Saturday, June 4, 2011

turkish meat shish kebab marinade's

While at The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey we stopped at this little Turkish cafe and had a variety of grilled Turkish meats, vegetables and bread!  It was fun to try authentic foods from the region and the meats were marinated all so differently. Below are several choice's for all kids of meats... Tadını çıkar!!

2 lbs cubed chicken breast
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Allow chicken to marinate for 2-24 hours, covered in the refrigerator.

4-6 chicken breasts
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or 1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, juice of
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated onion

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl. Add chicken, cover & refrigerate 6 hours or overnight. Grill, broil or bake chicken as desired.

1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1 Lemon Lemon Juice
2 Onions -- crushed
2 Bay Leaves
2 Teaspoons Dried Rigani
2 Large Tomatoes -- crushed
Salt And Pepper -- to taste

Marinate choice of meats and vegetables 4-12 hours, the longer the better, grill on skewers or under broiler.

1/2 Cup Olive Oil
2 Large Onions -- crush
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
Salt And Pepper -- to taste

Marinate choice of meats and vegetables 4-12 hours, the longer the better, grill on skewers or under broiler.

1/2 Cup Yogurt
1 Large Onion -- crushed
Salt And Pepper -- to taste

Marinate choice of meats and vegetables 4-12 hours, the longer the better, grill on skewers or under broiler.

tava (turkish stew)

An easy and yummy Turkish delight :)

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 (12 ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 (6 ounce) jar mushrooms, drained
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1 (16 ounce) package shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium casserole dish. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the chicken until juices run clear. Puree the roasted red peppers in a blender or food processor until smooth. In the prepared casserole dish, mix the cooked chicken, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

bazlama... turkish flat bread

In Turkey the food was always accompanied by this amazing flat is soooo yummy!
1 1/2 cups flour
¾ teaspoon salt
1 1/2 Tbs  yeast (less if very active yeast)

Sift flour and salt together in a large bowl and make a well in the centre.  Dissolve yeast in the water then add to flour mixture and mix until a soft dough is formed.  Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead for 4-5 minutes or until smooth and elastic.  Place in a lightly oiled or floured bowl, cover with lightly oiled plastic film and leave to rest for about 30 minutes.
Divide in four and press or roll out to 10cm rounds. Heat a large flat-based pan over a medium heat.  Lightly oil the pan and cook bazlama for 4-5 minutes.  Turn over and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

baklava (traditional greek pastry)

While in Athens we visited this awesome bakery and had the most amazing baklava!  It was the best I had ever had so fresh, sweet and nutty... I crave it everyday!!  απολαύσει!!

4 c. walnuts, finely chopped or ground
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. grated lemon rind
1 lb. filo pastry sheets
1 c. butter, melted
Honey syrup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease an 11 x 17 x 1 1/2 inch pan. Mix ground walnuts with sugar, spices and lemon rind in medium bowl. Cut filo sheets to fit pan. Keep filo sheets moist and flexible by covering with a damp cloth. Brush 12 filo sheets lightly with melted butter and place in bottom of pan. Spread 1 cup of walnut mixture over top sheet. Cover with 4 sheets of filo after brushing each with butter. Then repeat layers.  Make top layer with 8 sheets of filo after brushing each with remaining butter. With small, sharp knife, cut lengthwise through first layer to make strips 1 1/2 inches wide. Then make diagonal cuts 2 inches apart in top layer to form diamonds. Bake on rack above center of oven for 1 hour, until well browned.

Remove from oven and cut through the first cuts, cutting to the bottom of the pan. Spread top with cold honey syrup (use recipe below). Let stand until completely cold before removing from pan.


1 c. honey
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
1 tbsp. lemon juice

Combine honey, sugar and water in small saucepan. Heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Cool thoroughly before using. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

mussels & pernod cream sauce

While in Nice, France we had lunch at this charming little cafe and I had the most amazing mussels!!  They were in a Pernod cream sauce and I have been dreaming about them ever since.  They are a great main course or appetizer :) Jouir de!!

1 Tbsp butter
1 fennel bulb
2 shallots, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bottle white wine
1/2 cup good quality heavy cream
2 tsp Pernod (French licorice flavored liqueur)
1 bag mussels
Kosher Salt
Fresh ground pepper

Clean mussels completely, you can find the how to here...(

In a large pot, melt butter and cook fennel and shallots over low heat with a little salt until soft, about five minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook. Season with salt and pepper. Add Pernod and reduce. Add white wine and cream. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add mussels and cover. Once they begin to open, remove them one at a time with a slotted spoon into a bowl. Pour sauce over mussels and serve. Jouir de!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

spaghetti carbonara

My favorite meal in Italy had to be the Spaghetti Carbonara I had at this quaint little cafe in Tessera outside of Venice....  it was amazing and I want to go back!!

1 pound spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 slices bacon, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pinch salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti pasta until al dente. Drain well. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and set aside. Meanwhile in a large skillet, cook chopped bacon until slightly crisp; remove and drain onto paper towels. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon fat; add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and heat in reused large skillet. Add chopped onion, and cook over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add minced garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Add wine if desired; cook one more minute. Return cooked bacon to pan; add cooked and drained spaghetti. Toss to coat and heat through, adding more olive oil if it seems dry or is sticking together. Add beaten eggs and cook, tossing constantly with tongs or large fork until eggs are barely set. Quickly add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and toss again. Add salt and pepper to taste (remember that bacon and Parmesan are very salty). Serve immediately with chopped parsley sprinkled on top, and extra Parmesan cheese at table. Buon appetito!

prosciutto & brie panino (panini)

While in Rome I noticed all these amazing sandwich carts that offered fresh panini's and other yummy "street/fast" food. I had several and quickly feel in love with the Prosciutto and Brie panini... it was amazing and so fresh!!

2 slices thinly sliced good crusty bread
3 slices brie cheese
4 pieces prosciutto

Place prosciutto on bottom piece of bread, top with cheese and second piece of bread. Putting the cheese on top allows it to melt into the rest of the sandwich rather than just out and onto the grill. Coat grill or panini press with olive oil and grill sandwich until golden brown... Enjoy!!

greek tomato & cucumber salad

I had this salad when I was in Greece several times and it quickly became a favorite, you'll love it too!!

2 ripe tomatoes, quartered
1 large cucumber, chopped and halved
1/4 Kalamtata Olives
2 T Capers
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions
1 slice Greek Feta, triangled
2 T Olive Oil
Fresh lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp.lemon zest

Combine all ingredients and serve immediately... ENJOY!!