Monday, August 27, 2012

Turkish Delights

So my adventures in Turkey were over a month ago now, but I am finally getting a decent internet connection to be able to share some delicious experiences in Turkey! 

 Turkish Coffee (Turk Kahvesi)
This is a tradition in Turkey. They make it in a copper "pot" and mix in the sugar with the coffee grinds. All are boiled together and then let to sit for a bit before pouring, making sure to keep the "foamy" top layer intact. The "sludge" settles and once you are finished you turn the cup upside down on the saucer, let it cool and then flip it back over to get your coffee fortune read. I had mine done twice and it's amazing how true it was! The coffee itself is a bit sweet and yet also bitter tasting. This coffee was served with a Turkish Delight, a jelly-like candy that are very popular in Turkey.

Turkish Tea (Chai)
This is served EVERYWHERE and ALL THE TIME in this HOT country! Turkish people love to drink this hot beverage at all times... at the park, at the top of a mountain after a 3 hour hike in 100F weather, at a BBQ, etc. And they serve it in these glasses, often with no handles, so it is quite hot to the touch. Always delicious, but I was constantly on the search for an "iced" version. No luck.

This is Turkey's version of a "pizza". A crisp dough topped with a paste of ground beef, tomatoes, chili, onions and parsley and then baked in a super hot wood fire oven and served with a variety of toppings ... arugula, tomatoes, lemon wedges, cabbage salad, grated carrots, lettuce & onions, etc... Roll and enjoy! I love this stuff! :) 

 The land of Baklava!

The traditional Walnut Baklava was the best, in my opinion!

 More baklava. I made this a daily treat whenever possible!

 Pistachio baklava! Seriously!

Spices (and teas) GALORE!

Happy Erica in the Spice Market!

Pronounced, "Je-Gik", this cold cucumber soup is a popular favorite in the summer time here in Turkey. It is made with cucumbers, yogurt, garlic, salt, EVOO and water to thin it. Topped with dried mint, it is actually eaten with a spoon or can be drank directly from a glass. 

A typical Turkish Breakfast
Tea, olives, jams, cheese, brease, honey, eggs, simit (rolled bread with sesame seeds), peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, walnuts, tahini paste. YUM! 

Menemen and Dolmus
Menemen is scrambled eggs with tomaotes, peppers, onions and spices (typical Turkish spices are all dried... mint, black pepper, cumin, salt, crushed red pepper and dill). Dolmus are stuffed grape leaves with rice etc. 

Tahini & Walnut Cookies
Super YUM! These nutty and slightly sweet treats are amazing! 
1 C Tahini
1 C Sugar
1 C Oil (or 200g Butter)
1 each Egg, separated
1 tsp Vanilla
4 C Flour 
1/2 C Walnuts, crushed for topping

1. Mix all together (except walnuts & Egg whites)
2. Roll into small balls
3. Dip top of cookies (balls) into egg white and then into walnuts
4. Bake at 170 C for 20-25 minutes

Yogurt mixed with water and a bit of salt. This drink is super popular. I happen to not share the same appreciation for it.

 Pulses, rice and a bunch of eggs!

 Greens and radishes - also typical 

 Olives are delicious in Turkey as is the Olive Oil!

 Beautiful tomatoes

Peppers are very common in Turkish cuisine. They will fry them, serve them with eggs, and pretty much everything else. They are delicious and not spicy at all, but have a different flavor than green bell peppers. 
 Cherries! Cherry jam, cherry ice cream, cherry juice, cherries are made into a variety of products!

 Why yes, this is in fact a WET HAMBURGER! More like a spiced meat ball (ground beef, onion, parsley, spices) wrapped in a bun and topped with tomato sauce. It was so surprisingly good, I had 3 of them in a 2 day span!
 The best falafel! Made fresh, filled in a "tortilla", stuffed with carrots, cabbage, tahini,

Grilled Fish Sandwich from a vendor under the Galata Bridge. Love Turkish Street Food!!!