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Ozlem’s Turkish Table Cookery Book

Ozlem’s Turkish Table Cookery Book – in the making!

Merhaba dear All,

I hope you are all well. Apologies for a bit of silence from my end; it’s been a very busy few months with teaching Turkish cookery in England, Istanbul and in Amman – Jordan, as well as being a part of exciting events like the Taste of London, thanks to Turkish Tourism Board – UK’s kind invitation; it was great to share Turkish cuisine with everyone.

But the main event that kept me busy has been the preparation for my Turkish cookery book. It’s been very exciting and busy getting the content ready and the photo shoots excitement last week all of a sudden made this special project very real. Here I wanted to share a little glimpse of our very exciting and labor of love 5 day photo shoot for my Turkish cookery book. My very special thanks goes to the amazing food photographer dear Sian Irvine, who passionately shot each and every image with a huge expertise, I can’t thank her enough. Over 70 dishes have been lovingly prepared and photographed, with huge thanks to an army of dear friends who helped during the shoots and gave their plates and bowls to be used as props. A labor of love in making but so worth it, enjoyed every minute of it:

Getting ready for the Turkish breakfast spread photo shoot

Turkish breakfast spread, almost there, one of my favorite chapters in the book! Love all the freshness and abundance of Turkish cuisine.

My dear publishers George and Brenda at GB Publishing, most kindly let us use their wonderful space for our photo shoot for 5 days and their living room became our “Prop Room” with a vast collection of plates, bowls, textile, boards and more, our huge thanks to them for their kindness – in return, we made sure they sampled each and every dish after the shoot !:)

Here’s our prop room!

More of the prop room!

A close up on a part of the Turkish breakfast spread – I can eat this all day long!

Getting the spices ready for the photo shoot – essential part of southern Turkish cookery

The crew getting the fresh produce shoot ready

Sian is shooting the mezze spread – another highlight from the book

All curious eyes checking the images over the Image man Jonny’s expert hands

Some of the absolutely fabulous dear friends, Heleen, Ann and Susie here, helping out during the shoots and the lovely Sian, my sincere gratitude each and every one of them

My publishers George, Brenda, our lovely photographer Sian and some of the fabulous friends helping, dear Susie and Claire here- sitting down after the shot and enjoying the food we produced together. My huge thanks also goes to dear Mina, Ellie and Leonie who helped out and kindly packed us all up!

I hope you enjoy having a little glimpse of our 5 day photo shoot with over 70 dishes lovely prepared and presented – a labor of love in making and so very special. My photos really don’t do enough justice, I can’t wait for you to see the real images, they are absolutely amazing.

This Turkish cookery book project is a tribute to my homeland and a very dear project to my heart, a dream come true! It will have a special focus on Southern Turkish cuisine though my favorite, classic Turkish recipes will also be featured. I have so longed to share my homeland’s bountiful, delicious, healthy cuisine, packed with culinary traditions and high on hospitality, generosity and warmth, along with my personal stories; I really can’t wait to share this special book with you all. Many of you so kindly filled in my Turkish cookery book Survey with your valuable feedback, my sincere thanks. If you haven’t had a chance to do yet and may be able to fill in, your feedback would be greatly appreciated it to help shape the book.  As a thank you, if you leave your name and email address at the end of the survey, you will be entitled to a 10% discount when the book is published. I would be more than happy to send you a signed copy!

We plan to start the pre-orders for the book as of end October, with a worldwide publication as of March 2018, I so look forward to sharing this special book with you all!

My best wishes for a wonderful summer – I will be back home, Turkey and I can not wait – and I will be in touch on my return. In the meantime, I wanted to share one of my favorite salads, Antakya’s Cokelek Salatasi – crumbled feta cheese salad with spices; perfect for Turkish breakfast and brunch.

Cokelek Salata; crumbled white cheese or feta salad, flavored with spices and olive oil

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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Turkish Vegetable Soup with Orzo – Sehriyeli Sebze Corbasi

Turkish vegetable soup with orzo; Sehriyeli Sebze Corbasi

Turkish vegetable soup with orzo; Sehriyeli Sebze Corbasi

Soup have a special place in Turkish cuisine; traditionally meals always start with a soup. For my  small family, a hearty soup can be a main course itself with some nice crusty bread next to it. I made this lovely Turkish vegetable soup with orzo pasta today and it went down very well. My son was under the weather and after having the soup, he said, “I love this corba, mummy, just what the doctor ordered!” – best compliment to my ears.

Orzo pasta or “sehriye” as we call it in Turkish fits in this soup very well, thickens the broth beautifully and makes it substantial. Being a lemon fan, I give a generous squeeze, with plenty of red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper over the soup for a delicious heat, when serving. You can also crumble some feta cheese over the top before serving if you’d like too. For a gluten-free option, you can use rice instead of orzo pasta.

Many wholesome soups, regional specialties, pastries, vegetables cooked in olive oil and more are included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland, available to order at this link, if you are interested in.

I hope you enjoy this delicious, easy and wholesome Turkish soup, Sehriyeli Sebze Corbasi, Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

5.0 from 1 reviews
Turkish Vegetable Soup with Orzo - Sehriyeli Sebze Corbasi
 
This delicious vegetarian soup, Sehriyeli Sebze Corbasi, is easy, delicious and wholesome. Orzo pasta or "sehriye" as we call it in Turkish fits in this soup very well, thickens the broth beautifully and makes it substantial. Being a lemon fan, I give a generous squeeze, with plenty of red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper over the soup for a delicious heat, when serving. You can also crumble some feta cheese over the top before serving if you'd like too. For a gluten-free option, you can use rice instead of orzo pasta.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetarian Soups
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 bell peppers (red, yellow or green), deseeded and coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped in small pieces
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 180 gr / 6¼ oz / 1 full cup orzo pasta
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 400 gr / 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • ½ tbsp. double concentrated tomato puree
  • 1.2 litres / 2 pints hot water or vegetable stock
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 10 ml / 2 tsp. Turkish red pepper flakes or chili flakes
  • Extra wedges of lemon to serve
  • Crusty bread or pide bread to serve
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy, wide sauce pan and add the onions, peppers and carrots. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes, they will start to soften up.
  2. Pour in the hot water or vegetable stock. Also pour in the chopped canned tomatoes and the tomato puree, stir well. Cover and bring to to the boil.
  3. Stir the pot and cover again, cook for 10 minutes at medium to low heat.
  4. Then add the orzo pasta, season with salt and ground black pepper and combine well. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes at medium to low heat, stirring occasionally.
  5. Once the orzo pasta is cooked, stir in the parsley, pour in the lemon juice and combine well. Check the seasoning and add more salt and ground black pepper, if needed. Turn the heat off.
  6. Serve hot with Turkish red pepper flakes or chili flakes over the soup, with extra wedges of lemon and crusty bread by the side. Afiyet Olsun.
 

 

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Homemade Pogaca; Turkish savory pastry with cheese and parsley

Scrumptious pogacas, savory pastry with cheese, olives and vavious fillings, displayed at a bakery in Istanbul

Scrumptious pogacas, savory pastry with cheese, olives and various fillings, displayed at a bakery in Istanbul

Delicious pogacas and pastries; a favorite Turkish breakfast or tea time treat

Delicious pogacas and pastries; a favorite Turkish breakfast or tea time treat

These delicious cheesy pogacas (poh-ah-cha) are a favorite breakfast or tea time treat in Turkey and we love them. They are easy to make at home; make your kitchen smell heavenly and they are very popular with children, as well as adults. Bakeries, street stalls sell freshly baked pogacas (plain, with white cheese, olives or with potato & cheese filling) in Turkey and with a glass of cay aside, they make a delicious and affordable breakfast or tea time treat.

My homemade peynirli pogaca, savory pastry with feta and parsley; easy to make and delicious

My homemade peynirli pogaca, savory pastry with cheese and parsley; easy to make and delicious

My children adore pogaca and we made our peynirli pogaca, savory pastry with feta cheese together; they loved getting involved. My pogacas are rather chunky, like the ones you would get in bakeries in Turkey and one is enough per person. You can make smaller ones if you like. They are absolutely delicious straight from the oven, but they also keep well for a few days. The next day (if any left!), you can microwave them for 10 seconds or gently heat under the grill, so delicious. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

 Peynirli pogaca; Turkish savory treat with feta; great for breakfast or as a snack.

Peynirli pogaca; Turkish savory treat with white cheese and parsley; great for breakfast or as a snack.I love the savoury pastries in Turkish cuisine and living abroad, greatly miss them; so pogacas, boreks, pide, gozleme frequently turns up at our table. You can find all these savoury Turkish pastries and many more at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland, available to order at this link.

Makes 11 pogacas

Preparation time: 20 min (+1 hour for dough to rise)                  Cooking time: 25- 30 minutes

For the dough:

7gr dry yeast (1 sachet)

425 gr / 3 ¼ cups all-purpose plain flour

5 ml / 1 tsp. salt

3 oz./ 1/3 cup plain (whole milk) yoghurt

1 egg, beaten

4 fl. oz. / ½ cup mild olive oil or sunflower oil

4 fl. oz . / ½ cup warm milk

For the filling:

5.3 oz./ 1 cup Turkish white cheese (or Greek feta cheese, if Turkish white cheese is not available) crumbled

15 gr/ 0.4 oz./½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

For the topping:

1 egg, beaten

Sesame seeds and nigella seeds to decorate

Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F

 

Combine the warm milk and dry yeast in a small bowl and mix well. Let it stand for 5 minutes so that it gets foamy.

Let the dough to rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes

Let the dough to rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes

In a large bowl, stir in the flour and salt and make a well in the middle. Add the yoghurt, mild olive oil (or sunflower oil) and the beaten egg to the flour mixture, in the middle. Stir in the foamy yeast mixture and knead well with your hands for a few minutes, until the dough comes together. Shape the dough like a ball, place in the large bowl and cover with a cling film. Let it rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes or until doubled in size.

Crumbled feta cheese and fresh parsley make a delicious filling

Crumbled Turkish white cheese or Greek feta cheese and fresh parsley make a delicious filling

While the dough is rising, prepare your filling. In a medium size bowl, stir in the crumbled Turkish white cheese or Greek feta cheese and chopped parsley and mix well.

Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F and grease a baking tray.

Once the dough has risen, punch down and divide into 11 equal pieces, each about a size of a small tangerine. Roll each piece into a ball, and then flatten into a round flat circle with your fingertips, about 10 cm, 4” in diameter (you can make them smaller if you prefer). Place a spoonful of the filling mixture (take care not to overfill) at one side of the circle dough, leaving a little unfilled dough margin near the edges. Fold the circle to cover the filling to form a half moon shape. Make sure the dough covers the filling and meet the other end. Seal the two ends of the dough, pressing with your fingertips well. Place the stuffed dough on the greased tray and repeat this procedure with the rest of the dough pieces.

Pogacas, decorated with sesame & nigella seeds, ready to bake!

Pogacas, decorated with sesame & nigella seeds, ready to bake!

Place the prepared pogacas, stuffed dough pieces side by side on a greased tray. Brush them with the beaten egg and sprinkle with nigella and sesame seeds. Bake in the preheated oven on the middle rack for about 25 – 30 minutes, until they are golden brown at top.

Peynirli pogaca, Turkish savory pastry with feta & parsley, ready to eat!

Peynirli pogaca, Turkish savory pastry with cheese & parsley, ready to eat!

Serve warm; glass of Cay, Turkish tea goes really well with these delicious pogacas.

My homemade peynirli pogaca, savory pastry with feta and parsley; easy to make and delicious

My homemade peynirli pogaca, savory pastry with cheese and parsley; easy to make and delicious

Afiyet olsun,

Ozlem

 

 

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