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Turkish cuisine provides healthy, hearty, delicious food for family and friends.
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Lockdown Cooking Ideas from Ozlem’s Turkish Table (Signed copies now 30 % Off)

Merhaba dear all,

Semolina sponge cake in syrup; Revani

I hope this note finds you all well. We have been doing lots of home cooking and baking with the children and preparing food for the homeless and folks in self isolation, during the lockdown. There is a great comfort in home cooking, especially wholesome Turkish cooking – not only takes your mind off things, but a great activity to do with kids at home in between home schooling. If you are on social media, I do live videos at my Ozlem’s Turkish Table instagram and facebook pages too. Here is my Revani, Semolina sponge cake recipe we baked with my daughter, as well my Revani you tube video here.

Flexibility is the key especially at challenging times like this, so by all means experiment with the ingredients you have and substitute when needed; I try to give options at my recipes and at my you tube videos, like at my Baked Meatballs and vegetables casserole video here (courgettes, runner beans, peas all would work here as an option)

Signed hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, now 30 % OFF

I got this lovely note from Claire, she says “My Christmas present from my brother and Turkish sister-in-law was your fabulous cook book. It turns out that my local corner shop is stocked full of Turkish food, so I’ve been having a great time trying out your recipes! There’s generally something in the book for anything in my veg box (other than parsnips!), and it’s all turned out delicious. Now that I’ve got the pastry, I might brave trying kunefe this weekend, if I can get the right cheese. Thank you for keeping me so well-fed in lockdown”Thank you dear Claire and all folks who kindly sent notes on how much they have been enjoying the recipes, especially during the lockdown period. I am very happy to hear recipes enjoyed and bring some joy and comfort.

 

Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table now 30 % OFF via my publisher GBPublishing at this link and it is delivered promptly worldwide, including US and Canada. We hope this would help with delicous wholesome Turkish home cooking during lockdown. It can also be a lovely gift to a foodie, with Mother’s Day approaching.

Lockdown Cooking and Happy Ramadan – Ramadan Mubarak – wholesome, easy meal ideas

Spicy bulgur and lentil soup, Ezo Gelin Corbasi

Happy Ramadan, Ramadan Mubarak, Hayirli Ramazanlar to all observing. Turkish food offers plenty healthy, convenient choices at this special time in Muslim calendar. Our iftar meals would traditionally start with a wholesome soup, such as this Spicy bulgur and lentil soup, Ezo Gelin Corbasi – one of our favourites; make a big batch as it freezes very well.

Vegetarian Pide, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table

Many of my readers have been doing a lot of baking especially during the lockdown and this Vegetarian Pide, Turkish oval flat breads with cheese and vegetables, have been very popular – easier than you think! Here’s my recipe link; you can use any veg you have at home that needs using. You can bake the pide ahead of time and give a gentle reheat before you eat. Once it is cooked, it freezes well too, as a whole or in slices, wrapped in foil.

Turkish bean salad with sumac onions, olive and eggs – Fasulye Piyazi

We have been eating a lot of cupboard staples such as tinned chickpeas and beans; they are a great source of protein, healthy and convenient. You can flavour beans beautifully as in this Turkish bean salad with sumac onions, olive and eggs – tangy sumac adds a lot of flavour to the onions. It makes a wonderful lunch or can be a part of Ramadan iftar meals with grills aside too; you can substitute beans with chickpeas in this salad too. Here’s also my You Tube video link for this delicious Turkish bean salad.

Baked aubergine kebab with chicken – Patlicanli Kebap

Baked eggplant kebab with chicken, onions, peppers; Patlicanli Tepsi Kebabi

How about this yoghurt and spices marinated Baked aubegine kebab with chicken, Patlicanli Kebap? An impressive dish to serve, easy to make too. Aubergines here are double baked, which intensify its flavour; you can marinate the chicken ahead of time – leftovers freeze very well too.

Green (runner) beans cooked in olive oil – Taze Fasulye

Turkish cuisine is based on seasonal produce and we love vegetables. This green beans cooked in olive oil with onions, garlic, tomatoes, Taze Fasulye, is a national favourite. Also gluten-free and vegan, it is best to prepare ahead of time and let the flavours develop, it tastes even better the next day. French beans, dwarf beans would all be good for substutition – a delicious, healthy choice for Ramadan too.

Istanbul; we will meet again..

Glorious Hagia Sophia, Istanbul – hope to see you again soon

I have meant to fly to Istanbul end April, to see my mother, family and also run my Turkish cookery classes and  events in Fethiye and Kalkan. With the current pandemic, it was not meant to be. I am hopeful that we will meet again and see our loved ones soon, fingers crossed. Until then, we will keep on bringing a bit of home with our food and reconnect with family, friends and share our food virtually. We baked this Turkish bread rings with sesame seeds, Simit, our popular street food with the children the other day. It certainly brought a huge dose of home and smiles; here is my recipe link, I do hope you enjoy it too.

Stay well, keep cooking, afiyet olsun,

Ozlem

 

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Poached Eggs with Garlic Yoghurt, Turkish Style – Cilbir

Poached Eggs with Garlic Yoghurt, Turkish Style - Cilbir

Poached Eggs with Garlic Yoghurt, Turkish Style – Cilbir

We Turks love eggs done many different ways; one of our favorite ways to enjoy egg is as being poached and served over garlic yoghurt,  a special dish called Cilbir, in Turkish. Cilbir is generally enjoyed as a hot mezze though I like serving as lunch or a light supper, along with a refreshing salad like Coban Salata, Shepherd’s Salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, spring onions and some pide bread or crusty bread.

I also like to prepare a simple red pepper flakes infused olive oil sauce and pour this over the poached eggs with garlic yoghurt, just before serving. The delicious heat from the red pepper flakes complements the dish beautifully.

I hope you enjoy this simple yet very satisfying dish, Afiyet Olsun. Also, my very best wishes for a wonderful festive season to you all, in good health and happiness.

Ozlem

5.0 from 3 reviews
Poached Eggs with Garlic Yoghurt, Turkish Style - Cilbir
 
I hope you enjoy this delicious poached eggs in garlic yoghurt, Turkish Style, called Cilbir. I like to prepare a simple red pepper flakes infused olive oil sauce and pour this over the poached eggs with garlic yoghurt, just before serving. The delicious heat from the red pepper flakes complements the dish beautifully.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetarian, eggs, Turkish Style
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed and chopped finely
  • 1 cup / 8 fl. oz. plain thick yoghurt, brought to room temperature
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 10 ml / 2 tsp. Turkish pul biber, red pepper flakes or chili flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Pide bread or crusty bread to serve
Instructions
  1. Prepare the garlic yoghurt first – about 10, 15 minutes before poaching the eggs – and bring to the room temperature.
  2. In a small bowl, beat the yoghurt with garlic and seasoning. Spoon this into two serving plates, creating a round thick layer to provide a nest for the poached egg. Let the yoghurt mixture reach the room temperature.
  3. Fill a small pan with hot water, add the vinegar (this will help sealing the egg whites) and bring to a boil. Stir the water to create a whirlpool and crack in the first egg.
  4. As the egg spins and the white sets around the yolk, stir the water ready for the next one. Poach each egg for 2-3 minutes so that the yolk remains soft.
  5. While the eggs are poaching, quickly pour in the olive oil in a small pan and stir in the Turkish pul biber, red pepper flakes or chili flakes, over medium to high heat. Stir and let the red pepper flakes infuse to olive oil for a few minutes, turn the heat off.
  6. Lift the eggs out of the water with a slotted spoon and place them over the garlic yoghurt spread.
  7. Drizzle the red pepper flakes infused olive oil over the poached eggs. Serve immediately with pide bread or crusty bread by the side.
  8. Coban Salata, Shepherd’s Salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, spring onions would also go well with this delicious poached eggs over garlic yoghurt, Cilbir; Afiyet Olsun.

Turkish Cookery Classes in January 2017  – can be a wonderful foodie gift

Wednesday, Jan 11th  – Turkish Pide Class at Blid & Hatton Gatherings, Cobham   – 1 space available

Sunday, Jan. 29th 2017 – Healthy, Hearty Turkish Supper with Ozlem-  at Divertimenti Cookery School

Lahmacun; Turkish thin pizzas with minced meat and vegetables topping, at our Jan. 29th Turkish Cookery Class

Lahmacun; Turkish thin pizzas with minced meat and vegetable, at our Jan. 29th Turkish Cookery 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 a 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 walnuts) Turkish Coffee and Turkish Delight.  

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

Ozlem’s Turkish Table on Brooklands Radio

At Brooklands Radio, with Jill Bennett, talking about healthy Turkish Cuisine.

At Brooklands Radio, with Jill Bennett, talking about healthy Turkish Cuisine.

I had the pleasure of having an interview with Jill Bennet on healthy Turkish cuisine at the Brooklands Radio on Sunday, 27th November. It was wonderful to have a chance to talk and spread the word on wholesome, delicious Turkish cuisine – and had a flash back of happy memories of my amateur DJ days at Kent FM in Istanbul! – Here is the podcast link of our interview, if you like to listen to.

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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

4.5 from 2 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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