4

Preparation time: 35 minutes                   Cooking time: 45 minutes

450 gr./1lb chicken breast, cut into small chunks

175gr/6oz. runner beans (or string beans)

2 small zucchini (courgette), cut in half and sliced

2 onions, chopped coarsely

4-6 garlic cloves, diced

3 small bell peppers (green, yellow and red), deseeded and cut into chunks

400gr/14oz. -1 can of chopped tomatoes

400gr/14oz; 1 can of cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed

30ml/2 tbsp. olive oil

240ml/8 fl. oz. /1 cup water

To marinate the chicken:

Juice of 1 lemon

15ml/1 tbsp. lemon pepper seasoning (*)

15ml/1 tbsp. olive oil

(*) To make your own lemon pepper seasoning:

Zest of 1 lemon

10ml/ 2 tsp. sea salt (you can have if you prefer)

5ml/1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

 To serve:

Turkish red pepper flakes/ Pul Biber

Plain rice

To make your own lemon pepper; combine the lemon zest with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, ready to season the chicken (I didn’t add garlic and onion to this blend, as I used plenty onions and garlic at the chicken bake).

In a bowl, combine the lemon pepper, lemon juice and olive oil and rub this mixture to the chicken pieces, mix well. Cover and keep in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or so that the flavors can blend.

Summer on a plate; runner beans, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini taste delicious in this chicken casserole.

Summer on a plate; runner beans, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini taste delicious in this chicken casserole.

While the chicken is marinating, prepare your vegetables. Top and tail the beans and pull away any strings and cut into 3-4 pieces. I also like to cut them in half into thin strips. Combine the rest of the vegetables in a baking dish, stir in the olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Place the marinated chicken in a heavy pan and sauté for 3-5 minutes to seal their juice. Turn the heat off.

Stir in the sautéed chicken to the vegetables mix and add the chopped tomatoes and water. Give them all a good mix. Bake in the pre-heated oven, uncovered for about 35 minutes.

About 35 minutes later, stir in the rinsed, cooked chickpeas to the mixture, combine well. Bake for another 10 minutes or so, until the chicken and vegetables starting to turn nicely golden brown on top.

Chicken casserole with summer vegetables, chickpeas and lemon pepper; a delicious and wholesome main course

Chicken casserole with summer vegetables, chickpeas and lemon pepper; a delicious and wholesome main course

If you like a little heat like we do, sprinkle some Turkish red pepper flakes, pul biber on the finished dish, just before you serve.

Here is my plate! This baked chicken with vegetables make a delicious, complete meal with plain rice and natural yoghurt by the side.

Here is my plate! This baked chicken with vegetables make a delicious, complete meal with plain rice and natural yoghurt by the side.

You can serve your baked chicken with summer vegetables with plain rice and natural plain yoghurt aside. Cacik, the cucumber yoghurt dip with mint  would also be a delicious accompaniment.

Aromatic Zahtar blend of sumac, wild oregano, sesame seeds and more;  it adds a lot of flavor to vegetables, meat and poultry.

Aromatic Zahtar blend of sumac, wild oregano, sesame seeds and more; it adds a lot of flavor to vegetables, meat and poultry.

Recently, we also enjoyed this chicken and vegetables bake with the aromatic zahtar sprinkled over too. Za’atar is an exotic blend of herbs, spices and nuts, widely used in Southern Turkish as well as Middle Eastern cooking. At my home town, Antakya, zahtar blend is a rich mixture of dried zahter, sesame seeds, crushed cooked chickpeas, cumin, nigella seeds, sea salt, sumac and many more. It has a lovely, pungent, nutty taste and flavors salads, meat, and vegetables beautifully. Here is more information on zahtar and how to make your zahtar blend at home.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

 

 

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Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes with Ground Meat and Rice – Dolma

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Stuffed peppers and tomatoes in ground meat, onion and aromatic rice; domates ve biber dolmasi – delicious and also gluten-free

Some of the food we eat has the ability to transport us to our childhood, have a special link to bond us with those precious memories. These stuffed peppers and tomatoes have such power on me; they are the delicious gateways to take me back home, right to my mother’s as well as my grandmother’s kitchen. Preparing the dolma is quite a grand ritual at home; cousins, sisters, whoever available, gather around a big table; filled with trays of vegetables and stuffing. Some prepare the vegetables, scooping the flesh out, some make the filling, and some do the stuffing. These all happen, of course, with constant flow of Turkish coffee and tea (cay) and catching up! We would then eagerly wait for the dolmas to be cooked; then me and my sister would eat the dolma with a dollop of plain yoghurt on top. We used to call them our “savory ice cream”; I am now trying this trick on my own children 🙂

A dollop of plain or garlicky yoghurt over the dolmas is delicious

A dollop of plain or garlicky yoghurt over the dolmas is delicious

We Turks love stuffing vegetables. The word dolma is used for the vegetables like aubergines, peppers, courgettes, tomatoes that can be stuffed. I like to save the scooped flesh of the tomatoes and use it in the sauce of the dolmas. Stuffed tomatoes are especially a staple of the summer season when tomatoes are abundant and at their peak. For a richer taste, you can also add red pepper paste, biber salcasi or tomato paste to the sauce.

This dish is made from wholegrain basmati rice and it is also gluten-free. Garlicky or plain yoghurt by the side complements the dolmas very well.  We made these dolmas at my recent Turkish cookery class; it was a highlight for the participants and they were surprised how easy the dolmas were. I hope you enjoy them and can have a go too.

Serves 6-8

Preparation time: 40 minutes                        Cooking time: 45 minutes

3 medium size bell peppers – or 5-6 small bell peppers

4 medium tomatoes

6-8 cloves of garlic, crushed

For the filling:

110gr/4oz/ 1/2 cup ground beef/lamb or ground turkey

115gr/4oz/generous 1/2 cup wholegrain basmati rice, rinsed

2 medium onion, grated

Bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

10ml/1tbsp olive oil

10ml/2 tsp dried mint

10ml / 2 tsp ground black pepper

Salt to taste

For the sauce:

The flesh of the scooped tomatoes, finely chopped

15 ml/1 tbsp. olive oil

15ml/1 tbsp. red pepper paste or tomato paste – optional-

 

Red pepper flakes to serve – optional-

Bowl of plain (natural yoghurt) or garlicky yoghurt to serve

 

Filling ingredients for the dolmas; dried mint and parsley add a delicious, refreshing flavour

Filling ingredients for the dolmas; dried mint and parsley add a delicious, refreshing flavour

Put the ground meat in a large bowl and stir in the rest of the filling ingredients. Season and knead, until all blended well. The filling is ready.

Scoop out the seeds of the peppers; save the flesh of the tomatoes

Scoop out the seeds of the peppers; save the caps of the peppers and tomatoes.

Now, let’s prepare the vegetables. Cut the stalk ends of the peppers and save them aside (we will need them to cap the stuffed peppers later). Scoop out the seeds of the peppers.

Save the flesh of the tomatoes to go at the sauce of the dolmas

Save the flesh of the tomatoes to go at the sauce of the dolmas, stuffed peppers and tomatoes.

Slice the tops of the tomatoes and save them aside. Using a spoon, scoop out the tomato flesh, chop them finely and reserve in a bowl. Take care not to pierce through the skin of the tomatoes.

Stuff the tomatoes and peppers with the filling until they are about ¾ full.

Stuff the tomatoes and peppers with the filling until they are about ¾ full.

Take a few spoonfuls of the filling and pack it into the vegetables, until they are about ¾ full. Take care not to overfill to the top, as the rice filling will need some space to expand. Place the stalk ends and tomato tops as lids.

Once cooked, pour a little of the dolmas’ delicious sauce over each stuffed pepper, tomato before serving.

Once cooked, pour a little of the dolmas’ delicious sauce over each stuffed pepper, tomato before serving.

Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in to a heavy pan.  Place the stuffed vegetables upright, packed tightly, in the pan. For the sauce; combine the chopped tomato flesh with 1 tbsp. red pepper paste or tomato paste (if you are using, for a richer taste) and stir in to the pan. Then pour a couple of cups of water around the stuffed vegetables, until it covers just about the half of vegetables. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Stir in the cloves of garlic and cover. Bring the liquid to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook gently for about 45 – 50 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the filling cooked.

Domates ve biber dolmasi; stuffed tomatoes and peppers; delicious & gluten-free

Domates ve biber dolmasi; stuffed tomatoes and peppers; delicious & gluten-free

Once cooked, I like to take their cap off and pour a little of the dolmas’ delicious sauce over each stuffed pepper and tomato before serving and put their cap back on. Serve hot with plain natural or garlic yoghurt by the side. You can also  sprinkle red pepper flakes over the dolmas if you like.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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