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Chicken, vegetables and bean stew – Sebzeli tavuklu türlü

This chicken, vegetables and bean stew is a delicious and easy all in one pot, versatile meal. I used courgettes, peppers, chard in mine, though you can use other vegetables in hand – aubergines, runner beans, kale or spinach would be lovely here too. Türlü is our traditional stew, where vegetables and sometimes meat are cooked together over stove top or baked, with spices, tomato and sometimes pepper paste (though optional, biber salcasi, Turkish pepper paste add oodles of flavour; if you prefer a milder flavour, you can substitute with an additional tablespoon of double concentrated tomato paste). I always keep good quality precooked dried beans and chickpeas in my pantry and add to my stew and casseroles – they not only add extra layer of flavour and wholesomeness but make your stew go further too. You can prepare this stew ahead and it freezes well. Simply omit meat for vegetarian option and replace with more beans or perhaps small chunks of potatoes.

You can serve this delicious Türlü with Cucumber and yoghurt Cacik dip and Bulgur pilaf with caramalised onions from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book; signed copies available here.

Chicken, vegetables and bean stew – Sebzeli tavuklu türlü
 
This chicken, vegetables and bean stew is a delicious and easy all in one pot, versatile meal. I used courgettes, peppers, chard in mine, though you can use other vegetables in hand – aubergines, runner beans, kale or spinach would be lovely here too. Türlü is our traditional stew, where vegetables and sometimes meat are cooked together over stove top or baked, with spices, tomato and sometimes pepper paste (though optional, biber salcasi, Turkish pepper paste add oodles of flavour; if you prefer a milder flavour, you can substitute with an additional tablespoon of double concentrated tomato paste). I always keep good quality precooked dried beans and chickpeas in my pantry and add to my stew and casseroles – they not only add extra layer of flavour and wholesomeness but make your stew go further too. You can prepare this stew ahead and it freezes well. Simply omit meat for vegetarian option and replace with more beans or perhaps small chunks of potatoes.
Author:
Recipe type: Chicken and vegetable stew
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 700g skinless chicken breast fillets, cut into 6x4cm chunks
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium courgettes, trimmed and sliced into 1cm width circles
  • 3 pointy or 2 red bell peppers, deseeded, cut into 2cm chunks
  • 100g chard or kale, cut into 2cm slices
  • 2tbsp double concentrated tomato paste
  • 1tbsp Turkish red pepper paste, biber salcasi (optional)
  • 200g chopped tomato in can
  • 400g/ 1 can of pre-cooked cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp pul biber
  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • 350ml water
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Pour 2 tbsp olive oil over a wide pan and stir in the chicken, tomato paste, pepper paste, cumin and pul biber. Season with salt and ground black pepper and combine the chicken pieces with the pastes and seasoning. Sauté over high heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring continuously, which helps seal the juices and lightly browns the chicken. Then place the chicken on a plate and leave the remaining marinade in the pan.
  2. Pour in the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil into the pan and stir in the onions, courgette and peppers. Sauté over high heat for 8 minutes, combining with the lovely marinade left in the pan, stirring often. The vegetables will soften and shrink in size at the end of this period. Stir in the chard and 150ml of the water and cook further 3 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Stir the chicken back into the pan, along with the chopped tomato and the remaining 200ml water, season and combine well. Cover, bring to the boil then turn the heat to low and simmer for 35 minutes.
  4. Stir in the rinsed cooked beans, combine well. Cover and simmer for another 15 minutes. Serve warm with Cacik dip of yoghurt with cucumbers and with rice or bulgur pilaf aside.
  5. Afiyet Olsun.
 

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Baked pasta with courgettes, cheese and béchamel – Kabaklı peynirli fırın makarna

This is a delicious, easy, comforting pasta bake that you can prepare ahead. Dried mint adds a refreshing touch; I used medium cheddar, though you can use any melting cheese you like – I love grated halloumi here too. I try to squeeze in vegetables into my pasta bakes and bountiful courgettes work well here; feel free to use other vegetables in hand too.

Serve this delicious pata bake with a refreshing salad. Shepherd’s Salad, Coban Salatasi, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, for instance would be a wonderful match served aside.  Please kindly note that this pasta bake is not included in my cookery book. Afiyet Olsun.

Baked pasta with courgettes, cheese and béchamel – Kabaklı peynirli fırın makarna
 
This is a delicious, easy, comforting pasta bake that you can prepare ahead. Dried mint adds a refreshing touch; I used medium cheddar, though you can use any melting cheese you like – I love grated halloumi here too. I try to squeeze in vegetables into my pasta bakes and bountiful courgettes work well here; feel free to use other vegetables in hand too.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetarian pasta bake
Cuisine: Turkish / Mediterranean
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 2 medium courgettes, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1tsp dried mint
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 450g penne (or pasta or your choice)
  • 110g grated mild cheddar (to sprinkle on top)
  • For the white sauce:
  • 480ml warm milk (I prefer whole milk)
  • 110g grated medium cheddar
  • 45g unsalted butter
  • 3tbsp plain flour
Instructions
  1. Place grated courgettes in a bowl, sprinkle salt over top and leave to drain for 10 minutes. Then squeeze out the excess moisture, leave a side.
  2. Pour olive oil in a wide pan, stir in the courgettes and garlic; sauté over medium to high heat for 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add dried mint, combine well and set aside to cool.
  3. Cook the pasta al dente (as suggested on its package), drain, and place on a large mixing bowl. Drizzle a little olive oil and combine so it won’t stick. Set aside.
  4. Preheat fan oven to 180C/350F.
  5. Make the white sauce by melting the butter in a medium sized pan, on a low to medium heat. Add the flour and beat well. Slowly add the warm milk whisking continuously to get a smooth consistency and cook for about 3-4 minutes, until the sauce is thickened. Stir in the sautéed courgettes and cheese and combine well. Turn the heat off.
  6. Combine the sauce with the cooked pasta in the large bowl, mix well. Place and spread the mixture in a 30x25cm baking dish. Sprinkle 110g grated cheese over and bake in the preheated oven for 18 – 20 minutes, until it is golden on top.
  7. Let it cool for 10 minutes, then slice and serve with a refreshing salad. Shepherd’s Salad, Coban Salatasi, from Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, for instance would be a wonderful match served aside. Please kindly note that this pasta bake is not included in my cookery book. Afiyet Olsun.
 

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Dalyan Köfte – Meatloaf with boiled eggs, peas and carrots

We Turks love köfte, our meatballs and we have so many variations. This Dalyan Köfte is a showstopper, and surprisingly easy to make.  I remember my mother making it at special occasions when I was a child. It is in the shape of a substantial meatloaf with boiled eggs in it, garnished with peas and carrots in tomato sauce. It makes a lovely meal with mashed potatoes aside; some folks enjoy it with plain pilaf too. It is delicious and impressive to serve; I hope you enjoy making Dalyan Köfte at home.


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Dalyan Köfte – Meatloaf with boiled eggs, peas and carrots
 
We Turks love köfte, our meatballs and we have so many variations. This Dalyan Köfte is a showstopper, and surprisingly easy to make. I remember my mother making it at special occasions when I was a child. It is in the shape of a substantial meatloaf with boiled eggs in it, garnished with peas and carrots in tomato sauce. It makes a lovely meal with mashed potatoes aside; some folks enjoy it with plain pilaf too. It is delicious and impressive to serve; I hope you enjoy making Dalyan Köfte at home.
Author:
Recipe type: Meatloaf - Kofte
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 5 medium eggs, hard boiled and peeled
  • For the köfte/meatloaf mixture:
  • 1kg/2lb 3oz minced/ground beef (5-10% fat)
  • 2 medium onions, grated
  • 2 medium eggs (save 1 egg white to glaze the meatloaf later)
  • 60g/2oz bread crumbs (use gluten-free bread to make the dish gluten-free)
  • 1tsp pul biber (use less if you prefer)
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • For the rest:
  • 2 medium carrots, trimmed and cut into pea size pieces
  • 255g/9oz fresh or frozen peas
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2tbsp double concentrated tomato paste
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 255ml/9fl oz water
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Chunks of bread, rice or mashed potatoes to serve
Instructions
  1. Place the diced carrots in a small pot, pour in plenty hot water, partially cover and simmer for 10 minutes, until carrots are partially cooked and still have a bite to them Drain and set aside.
  2. Place all köfte ingredients into a large mixing bowl (saving 1 egg white in a small bowl for later). Season with salt and ground black pepper and knead well with your hands for about 2-3 minutes, until all mixed well. Turn into a large köfte loaf, cover with a cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat fan oven to 180C/350F. Place baking paper on a large tray and have a small bowl of water with a drizzle of olive oil aside to help shape the meatloaf.
  4. Take the meatloaf mixture from the fridge and place on the baking paper over the tray. Wet your fingers over the water and olive oil mixture and gently press and expand the meatloaf into a 35cmx28cm rectangular shape with about 1cm height. Place the peeled boiled eggs on a line horizontally across the center of the rectangular meatloaf sheet. Spread 3 tbsp carrots and 3 tbsp peas at both sides of the eggs, leaving 3cm at both ends of the line with no filling.
  5. Gently roll the meatloaf sheet over the filling, with the help of the baking paper (peeling off the baking paper as you roll), making a tight roll. Close and tuck both ends of the meatloaf, sealing the filling in. Brush the top and sides of the meatloaf liberally with the spared egg white – this will help keep the meatloaf intact and give a lovely glaze. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, until lightly browned at top and the meat is cooked.
  6. Just before the meatloaf is cooked, pour in the olive oil into a wide pan and stir in the garlic and tomato paste. Cook over medium to high heat for 2 minutes, stirring often. Then add the remaining carrots and peas to the pan, combine well. Pour in the water, season with salt and ground black pepper and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for about 4-5 minutes, until peas and carrots cooked but not mushy.
  7. Take the cooked meatloaf out of the oven, rest for 5 - 8 minutes (this will make the slicing easier. Then cut into thick slices, garnish with the hot cooked peas and carrots in tomato sauce over and aside of Dalyan Köfte. Serve immediately with chunks of bread, rice or mashed potatoes aside.
 

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