Friday, 26 September 2014



                                “ENJOY IT !!!!”


Prepared by ZEKİ ÖZDEMİR ANADOLU LİSESİ –TURKEY  as  our Project outcome  “Another road for European Integration and Citizenship “















Twice Baked Potato Casserole



6 medium potatoes, baked
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 lb bacon, cooked and drained
3 cups sour cream
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 green onions, chopped


Cut peeled potatoes in 1 inch cubes.

Place half in greased 13x9 baking dish.

Sprinkle with half the salt, pepper, and bacon.

Top with half the sour cream and cheeses.

Repeat layers.

Bake, uncovered at 350* for 25 minutes.

Sprinkle with onions.

Awesome Pierogi Casserole

Full of flavor, this pierogi-layered casserole is nothing short of rich and hearty. It's a wonderful change fro ...



5 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 lb bacon, diced
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces packages lasagna noodles
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the potatoes in a large pot with water to cover over high heat.

Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender.

Remove from heat, drain, then combine with milk and 6 tablespoons of butter, mash and set aside.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.

Saute the bacon, onions and garlic in the butter for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the bacon is fully cooked.

Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions and cool under running water.

Place 1/2 of the mashed potatoes into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish.

Top this with 1/3 of the cheese, followed by a layer of lasgana noodles.

Repeat this with the remaining potatoes, another 1/3 of the cheese and a layer of noodles.

Then arrange the bacon, onion and garlic over the noodles, then another layer of noodles, and finally top all with the remaining cheese.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bake, uncovered at 350 for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve with sour cream and chopped fresh chives.

Awesome Pierogi Casserole. Photo by wicked cook 46

Polish Chicken and Dumplings


casserole Units: US | Metric
2 boneless chicken breasts
1 (10 ounce) can chicken broth
1 (10 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 (4 ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
garlic salt (to taste)
12 frozen pierogi, potato and cheese
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup milk

Cook chicken breasts in crock pot with the can of chicken broth on low for 4 hours.

Drain chicken, shred, put back into crockpot with cream of chicken soup, mushrooms, pepper and garlic salt.

Heat on low while you do the next step.

Thaw pierogies in boiling water for 5 minutes; drain and place in a casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Place a couple pats of butter on top of pierogies.

Dump chicken mixture on top of pierogies.

Place a couple pats of butter on top of chicken mixture.

Pour milk over the top.

Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 15 minutes.




1 lb beef stew meat, cut into cubes (chuck or round)
12 cups chicken stock (and/or water) or 12 cups beef stock (and/or water)
6 large beets, tops removed
1 large onion, minced
4 tomatoes, peeled and seeded (canned works fine)
1 -2 lime, juice of
2 tablespoons sugar (I like less)
salt and pepper
to taste sour cream (and/or snipped chives for garnish)


Combine the first five ingredients in a large non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow the soup to simmer for 2= hours.

Half an hour before serving, remove beets, keeping the broth at a simmer.

When beets are cool enough to handle, peel and grate them (the peels should slip right off). Then return them to the pot. Stir in lime juice and sugar, then season with salt and pepper.

Serve, garnished with a dollop of sour cream and/or some snipped chives.



Traditional Estonian cuisine has substantially been based on meat and potatoes, and on fish in coastal and lakeside areas, but now bears influence from many other cuisines, including a variety of international foods and dishes, with a number of contributions from the traditions of nearby countries. Scandinavian, German,Russian and other influences have played their part. The most typical foods in Estonia have been rye bread, pork, potatoes and dairy products.[1] Estonian eating habits have historically been closely linked to the seasons. In terms of staples, Estonia belongs firmly to the beer, vodka, rye bread and pork "belt" of Europe

Boiled pork in jelly. The jelly is made by boiling the pork bones, sometimes hooves and heads. It's often made in large batches, so many Estonian families have stories of jars and jars of solidifying s?lt all over the house. Sound intersting? See below for the recipe.

A favourite traditional Estonian dish that most foreigners are understandably too squeamish to try is sült, a jellied meat dish made from boiled pork. Any of our readers who are brave enough to try concocting it at home will earn bragging rights and the admiration of In Your Pocket staff. This recipe comes to us from
2 pork legs (2 thighs, 2 hooves), 500g bony beef, 3 medium onions, 1 garlic cloves, 2 carrots, 10-12 grains of black pepper, 5 grains of mixed spices, 2 laurel leaves, salt.
Wash meat and put to boil in large stew pot. Water must be cold when meat is added. Remove foam when water starts to boil. Keep water just above the boiling point, allowing it to simmer. After the first hour, add whole onions (tops and bottoms removed, but not peeled), garlic, and carrots (cut into rounds). Continue boiling until meat is loose from bones (three to four hours). Add salt and spices 15 minutes before boiling process is finished. Remove all meat and separate it from bones. Cut meat into small pieces, mix with the liquid and heat to boiling point once more. Pour sült mixture into several smaller bowls, and allow to harden in a cool place (five to eight hours). Serve cold with  horseradish or strong mustard, and with hot potatoes and pumpkin salad on the side.

Sauerkraut stew with pork, served with boiled potatoes. This one also turned out to be popular with theparticipants, one of whom slyly had the remaining portion wrapped up to take home.
"Seems to be a complete and healthy meal, with or without the 
Estonian sauerkraut (mulgikapsas)

1 kg sauerkraut, half a glass of barley grouts, 500g bacon, two onions, salt, sugar, water. 
Put sauerkraut in a saucepan with pearl barley and meat. Cover it with water and stew it under the lid. It is important to see that the water does not boil off. Add salt and sugar. Cut the onions into little cubes and fry them with little fat or oil. Add them to the sauerkraut. Serve with boiled potatoes and pork.



German cuisine has evolved as a national cuisine through centuries of social and political change with variations from region to region.
The southern regions of Germany, including Bavaria and neighbouring Swabia, share many dishes. Furthermore, across the border in Austria, one will find many different dishes. However, ingredients and dishes vary by region. Many significant regional dishes have become international, but have proliferated in very different variations across the country presently.

German-style potato salad


4 large waxy-style potatoes (about 1kg)
2 tbsp, plus 2 tsp salt
3 strips streaky bacon (about 55g), minced
½ medium Spanish onion, chopped
1 tbsp plain flour
175ml chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium tinned
80ml white wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp Dijon mustard
1½ tsp sugar
20g chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves


German-style potato salad
1)      In a large saucepan, place the potatoes and cover with cold water by 2.5-cm. Stir in 2 tablespoons salt. Bring to the boil, lower the heat, and simmer until just tender, about 30 minutes. Drain, transfer to a large bowl, and cover with cling film to keep warm.

2) In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, add the bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until crispy and the fat has been rendered, about 3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium, add the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 6 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 45 seconds more. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons salt, stock, vinegar, mustard, and sugar. Bring to the boil whilst whisking constantly. Remove from the heat. 

3) Using your hands, rub the skins off the potatoes. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise into .5-cm slices. Return the potatoes to the large bowl. Pour the vinegar mixture over the potatoes and toss to coat. Toss in the parsley and season with pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.

Cook's Note: This potato salad is at its best served imm
ediately or shortly afterwards at room temperature.
German-style potato salad




German pancake


For the German pancake:
3 large eggs
½ tsp fine salt
3 tbsp caster sugar
240ml milk, warmed
1 tsp vanilla essence
30g unsalted butter, melted
150g unbleached plain flour
2 tsp vegetable fat
Icing sugar
Marinated berries or glazed apples and pears compote, recipes follow


German pancake
1) For the pancake: Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas Mark 7. 

2) In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt, sugar, milk, vanilla, and butter. Whisk in the flour to make a smooth batter. Set aside. 

3) Heat a well-seasoned 25-cm cast-iron skillet in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and brush the inside with the fat. Pour in the batter and bake for 15 minutes. 

4) Lower the oven to 180C/Gas 4 and continue baking until puffed and golden brown, about 13 to 15 minutes more. Run a knife around the edge of the skillet. Sift the icing sugar over the pancake. Serve immediately in the skillet with maple syrup, marinated berries, or glazed apples and pears, recipes follow.

5) For the marinated berries: In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, citrus zests, and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer very gently until syrupy, about 25 minutes.

6) Remove from the heat and add the citrus juices. Combine the berries in a bowl. Strain the warm syrup over the berries and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Serve.

7) For the glazed apples and pears compote: Peel, core, and cut both the apples and pears into 2-cm wedges. In a medium bowl, toss the fruit with the lemon juice.

8) Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the sugar, orange zest, and cinnamon sticks and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add the fruit, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, shaking the pan frequently, until glazed, about 10 minutes.
9) Raise the heat to high, add the orange juice, and cook until the fruit is easily pierced with a paring knife, about 1 minute more. If desired, add the Calvados. If cooking on a gas burner, carefully tip the pan toward the flame to flambe the alcohol; if cooking over an electric element, hold a long match near the mixture. Swirl the pan over the heat until the flame subsides. Serve warm.

Pot roast with roasted vegetables

Pot roast with roasted vegetables


For the pot roast:
1 (1.35kg to 1.8kg) beef chuck roast
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsps vegetable oil
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1 large onion, sliced
1 (425g) tinned whole tomatoes, in juice
125ml red wine
500ml beef stock, homemade or made from beef bouillon (2 bouillon cubes and 500ml hot water) not canned
3 sprigs fresh thyme, or 2 tsps dried
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp cornflour, mixed with 2 tbsps water, optional
35g coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, optional


Pot roast with roasted vegetables
1)Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. 
2) Heat a large casserole pot, with a lid, over medium-high heat. Season the meat generously with salt and pepper, and sprinkle lightly with the flour. Add the oil to the pot, lay the meat in the pan and sear on both sides until a deep mahogany brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate. Pour all but about 2 tablespoons of the oil from the pan. 
3) Add the onion and garlic to the pan, and cook until fragrant and soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up by hand as you add them to the pot, and cook until a deep brick red, about 2 minutes more. Add the wine, and with a wooden spoon scrape up any browned bits that cling to the bottom of the pot. Add the remaining tomato liquid, beef broth, thyme, and bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Return the roast to the pot, nestle it in the liquid, cover and transfer pot to the oven. 
4) Cook until the roast is just tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the lid and continue to cook, uncovered until tender about 1 hour more. 
5) Meanwhile, toss the onions, carrots, parsnips, and turnips with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet in 1 layer. You may have to use 2 baking tins. Once the roast comes out of the oven, raise the temperature to 230C/Gas 8. Roast the vegetables, turning about halfway through cooking, until caramelized and tender, about 30 to 45 minutes.
6) Transfer the roast to a plate and cover loosely with foil. Skim the fat off the surface of the liquid and discard. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook until thickened. For a thicker sauce whisk in the cornflour mixture and bring to a boil. (Test the thickness of the sauce by spooning some onto a plate and checking the consistency). 

          7) Stir in the parsley, taste and adjust salt and pepper, as needed. Keep the roast warm in the sauce until ready to slice. 

8) Slice the pot roast and lay on a platter, surround with the vegetables. Pour some of the sauce on top and serve the remaining in a sauceboat on the side.


Wiener Schnitzel

 © Österreich Werbung, Wolfgang Schardt

The true origin of the Wiener Schnitzel has become a matter of vigorous debate between culinary historians in recent times again. One thing, however, is absolutely certain: the Wiener Schnitzel is truly cosmopolitan. The earliest trails lead to Spain, where the Moors were coating meat with breadcrumbs during the Middle Ages. The Jewish community in Constantinople is similarly reported to have known a dish similar to the Wiener Schnitzel, in the 12th century. So whether the legend surrounding the import of the “Costoletta Milanese” from Italy to Austria by Field Marshal Radetzky is true or merely a nice story makes very little difference, in actual fact. So long as the schnitzel is tender and crispy!


4 veal schnitzel, 150 – 180 g each (alternatively, use pork or turkey)
2 eggs
Approx. 100 g coarse-ground flour
Approx. 100 g breadcrumbs
Salt, pepper
Clarified butter and/or plant oil
Slices of lemon, to garnish

How to make it:

Lay out the schnitzel, remove any skin and beat until thin. Season on both sides with salt and pepper. Place flour and breadcrumbs into separate flat plates, beat the eggs together on a further plate using a fork.

2. Coat each schnitzel firstly on both sides in flour, then draw through the beaten eggs, ensuring that no part of the schnitzel remains dry. Lastly, coat in the breadcrumbs and carefully press down the crumbs using the reverse side of the fork (this causes the crumb coating to “fluff up” better during cooking).

Tiroler GröstlTiroler Gröstl © Tirol Werbung/Fotowerk

Tiroler Gröstl is one of the hearty favourites from the skiing and hiking region of Tirol. Traditionally, it is a delicious and satisfying way of using up yesterday’s left-overs. It makes a great shared-from-the-pan mountain lunch, particularly when combined with a separate pan of Kaiserschmarren.

1½ tbsp corn, sunflower or vegetable oil
400g smoked bacon lardons (or cooked ham)
1 onion, cut into chunks
500g cooked potatoes (preferably waxy ones), cold and cut into small chunks
1 tsp caraway seeds
1½ tsp hot, sweet paprika (if you can't find this, use sweet paprika mixed with a pinch of chilli powder)
small handful of parsley, roughly chopped

How to make it:
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, then fry the bacon and onion together for 10 minutes until the bacon is golden. Lift out of the pan onto a plate, before adding the potatoes and frying for 10 minutes more until golden. Tip in the caraway and paprika, season well, then fry for another minute, stirring to release their fragrance. Return the bacon and onion, taste for seasoning, then add the parsley. Serve hot and - for a real authentic touch - with a fried egg on top.

Guten Appetit!


 © Österreich Werbung, Wolfgang Schardt

While the Austro-Hungarian monarchy may have united any number of peoples under its emblem of the two eagles, when it came to his choice of meals Emperor Franz Joseph proved very loyal to his native country and region. Alongside cooked beef, he loved simple pastry dishes made from eggs, flour, milk and a little sugar, such as the light and creamy Kaiserschmarren. Whether the thanks for this dish really ought to go to a failed and shredded omelette as rumour suggests is something that will probably never be established. The main thing is that the recipe has been passed down to us.

6 eggs
350–400 ml milk
180–200 g finely ground flour
3 tbsp crystal sugar, for the topping
2 tbsp raisins
1 packet (8g) vanilla sugar
A dash of rum
Some grated lemon rind
A pinch of salt
Approx. 50 g butter for frying
1 tablespoon of butter shavings and crystal sugar, for caramelising
Icing sugar and cinnamon for dusting

How to make it:

1. Place the raisins in a bowl, mix with the rum and leave to stand for approx. 15 minutes. Separate the eggs and place the yolks in a mixing bowl. Pour in the milk, flavour with some grated lemon rind and vanilla sugar, and add the flour. Mix to form a smooth dough.

2. Beat the egg whites with the crystal sugar and a small pinch of salt until it forms a firm peak, and fold into the dough mix. Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C.

3. Let the butter melt and bubble up in one large, or two small (coated) heatproof dishes. Pour in the mixture and after 1–2 minutes scatter the soaked raisins over the top. Cook the underside until light brown, turn over using a spatula and bake for 6–8 minutes in the pre-heated oven until golden brown.

4. Tear the ‘Schmarren’ into small pieces, using two forks. Scatter the butter shavings over the top, sprinkle with some crystal sugar, and caramelise under the grill at a high heat.

5. Remove from the grill and arrange on pre-heated plates. Dust with icing sugar and cinnamon. Serve with baked plums, a berry ragout or fruit compote. The Kaiserschmarren can also be cooked at the top of the oven and caramelised at the end with a lid to cover.

Cooking time: 8–10 minutes

Guten Appetit!



Spanish omelet - Gary Conner/Stockbyte/Getty Images

No doubt about it, theTortilla Espanola or Spanish Omelet is the most commonly served dish in Spain. It is also called Tortilla de Patataor Potato Omelet. Bars and cafés serve it as atapa or appetizer, but it is often served as a light dinner in Spanish homes. Because it is easy to transport, the Spanish make bocadillos or sandwiches by placing a piece between two pieces of a baguette.
There are lots of variations of tortillas or omelets and a few are listed at the bottom of this recipe.
·                                 6-7 medium potatoes, peeled
·                                 1 whole yellow onion
·                                 5-6 large eggs
·                                 2-3 cups of olive oil for pan frying
·                                 Salt to taste
·                              Prep Time: 10 minutes

·                              Cook Time: 25 minutes
·                              Total Time: 35 minutes

·                              Yield: 6 Servings Main Dish
This tortilla espanola or tortilla de patata makes 8-10 servings as an appetizer, or 6 servings as a main course.
Cut the peeled potatoes in half lengthwise. Then, with the flat side on the cutting surface, slice the potato in pieces approximately 1/8" thick. If you slice them a bit thick, don’t worry – it will simply take a bit longer for them to cook.
Peel and chop the onion into 1/4" pieces. Put potatoes and onions into a bowl and mix them together. Salt the mixture.
In a large, heavy, non-stick frying pan, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Carefully place the potato and onion mixture into the frying pan, spreading them evenly over the surface. The oil should almost cover the potatoes. You may need to turn down the heat slightly, so the potatoes do not burn.
Leave in pan until the potatoes are cooked. If you can poke a piece of potato with a spatula and it easily breaks in two, your potatoes are done. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon or spatula and allow oil to drain.
Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat by hand with a whisk or fork. Pour in the potato onion mixture. Mix together with a large spoon.
Pour 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil into a small, non-stick frying pan (aprox. 9-10”) and heat on medium heat. Be careful not to get the pan too hot because the oil will burn - or thetortilla will! When hot, stir the potato onion mixture once more and “pour” into the pan and spread out evenly. Allow the egg to cook around the edges. Then you can carefully lift up one side of the omelet to check if the egg has slightly “browned.” The inside of the mixture should not be completely cooked and the egg will still be runny.
When the mixture has browned on the bottom, you are ready to turn it over to cook the other side. Take the frying pan to a sink. Place a large dinner plate (12”) upside down over the frying pan. With one hand on the frying pan handle and the other on top of the plate to hold it steady, quickly turn the frying pan over and the omelet will “fall” onto the plate. Place the frying pan back on the range and put just enough oil to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Let the pan warm for 30 seconds or so. Now slide the omelet into the frying pan. Use the spatula to shape the sides of the omelet. Let the omelet cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the tortilla sit in the pan for 2 minutes.
Slide the omelet onto a plate to serve. If eating as a main course, cut the omelet into 6-8 pieces like a pie. Serve sliced French bread on the side.
If you are serving as an appetizer, slice a baguette into pieces about 1/2 inch think. Cut thetortilla into 1.5” squares and place a piece on top of each slice of bread.
It is simply delicious served with sofrito, fried tomato sauce that is made all over Spain. Tomatoes, onions, garlic, green peppers and olive oil sautéed in a frying pan.

Spanish Tapas

Tapas have received a lot of attention in the last 10 years or so and consequently have gained popularity all over the world. In Spain, they are simply a part of life. Tapas, Spain's appetizers are eaten any time - day or night. Put a few of these little dishes together and they can make a meal on their own! Going out to eat tapas is such a big part of the culture that there is even a verb "tapear", which means "to eat tapas."

Seafood Tapas

If you have ever been to Spain, or had a friend from Spain, you know that Spaniards have a love affair with seafood. It's only natural, if you consider that Spain is surrounded on three sides by water – the Atlantic Ocean, the Cantabric Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. As far back as the Romans, plants were built to preserve fish by salting and drying them. Today, Spaniards eat seafood every day, prepared many different ways. That includes a dizzying variety of seafood "tapas."

Meat and Poultry Tapas

Tapas sometimes replace entire meals as Spaniards stroll from bar to bar, making their rounds, it shouldn't come as a surprise that tapas can be substantial dishes and include meat and poultry.

Vegetarian and Egg Tapas

Tapas come in all varieties, including vegetarian kinds like grilled eggplant. Eggs are also very popular in Spain and are prepared many different ways. "Tapas" are no different. From fresh egg-based mayonnaise in Spanish potato salad to scrambled eggs in Spanish omelets.


Quick and Easy Paella  Recipe

Ingredients Edit and Save

1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, or more to taste
2 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces chorizo sausage, sliced into thin rounds
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/3 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup green peas
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 teaspoon paprika
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste


1.                               Cook and stir reserved shrimp shells and 2 teaspoons olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat until shells are pink and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir saffron into shells; add chicken broth, bring to a simmer, and cook until broth is a rusty brown and fragrant, about 20 minutes.
2.                               Strain saffron broth through a fine-mesh sieve; measure out 2 cups of broth, pour into a small saucepan, and place over low heat to keep broth hot.
3.                               Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
4.                               Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Cook chorizo slices in hot oil until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Add onion to sausage; cook and stir until soft and slightly translucent, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low.
5.                               Stir garlic into chorizo mixture; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add rice to skillet and stir to coat rice completely in oil; stir in peas.
6.                               Pat rice mixture evenly into the bottom of the skillet. Arrange shrimp in a single layer over the top of the rice. Lay pepper strips around and in-between shrimp; season with salt and cayenne pepper.
7.                               Increase heat to high. When rice begins to sizzle in the skillet, pour reserved 2 cups hot saffron broth over the shrimp; gently shake the skillet to distribute liquid.
8.                               Bake rice mixture in the preheated oven until rice is almost tender and still a bit wet, about 20 minutes.
9.                               Place skillet over medium-high and cook until rice is tender, liquid is absorbed, and rice caramelizes and crusts slightly on the bottom of the skillet, 3 to 5 minutes.



Imam Bayildi (A Stuffed Eggplant Recipe from Asia Minor). Photo by Rita~


The story behind this dish is that the Imam (a Turkish official in the Ottoman Empire) fainted when his wife told him she'd used up all the olive oil in making this dish. Eggplant is an oil sponge, it loves to soak it up. Having said that, it is also very, very delicious, and if you allow the eggplant to drain well after frying them, you will still cut calories while retaining great taste. Great dish - vegetarian.


·                                 2 medium onions, chopped
·                                 1/2-3/4 cup olive oil
·                                 2 garlic cloves, crushed
·                                 3 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
·                                 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
·                                 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint or 1/2 teaspoondried mint, crumbled
·                                 salt and pepper
·                                 2 medium eggplants
·                                 1 teaspoon sugar
·                                 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Saute the onions in a little oil.
Add the garlic, tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.
Cook until it comes together as a very thick stew (no liquid). Stir in mint.
Cut the stem ends from each eggplant and cut eggplants in half lengthwise.
Make 3 lengthwise slits, almost from end to end, cutting into the flesh about 1 inch deep.
Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add the eggplant, cut side down, and fry gently, until dark golden-brown on cut side.
Turn over and fry on skin side a couple more minutes.
Remove from oil (most of it will have been absorbed) and place on paper towels to drain for at least 15 minutes before proceeding with recipe (this gets rid of most of the oil- you can omit the frying step to cut calories and save time, but you will NOT have the same flavourful results, and the recipe will not be as authentic).
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Hold each slit apart and spoon the vegetable mixture into each cavity.
Arrange eggplants in a baking dish just large enough to hold them.
Sprinkle with sugar, lemon juice, and drizzle with the remaining oil.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until tender.
Serve with lots of crusty bread.

Halva is a very traditional divine dessert of various cultures & geographies. This version is from the Agean coast of Anatolia.


·                                 125 g butter
·                                 1 cup semolina
·                                 1/4 cup pine nuts
·                                 1 cup water
·                                 1 cup milk
·                                 1 1/2 cups sugar


Melt the butter
Add semolina and pine nuts and roast by stirring for 10-15 min until pine nuts turn to light brown. (stove on medium heat).
Add water, milk and sugar respectively wait until boiling bubbles are observed. (increase the heat level).
Lower the heat (to low to medium) and stir occasionally untill the water runs out.
Turn off the heat, cover the lid of the pot and let it cool down.

Turkish Coffee

Turkish Coffee. Photo by NcMysteryShopper

From Saad Fayed, Turkish coffee is famed for the way it is made. It is prepared in an ibrik, a small coffee pot that is heated. Sugar is added during the brewing process, not after, so the need for a serving spoon is eliminated. Cream or milk is never added to Turkish coffee, and sugar is optional. It is always served in demitasse cups. In some regions, your fortune is told by the placement of the coffee grinds left in the cup!


·                                 1 cup water
·                                 1 tablespoon of extra fine ground coffee (powder consistency)
·                                 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom or 1 cardamom pod
·                                 sugar (optional)


Bring water and sugar to a boil in ibrik.
If you do not have an ibrik, a small saucepan will work.
Remove from heat, add coffee and cardamom.
Return saucepan to heat and allow to come to a boil.
Remove from heat when coffee foams.
Again, return to heat, allowing to foam and remove from heat.
Pour into cup, and allow to sit for a few minutes for the grounds to settle to the bottom of the cup.
Cardamom pod may be served in cup for added flavor.
****** Many people have made note that the coffee did not foam the second boiling. Sorry about that. Maybe if, when you pour the coffee into the cup, you do it from up high. I think I read that somewhere.
Turkish coffee must always be served with foam on top.
If you can't find finely ground Arabic coffee, you can purchase a bag of coffee at any coffeehouse and ask them to grind it for Turkish coffee. You need to have a powder-like consistency.
Do not stir after pouring into cups; the foam will collapse.
Always use cold water.