Friday, March 31, 2017

Fava Meze with Purple Carrots

This is a popular Turkish Meze made from just 3 ingredients, dried fava beans, onions and olive oil. Meze is a selection of food served as an appetizer course usually served with Rakı because they are a perfect complement to the aniseed flavours of the traditional drink. Mezes vary across the country creating a vast array of specialities , many with strong regional associations. But it is more than just a starter. It is an experience. In Turkey, eating meze is a social activity; it’s chatting with friends and drinking rakı around the table for hours on end, while sharing spoons of hot and cold mezes, dipping bread into pickled or olive oil dressings, listening to traditional Turkish music . The beauty of this dish is that you can mold it into any shape you desire which result in aspic-like beauties on your table. This time I added purple carrots to give it a more vibrant color since it is usually a grayish light green. Putting fresh boiled broad beans completes the purple canvas. İt is always and always served with dill,( it is a sin to separate the duo ) sliced red onions and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. You can try the original recipe without adding purple carrots. Enjoy!

250gr dried fava beans
2 purple carrots
2 red onions
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh broad beans
1/4 bunch dill

Soak the fava beans over night Place the fava beans in a deep pot. Add enough water to reach two fingers above the beans. Add roughly chopped onions and sugar. Bring to a boil. And simmer until soft (25-30 min) Stir occasionally. Eventually the beans will break down and the end result should look like a thick puree. 

Wash and peel the carrots. Cut them in small chunks. Add little water and cook until soft. With a hand blender blend the carrots. Blend the fava beans add seasoning add the purple carrots and olive oil and mix well. Pour the mixture in a large serving dish or small cups. Put cling film on top and refrigerate at least for 5-6 hours .

Turn the cups over. Serve with sliced onions, dill and blanched fresh broad beans and drizzle EVOO on top. You can serve this dish while it is warm with toasted bread.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Pear Rose Tartlets

Makes 12

Tart Dough
250 grams flour
150 grams butter
3 grams salt
65 grams icing sugar
90 grams eggs

4 pears
300 ml red wine
100 grams sugar
2 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 star anise
4 cardomom

Créme Pâtissiére
300 ml milk
2 egg yolk
20 grams flour
20 grams corn starch
1/2 vanilla pod
50 grams sugar
10 ml rom 

Créme Pâtissiére: In a saucepan bring the milk, half the sugar and vanilla to the boil then remove from the heat. Whisk the rest of the sugar and egg yolks and then add flour and cornstarch until thoroughly incorporated. Pour 1/3 of the hot milk over the egg mixture and whisk vigorously.Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the milk and continue to whisk over a medium heat. Cook until the mixture boils and thickens being careful not to let it burn on the bottom of the pan.Remove from the heat cover with cling film to prevent a skin forming. Allow to cool at room temperature. 

Making the dough: Process flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor for a few seconds until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture becomes crumbly Add eggs and keep pulsing until the dough is no longer dry and starts to clump together, about 10-15 seconds. formed; the dough should be quite crumbly with large clumps, the dough should stick without feeling dry or crumbly. 

Turn dough on a lightly floured surface and form into a ball. It should come together easily without being sticky. Flatten ball slightly with your hands to form a thick disc. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Take dough out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften slightly for easy rolling. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into 3mm thick circle. Place your mini tartlets and cut circles 1 cm wider than the shells. Dock them and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

After ten minutes cover the shells with cling film and fill them with rice and blind bake them at 180C until sides change color. Take the rice out and bake for another 5-10 minutes until the shells are evenly cooked and golden. Leave on a rack to cool down. Poaching 

Poaching pears: Add the ingredients and wine in a pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Peel the pears and core them. With a mandoline cut 2mm thick slices and poach them in wine mixture for 5 minutes. Take the pears out and reduce it until you have a thick syrup. 

Knock down the Créme Pâtissiére whisking vigorously until smooth. Add the rom and continue to whisk( 1 min) . With a piping bag fill the tart shells with Créme Pâtissiére . 

Place the pears and roll them to form a rose and place them on top of each tartlet. Brush roses with the syrup using a brush. Sprinkle icing sugar on top and serve.

Eggplant & Beetroot Salad

4 eggplant
2 long green peppers
1 large tomato
1 red onion
1 large beetroot
10-12 black olives(pitted)
1/2lemon juice
4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

Roast beetroot in the oven at 180 C for about 45 minutes until soft. ( or you can boil until tender) Set aside to cool. 

Roast the eggplants on an iron skillet. Cut in half and scoop the inside with a spoon. Add lemon juice to prevent oxidation. 

Dice the cucumber,tomato and beetroot, slice the red onion and green peppers. In a large bowl combine everything. Add olive oil , pomegranate molasses and serve with chopped parsley on top.