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Bulgur balls in aubergine and tomato sauce and Ozlem’s Turkish Table news

Merhaba Dear All,

Ozlem’s Turkish Table book signing in Houston, USA

It has been a very special few months teaching Turkish cookery and signing copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book around the world. The photo above is taken during a special book signing event organised by my dear friend Hande in Houston, along with some great Turkish wine tasting.

Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book has been very popular for the festive season. Signed copies are still available at this link, if you’d like to give to a foodie or Turkish food lover.

The following photos are from my Turkish cookery class tour with the Central Market Cooking Schools in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio in November. It has been so very special to return Central Market Cooking Schools with my cookery book and meet over 140 Turkish food lovers at our classes. My sincere thanks to everyone for their amazing interest and my special thanks to Pinar UK for their support for my cookery book and Turkish cuisine abroad.

A special moment of enjoying a glass of cay with dear my mother, Gulcin in Istanbul

My Turkish cuisine presentation for the H3A Society in Bodrum – Turkey

I was in Turkey end October and had a wonderful opportunity to present Turkish cuisine to the H3A Society in Bodrum, book signing, gave a southern Turkish cookery class with the Foodrum Culinary Park and a Supper Club with Cooking Classes Bodrum at the Karnas Vineyards. It’s been a busy but magical few days in Bodrum; many thanks to all joined us and supported the events. My very sincere thanks especially goes to dear Annie Onursan, owner of the wonderful Back to Bodrum Blog, for her help with the events and being a fantastic host – I really can’t wait to return to Bodrum. Turkey trip was also a precious time to visit my dear parents and a good catch up over a few glasses of Turkish cay and wonderful Turkish food.

Ozlem’s Turkish Table at Daily Sabah newspaper, October 2018

I was also honored to have this wonderful interview at the national newspaper in Turkey, Sabah Daily; talking about Turkish cuisine, my culinary journey, you can read the Sabah Daily article at this link.

Brooklands radio interview

We also had a delightful interview with the Brooklands Radio in the UK in November, talking about Turkish cuisine abroad, some festive recipe ideas, the diverse, multicultural Antakya cuisine (and what to do with the fascinating dried aubergines!). Here is the podcast link for our interview, if you’d like to listen.

Bulgur balls with aubergine/eggplant, tomato, dried mint saucePatlicanli Eksi Ai

Bulgur balls with aubergine/eggplant, tomato, dried mint sauce – Patlicanli Eksi Aṣi

I have been asked for this recipe for quite a while and thought it may be a lovely addition for a special, festive meal. It is from my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table and it is a speciality from Antakya. Dried mint adds a fresh flavour and the pomegranate molasses complete the finishing touch in this southern Turkish delight. The meaty-like aubergines/eggplants melt in the mouth in this dish and complement the bulgur balls well.  You can omit the minced/ground beef for a vegetarian version. Hope you enjoy my recipe, Afiyet Olsun.

Bulgur balls in aubergine & tomato sauce - Patlicanli Eksi Asi
 
This is a speciality from Antakya and I make it often for special occasions, using good quality can of tomatoes. Dried mint adds a fresh flavour and the tangy pomegranate molasses complete the finishing touch. The meaty-like aubergines/eggplants melt in the mouth in this dish and complement the bulgur balls well. Omit the minced/ground beef for a vegetarian version
Author:
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 medium aubergines/eggplants
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cans of 400g/14oz good quality plum tomatoes
  • 10ml/2 teaspoons red pepper paste, biber salcasi
  • 15ml/1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 15ml/1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 45ml/3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 900ml/1½ pints water
  • 10ml/2 teaspoons dried mint
  • 5ml/1 teaspoon Turkish red pepper flakes or chili flakes
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • For the bulgur dough:
  • 110g/4oz fine bulgur, koftelik bulgur (if you can only get coarse bulgur, you can pulse it a few times in a food processor to make it fine)
  • 90ml/3fl oz warm water to wet the bulgur
  • 120ml/4fl oz warm water to knead the bulgur
  • 40g/1½oz coarse semolina
  • 30ml/2 tablespoons warm water for semolina
  • 60g/2oz extra lean (double grind) minced/ground beef
  • 15ml/1 tablespoon red pepper paste, biber salcasi
  • 5ml/1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 5ml/1 teaspoon Turkish red pepper flakes or chili flakes
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. First make the bulgur balls. Place the fine bulgur in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the red pepper paste, cumin, salt and red pepper flakes and mix them all well. Then pour the 90ml/3fl oz warm water all over it. Using your hands, give the mixture a good mix and let it absorb the water for 10 minutes. In the meantime, place the semolina in a separate bowl and stir in the 30ml/2 tablespoons warm water. Knead and turn the semolina mixture into a soft dough. Semolina is important here as it helps to bind the bulgur dough.
  2. Have the 120ml/4fl oz warm water bowl next to you and start kneading the bulgur mixture for about 5 minutes. Wet your hands continuously while kneading. Stir in the semolina dough and knead together for another 5 minutes. Add the meat and knead for 10 minutes, until you get a smooth dough.
  3. Have a bowl of cold water aside to shape the small round bulgur balls. Wet your hands and take a large cherry size bulgur dough into your palm and shape it like a small ball. Place the bulgur balls side-by-side on a tray and continue until you finish all the bulgur dough.
  4. Quarter the aubergines then slice each piece diagonally in 3cm/about 1in chunks. Lay them on a tray and season with salt. Leave for about 15 minutes. Drain the excess moisture by squeezing them with a paper towel.
  5. Place the plum tomatoes into a food processor and process until you achieve a coarse purée.
  6. In a deep, heavy pan, pour in the olive oil and stir in the aubergines/eggplants. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, until they have a nice golden colour. Place the sautéed aubergines/eggplants on a wide plate over a paper towel to get rid of the excess oil. Stir in the garlic and the onions and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
  7. Pour in the puréed tomato, tomato paste, red pepper paste and the water to the pan. Stir in the aubergines/eggplants, season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Combine well gently. Cover and cook on a medium heat for 15 minutes.
  8. Then carefully drop the bulgur balls into the pan and combine well. Cover and cook on a low heat for another 25 minutes.
  9. Stir in the pomegranate molasses, dried mint and red pepper flakes, combine well. Turn the heat off and serve warm with pide bread or crusty bread aside.

Upcoming Events

Ozlem’s Turkish Table – Turkish cuisine talk and book signing: LOOSE MUSE – London’s Premiere Women’s Writers Night  on December 12th  at  The Sun Pub, 21 Drury Lane (on the corner of Betterton Street), London WC2B 5RH – 8.00 p.m. – doors open from 7.30 pm.  £6.00/£5.00 concessions. I will be giving a talk on Turkish cuisine and sign my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table,  and serving Turkish delights to everyone. We would be delighted to have you with us.

Loose Muse features this month:

Ozlem Warren – author, Turkish culinary expert, and owner of the Turkish recipe blog and the cookery book Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. Ozlem is passionate about her Turkish homeland’s delicious and vibrant cuisine, and has participated in many prestigious events including the London Book Fair, and this year’s International Edinburgh Book Festival to promote Turkish cuisine and culture.  She will be sharing with Loose Muse her debut book, ‘Ozlem’s Turkish Table’, a Turkish cook/recipe book with a difference…perfect for alternative Christmas fare.

Healthy Turkish Feast Supper Club, Friday January 18th,

Aromas Artisan Cafe, Weybridge

Our healthy Turkish feast at Aromas on Friday, January 18th

Please join us for a scrumptious healthy Turkish feast with Ozlem’s Turkish Table on Friday, January 18th evening at the lovely Aroma’s Artisan Café in Weybridge. Ozlem & Aromas Team will be preparing a feast of recipes from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, as below.

-Hearty Bulgur and Lentil Soup – Ezo Gelin Corbasi

-Courgette fritters with feta, dill, onions – Mucver

-Bulgur and potato patties with cumin and pomegranate molasses sauce – Bulgurlu, patatesli kofte

-Shepherd’s salad with sumac – Sumakli Coban Salatasi

-Baked aubergine kebab with yoghurt and spices marinated chicken – Patlicanli kebap (Vegetarian version available too, if given ahead of time notice)

– Semolina sponge cake with pomegranate seeds – Revani

– Turkish coffee

We are also very happy to support Elmbridge Rentstart charity with our supper club as a percentage of all proceeds will be donated to this wonderful local charity, which supports local people who are homeless and help them move on with their lives. This wonderful supper club may also be a lovely gift for a foodie for the holiday season too.

Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book will also be available on the night.

Participation is limited; if you’d like to join us, please kindly book your spot with at this Eventbrite link:

https://ozlemturkishtable.eventbrite.co.uk

Look forward to welcoming you with Turkish hospitality!

One of Sian Irvine Photography’s wonderful still life shots for Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book

Wishing you all a wonderful festive season in good health, happiness, delicious Turkish food shared with family and friends. My sincere thanks for all your support and company, enjoying and sharing Turkish cuisine.

With my best wishes and Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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Ozlem’s Turkish Table at Edinburgh Book Fest, Coming to Texas and more

Merhaba all,

Our magical Turkish Supper Club at Power’s Weybridge – next one is on Aug. 17th

It’s been a very exciting few months of teaching Turkish cookery, sharing recipes from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book at our supper clubs and planning new events. I am very excited to share with you some really exciting events coming up, including being a featured author at the world’s biggest book festival, Edinburgh International Book Festival on Aug. 24th, as well as returning to Central Market Cooking Schools in TX between November 7-10th! I am utterly delighted and can’t wait to meet Turkish food lovers in one of these events below, and I hope to see you at one of the events.

Contents Page, Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, signed copies available at this link

Also delighted to report that over 1,000 copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book reached to Turkish food lovers around the world; my sincere thanks to you all for all your support and spreading the word. My special thanks also goes to Pinar Foods UK and GB Publishing for all their valuable support.  I love hearing how folks enjoy recreating recipes from the book, and their creations. Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book is still available for a limited period at this link, if you’d like to get it for yourself or give a a gift.

Here are so exciting events coming up; I hope you can join us in one of these and we enjoy Turkish cuisine together.

Turkish Meze Class with Ozlem Warren

Hands On Masterclass, Sunday 22nd July, 12:00 – 3:30pm

Divertimenti Cookery School, London

Our Turkish meze class coming up on July 22nd, at Divertimenti, London

Join Ozlem Warren to recreate a scrumptious meze feast from her homeland, with recipes from her newly released cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. You will be making the much loved ‘Baba Ghanoush’ (Smoked aubergine, pepper and tomatoes with pomegranate molasses), ‘Filo Triangles with Spinach and White cheese, Beyaz Peynir – with thanks to Pinar Food UK-, ‘Muhammara’ (Red pepper paste and walnut dip), ‘Circassian Chicken in Garlic, Walnut and Coriander Sauce, ‘Poached Dried Figs in Light Syrup’ and completing the meal with ‘Rakı’, a Turkish aniseed based drink which is the traditional accompaniment to the meze spread in Turkey.

Booking at Divertimenti Cookery School at this link

Turkish Cookery Course at Amoun College, Amman – Jordan,

July 9th and 10th, 2018

I am delighted to be returning to Amman, Jordan to teach a 2 day Turkish Cookery Course on July 9th and 10th 2018.  We will be covering a feast of classic Turkish recipes during our course. My special thanks to Mrs Suhair Kilani, la Panthera for organising our course, I greatly look forward to sharing delicious Turkish cuisine with food lovers in Amman. For the details of the course and registration, please email Marketing@panhtera-jo.com to reserve your spot, as the participation is limited. I hope you can join us at this rare opportunity to learn classic Turkish recipes.

Ozlem’s Turkish Table at the International Edinburgh Book Festival!

What a true honor to be a part of this world’s biggest book festival, the International Edinburgh Book Festival, with my cookery book Ozlem’s Turkish Table, on Aug. 24th, Friday, 2.30pm – 3.15pm, with the Afternoon Tea with Ozlem Warren event. Even more special is that Ghillie Basan will be conducting the interview, I am a huge fan of her and can’t thank her enough for all her support. Do hope you can join us as we will talk about Antakya, southern Turkish cuisine, recipe tips and more! Booking at this link please, hope to see you there!

A Turkish Summer Feast Supper Club, Power’s Weybridge – Friday, Aug. 17th, 2018

Please join us for a delicious evening of Turkish food and stories from my homeland on Aug 17th, Friday evening, as of 7.30pm at Power’s Weybridge. Pistachio lamb kebabs as well as many vegetarian choices and baklava on offer, as well as my tips on recipes and stories, booking at Power’s Weybridge please – and promises to sell out again soon!

 Returning Central Market Cooking Schools, TX – USA on Nov. 7 – 10th, 2018!

Absolutely delighted to be returning to Central Market Cooking Schools on Nov 7th through 10th to teach a series of cookery classes, this time with my book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table – do hope you can join us! I lived in Austin over 5 years and tought at this wonderful cookery school as a guest chef so I am really excited to return, it will be very special classes. Registration at Central Market Cooking School opens online on 1st October, and classes likely to sell out qucikly, so please save the dates. Here are my teaching dates and venues at Central Market Cooking Schools:

Central Market Houston on Nov. 7th; Austin on Nov. 8th; Dallas on Nov 9th; San Antonio on Nov 10th.

What I have been cooking lately..

Leafy greens with onions, peppers and pine nuts, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book

We have been enjoying more vegetables with the sunnier weather and this Leafy greens with onions, peppers and pine nuts, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book (page 153),  inspired from Antakya, fits the bill perfectly. There is leafy vegetable called zilk in Antakya, similar to Swiss chard and locals use either zilk or spinach to make this recipe; you can use kale instead too. Bulgur or lentils are often added to make it more substantial. In my version, I included sweet, red bell peppers and pine nuts instead of bulgur. Adding a splash of fresh lemon juice or a little heat from red pepper flakes, you can serve this warm or cold, as in our Zeytinyaglis, Vegetables cooked in olive oil. Here’s also the link for my recipe in my blog.

Scrumptious Turkish bean salad with onions, olives, eggs

We love this tasty, easy and nourishing Turkish bean salad with olives and eggs, Fasulye Piyazi. It is the traditional accompaniment to Turkish meatballs, our kofte, but I love it as it is for lunch or as a light supper with pide bread and some hummus. It is also vegan and gluten-free so caters for a wide range of dietary needs. This lovely salad is on page 90 at the Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, if you have it. Here’s also the link to my recipe in my blog.

One of the happy Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book owner, posting this lovely photo

“Thank you so much for producing this wonderful book; I spent many happy holidays in Turkey and I love Turkish cuisine. It’s a joy to be able to recreate the dishes with your recipes and share with my family – your book is a treasure and I love my signed copy! This was a recent feedback from the Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book owner. I hoped my book would inspire folks to enjoy Turkish cuisine and bring happy memories of their visit to Turkey, so these kind feedback means the world to me. Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book is still available for a limited period at this link, if you’d like to get a copy.

Many thanks and Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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A special visit to Istanbul and Turkish Festive Meal Ideas

Merhaba dear All,

Showing my mother, Gulcin, the final proofs of my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from my Homeland

I had a flying but a very special visit back home, to Istanbul last week; mainly to spend some quality time with my parents and family, every minute of it was precious. The trip coincided with finalising my cookery book coming up, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. I had a chance to show the final print outs to my parents, it was a special and emotional moment for us all.

Ozlem’s Turkish Table Cookery Book; Contents Page

Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, final proofs!

This special book has been a legacy of my parents, who instilled in us the love of good food, passion for sharing with others and love for our Turkish cuisine. It was a special and proud moment to show them the fruits of our labor; I am over the moon that they loved the book!:) The book pays special tribute to my southern Turkish roots, with my family history, family photos and recipes and really is beautifully made with gorgeous photography by Sian Irvine Food Photography– you will love the vividness of the colors, market photos, beautifully shot photos of each recipes and showcasing thousands of years of culinary heritage of Turkish cuisine. A warm, lovingly made book, also a love letter to my homeland, I can not wait to share with you all.

A still life image from my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, by Sian Irvine

My book is on pre-order now and it could make a lovely gift to a food lover. You can pre-order  here with 10% off pre-order discount only for this period; please enter the promo code Pre-Order Special before the check out at this link, to apply for 10% discount. Pre-orders will be shipped worldwide (including Turkey) in March, prior the general release of the book in April 2018. It’s a lovingly made, special book and I truly hope you enjoy it and it brings happy memories of my beautiful homeland, Turkey.

Festive Turkish Meal Ideas:

One of the feedback you readers kindly gave for my book has been to include Menu Suggestions in the book. And I kept my promise and included a variety of menus in the book, to help with meal planning; such as Traditional Menu, Vegetarian Menu, Gluten-Free Menu, Mezze based menu, Southern Turkish themed menu, Kebab based menu etc. Inspired by this, I thought to share some  Turkish meal ideas with recipes and their beautiful images from my upcoming book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland,  so you can enjoy with family and friends over the festive season, I hope it inspires to you all.

Ezo Gelin Corba; Spicy lentil and bulgur soup; image from my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table

We Turks always start our meal with soup, corba, traditionally and I can’t think of a better soup than Ezo Gelin Corbasi, Spicy bulgur and lentil soup to warm us all. So easy to make and dried mint and red pepper flakes flavor this soup so beautifully; you can make a big batch and freeze left overs, one of our firm favourites.

Assortment of boreks, savory pastries with filo, from my book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table

Boreks, savory pastries with fillings are a huge favorite in our home – children love them as well as adults. How about an assortment of boreks for the festive season, like in this image from my cookery book? Traybake Spinach and cheese filo pastry, Ispanakli Borek, Traybake filo pastry with ground/minced meat, Kiymali Borek or filo triangles with cheese and spinach or parsley, Muska boregi, would all be great crowd pleasers.

Potato and bulgur patties with pomegranate molasses, from my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table

I will definitely be making these scrumptious Potato and Bulgur Patties, served with pomegranate molasses, during the festive season. They are so easy to make and absolutely delicious; pungent cumin and red pepper flakes flavor these patties beautifully – you can serve as a side to your mains; they are absolutely lovely when dipped in to pomegranate molasses, nar eksisi – a delicious southern Turkish specialty.

Stuffed aubergines/eggplants – Karniyarik; a delicious main from Ozlem’s Turkish Table

Aubegine/eggplant is king of vegetables at home and Karniyarik, stuffed aubergine/eggplant with minced meat and vegetables always makes an appearance in our festive tables. You can also make Split aubergines/eggplants with vegetables filling, Imam Bayildi, if you prefer the vegetarian option – love them both.

Baked dried apricots with walnuts, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table

There can be quite rich food and indulgence during the festive period and I opt for fruity desserts most of the time. This baked dried apricots with walnuts fits the bill perfectly; healthy, light, easy to make and great for entertaining – also gluten-free.

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

Turkish coffee, Turk kahvesi is a special drink for us – it really is a more than a drink with all its rituals and it is the perfect end to a special meal. Here’s how to make the perfect Turkish coffee.

I truly hope these would give you some ideas to enjoy with family and friends over the festive season. My very best wishes to you all for the festive season and the New Year. It’s been such a pleasure to share delicious Turkish cuisine with you all and more to come in 2018!

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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