Cookery Classes

I teach Turkish cooking classes in England,Turkey & USA, hope you can join us!,
Find Out More

Recipes    

Turkish cuisine provides healthy, hearty, delicious food for family and friends.
Find out more

Tag Archives | Turkish cuisine

Baked Aubergine Kebab with Meatballs – Firinda Patlican Kebabi

Baked Aubergine Kebab with Meatballs – Firinda Patlican Kebabi

We greatly enjoy this delicious southern Turkish style Baked Aubergine Kebab with Meatballs – Firinda Patlican Kebabi, especially popular in Gaziantep region in Turkey.  We adore aubergine / eggplant/patlican in Turkey; one can safely say, it is our national vegetable, with over 200 recipes featuring aubergine in Turkish cuisine. Its meaty, melt in the mouth texture and naturally sweet flesh is simply fantastic here, cooked with meatballs, tomatoes and peppers. Please use long and slim variety of the purple aubergines, eggplants for this kebab.

I love the ease of this all in one bake dish. Please make sure to sprinkle salt over the aubergine slices and squeeze out their excess moisture with a paper towel. Then simply coat olive oil and seasoning over the aubergine slices. There is no need to sauté or fry the aubergine slices and the meatballs before baking. They bake all together very well, infusing their flavour to one another. You can prep this dish ahead of time and freeze leftovers successfully.

Baked Turkish meatballs casserole from Ozlem’s Turkish Table, image by Sian Irvine Food Photography

The meatballs in this recipe is based on my Turkish baked meatballs with vegetables, Firinda Sebzeli Kofte recipe, from my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, another version of this delicious all in one bake.

Signed hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table are available at this link;  I am delighted to share that there is now significantly reduced shipping rates of hardback Ozlem’s Turkish Table to the USA via GB Publishing, at this link too.

You can serve this dish with plain pilaf rice and cooling Cacik dip of cucumber and yoghurt aside.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Baked Aubergine Kebab with Meatballs – Firinda Patlican Kebabi
 
We greatly enjoy this delicious southern Turkish style Baked Aubergine Kebab with Meatballs – Firinda Patlican Kebabi, especially popular in Gaziantep region in Turkey. I love the ease of this all in one bake dish. Please make sure to sprinkle salt over the aubergine slices and squeeze out their excess moisture with a paper towel. Then simply coat olive oil and seasoning over the aubergine slices. There is no need to sauté or fry the aubergine slices and the meatballs before baking. They bake all together very well, infusing their flavour to one another. You can prep this dish ahead of time and freeze leftovers successfully.
Author:
Recipe type: Aubergine/eggplant and meatballs bake
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • For the kofte (meatballs):
  • 450g/1lb minced/ground lamb, beef or mixture
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 60g/2oz stale bread, soaked in water and squeezed dry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 small bunch finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 5ml/1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 5ml/1 teaspoon Turkish pul biber or red pepper flakes
  • 5ml/1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Small bowl of water for kneading kofte and getting your hands wet
  • And the rest:
  • 2 medium and long (or 3, if smaller) aubergines / eggplants
  • 1 green bell pepper, deseeded and sliced in chunky wedges
  • 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 45ml / 3tbsp olive oil (to coat the aubergine slices)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • For the sauce:
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
  • 30ml/2tbsp double concentrated tomato paste
  • 30ml/2tbsp olive oil
  • 200ml/7fl oz warm water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F
  2. First prepare your meatball mixture. Discard the crusts of the bread, soak in the water and squeeze dry. Then crumble them into a large bowl. Add all the kofte, meatballs ingredients except the ground/minced meat and knead well. This will soften the onions and enable the spices to blend in the mixture evenly. Add the minced/ground meat and knead well again until the mixture resembles a soft dough. Cover with cling film and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
  3. Slice the aubergines/eggplants into about 1.5cm / 0.6in circles and spread over a large tray. Sprinkle some salt over them and leave for about 10 minutes. Gently squeeze out their excess moisture with paper towel. Place them back on a clean large tray.
  4. Drizzle 45ml / 3tbsp olive oil over the aubergine/eggplant slices. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Using your hands, gently rub the olive oil and seasoning over the aubergine/eggplant slices.
  5. Now, shape your meatballs. Have a bowl of cold water near you. With damp hands, take a piece the size of a large walnut and roll into a round meatball, as large as your aubergine/eggplant slices, and slightly flatten. Place them on large dish or a tray side by side.
  6. Have a round baking dish with 25cm/10in diameter near you (a 25cmx25cm square baking dish would work well too). Place a slice of aubergine upright and place a meatball alongside. Repeating this, place all the aubergine slices and meatballs side by side, quite tightly, so they can stay upright.
  7. Gently tuck in the coarsely sliced bell peppers around the aubergine slices and meatballs. Place the tomato slices around the middle part of your round baking dish, in between aubergine and meatball layers, or if you are using a square baking dish, in between layers.
  8. For the sauce; combine the finely chopped garlic, 200ml/7fl oz warm water, 2tbsp tomato paste and 2tbsp olive oil in a bowl. Season with salt and ground black pepper and combine well.
  9. Pour the sauce over the prepared aubergine, meatballs and vegetables. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 40-45 minutes.
  10. Then take the cover off, gently spoon the sauce in the baking dish over the aubergine and meatballs and bake further 20 – 25 minutes, until the meatballs and vegetables cooked and slightly charred.
  11. Drizzle the sauce from the baking the dish over the aubergine and meatballs again. Serve with plain pilaf rice and cooling Cacik dip of cucumber and yoghurt aside.
 

Continue Reading

Ozlem’s Turkish Table upcoming events, Signed copies until 16th April!

Merhaba dear All;

 

Signing Ozlem’s Turkish Table copies at Aromas Cafe

It’s been a very busy and special few weeks; my cookery book Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland arrived last month and I have been very busy signing over 600 copies – and counting – I have been incredibly touched by your kindness and very warm messages upon receiving your copies, my sincere thanks to you all. This special book has been my dream in the making over 10 years and it is so special to have the hard copy being delivered to you all. Deadline to pre-order a signed copy of Ozlem’s Turkish Table with 10 % discount  is 16th April (please enter promo code Pre-Order Special or Subscriber Voucher at the check out to get the 10 % discount). If you’d like to have a signed copy, please kindly order at this link, my sincere  thanks to you all. Pre-ordered copies are all on the way; most of them already reached and some more on the way, I do hope you all enjoy your copies.

Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery class at Divertimenti Cookery School

So far, we hosted a wonderful Turkish food event at the Riverhouse Barn Art Center in Walton – Surrey, a very special book signing at the lovely Aromas Artisan Cafe and a delicious Vegetarian Feast Turkish cookery class at the Divertimenti Cookery School in London, with recipes from my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table. I have more cookery classes coming up at Divertimenti, on June 23rd a hands on Turkish Meze class and on July 22nd, I will be teaching a  Parent & Teen – Eastern Mediterrannean Baking class at Divertimenti. Please see my Cookery Classes page for the details and I hope to see you there. My sincere thanks goes to Pinar, for their support to spread the word on Turkish cuisine and my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table.

Milk Street Radio – Boston, USA podcast

Milk Street Radio Station podcast interview

We had a delightful hour long recorded podcast interview with Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Radio in Boston, USA. I talked about my homeland, my roots Antakya, the southern Turkish cuisine, my book Ozlem’s Turkish Table and many more. The podcast will be aired in mid May, I will keep you posted with the link and I hope you enjoy it.

Anglo- Turkish Society Review and Ozlem’s Turkish Table book talk- Royal Anthropological Institute – London, May 17th, 6pm

I was honored to be invited by the Anglo-Turkish Society to give a talk on Turkish cuisine and introduce my cookery book Ozlem’s Turkish Table at the Royal Anthropological Institute on May 17th. Please book your spot at this link, if you’d like to join us.

Anglo-Turkish Society also did a wonderful interview with me and reviewed my book Ozlem’s Turkish Table, you can read at this link if you’d like.

Ozlem’s Turkish Table is coming to Turkey!

Ozlem’s Turkish Table Cookery Book – available to order here

I am so excited to be coming home, Turkey end April to introduce my book to all Turkish food lovers. This is land that inspires and long to come back. I will be meeting Turkish food lovers and signing the copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table between 30th April through 6th May. I am still working on the schedule and will confirm the final details but so far the schedule is as below, please save the dates and I do hope to meet you in one of the venues:

Istanbul:

I will be signing copies of  Ozlem’s Turkish Table on 30th April, May 5th and May 6th in Istanbul. I am still working on the venues and will announce here as soon as possible, please kindly save the dates.  On 3oth April, between 4pm – 8pm, I will be signing at the lovely Zen Seramics Atelier in Galata – Istanbul. Adress: Hoca Ali Sokak No:17 A Galata / Beyoğlu / İSTANBUL. Zen Seramics very kindly let me use some of their lovely plates and bowls at my book so you may have a chance to view their lovely collection too.

I will confirm the other venues as soon as possible, I would be grateful in the mean time you can save these dates – I greatly look forward to meeting you all in person!

May 2nd; Izmir – Yasar University, Bornova – Izmir

I will be giving at talk on Turkish cuisine to the Yasar University, Gastronomy Club on May 2nd in Bornova – Izmir and I will be signing copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book there as of 2pm; the book signing is open to public, please do come and join us. My sincere thanks to Yasar University, Gastronomy Department and Pinar for their support.

Ozlem’s Turkish Table talk at Yasar University, Gastronomy Dept, Izmir – 2nd May

May 3rd – Ozlem’s Turkish Table coming to Fethiye!

I am really excited to be coming to Fethiye with my book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table on 3rd  May – it’s a well overdue visit and I am so looking forward to it. My sincere thanks to Fethiye Times to help me organise this trip, I am greatly looking forward to it. I will be signing Ozlem’s Turkish Table over a delicious Turkish breakfast from 10am-11.30 at the lovely Yakamoz Hotel. Please kindly get in touch with Yakamoz Hotel to book your spot.

On the evening of 3rd May, I will be co-hosting a southern Turkish themed dinner at the lovely Mozaik Bahce in Fethiye. The owner of Mozaik Bahce is from Antakya and they are passionate about their local cuisine, I am so looking forward to recreating specialties from Antakya, from my cookery book Ozlem’s Turkish Table at Mozaik Bahce. There will be a ticketed set menu and places will be limited, so please kindly get in touch with Mozaik Bahce to book your spot for our  May 3rd southern Turkish dinner. I will also be signing my book Ozlem’s Turkish Table there. Do hope you can join us!

 

Upcoming Ozlem’s Turkish Table events:

Below are some more upcoming events, I do hope I may be able to see you at one of the events:

April 10th; I will be at the London Book Fair, signing my book  Ozlem’s Turkish Table and giving a talk on Turkish cuisine, at the Turkish Tourism Board UK‘s stand.

April 16th; end of signed copies for pre-ordered Ozlem’s Turkish Table; please order at this link, if you’d like to grab your signed copy with 10 % discount! (please enter promo code Pre-Order Special or Subscriber Voucher at the check out, to get the discount)

May 17th, 6pm – Ozlem’s Turkish Table talk and book signing with the Anglo-Turkish Society at the Royal Anthropological Institute

May 23rd, 6.30pm – I am excited to be signing Ozlem’s Turkish table at the  One Tree Bookstore bookstore with a supper club with Madeleine’s Kitchen  with recipes from  Ozlem’s Turkish Table, on May 23rd, 6.30pm (details to be confirmed, please save the date)

May 24th, 7.30pmPowers Weybridge  I am also super excited hosting a southern Turkish style Supper Club at the lovely Power’s Weybridge on May 24th; 7.30pm. Please check out their website and book your spot as the places are limited and the event likely to sell out soon.

June 23rd, 11 am-2.30pm – Turkish Meze feast Hands On cookery class at Divertimenti cookery school Please join us to recreate a delicious Turkish meze feast with signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table, please book your spot at Divertimenti website, more details are at the Cookery Classes page

July 22nd, 12pm-3.30pmParent & Teen – Eastern Mediterrannean Baking class at Divertimenti Cookery School : Please join us as you cook alongside your teen to have a go and make ‘Antakya’s Kaytaz Borek Pastry’, ‘Filo Rolls with Feta and Parsley’, ‘Baklava with Walnuts’ and more. A fun class class for the family to share and enjoy! Booking at Divertimenti cookery school website. more details at Cookery Class page.

So looking forward to seeing my parents, Turkish food lovers and sharing my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from my Homeland

I so look forward to seeing you in one of the events and enjoying Turkish cuisine together. And I must say, I am so looking forward to returning home, and sharing Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book with everyone, especially with my parents. They have been my inspiration, my role models and this special book is their legacy to pass on.

Sevgilerimle, Afiyet Olsun!

Ozlem

 

 

Continue Reading

Wholesome Turkish Cuisine, use of spices and Hospitality above all

Elmbridge Food Festival at Painshill Park, Surrey - England

Elmbridge Food Festival at Painshill Park, Surrey – England

Talking about Turkish cuisine and culinary heritage at the demo theatre, Elmbridge Food Festival

Talking about Turkish cuisine and culinary heritage at the demo theatre, Elmbridge Food Festival

I was delighted to be one of the guest speakers at the Elmbridge Food Festival at the Painshill Park’s, the beautiful 18th century landscape garden, Surrey – England last weekend. The festival showcased the local produce, artisanal bakery as well as ethnic cuisines in Surrey. It was a gorgeous weekend with sun upon us and a well-attended enthusiastic crowd at the demo theatre.

So much to talk about (now that I was given a mic and a crowd!); Turkish hospitality, importance of seasonality, use of spices and more

So much to talk about (now that I was given a mic and a crowd!); Turkish hospitality, importance of seasonality, use of spices and more

 

Fresh fruit and vegetables galore at the markets, pazar, in Turkey,

Fresh fruit and vegetables galore at the markets, pazar, in Turkey

It was a great opportunity to talk about delicious, wholesome Turkish cuisine and that it is beyond kebabs (as much as we love them). Turkish cuisine is based on fresh, seasonal produce. We are a lucky nation blessed with four seasons and abundance of seasonal fruit and vegetables regularly on display at farmer’s markets, pazar. In addition to fresh produce, wholesome grains like bulgur, legumes, dried fruits and nuts also feature frequently in Turkish cuisine. Here is some more information on Turkish cuisine and culinary traditions, if you like.

My sweet models displaying dried bell peppers and eggplants!

My sweet models displaying dried bell peppers and eggplants!

The dried bell peppers, eggplants (aubergines) and baby okra attracted a lot of attention (thanks to my sweet helpers!) during the food festival. This is a mainly southern Turkish tradition; the excess produce of meaty peppers, aubergines (eggplants) and baby okra are dried under the hot sun in the summer at the southern part of Turkey. The flesh and seeds of the eggplants and pepper are taken out and left for drying at the regions of Antakya and Gaziantep. They will end up having a rich, concentrated flavor and delicious when stuffed with ground meat and aromatic rice, as in these stuffed dried eggplants and peppers, kuru patlican ve biber dolmasi.

Hummus, flavored with red pepper flakes infused olive oil

Hummus, flavored with red pepper flakes infused olive oil

The fresh produce, grains and legumes are also flavored with artful use of spices in Turkish cuisine. For instance, we use pungent, warm cumin often. Combined with chickpeas and tahini, cumin is the spice that makes hummus taste like hummus. Cumin is wonderful on lamb and beef; with chickpeas, lentils, cabbage, eggplant and cooked tomato; or combined with spices like dried mint, paprika, cilantro (coriander) and saffron. It’s also perfect with garlic or fennel.

Ezo Gelin Corba, Turkish red lentil and bulgur soup, flavored with dried mint and red pepper flakes.

Ezo Gelin Corba, Turkish red lentil and bulgur soup, flavored with dried mint and red pepper flakes.

How about the hearty Red lentils and bulgur soup, Ezo Gelin Corba? This spicy red lentil soup is one of my favorites; rich in fiber and protein and flavored with the refreshing dried mint and smoky, spicy Turkish red pepper flakes or chili flakes. It is a very satisfying, heartwarming meal itself with some crusty bread aside. You can read more about spices used in Turkish cuisine here; they are a wholesome way of adding flavors naturally.

Turkish Delights, Lokum

Turkish Delights, Lokum

We finished our talk with the Turkish Delights, Lokum, one of Turkey’s hallmarks. The real thing is much more fragrant, less sweet and packed with flavor, compared to the ones I came across abroad. Therefore I decided to make my own Turkish delight and demonstrated in one of of Turkish cookery classes. You’d be pleasantly surprised to see it is easier than you think, though bear in mind that home made lokum will be softer than the commercial ones but packed with flavor. Here’s my home made Turkish delight recipe, if you’d like to try out.

Serving Turkish Delights at the Elmbridge Food Festival

Serving Turkish Delights at the Elmbridge Food Festival

One of the highlights of my talk at the food festival was the hospitality, generosity of Turkish cuisine and culture. Hospitality is a big part of Turkish culture and you can feel it everyday life all around. I vividly remember friends and extended family members knocking the door of my Grandmother’s 400 year old house in Antakya spontaneously and happily welcomed to the dinner table. We would all sit around her courtyard dinner table under the fig tree and have a feast of senses with arrays of wonderful mezzes, abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables cooked in olive oil (Zeytinyaglilar), succulent kebabs and many more. You will be offered tea or Turkish coffee in the banks, shops, wherever you go with a smile. Turkish saying “Basimin ustunde yerin var” (“I would place you above my head”) I think sums the Turkish hospitality very well. We Turks place our guests at the top of our heads and would be delighted to share our food with them, even it is some fresh bread and cheese.

Children helping me out for serving Turkish Delights.

Children helping me out for serving Turkish Delights.

I hope this inspires and you keep on enjoying delicious, wholesome Turkish cuisine.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

 

Continue Reading