Turkish Chicken Skewers

Vibrant hints of garlic and fresh lemon. You'll love cooking this for loved ones. Best served steaming hot!

Here's What You'll Need:

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of allspice
  • ¼ cup total of fresh parsley and cilantro leaves (or either one)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • ¼ cup of yogurt (full, low fat or fat free)
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced for skewering
  • 2 tablespoons of sumac spice for sprinkling
  • For the yogurt drink Ayran:
  • 2 cups of yogurt (full, low or fat free)
  • ½ cup of cold water
  • ½ cup of ice
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ cup total of mint and parsley leaves

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat a bbq on medium high heat or preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor, pulse together the garlic, tomatoes, lemon juice, spices, fresh herbs, olive oil and yogurt until smooth.
  3. Toss the chicken in this marinade and skewer it on wooden skewers placing a thin slice of lemon in between each chicken cube.
  4. Cook the chicken on the bbq for 3-5 minutes (depending on the thickness of your chicken cubes) on each side with the lid closed at all times.
  5. Once chicken is ready, sprinkle it with a generous amount of sumac spice and serve with flattered and plenty of yogurt drink on the side.
  6. For the yogurt drink: place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and slightly foamy. Save cold right away.

This recipe is from the wonderful Two Purple Figs. Please check it out!

Kuneff' been easier dessert

Kunefe is a sweet pastry that has been popularized in countries like Turkey and Lebanon. It's like baklava meets cheesecake meets everything you've ever hoped for in a dessert. The best part? You can make this scrumptious treat in under 30 minutes. Here's my fool proof way to happiness.... Kuneff' been easier!

 

Here's what you'll need:

  • Two sticks of (unsalted) butter
  • kataifi dough (shredded Fillo)
  • Round Pan
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Sauce pan
  • 6 cups of sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • (optional) walnuts
  • (optional) icecream

Instructions:

  • melt 2 sticks of butter (unsalted) in the microwave

  • Place Katafi dough in your round pan

  • Pour melted butter on top of dough

  • grate fresh mozzarella cheese onto buttered fillo

  • Place another layer of fillo on top of cheese layer

  • Pour butter on top of fillo

  • Bake it 350 for about 20 min or until brown at top

For the Sauce:

  • Add 3 cups water, 6cups sugar, and lemon (quartered)  into your sauce pan
  • Bring to a boil
  • Pour the sauce on top of Kuneff'

 

Optional

Add crushed walnuts and serve with ice-cream!

Enjoy with my specialty blend Turkish Coffee.

Colorful and healthy bulgar salad and lahmacun wrap

Invite some beautiful colors and healthy bulgar grains into your life. This healthy salad and wrap will add some joy into your boring lunch routine. This is perfect for a weekend snack with the family too. Seriously, just typing this up is making me want to eat some! Enjoy!

For the dough:

1 tsp dry active yeast
0,5 tsp sugar
1+1/2 cup of warm water
4,5 cups of flour (you can use pain wheat)+
Little oil to brush the dough
Ingredients for the topping:

12 oz of minced beef or lamb (I always use 85 % lean beef)
1 big onion
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp of butter
1,5 cups of fresh curly parsley
1 cup of fresh mint
1 medium tomato
1 tsp of chili pepper
1 jalapeño (optional) (I personally use pickled hot peppers instead of jalapeños)
1 tsp paprika (optional)
1 tsp of cumin (optional)
salt according to your own taste
Juice of 1 lemon
little oil to brush the dough
 

Directions:

In a small bowl mix yeast and the sugar. Add 1/2 cup of warm water, stir well, close the lid (or cover with plate). You can leave the bowl on the counter but I usually put it somewhere warm. Warmness accelerates the process and better activates the yeast. Activating yeast is important to have a better rising dough. Keep the mixture warm for about 15 minutes without opening the lid. When the time is up, you should have a nice foamy liquid. Even if you do not, still keep it and make the dough. It will still work.

Bulgar Salad:

1 Pound of bulgur medium grind
Add In 2cups of boiled water and let that soak in the water
Once the water is soaked
Add two spoons of pepper paste
Mix it together where the bulgur has turned red from the Peter paste

2bunches of fresh parsley diced
1 bunch of dill diced
2small cucumbers diced
3 firm tomatoes diced
3 Italian hot peppers diced
add it to the bulgur and mix it well
Refrigerate for at least 10/20 mins
 

The Dressing:

1/2cup of olive oil extra virgin
3/4 cup lemon juice
Touch of self and black pepper
Touch of dried basil
Touch of oregano
Mix well in a container and refrigerate till before serving

Serve with some feta cheese chunks!

Pepper & Beef Stuffed Eggplant

Friends,

We're all guilty of craving bad foods knowing that we should really be eating something super healthy. This recipe is my solution to that problem. Not really, I lied. This definitely is not diet food but there are some veggies in the recipe. REJOICE, kind of. Hey, your taste buds will be happy!

Pepper and beef eggplant

This recipe is all about yummy fried eggplant. My mouth is watering just typing this up. It's filled with spicy beef and topped with tomato and spicy peppers. It's flavor packed and scrumptious. I love eating this on a cold, winter night with the family.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Eggplant, Halved and slit in the center (you'll be stuffing it later)
  • Ground Beef
  • Italian Peppers, one or 1/2 for each eggplant/serving you'll be making (optional)
  • Tomato, half sliced half cubed
  • Black pepper
  • Parsley
  • Garlic
  • Onion, minced
  • Salt
  • Red Pepper Paste
  • Olive Oil and/or Vegetable oil (I mix the two)
  • Frying pan
  • Baking sheet
  • Mozzarella Cheese (optional) or other fresh cheese

Instructions:

  1. Heat up your pan with your oil mixture on med-high heat
  2. Add your ground beef and throw in two tablespoons of red pepper paste, a few pinches of black pepper & salt
  3. Add the cubed half of your tomato into your pan and the onion. Stir stir stir it up until the ground beef has been cooked through and browned
  4. Remove the beef
  5. Salt the eggplant and fry in your pan for 2-3 minutes, or until browned and soft on the inside
  6. Remove eggplant from the pan and place on to baking sheet
  7. Preheat Oven 350
  8. Put beef mixture inside the eggplant, cook eggplant for 20 minutes
  9. In frying pan put Italian peppers (halved) and tomato  for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and place to the side
  10. Once eggplant is cooked put tomato and pepper on top and serve with cheese

Enjoy! I hope you cook this dish soon and enjoy it with your loved ones.

xoxo,

Sema Bal

Turkish Coffee Messenger

Traditional Kofte with Pita Bread

Yum! Here is my traditional recipe for Kofte with Pita.

 

Here is what you will need:

  • Ground beef (2lbs lean)
  • 1 tablespoon of pepper paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • two eggs
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal flower
  • tablespoon of parsley flakes
  • three cloves garlic crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • pinch of oldspice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Sliced tomato (optional)

Make the Kofte :

1. Mix with hands until all ingredients are blended in the meat. 

2. Sit in refrigerator for 1 hour.

3. Round into oval shape and cook on grill or cast iron pan high heat. 2-5 minutes on each side depending on preference.

4. (optional) Cook sliced tomato alone in frying pan 1-2 min on each side.

Presentation

Arrange pita around the serving plate. Add cooked tomato on top, add Kofte meat. Pour juices in pan on top.