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Author Archive | Ozlem Warren

Bitter almond cookies, Acıbadem kurabiyesi

Bitter almond cookies, Acıbadem kurabiyesi

I absolutely adore our crispy outside, chewy inside acıbadem kurabiyesi. Its origins dates back to 19th century Ottoman Palace kitchens and the traditional recipe includes a small amount of bitter almonds, hence give its name. Our world famous almonds from Datça region in southwest corner of Turkey is also traditionally used in these cookies. It has a macaron like chewy texture; crispy outside and softer inside. Living abroad, it is one of those tastes I miss so much from home and I think many Turks living abroad would feel the same. Good news is that, you can make these delicious almond cookies at home successfully, following a few curial steps carefully with this recipe.  They are absolutely delightful with Turkish coffee or tea aside.

I hope you enjoy making acıbadem kurabiyesi with my recipe, Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

5.0 from 1 reviews
Bitter almond cookies, Acıbadem kurabiyesi
 
I absolutely adore our crispy outside, chewy inside acıbadem kurabiyesi. Its origins dates back to 19th century Ottoman Palace kitchens and the traditional recipe includes a small amount of bitter almonds, hence give its name. Our world famous almonds from Datça region in southwest corner of Turkey is also traditionally used in these cookies. It has a macaron like chewy texture; crispy outside and softer inside. Living abroad, it is one of those tastes I miss so much from home and I think many Turks living abroad would feel the same. Good news is that, you can make these delicious almond cookies at home successfully, following a few curial steps carefully with this recipe. They are absolutely delightful with Turkish coffee or tea aside.
Author:
Recipe type: Almond cookies
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: Makes 10 cookies
Ingredients
  • 3 medium free range egg whites (100g/3 ½ oz)
  • 200g/7oz sugar
  • 180g/6.3oz ground almonds
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 10 unsalted almonds
Instructions
  1. Pour in hot water on a large pan until half way and sit a heat proof glass mixing bowl over the pan. Make sure the bowl is not touching the hot water. Bring to a gentle simmer and stir in the egg whites, sugar, pinch of salt and lemon juice to the bowl. Stir continuously to combine all the ingredients over medium heat until the sugar is melted completely and all mixed well. The mixture should be just warm enough to touch and with a gooey texture. Turn the heat off and place the bowl on a clean, cool surface.
  2. Preheat fan oven to 140C/160C/325F.
  3. Stir in the ground almonds to the bowl and combine well to turn to a very soft, sticky dough texture. Transfer the cookie mixture on another clean, wide mixing bowl; stir occasionally and let it completely cool. Once cool, spoon the mixture into a piping bag. Have a large baking tray and spread a little of the remaining cookie mixture from the bowl at the corners of the tray and place baking paper on, press gently to stick. Pipe the cookie mixture as 6cm in diameter circles over the baking paper, leaving 3cm between each cookie, as they will expand during baking. Place an almond in the middle of each cookie and bake in the preheated oven for 27-28 minutes, until the cookies look cracked and crispy outside and soft to touch inside (It is important not to overbake and keep inside soft, as this moisture will help the cookies stick together, as we traditionally do, and will give the chewy texture).
  4. Place the cookie tray on a metal rack to cool for 5 minutes. If they are sticking to the baking paper, gently turn the baking paper upside down on the tray and wipe the back of the cookies over the baking paper with damp towel, this will help cookies to peel off from the paper easily. Turn the baking paper back again and place the acıbadem kurabiyesi on a serving plate. If you like, gently press and stick 2 soft bottoms of the cookies to form one big cookie, as we traditionally do. They are best eaten on the day, though they keep well for 2-3 days, wrapped with cling film individually and stored in a cool place.
 

Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, as festive gifts

The festive season is upon us; if you like to gift a signed copy of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, you can order a copy here, it is delivered worldwide. It has over 90 authentic, delicious, easy to make Turkish recipes, along with stunning photography and stories from my homeland (please kindly note that Almond cookies,acıbadem kurabiyesi is not included at this book). You can also order this hand embroidered apron here, for a foodie gift. Thank you for your kind support and spreading the joy of wholesome, delicious Turkish cuisine.

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Home Style Beyti Kebab

Beyti Kebab is one of the much loved traditional Turkish kebabs in Turkey- succulent Beyti kofte, rolled over thin wrap, served with a delicious tomato sauce and garlicky yoghurt on top. It is easy to make Beyti Kebab at your home and so delicious. Traditionally minced/ground lamb is used, though you can use half and half minced beef and lamb as I do here or just minced/ground beef if you prefer (10% fat is recommended). You can use Turkish fresh yufka sheets, lavash style thin flat breads if you can find. If not, thin, fresh flour tortilla works well too as an option.

We had some roasted peppers aside too.  The garlicky yoghurt is a must here as it complements the Beyti rolls with tomato sauce so beautifully. You can serve with a refreshing green salad aside, such as Shepherd’s salad with sumac.  I hope you enjoy our home style version of Beyti kebab, a lovely meal to savour with family and friends.

Why not also try my Pistachio lamb kebabs with roasted veg, Fistikli kebap, also at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table (signed copies are available here and delivered worldwide) – another perfect dish for the summer or bring sunny vibes.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Home Style Beyti Kebab
 
Beyti Kebab is one of the much loved traditional Turkish kebabs at home - succulent Beyti kofte, rolled over thin wrap, served with a delicious tomato sauce and garlicky yoghurt on top. It is easy to make Beyti Kebab at home and so delicious. Traditionally minced/ground lamb is used, though you can use half and half minced beef and lamb as I do here or just minced/ground beef if you prefer (10% fat is recommended). You can use Turkish fresh yufka sheets, lavash style thin flat breads if you can find. If not, thin, fresh flour tortilla works well too as an option.
Author:
Recipe type: Kebabs
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • For the Beyti kofte rolls:
  • 750g/1lb 10 oz minced/ground beef, lamb or a combination (10% fat)
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • 2 slices of stale bread (crusts removed)
  • Small bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped (optional)
  • 5ml/1tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp (or more!) pul biber or red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Small bowl of water with a drizzle of oil - to shape the kofte rolls -
  • For the tomato sauce:
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 30ml/2tbsp olive oil
  • 30g/2tbsp double concentrated tomato paste
  • 90ml/3fl oz water
  • 5ml/1tsp pul biber
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Garlic yoghurt:
  • 350g/12oz whole milk or strained yoghurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 4 thin, fresh flour tortilla (25cm in diameter), lavash bread or yufka to wrap the Beyti kofte
  • Optional:
  • 140g/5oz small green peppers (Turkish pointy sivri biber or Padron peppers work well)
  • 15ml/1tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. First prepare the Beyti kofte. Soak 2 slices of stale bread (hard crusts removed) in a small bowl with warm water and squeeze out the excess water with your hands. Combine the kofte ingredients in a large mixing bowl, except the meat. Using your hands, combine them well for a minute (this ensures a smooth blend of the ingredients and soften the onions. Parsley is not traditionally included but we like the freshness of the herb here; please save a little for decorating the plate when serving). Stir in the ground/minced meat and again combine well with your hands. If you have time, cover with cling film and let the mixture rest and settle in the fridge for 30 minute – this helps the mixture to firm up and hold together better when cooked-.
  2. Preheat fan oven to 180C/350F. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Also take the yoghurt out of the fridge to bring to room temperature.
  3. Have a small bowl of water with a drizzle of olive oil and the Beyti kofte mixture near you. Dampen your hand in the oily water (that helps shaping the kofte) and take about a medium orange size kofte mixture in your hands. Roll into a log about 13 cm long. Place on a tray with baking paper and gently pat to flatten a little – kofte roll will be about 5cm wide. Repeat this with the rest of the kofte mixture and place them side by side, with about 2cm space between them. You will have 8 long Beyti kofte rolls. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Place the small green peppers on a small baking dish and drizzle with 1tbsp olive oil. Season with sea salt and combine well with your hands. Put this also in the preheated fan oven at 180C to bake for 18-20 minutes (it works well if you put them in the oven after the first 10 minutes of Beyti kofte baking so that they both finish baking the same time).
  5. While they are baking, prepare your garlic yoghurt sauce. Combine the chopped garlic with the yoghurt, season with sea salt to taste. Leave aside at room temperature.
  6. Once kofte is baked, take out of the oven; also take the peppers out of the oven. Turn the oven temperature down to 160C fan. Place the kofte rolls on a large flat plate. Gently place and pat the tortilla wraps or yufka over the kofte tray, for the wrap/yufka to soak up the delicious juices of kofte.
  7. Place the wrap on a clean, dry surface. Place 2 Beyti kofte rolls end to end to make one long roll, at the edge near you. Roll into tight log. Cut the log into 4 equal pieces, about 5.5cm long. Have a clean baking paper on the baking tray and place these Beyti rolls seam side down. Repeat this for the remaining kofte rolls, using the wraps.
  8. Brush the top of the rolls with a little olive oil (about 1 tbsp. enough for all) and place in the oven to warm up and get a little crispy, for 5 - 6 minutes. Also return the baked peppers back to the oven to warm up, for 2-3 minutes.
  9. While they are baking, make your tomato sauce. Pour in 2tbsp olive oil over a small sauté pan and stir in the chopped garlic. Sauté for just over a minute on medium to high heat. Stir in the tomato paste and pul biber and combine well. Then pour in the water, season with sea salt and ground black pepper and simmer on a medium to low heat for 1-2 minutes. If appears to be on thick side, dilute with one or two tablespoons of water. Turn the heat off.
  10. Now ensemble your Beyti kebab. Arrange the Beyti rolls in a circle on a serving plate and place the garlic yoghurt in the middle. Drizzle tomato sauce over the Beyti rolls and decorate with the roasted peppers around the plate. Decorate with the remaining chopped parsley and serve immediately.
 

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News and Turkish Summer BBQ online class with Milk Street-July 17th

Merhaba dear All,

I hope you are all well. I had a very busy and exciting May and more exciting classes and projects are work in progress. I hope you enjoy reading what I have been up to and keep on cooking delicious, wholesome Turkish food.

Waitrose Magazine, May 2022 feature – Rose pastry with minced meat – Sosyete Mantisi

I was delighted to be featured at the Waitrose Food Magazine, May 2022 issue, with my Beef rose pastries with garlicky yoghurt, Sosyete Mantisi recipe. Over a two page spread, I talked about the very special place savoury pastries and boreks have in Turkish cuisine – some of my favorite things to enjoy with family and friends. If you have missed the magazine, you can read online here at page 58 and 59. I do hope you can give this delicious rose pastries a go – they look elegant and great for entertaining too.

Turkish cuisine week at the Turkish Embassy, London

We celebrated Turkish cuisine week at the Turkish Embassy in London on May 26th and it was an honor to present wholesome Turkish cuisine to our guests. The Turkish cuisine week, celebrated globally via Turkish Embassies around the world, aimed to showcase not only our  hundreds years old rich culinary heritage, but also the healthy, wholesome Turkish cuisine with zero waste and sustainable practices. After my presentation, Turkish Embassy’s resident chef Ali Usta served delicious examples of Turkish cuisine to our guests –  from mezes to vegetables cooked in olive oil, casseroles to borek and desserts, it was a Turkish feast.

One of the things I tried to highlight at my presentation was that nothing is wasted in Turkish cuisine. For example, let’s take the Circassian chicken – Cerkez Tavugu with walnut sauce recipe. We traditionally use whole chicken here, use the broth to make soup and pilaf and use up stale/left over bread to make the walnut sauce. I hope you can give this delicious recipe a go.

Circassian Chicken with walnut sauce, Cerkez Tavugu,

The Kew Gardens Cookbook

The month of May also witnessed the launch of the brilliant The Kew Gardens Cookbook. I am a big fan of the Kew Gardens and I was delighted to be able to contribute to this important book, with my Baked cauliflower, red onions and feta – Karnabahar Mucveri recipe. All proceeds from the sale of this wonderful book supports the important research Kew Gardens does for sustainability and beyond; you can get a copy at this link.

Turkish cookery classes in Fethiye – Turkey

It was lovely to be back to Fethiye – Turkey, to teach a series of hands on cookery classes in early May – thank you very much all joined our classes in Blossom Hill Uzumlu, GP Kalkan Cookery School and at Yakamoz Hotel Oludeniz. We cooked up a feast from Aubergine and meatball kebabs to Kunefe, Filo triangles with cheese and spinach, muska boregi and more. My sincere thanks to Pinar Foods UK and Fethiye Times for all their support at our events.

Turkish Summer Barbecue Online Class with Ozlem Warren

Milk Street Cooking School, Sunday July 17th – 1pm EST

Do hope you can join us at my online cookery class with Milk Street on July 17th – it will be a Turkish summer BBQ feast with Pistachio lamb kebabs and Smoked aubergine/eggplant salad – you can see details below – registration at this link – hope to see you at the class!

Join Ozlem to learn the science behind mixing and the importance of chilling ground meat mixtures along with cooking a Turkish summer meal.

About this event

If there’s one dish that could be the culinary mascot of Turkey, it’s the kebab. Guest chef Özlem Warren, author of “Özlem’s Turkish Table,” knows that Turks love meat—but also knows they can’t say no to a great vegetable. We’ll start with a traditional kebab from the Gaziantep region of Turkey that combines ground lamb, pistachios, parsley and aromatics. You’ll get tips on how to prepare your kebabs for cooking on the grill or at the stovetop. You’ll learn the science behind mixing and the importance of chilling ground meat mixtures before cooking—both lessons that you can apply to many future kebabs, meatballs and more. To accompany the kebabs, we’ll make a platter of roasted vegetables and a batch of smoky eggplant salad. Traditionally, you would smoke your eggplant over an open fire, but Özlem will walk you through an indoor-friendly version of this technique. Blended with dried mint, tangy yogurt and a glug of good olive oil, this dish is as good as part of a vegetarian meze spread as it is served alongside a platter of kebabs. Join us to learn how to give your meat—and your vegetables—the Turkish treatment.

Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book at Milk Street Online Store

Readers in the US; I am delighted that the wonderful Milk Street Online store carries hardback copies of my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table. You can order a copy at this link.

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