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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Turkish specialties offered at D.A. Niels and a fine Kerala breakfast treat.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of offering some Turkish specialties at D.A. Niels. I made Kofta and Patliçan Yogürtlü. I made the Kofta with local organic ground beef and left out the sausage but added wild fennel pollen (you can use ground fennel seed). If you are using ground elk or bison, I would recommend the use of a sausage for added moisture and fat content.

I made these items often on the boat in Turkey where I worked as a chef/sailor/German-speaking tour guide. Looking out at the snow in April, it is easy to think about the gorgeous blue waters of the Aegean.

Later in the day, I enjoyed teaching a group of people some recipes and techniques of cooking foods from Kerala. The egg recipe is an easy and spicy breakfast to enjoy with flaky parathas.

1. Kofta

1 lb ground meat (lamb, elk or bison)
1 fennel or Italian sausage, casing removed
2 tbs Baharat
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup bread crumbs or Panko
1 egg

Mix all ingredients well together and form into small oblong shapes. Broil or grill for a few minutes on each side until done. Enjoy with pita, yoghurt tahini sauce or other dips.

It is often broiled in a large pan with hot peppers, onions, tomatoes and garlic.

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.


2. Patliçan Yogürtlü

1 lg eggplant sliced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 c plain yogurt
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt

Slice and salt eggplant and let sit in a bowl of cold water. If eggplant is very young, skip the step of salt and water. Rinse and squeeze out water from slices.

Mince garlic and stir into yoghurt with salt.

Sauté eggplant slices on medium high heat until golden brown on both sides. Remove from pan and let sit for a moment on a paper towel. Place on platter and top with yoghurt mixture. Sprinkle rubbed oregano and paprika over yoghurt. Top with a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with baguette slices or water crackers.


Duck Egg Curry (an excellent way to start the day)
If you can't find Duck eggs, large chicken eggs are also fine.

3 hard boiled duck’s eggs, shelled and with one or two slashes on each
to taste – salt and vinegar
3 tbs oil
1 ½ tsp cayenne
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup sliced onion
1 tbs oil

Fry the onion in oil and lift it.

Fry the eggs in the same oil and lift them. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the cayenne and pepper. Add a spoonful of oil and return the skillet to the heat. Add salt, vinegar and eggs. Stir for a minute and cook until the gravy is thick.

Lift the eggs. Put the fried onion in the skillet. Mix well and remove from heat. Arrange the onions around the eggs.

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