Grilled Chicken And Tabouleh Salad

Apr 7, 2015

Tavuk Salata

It's full name is ''Tabouleh with Lime and Cinnamon Tabulleh, Iceberg, Arugula, Cherry Tomatoes, Grilled Chicken Marinated in Soy Sauce and Sesame Oil and Hazelnuts''. This is how it is listed on the menu, all ingredients disclosed. When I ordered it the first time I had overlooked the rest of the description for when I see the name Tabouleh, I'm ordering it, tell me no more.  

It had been on my mind ever since I ate it more than a year ago, as the most out of the ordinary, original and delicious chicken salad I've ever had. 

I googled it to see if someone as impressed as me thought of writing about it. There it was, the menu and on the menu, the full description of the dish, including what the chicken was marinated in and what the tabbouleh was flavored with. The spice I found too subtle to point my finger at was cinnamon and the sweet flavor that went great with chicken was sesame oil. Tadaaa.  

Using a bit of common sense I concocted the salad. I don't know if they left out any ingredient from the menu for the sake of originality, the salad turned out fantastic nevertheless. 

I saw that Mangerie just turned 10 years old.

For I have feasted on your Bailey's Cake and ''Tabouleh with Lime and Cinnamon Tabulleh, Iceberg, Arugula, Cherry Tomatoes, Grilled Chicken Marinated in Soy Sauce and Sesame Oil and Hazelnuts'' for years, should you serve great food many years more. Happy Birthday! 

Çeri Domates 

Grilled Chicken And Tabouleh Salad

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken breast, halved and roughly flattened
  • 1/4 cup fine ground bulgur
  • 1 teaspoon lime or lemon rind
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • couple of iceberg and romaine lettuce leaves and a handful of arugula, washed, dried and torn to pieces
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8-10 hazelnuts

    for the marinade:

  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

    for the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses

Directions:

  1. Blend soy sauce and sesame oil. Lay chicken breast in this sauce, cover and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Soak bulgur in hot water for 10 minutes. Drain then add cinnamon and lime rind. 
  3. Heat a non-stick pan on high heat. Roast hazelnuts until lightly golden, continuously tilting the pan back and forth. When cooled down, grate with a Microplane or beat in a mortar. Set aside. 
  4. Heat the non-stick pan and transfer chicken breasts without shaking off their marinade. Fry them over medium-high heat, 3 minutes on each side. Add a little marinade to the pan if the marinate dries out. 
  5. For the sauce, combine 1 unit of sesame oil, half a unit of molasses and half a unit of soy sauce. Blend well. 
  6. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl accept hazelnuts. Add the sauce and toss well. Check the seasoning. Serve with grated hazelnuts. 

Basic Vanilla Cake

Mar 24, 2015

Vanilla Cake

Vanilla Cake

Kek

I had found this recipe two years ago, took its screenshot and didn't consult to it until I entered a cake phase recently. I wanted to have a loaf of homemade cake sitting on the kitchen table every other day, to have something sweet to eat with my post breakfast coffee, with my afternoon tea and to sooth my after-midnight cravings.

What drawn me to this recipe in particular was that it provided instructions on how to change it into a coconut, lemon or a raspberry cake. It may not be very hard to customize cakes but the fact that the ideas were right there made the recipe even more attractive. 

The recipe uses butter, not oil and despite and thanks to butter, it yields a thick, moist and tender cake. I made many varieties with lemon rind and lemon extract, with shredded coconut and lemon rind, with raspberries and with bergamot rind and still have many ideas to go. I think I may have even memorized the recipe, so for once I won't be looking secretly at my phone when I'm baking one simple cake. Thanks to Donna Hay. 

Kek Yapımı


Visneli CheesecakeMy cake phase was briefly interrupted by this sourcherry-yogurt cheesecake 

Basic Vanilla Cake

Recipe: Donna Hay

Kitchen equipment required:

  • 2 litres rectangular cake tin 

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cup (225 g) flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 120 g butter, softened at room temperature 
  • 1 cup (220 g) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk (125 ml)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 160C/325F. Grease and dust the cake tin. Set aside.
  2. Sift flour and baking power into a bowl and set aside. 
  3. Beat butter for 3-4 minutes until creamy. Gradually add sugar and continue beating for 5 minutes or until fluffy. 
  4. Gradually add the egg, then the flour mixture and finally milk.
  5. Add the vanilla and beat until just combined. To make a lemon cake or a raspberry cake you can fold in 1 tablespoon lemon rind or frozen raspberries at this point. 
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the thickest part of the cake comes out clean. (Baking time may differ in ovens so keep an eye on the cake.)

This cake stays fresh up to a week in an airtight container. 

 

 

Gingersnaps And Peanut Butter Cookies

Feb 20, 2015

Peanut Butter And Almond Cookies

Gingersnaps
Peanut Butter
Hello from a very, very belated new year's post. In my defense, these photos were published on my Turkish language blog just about time when the ornament 'meowy christmas' was still relevant. For those who read this part of the blog, although christmas is long gone, 'meowy' can - and should - always be a part of your lives. 

Some exciting developments have kept me away: two are blog and photography-related, one is a little more life-changing and core-shaking.

First of all, I released my blog's app! Although it is currently only in Turkish and available at App Store and Google Play™, I started working on the English version too. It takes a lot of time to proof-read the recipes and transfer them to the database but I'm getting there. The English version will hopefully be on the market too in the next month or so. I'm going to make a whole parade here when it's done so you can't miss it. 

The other news is that some of most favorite photos are being showcased at offset.com! For those who don't know what Offset is, it's an image licensing company owned by Shutterstock and offers premium, high-end stock photos. They work with top photographers in their field so it's beyond flattering for me to have them represent my work. You can visit my gallery and shop for my photos here.

Above all, what kept me occupied turned my life upside down was the arrival of a new resident to my home: a lady teenage dog. Judging from her looks and behavior, I think she is a Pointer-Labrador mix but who would know. I rescued her from a shelter in November where I only went to feed and pet some homeless strays and had no intention whatsoever to bring a dog home with me. Or at some level I did. 

And here she is dominating, exhausting, overwhelming, enriching, beautifying and exhilarating my life and my being to its very core. It's difficult to be a dog's guardian. And yet truly rewarding. 

And about these cookies...

My most favorite store-bought cookies have always been gingersnaps - or Pepparkakors Ikea brought into our lives - with their tongue and palate-tingling ginger flavor. For as long as I know, I've been trying recipes from here and there to be make less sugary ones for my mature, adult taste.

This recipe from Donna Hay's December 2011 issue has yielded me so far the most likable ones and here they are. I boosted the ginger amount for that tingly taste I love and used honey instead of corn syrup because manufactured syrups give me the chills. Use the syrup if you have nothing against them (although you should) because the taste of honey can be a little too overpowering. Flatten the dough as thin as you can, keeping mind that the dough will expand and that thinner the dough, the more the cookies will live up to their name. 

And peanut butter and almond cookies are, well, peanut butter and almond cookies. Just bake and eat them already!

Happy New Year remaining 10 months!

Kahve

Gingersnaps

recipe: Donna Hay September 2011 issue

Makes 40-45 cookies with 7 cm/2.5 inch, round cookie cutter

Kitchen equipment required:

  • handheld mixer
  • rolling pin
  • grease-proof paper
  • 7 cm/2.5 inch cookie cutter
  • chop stick or a skewer to pierce holes

Ingredients:

  • 150 gr butter, softened at room temperature
  • 90 gr (1/2 cup) brown sugar 
  • 2/3 cup honey or agave syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 450 gr (3 cup) flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 1,5 tablespoon ginger (use 1 tablespoon for a milder taste)

Directions:

  1. Beat butter, brown sugar and honey for 5 minutes until well combined. Add the egg and beat well.  
  2. Sift flour, cornstarch, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder onto the mixture and add ginger.  Blend to obtain a smooth dough. 
  3. Put the dough in between two pieces of grease-proof paper and flatten it with a rolling pin as thinly as you can. Rest it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F. Line the oven tray with grease-proof paper. Cut shapes with the cookie cutter and place them on the tray with enough space between them. Pierce holes and patterns on the cookies as you like with a chop stick.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden. (Baking time may differ in ovens so keep an eye on them.)

Cookies stay fresh in an airtight container for up to a week. 

Peanut Butter Cookies

recipe: Donna Hay September 2011 issue

Makes 30-35 cookies with a 6 cm/2.5 inch, round cookie cutter

Kitchen equipment required:

  • non-stick pan
  • handheld mixer
  • rolling pin
  • grease-proof paper
  • 6 cm/2.5 inch

Ingredients:

  • 100 gr butter, softened at room temperature
  • 140 gr (1/2 cup) smooth peanut butter 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 220 gr (1 + 1/4 cup) brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 190 gr (1 + 1/3 cup) flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 handfuls of almonds

Directions:

  1. Soak almonds in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of cold water. Drain, peal and rub dry between layers of a clean kitchen towel. 
  2. Heat the non-stick pan on high heat. Roast almonds until lightly golden by continuously tilting the pan back and forth. Set aside. 
  3. Beat butter, brown sugar, peanut butter and vanilla extract with a handheld mixer for 8-10 minutes.  
  4. Add egg and beat for another 2-3 minutes. Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda onto the mixture and beat again to obtain a smooth dough. 
  5. Put the dough in between two pieces of grease-proof paper and flatten it with a rolling pin as thinly as you can. Rest it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 
  6. Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F. Line the oven tray with grease-proof paper. Cut shapes with the cookie cutter and place them on the tray with enough space between them. You can cut chapes on the tray to prevent the dough from breaking. If the dough is still unmanageable rest it in the refrigerator for another 15-20 minutes. . 
  7. Press three almonds onto each cookie. 
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 14-16 minutes or until lightly golden (Baking time may differ in ovens so keep an eye on them.) Transfer them to a cooling rack.  

Cookies stay fresh in an airtight container for up to a week. 

 

Almond Tart With Caramelized Oranges

Aug 1, 2014

Almond-Orange Tarte

The Duck And The Lady

I'm watching the passersby on the street from the balcony in my usual morning absent-mindedness with a coffee cup in my hand. It is busier than usual because it's weekend; mostly there are people walking their dogs. On the street that stretches ahead of where I'm at, I see a duck on the sidewalk behind a woman. When the woman reaches the end of the street she turns the corner, throws a gaze at her back as if to see the duck coming and the duck follows suit. The duck waddles and effortlessly makes the ninety degree turn, seemingly undistracted by the cars driving by.  

Other people on the street gaze briefly at this odd scene and adding to my amazement, carry on their ways without finding much interest. On the other hand, had I not been in my pyjamas, I would run out to the street to follow the duck and the lady to discover all the whats, whys and where tos. But worried that I might miss a second of this, I stay put and avoiding to blink, I see them out of sight. 

The Plastic Trash Pin

The white plastic trash bin in my kitchen cabinet, one of those ugly ones with a turning lid, finally becomes disposable as soon as I get a handsome, metal one. I take it with me when I'm leaving the apartment that day, to throw it into the container across the street. I see a recycler boy looking for something of good use inside the container, ask him if he'd be interested in taking the bin, he expresses gratitude and takes it. 

Suddenly, the old man I usually see sitting by the shade of a tree at the entrance of my building and sometimes greet too, starts yelling at me from across the street: 'bring that to me, don't you give that away!'. When I look at his direction, I see him crossing the street coming our way, swinging his walking stick in a threatening kind of way. The recycler boy freezes with the bin in his hand and I, startled, retreat behind the container as I am too old - and too afraid - to be spanked by a walking stick.

The old man is so aggressively determined that for a second I pause and review the brief course of events to figure if I actually did take something that belonged to this man and if so, I certainly deserve to be spanked. 

Passersby stare at this woman hiding behind a container who have apparently lifted something that belonged to this unfortunate old man and her accomplice, the recycler boy. The old man occasionally lifts his walking stick up like a lightsaber. I mumble with fear ' hmm, sir, that was mine and I no longer use it so I gave it to him' pointing at the boy's direction. He, on the other hand, has no interest in my explanation and keeps yelling instead 'no give it to me! It's mine!'.

The fruit-vendor in our street who knows me and apparently knows the old man too, comes from behind him and gestures me that translates to saying 'don't mind him, just go'. I gladly obey and begin moving away sideways. I hear the old man behind me calm down and am relieved. The fruit-vendor helps him cross the street to the shade of the tree while one of the take-away boys who works at the grocery escorts me and says to me in a secretive manner, 'that man's a fourty-sixer you know'. I don't understand what the birth year of the old man has to with anything.

It turns out '46' is the section of the Turkish criminal code that deals with the criminal capacity of the mentally ill;  that's why in slang 'fourty-sixer' comes to mean certifiably insane. Who would know.

The Flying Plums

I return to my second floor home in the afternoon with eggplants I picked up from the marketplace on my way back. My plan is to cook rice with eggplants. I fill the pan with frying oil, turn the heat up and open the kitchen window wide. While I'm rinsing the eggplants in the sink facing the open window, I hear a muffled 'tap' sound in my back. I ignore it thinking it's the fridge making its usual noises but when I turn around to go next to the stove, an object flies right next to my ear into the pan, splashing the burning-hot oil. Scared as well as dumbfounded, I advance towards the stove on tip-toe to see what's lying in the bottom of the pan: a green plum minus a bite. 

I approach the window to discover the source of the flying plums when another comes flying and barely misses me on the forehead. Four boys are looking at my direction, one of them with his arm stretched to his back, about to send me another plum - perhaps minus a bite - freezes upon seeing me.

I loose my senses after almost getting burned because of a plum, I yell at the them like a fourty-sixer: 'are you boys insane, you almost burned me!' They apparently have no clue how a flying plum can burn a lady, but in any case they all point their fingers at each other. 

The Crow

After briefly simmering dried orange slices with sugar, I pour the almond filling onto the crust I half-baked the day before and pop it in the oven. When the tart is done and is conveniently at room temperature I decorate it with the caramelized oranges. I place it on the kitchen counter and take a step back to enjoy the sight of my glossy work of the art. 

For a change, I'm going to do a shoot with a 'afternoon tea' theme out on the terrace with shadows and sun reflected in the background. I bring the napkins, plates and flatware I'm going to use for the shoot and finally the tart and place it outside on the table. And while I'm putting the tart down, I see a crow facing my direction on the fig tree whose branches are sweeping the balustrade.

As I turn around and step inside to collect my photography gear I instantly remember the fate of those eggs mom had left out at the terrace once. Their shells were skilfully cracked and through a tiny hole their insides were eaten by what it turned put to be one sophisticated crow. The likeliness of my tart suffering the same destiny seems suddenly very probable; I make a swift 180 degree turn on the heels to catch the crow red-handed. 

It is standing on the tart with its claws on my sticky oranges, working on the thickest edge of the crust with its beak. I leap forward swinging my arms to scare him away and seeing my reaction, it hastily flaps its wings but fails to take off because its claws appear to be cemented in the caramel. As it struggles to free itself, it slowly picks up while some of the oranges stuck on its claws fall down in slow motion, caramel stretching between its claws and oranges. Some fall on the balustrade and some disappear behind it. I run forward, look down and am surprised to see after all that on a mischievous day like this, the sticky oranges are only decorating the pavement and not somebody's head.

Once, a plastic ball fell on top of the meringue pie I concocted so diligently by whisking egg whites for unending minutes with a fork. Just as that didn't dishearten me, neither will this. As soon as I get over the shock of this even more improbable accident, I caramelize another batch of oranges, secure my set indoors away from predators and shoot the attached photos. 

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

So, three of these four events happened on the exact same day. But one, I made up entirely. Can you guess which?

Karamelizeportakal

Orangetarte

Almond Tart With Caramelized Oranges

Kitchen Equipments Required:

  • 20-22 cm / 8 inch round tart tin with a removable base
  • mixer

Ingredients:

For the tart base:

  • 200 gr flour, sifted
  • 100 gr butter, softened at room temperature
  • 100 gr powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • 2 eggs
  • 80 gr caster sugar
  • 120 gr almond meal 
  • half a teaspoon vanilla extract
  • juice and zest of 1,5 lemons 

For the topping:

  • 2 oranges (or 3 lemons)
  • 330 gr caster sugar
  • 250 ml water

Directions:

The tart base:

  1. With a hand-held mixer whisk butter until creamy. Add flour and rub it into the butter in between your palms to obtain a crumbly mixture. Make a well in the centre, add egg, powdered sugar and vanilla extract.
  2. With a hand-held mixer or your hand, blend everything together to form a smooth and soft dough. Roll the dough into a ball. Flour your hands if the dough doesn't come off easily. Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat your oven to 180 C/350 F. On a clean, dusted surface, roll the dough into a disk slightly larger than the base of the tart tin. With the help of a spatula, place the dough loosely on the baking tin and press gently into the bottom and the sides.
  4. Pierce a dozen of holes in the bottom of the dough with a fork. Line the base with a grease-proof paper and put a handful of dried chickpeas or beans for weight. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Leave to cool at room temperature.

The filling:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F.
  2. Beat eggs and sugar for 4-5 minutes until light and creamy.
  3. Fold in almond meal, vanilla extract, lemon juice and zest. 
  4. Pour the filling onto the tart base. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until puffed and golden. To tell if the pie is baked, insert a toothpick into the tart. If it comes out clean, it's done. 

Caramelized oranges:

  1. Slice oranges in 2mm slices. (If using lemons, remove seeds).
  2. Put sugar and water in a sauce pan, occasionally tilting the pan in circular motion until the sugar melts. Add oranges and simmer for 20 minutes, until the sauce thickens and oranges get a darker color. 
  3. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. (The caramel will solidify if cooled completely. Heat it up slightly before use.) Decorate the cake with oranges and drizzle the caramel on top. Serve the tart at room temperature or chilled. 

Crepes With Strawberries And Nuts

Jul 4, 2014

Crepes

A friend showed me how to make crepes when I was at university. Judging from the way they sound, French and fancy, I used to think they required precision. My friend proved me wrong, by roughly whisking an egg, a cup of milk and ballpark flour enough to thicken the mixture to coat the back of a spoon. That's how I made crepes until this day, never questioning this method nor having the urge to find out exactly how much flour one needs to add. Hence I ate, throughout these years, bland, sponge-like crepes whose taste fell way too short of their reputation. Some college friends may have taught us wrong things afterall. 

Luckily, Elle à Table magazine came to the rescue. If you are a reader you know that it publishes a brilliant feature in every issue called 'Recette de Base',  meaning 'the basic recipe'. It provides one basic recipe which comes very handy if you like cooking things comme-il-faut and provides 8-10 recipes that uses that basic recipe. Couple of months ago it was this crepe recipe accompanied by variation of sweet crepe ideas. With one look over the ingredients, I saw that there were other things than just egg, milk and flour, I began suspecting that I was doing something wrong all along.

First of all, I was being too tight on the eggs department, by strictly using one. That's what mine owed their unappetizing cast color to. Secondly, the added two tablespoons of Grand Marnier or Cointreu, no matter how pretentious they may sound, are the missing link that makes our crepes at home bland, and those at proper creperies extraordinary. My humble opinion strictly. 

When it comes to toppings, the sky is the limit. But by smearing it with say Nutella, one can eat a piece of wood. But this crepe is so delicate, using overpowering toppings would make it injustice. I like berries for their mildness and roasted nuts like pistaccio, hazelnuts and almonds for they counterbalance with their cruchiness. And finally, a little drizzle of honey adds slight sweetness, wrapping the whole thing together, giving you the best sweet crepe you can concoct at home.  

Interesting

Crepes

Serves 2-3/makes 12 crepes

Kitchenware Required:

  • mixer
  • 18 cm non-stick pan

Ingredients:

  • 100 g flour, sifted
  • 2 eggs
  • a pinch of salt
  • 250 ml milk (almond milk or soy milk can be used)
  • 10 g granulated sugar
  • 10 g butter, melted*
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or Cointreau
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • regular olive oil or clarified butter, for cooking**

For topping:

  • nuts of your choice almonds, pistacchios, hazelnuts and/or walnuts, crushed
  • fresh berries of your choice, bananas or peaches

Directions:

  1. Roast nuts seperately in the pan, over high heat, frequently tilting the pan back and forth for 2-3 minute, or until they become light brown but not burnt. (Pistaccios roast without changing color. Roast them very briefly until they exhume their aroma.) 
  2. Whisk all the ingredients with a hand-held mixer. 
  3. Heat the non-stick pan over high heat. Pour 3-4 drops of oil. Once the oil starts to smoke, remove the pan off the heat. Pour 1/3 cup of crepe dough in the pan,  while with your other hand tilting the pan in a circular movement for the dough to spread out evenly. Return the pan to the heat and cook each side of the crepe for 1 minute, until they lightly brown. 
  4. Transfer crepes to a plate covered with aluminum foil to keep them warm. (Edit after more experience: covering them with aluminum foil causes them to soften in their own steam and loose their crispiness. Instead, you can keep them warm in the 80 C / 170 F preheated oven,) Serve them with fruit, roasted nuts and honey. 
  5. Crepes keep fresh in the fridge for 2 days. You can warm them up in the 180 C/350 F preheated over for 5-10 minutes.  

*Fill one thirds of a small sauce pan with water. Put it over low heat. Place a heat proof bowl bigger than the rim of the pan and put the butter in that bowl. The butter will melt without being cooked with the steam of the simmering water.

**For clarified butter, place the required quantity of butter in a sauce pan and melt it over medium heat. Skim off the foam with a spoon. Pour the rest of the butter into a bowl leaving the milky residue at the bottom. The clear yellow liquid is the clarified butter.

BidikMy sweet Bıdık resting on the guest bed after breakfast