Wheat Salad

 Merhaba! This colorful and healthy salad is tasty and nutricious even solo☺️ As long as we cook wheats the way we should, it is full of vitamin B’s and very healthy. Just in case you haven’t read how we were cooking all the grains and beans, a quick reminder. We must wash the grains or beans several times in a drainer then let it rest for at least 5 or 6 hours or overnight in 4 times of its volume. Then when it is time to cook or boil we will use the same water in it. For wheat I use pressure cooker because it doesn’t vaporate the water just stays in with its own goods.

Ingredients

1 cup wheats

4 cups of water

2 boiled beetroots

2 spring onions

1 tomato

1/2 cup boiled corn

1 handful of parsley

1 tbsp pomegranate sauce ( nar ekşisi) or balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 + 1/2 tbsp salt

1 tsp ground red pepper

Lemon to serve

After you cook 1 cup of wheat with 4 cups of water, you will notice either there is no liquid or there is some it depends on wheat, so put it on a drainer with a clean pot under it. If there is liquid draining after you stir wheats, keep it to use for a nutricious sauce or soup😉 when it is still warm you can add olive oil so it will be more tasty.

You can find beetroot as boiled and ready to use in salads, in markets, if you like. So wash and chop the greens, jbeetroot and add salt and seasonings ( I wrote salt, 1/2 +1/2 because you will use 1/2 tbsp while you cook wheat, then the other to prepare salad) mix them well, if you believe it will be all gone once you can add lemon juice also, but it is better to serve with it so it won’t go sour overnight. Afiyet Olsun!

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Turkish Leek and Mince Meat Borek


Merhaba! This borek is so delicious and easy to do. It tastes much better if it sleeps in milk for overnight so plan it a day ahead and next day enjoy all the meal in one tray.You can change the filling depending on your taste, in our family our first three fillings are diced-fried eggplants and mince meat, boiled end grated patatoes and cheese, five cheese, so decide yours and roll the sleeves😉

Ingredients

5 yufkas (pyhllos)

1/2 kg mince meat

1 kg leeks

1/2 liter milk

60 gr (half stick) butter

1 cup plain mineral water (at room temp.)

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp ground black pepper

2 tbsps olive oil

First of all melt the butter in a pot, pour the milk and let it warm a little then turn off the heat, set aside. Lay a baking paper on a standart oven tray and make each yufka divided in two. I suppose you live in Turkey while I write this or you live in some other country and you can find Turkish phyllos, the handmade ones. Others are so different in taste and much thicker. So if you must look for Turkish markets in your country. I always divide the filling in equal quantities for each piece of yufka, because you may start generous and ran out of filling at the end. Divide the leeks in four long stripes then chop, stir them in a pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil, till they look half cooked. Since leeks are from same family with onions, we do not need onions to fry mince meat. Use other tbsp of olive oil in a shallow pan to stir constantly and fry mince meat nicely, that means they will leave all the liquid to the pan then take it back and smell like we are doing bbq 😊 so stir the leeks and mince meat with salt and pepper addition. The secret for a nice borek here is putting filling slightly everwhere, not like a meat roll at one point. When you roll make it loose, then make a big “U” with four short pieces together, please have a look at the photos. When they are all done as 10 pieces, pour mineral water in butterey milk and pour over boreks with a soup serving spoon. It may look like it is too much liquid but you will be surprised to see there is no liquid after at least 4 hours, better overnight rest in fridge. When you will bake them , make eggwash from 2 eggs sprinkle some seeds( mine was poppy seeds) and bake at 180C (~355 F) for like 35 minutes. You will love it, I promise! Afiyet Olsun ☺️

Tutti Frutti Cookie


Merhaba! Yes, I know I love dried fruits in cakes and cookies but I cannot be alone in this since they give an extra flavour and they make the goodie more nutricious. This cookie is everyone’s favourite , you can always change the types of the dried fruits. It’s easy to do and once you mix it you can keep the batch for three days in fridge so you can have warm cookies whenever you want just in half an hour 🙂

Ingredients

1 cup of dried fruits mix like diced figs,raisins, cranberries and currants

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup hazelnut oil

1 egg

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 orange peel (do it directly on sugar please)

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp baking powder

For the first thing to do add boiled water on the dried fruits and after fifteen minutes drain and set aside. Mix the egg with hazelnut oil and if you use KitchenAid or similar mixer use the cookie pedal, if you use a regular mixer you must use the dough attachment to mix all the ingredients together. This type of cookies like to rest in fridge at least for two hours, better overnight. Before baking preheat the oven to 180C (~ 356 F ) for fifteen minutes, lay a baking paper on a wet tray then using a ice cream scoop, make balls little seperated from each other. After 10 minutes turn the tray other way around. Usually they become good to eat in 20 minutes but as I always say, every oven has its own timing so you need to watch it. Remember the golden cookie rule, they should never look baked when you take them out, they will continue to bake outside and they will be much harder, so please do not overbake. Enjoy!

Sevketi Bostan (St.Benedict’s Thistle)


Merhaba! This is a regional herb meal, very popular in Aegean part of Turkey, sometimes never heard of in other regions. It is easy to find in spring open markets in Turkey, please have a look at the photo below so you will know what to look for. Its   roots are the healthful part of the thistle like plant. It is very good for the health and useful in medical theraphies. Some people sell it all ready to cook, some are lazy to do so. The roots have a brownish layer which has to be peeled off. You can do it with a patato peeler , you will see the white part just underneath. Using gloves to work with because the leaves may have needle effect, leave the green and healthy looking leaves to cook. Believe me it is worth to work a little, it has a very special taste and also good for you. Like all vegetables wash several times and leave in vinegar added water for half an hour.Then cut in small pieces, both roots and leaves. They are ready to cook.

Ingredients

1/2 kg sevketi bostan (after it has been peeled off)

200 gr cubed lamb meat (it’s nice without the meat as well)

5 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion

1 carrot, julien sliced

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

For the final touch: 1 lemon juice + 1 egg yolk

In a pot, bring the chopped onions, carrots and if you will have, meat to a nice color in olive oil then add the thistles and 2 cups of hot water, salt and pepper. I recommend to use a steam cooker for 40 minutes, if you have electric steam pot then use it on bean adjustment or in a regular pot on the stove you must cook it for an hour while watching its liquid level. After it is cooked and cooled down a bit, in a bowl whisk the egg yolk and lemon juice get a serving spoon of meal’s liquid and slowly add in the main pot. Gently stir with a spoon and let it rewarm, carefully not to boil. Enjoy serving something so nutricious and different to your loved ones. Afiyet olsun!

Turkish Pogaca Bread 


Merhaba! This is my new recipe which is becoming a new trend in long lasting brunch tables. We,Turks, love a type of pastry called “pogaca” it is our breakfast bun.It is the first recipe of my blog.  One day I was looking at monkey-bread recipes and the idea came. Making a light dough, throwing them in balls in a pan and baking together. The result is loved by whoever tasted because it is like bread but it’s cheesey and delicious. So lets do it😉

Ingredients

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups hot milk

1/2 stick (50 gr would do) butter

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp şeker

1 tbsp instant dry yeast

1 tbsp olive oil

1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk to brush

For Filling

1 cup  Mix your favourite 3 kinds of cheese (preferably grated hard cheese) with  a bunch of chopped fresh persleys.

In a large mixing bowl, put flour and salt and stir with a fork. In a small  skillet heat the milk  add the butter in it so it will melt easily. Start to making a dough at the last moment when the dough is still sticky add yeast and sugar and olive oil. After kneading for five minutes let it rest at a warm corner of the kitchen or if you want it faster just put it in warm oven for an hour( oven must be heated to 167 F then turned off). Prepare the filling while you are waiting. And prepare a loaf pan with baking paper laid in. When the dough is rised, get your hands little wet with olive oil and put filling in walnut size balls and get them all done this way.  Brush with egg yolk and sprinkle with sesame seeds or your choice of some seeds. Let it rise one more time for half an hour. Preheat the oven to 356 F (~180C) in last 15 minutes. Bake according to your oven’s attitude, mine bakes at 45 minutes. Enjoy it 😉

Fruit Pound Cake (Light Version)


Merhaba! We must start to official spring date with a colorful, fruitful cake so we will have a wonderful spring;) Do not worry it is not a traditional “pound” cake which includes a pound of each butter, sugar, flour etc. This is the traditional taste with a modern touch so it is delightful and light. Please try, it is favourite of even anti-cake people:))

Ingredients (For 11′ bundt pan or 2  9′ loaf pans)

1 cup dried raisins

1/2 cup dried apricots (diced)

1/3 cup dried cranberries or cherries (diced)

1/4 cup dried currants

Put all the dried fruits in a large bowl and pour boiled water, let it soak for fifteen minutes then take them on a drainer, set aside.

125 gr butter(0.275 pound)at room temperature

2 cups white sugar ( plus 1 tbsp confectioner’s sugar)

5 eggs at room temperature

1 cup hot water

1/4 cup hazelnut oil ( or corn oil)

1 orange’ peel

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

3 cups all-purpose flour sifted

Set the oven to 180 C (356F) . Grease and lightly flour and shake the excess of the pan or pans. I use loaf pans and I use only baking paper, it is more practical all the way. If you use KitchenAid type mixer use the cookie pedal, if you have a regular mixer use the dough attachment.

Take 2 tbsp’s from the sugar and roll the dried fruit bunch in it plus with confectioner’s sugar. Peel the orange directly on dried fruits so you won’t lose wonderful orange oil to smell. Set aside again.Cream the butter and sugar for 8 minutes, you will see it will be a nice texture and colour, then add eggs one at a time. In a different bowl sift the flour and stir baking soda in it with a fork so it will mix evenly. Add to buttery mixture hot water and hazelnut oil slowly while continue mixing.Stop using mixers with a large spatula add flour-baking soda mixture in four times making sure mixed well. At the last time add fruit bunch gently and fold all of them in. Get the dough in the lan or pans and get them in the oven. If they are loaf pans make sure they are in the oven vertically and at the 40th minute, change the places for a better baking. It is again depends on your oven but it takes 65 minutes to bake and baking test,with this cake, is not a clear stick, it must be little cake crumbs coming with the stick. So make it a festive, afiyet olsun!

Fresh Horsebeans, Turkish Style (Zeytinyagli Bakla)


Merhaba! Fresh Horsebeans are a spring vegetable and they have a healing  effect on brain illnesses so science people are doing some researches about its hows ! It is good to eat them while we can because they have a very short season. When they will grow bigger,  they will company fresh artichokes and it is another delicious story. So this vegetable has its own rules for preparing to cook. It enjoys a spa luxury in a one spoonful flour and half lemon added warm water for fifteen minutes😉

Ingredients

1/2 kg fresh horsebeans

1 big onion

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

4 tbsp olive oil

1+1 tbsp flour

1 lemon

Some dill to serve

After cutting them to two or three pieces and watching the edges just like green beans, let them rest in a 1 tbsp flour and half lemon added warm water for fifteen minutes. Chop the onion in a robot or just dice them and on medium heat let them smell nicely with olive oil. Add 1 tbsp of remaining flour, add horsebeans and stir, add juice of half lemon , salt and sugar. Pour 1/2 cup of hot water and if you have a pressure cooker , cook there for 25 minutes. If you will cook on the stove, you may cover the pot with baking paper before putting the lid. Then you must cook for up to an hour watching the liquid.It is served with chopped dill and some natural yoghurt on side. Afiyet Olsun😀