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Saturday, July 05, 2008

A new spice blend in town - Turkish Spice Blend – Baharat

Turkish Spice Blend – Baharat

I had the good fortune to work for a while on a small boat in Turkey as a chef/sailor. I was reminded of the spices and herbs there that brought out the flavours of the Mediterranean Sun and the Aegean Sea. I’m now offering a spice blend that can be used for a variety of recipes to follow on my blog. Turkish Baharat can be used on chicken, lamb, seafood, and grilled veggies, especially eggplant.

Contact me directly or look for this blend in stores.

(photo by Desmond, also featured grilled Organic Manitoba Asparagus)

Grilled Turkish Chicken on Pide (Serves 2-4 people)

4 Boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 tbs Turkish Baharat*
3-4 shallots, grated or one small onion grated
2 tsp lime juice
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/4 tsp paprika (can used smoked)
pinch salt and pepper

Combine Turkish Baharat, grated shallots, lime juice, olive oil, paprika and salt and pepper in a bowl. Place chicken thighs in the bowl and cover completely with the marinade. Place in fridge and let marinate for 6 hours. Grill 4 minutes a side on a very hot BBQ grill.

To enjoy in a Pide, let chicken pieces rest before cutting into strips. Grill Naan or Pide** on BBQ and spread on a bit of yoghurt tahini sauce (recipe follows).

Yoghurt tahini sauce

1/2 cup good plain yoghurt
1 clove garlic, minced
3 heaping tbs tahini
2 tsp lemon or lime juice
pinch salt

Mix all ingredients together. The tahini will cause the sauce to thicken quickly. Use on grilled Pide or Naan or as a crudité dip.


*Baharat is a blend of spices that can be purchased directly through myself or coming soon to a few Winnipeg retail shops.

**Good Naan or Pide can be found at Halal Meat Centre and Specialty Foods at 206 Maryland and Dino's Grocery Mart at 460 Notre Dame Avenue in Winnipeg.


Matt Nichols said...

Oh my gosh!!! I am now a new subscriber to your blog!! Every last bit of that looks FABULOUS!!!

Karen Food said...

Wow! Thanks! any requests?

Elatia Harris said...

What can I do to get you to send Baharat? If it's as good as your blend of ras-el-hanout, then it's covetable indeed. Please send or post purchase info. And next: za'atar, berbere, mitmita...

Matt Nichols said...

What have you got in the arena of eggplant? I know it's very versatile but I don't have a lot of time to experiment. Thanks! I get hungry looking at the site!

Karen Food said...

In Turkey there are over 1 thousand recipes for eggplant and they are all different. Simply grilling the eggplant that has some olive oil on it is delicious on its own but then top it with some yoghurt with garlic and a pinch of salt, sprinkle on a few pinches of oregano, paprika and a drizzle of olive oil and you have a beautiful appetizer with breads. I'll get some more eggplant recipes up. There are a few on my blog that I'll list as eggplant if you search within the blog. Thanks!

Elatia Harris said...

Still on eggplant, I heard about a prep using ginger rather than garlic and mint rather than basil or oregano. I intend to try it this summer although separating eggplant from garlic seems deeply suspect somehow.

Also, I tried Ana Sortun's eggplant roll-ups stuffed with muhammara. Criminally good.

I have somehow forgotten the most useful knowledge about eggplant: how to tell male from female. A psychoanalyst showed me! If you cook only with male eggplants, you'll be dealing with many fewer seeds. It's true, and now I can't remember how to tell the difference. Maybe someone on this all-eggplant thread will bail me out!

Karen Food said...

In Turkey, it was very important to tell the difference between male and female eggplants as the seeds burn in the oil, producing an unpleasant odor and bitter taste. If you have too many seeds, it burns more. They also joked around a lot about the female eggplant and getting pregnant but it was a little lost on me. It is difficult to tell on the globe eggplant and the seeds aren't as obvious in the Chinese or Japanese long style eggplants. We used the long ones in a Turkish delicacy, Imam Baldi. I'll get a recipe up for that as well.

Thanks for your ideas on using eggplant. People who claim not to like eggplant end up liking it after all.

A very important note on frying or grilling eggplant. Cook it longer than you anticipate. Under cooking eggplant can let you taste a lot of oil and won't be very pleasant at all.

I'll try sans garlic and use ginger but its hard to believe. I'm trying to think of one eggplant dish without garlic and can't come up with one.

Elatia Harris said...

It IS hard to believe eggplant can be worth the trouble without garlic, but fortunately I got a chance to find out today, as well as a chance to try your marinade with baharat. God, that's wonderful.

I steamed an enormous eggplant -- a female as it turned out -- peeled it and forced it through a sieve. I added to that (lots of ) grated ginger, Tibetan red salt, olive oil, white pepper, several floury potatoes I'd mashed and sieved, and a big pinch of saffron infused in 1 Tbsp. of water. In the end it looked like saffron mashed potatoes, but tasted much less starchy, and although there were other things going on, I could see the eggplant/ginger dynamic was successful. It made a very nice side dish to go with lamb marinated as you directed.

Karen Food said...

Wow! Sounds amazing. I have to try it this weekend. I'm catering a wedding and have a market day so I'm saving this for the weekend. Thank you!

Matt Nichols said...

just curious myself are you from Turkey or just favor middle eastern foods? I myself am interested in the foods from Israel.

Karen Food said...

I'm from Canada but I lived in Turkey for a while as a chef/sailor near Bodrum, Turkey in the Aegean Sea.

John Tozeland said...

Where can i buy your spices