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Ozlem’s Turkish Table Cookery Book

Gozleme; Anatolian Flat breads stuffed with Spinach and Cheese

“Can we learn how to make gozleme (Anatolian stuffed flat breads) at the next class?” asked one of my regular Turkish cooking class  participants, few months ago. I greatly enjoy their requests, enthusiasm to learn more and have a go at them; that’s all I could hope for from the classes. “Sure, why not!” was reply; I was excited and my heart was set on tackling the much loved gozleme, Turkish flat breads with stuffing, the proper way. During my recent visit to Turkey, I got myself a proper non-stick oval gozleme pan to have a go at these delicious treats.

Local ladies preparing Gozleme at Hanimeli Restaurant, near Sirince - Turkey

Local ladies preparing Gozleme at Hanimeli Restaurant, near Sirince – Turkey

Having said that, the prospect of preparing Gozleme from scratch; preparing the dough and opening, stretching the dough as thin as sheets of paper was a little daunting at first. I call myself a cook more than a baker and greatly admire local ladies making it so effortlessly at home, in Turkey. Could I tackle it, I wondered. Thank goodness the sheer excitement of having a go at gozleme weighed much higher and I am so glad I tried. The sheets stretched beautifully and gozleme tasted heavenly. I owe a big thank you to David for the inspiration and that precious request!

Gozleme is traditionally prepared on giant non-stick round pan

Gozleme is traditionally prepared on giant non-stick round pan

We Turks love these stuffed flat breads, gozleme. Turks were originated from Central Asia, where they drifted towards Anatolia gradually and made their home. They have been making these stuffed flat breads since then. Gozleme is a much loved Turkish street food and a special part of the delicious Turkish breakfast.  These popular snacks are cooked quickly on a hot griddle and can be filled with various fillings. Some of my favorite fillings are mashed potatoes, cheese and parsley; spinach and cheese, and ground meat and onions. And they go down very well with a glass of cay, Turkish tea or ayran, traditional Turkish yoghurt drink.

My Ispanakli & Peynirli Gozleme - Anatolian Flat breads with cheese, onion and spinach, indeed easier than you think!

My Ispanakli & Peynirli Gozleme – Anatolian Flat breads with cheese, onion and spinach, indeed easier than you think!

In the filling in this recipe I added a little Turkish red pepper paste, biber salcasi to the filling for a spicier version; it flavored the spinach and onion really well. If you would like a milder taste, simply omit the red pepper paste (or the pepper flakes).

Here is also my YouTube video link for How to make Home Style Gozleme:

Gozleme, Pide and savoury pastry recipes are also included in my Gourmand award winner cookery book Ozlem’s Turkish Table, signed copies of  Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland, now 25 % OFF available to order at this link. It is delivered worldwide, including the US and Canada.

Makes about 5 Gozleme

1lb./ 16 oz. / 3 cups plain flour

8g / 1 sachet instant dried yeast

Pinch of salt

45 ml/ 3 tbsp. olive oil

30 ml / 2 tbsp. plain natural yoghurt (preferably whole milk)

260 ml/ 9 fl. oz. / 1/5 cups warm water (150 ml/ 5 fl. oz. warm water to be mixed with the yeast)

For the filling:

200gr/7 oz. baby spinach leaves

1 onion, finely chopped
5ml/1 teaspoon Turkish red pepper flakes or 2 tsp. Turkish red pepper paste (optional)
230gr/8oz feta cheese

15ml/1 tbsp. olive oil

Non-stick pan or griddle to cook the Gozleme

Combine about 150 ml/ 5 fl. oz. warm water, yeast and salt in a small bowl, stir and cover. Stand in a warm place for 5 minutes or until bubbles form on the surface.

Divide the gozleme dough into balls, cover with a damp cloth and leave them to rest for 30 minutes,

Divide the gozleme dough into balls, cover with a damp cloth and leave them to rest for 30 minutes.

Sift the flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast, water & salt mixture, olive oil, yoghurt and the remaining warm water (about 110 ml/ 4 fl. oz./ ½ cup) . Using your hand, draw in the flour from the sides and work the mixture into a dough. Knead thoroughly to form a soft dough. Divide the dough into 5  pieces, knead them and roll into balls. Place the balls on a floured surface, cover with a damp cloth and leave them to rest for about 30 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size.

Knead the onions, spinach, olive oil and if you are using, red pepper paste first with your hands; that will soften the onions and blend the flavors well.

Knead the onions, spinach, olive oil and if you are using, red pepper paste first with your hands; that will soften the onions and blend the flavors well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Stir in the feta cheese to the spinach mixture and combine well.

Stir in the feta cheese to the spinach mixture and combine well.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Chop the washed spinach leaves roughly. Knead the onions, spinach, olive oil and if you are using, red pepper paste (or red pepper flakes) with your hands for a few minute or so – that will soften the onions and blend the flavors well -. Stir in the feta cheese and combine well.

Roll the gozleme dough with a rolling pin until you achieve a thin sheet of a flat round.

Roll the gozleme dough with a rolling pin until you achieve a thin sheet of a flat round.

 On a lightly floured surface, roll out each of the balls of the dough with a rolling pin into thin, flat rounds, about 40cm/16in diameter. Sprinkle a little flour as you roll the dough so that the dough won’t stick. Roll until you achieve a thin sheet of a flat round.

Fold the left and right sides of the dough in a way for the edges to meet in the middle and spread the filling in the middle.

Fold the left and right sides of the dough in a way for the edges to meet in the middle and spread the filling in the middle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then fold the top and bottom edges over the filling, making sure all the filling is safely covered.

Then fold the top and bottom edges over the filling, making sure all the filling is safely covered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fold the left and right sides of the dough in a way for the edges to meet in the middle.  Spread about 2 ½ tablespoon filling into the middle part of this flat sheet. Then fold the top and bottom edges over the filling, making sure all the filling is safely covered. Press edges together well to seal. Repeat the same procedure for the rest of the dough balls.

Brush one side of the gozleme with a little olive oil and place on the pan to cook for about 2 -3 minutes, or until golden brown.

Brush one side of the gozleme with a little olive oil and place on the pan to cook for about 2 -3 minutes, or until golden brown.

Heat a griddle or a non-stick pan, and brush one side of the gozleme with a little olive oil and place on the pan to cook for about 2 -3 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush the uncooked side with a little olive oil and then flip it over. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.

Cook the gozleme for about 2 -3 minutes on a non-stick pan, or until golden brown.

Cook the gozleme for about 2 -3 minutes on a non-stick pan, or until golden brown.

Brush both cooked sides of gozleme with a little olive oil -this will keep the gozleme moist. Cook the rest of the gozleme the same way.

My Ispanakli & Peynirli Gozleme - Anatolian Flat breads with cheese, onion and spinach, indeed easier than you think!

My Ispanakli & Peynirli Gozleme – Turkish Flat breads with cheese, onion and spinach stuffing; they are indeed easier than you think!

You can either roll the Gozleme to serve, or you can cut in halves or quarters. Ayran Turkish yoghurt drink or  Turkish tea, cay would go really well next to Gozleme.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

 

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Home Made Turkish Delight – Lokum

Lokum ph2,Turkish Delight with OTT

Home made, fragrant Turkish Delights; easier than you think!

Have you ever tried Turkish Delight? These delicately flavored, scrumptious sweets are one ofTurkey’s hallmarks. They can be plain, sade, delicately flavored with fragrant rose water or dried fruits, nuts and desiccated coconut can be incorporated into the luscious mouthfuls of fragrant jelly.

Scrumptious Turkish Delights with nuts in Turkey; they are a real treat

My children love Turkish Delight, and living abroad, I can’t always get those wonderful delights from home. Making Turkish Delight, having them properly set can be a bit of a challenge, but this new recipe we tried at my Turkish cooking class last weekend came out so well, we were all so pleased! And yes, you can now make Turkish Delight in your home! I would allow for the fragrant jelly to set at least overnight (and more if you can). They also make wonderful gifts; to pack as presents, sprinkle a little corn flour mixture into a bag to stop sweets sticking.

Turkish Delight with rose water, and the back, with chocolate – you get all sorts of flavours these days!

Now, a bit of history on Turkish Delight. Prior to the arrival of refined sugar in the late 18th century, the Ottomans made a crude version of Turkish Delight using honey or pekmez, a concentrated grape syrup and wheat flour. Haci Bekir, a confectioner of the time, became famous due to his ingenious use of white sugar and corn starch and was summoned to Topkapi Palace to pioneer the development of what is today one of Turkey’s hallmarks. Special recipes for variations of Turkish Delight can be found in all regions ofTurkey. Sakiz (mastic gum) another ingredient revered by the Sultans, can be used to create a chewier version and is a must if you are preparing rolled up versions of lokum. This recipe is for plain (sade) lokum, however, you may wish to add shelled and chopped nuts of your choice – hazelnuts, pistachio nuts or walnuts work extremely well.

Prep time: 15 minutes (plus setting overnight) Cooking time: about 25 minutes

Makes about 64 small squares

25gr/1oz icing sugar

100gr/3 1/2 oz corn flour

700gr/1 1/2lb caster sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

3 tbsp powdered gelatine (* see for a vegetarian gel option)

Red or pink coloring – optional

2 tbsp rose water

Gold edible glitter – optional

* If you prefer to use vegetarian gelatine, Dr Oetker has a vegetarian gel too, here is the link;
Vege-Gel is a vegetarian alternative to gelatine and not a substitute. Therefore, it has to be used in a slightly different way to gelatine and it may be necessary to adapt your recipe.

Sprinkle a little cornflour and icing sugar mixture over the base and sides of the bowl

Line a 20.5 (8in) square baking tin with a cling film. Sift icing sugar and 25g (1oz) of the corn flour into a small bowl. Sprinkle a little over the base and sides of the tin. Set bowl aside.

Put caster sugar, lemon juice and water into large pan, heat gently until dissolved

Put caster sugar, lemon juice and 400ml (14fl oz) water into large pan. Heat gently until dissolved – do not boil. In a small bowl, mix the remaining corn flour with 100ml (3 1/2 fl oz) cold water, and then stir into sugar syrup. Sprinkle gelatine over liquid and stir with balloon whisk to break up lumps. Bring to boil, then simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, whisking often. The mixture should thicken and turn pale yellow.

 

Gelatine helps set the Turkish Delight and rose water adds a delicately perfumed flavor

Remove from heat and whisk in a little food coloring to turn mixture into light pink (optional). Set aside for 5 min. Stir in rose water and pour into tin. Leave to set in a cool place overnight.

Leave to set Turkish Delight in a cool place overnight

Dust a board with some reserved corn flour mixture, and then invert Turkish Delight on to it. Remove tin; peel off clingfilm. Cut into cubes, and then roll each gently in corn flour mixture to coat.

Dusting a board with the corn flour and icing sugar mixture really helps for the jelly not to stick

Sprinkle over a little glitter, if using. Store in an airtight container with remaining corn flour mixture at cool room temperature for up to 1 month. To pack as gifts, sprinkle a little corn flour mixture into a bag to stop sweets sticking.

Home made Turkish Delights; you will be pleased with the outcome

Turkish Delight goes so well with Turkish Coffee, and here is the recipe, of you would like to try.

Turkish coffee, Turk kahvesi, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book

I love all these copper pots and saucers to make and serve sweets and Turkish Coffee; this stall has been at the Ortakoy Market in Istanbul

I am passionate about my homeland’s delicious, wholesome Turkish cuisine; over 90 authentic Turkish recipes are included at my Gourmand World Cook Book award winning cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland – Signed hardback copies  can be purchased at this link, it is delivered worldwide.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

 

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Patties with Potato, Bulgur, Onion and Parsley – Patatesli, Bulgurlu Kofte

Bulgur and potato patties, bulgurlu, patatesli kofte; delicious to dip into sauces

Bulgur and potato patties, bulgurlu, patatesli kofte; delicious to dip into sauces

These patties are healthy, moist, easy to make and delicious; you just can’t stop eating them. They look similar to the bulgur and lentil patties I made previously(recipe in the blog, under appetizers and mezes), they have a different texture though, softer and more moist.You can serve them as a starter meze on a bed of lettuce leaves to wrap, or with bowl of olive oil and pomegranate molasses (or some sharp balsamic vinegar) by the side to dip in. In Southern Turkey, it is common to dip these patties to the sauce of stew and casseroles. I recently served them by the side of the aubergine, shallots and meat stew and they went down very well, disappeared very quickly 🙂

You can prepare them a day in advance, the flavors get even better the next day.  Turkish hot pepper paste, biber salcasi, add a wonderful flavor to the patties; you can make your own hot pepper paste here , if you like. Add more red pepper flakes if you like it more spicy. Traditionally, fine bulgur is used in these patties; if you can’t find fine bulgur, you can use coarse bulgur, which is widely available in supermarkets; in that case, double the hot water amount and cook the course bulgur first in hot water as per the package.

Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table book, available to order at this link

We use seasonal produce, bulgur, whole grains, legumes and pulses a lot in Turkish cuisine, and flavour with natural condiments such as olive oil, pomegranate molasses, southern Turkish way. This recipe and many more wholesome, authentic recipes included in my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland; signed copies available at this link, delivered worldwide including US and Canada.

Serves 8 -10
Preparation time : 15-20 minutes Cooking time : 25 minutes

175gr/6oz/1 cup fine bulgur, rinsed and drained
4 medium potatoes, skinned and quartered
45-60ml/3-4 tablespoon olive oil
3 spring onions, finely chopped
Handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon red pepper paste (optional)
1 – 2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoon/10ml ground cumin
120ml/ 4fl oz hot water
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Bowl of cold water to wet your hands

Extra virgin olive oil and pomegranate molasses (or sharp balsamic vinegar) to serve

In a large bowl, combine the bulgur, red pepper paste, biber salcasi (or red pepper flakes) and spring onion, mix well with using your hands. This will help the paste or the spice to really blend in with the bulgur and the spring onions. Add the hot water on the mixture and give a good stir. Leave it aside for about 15 minutes and stir once in a while so that all the water would be absorbed.

Boil the potatoes in salted water until cooked, drain the water. Mash the potatoes in a separate bowl with cumin. Add the olive oil, salt and ground pepper and knead the potatoes with your hands really well, until they are smooth and elastic. Stir in the potatoes with the bulgur mixture, and add the parsley, mix well with your hands. Check the seasoning and add more salt if needed. Have the bowl of water ready by your side. Wet your hands with the water and take a walnut size from the mixture and shape like patties using your hands. Place them side by side on a serving dish.

Put some extra virgin olive oil and pomegranate molasses (or sharp balsamic vinegar) on a small bowl and serve the patties with them for dipping. The patties are also wonderful served on a bed of lettuce leaves.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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