Archives

Turkish Stuffed Apricots – Sweet Fairy Food

These golden morsels are inspired by a place where giant fairy chimneys rise above yellow brick roads, leading travelers past a network of underground cities. It sounds like fantasy. But this surreal scene lives – as real as you and me – in Cappadocia, Turkey. What are Fairy Chimneys? The fairy chimneys of Turkey (Peri Bajası) are geological remnants created by volcanic debris. These colossal outcrops can be as tall as the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil and almost as tall as the Statue of Liberty on the eastern US coastline. But unlike those human made structures, fairy chimneys were sculpted over millions of years by rain and wind, in the end weathering the elements better than the dinosaurs. This not to say humans never set chisel to chimney; over the last millennia humans carved into the fairy chimneys to create secure homes and places to worship. These weren’t basic dugouts – many of the cave dwellings are connected with a network of tunnels and vent shafts, and decorated with mosaic floors and frescoes. The underground …

Read More

Labneh

For much of December I found myself being entertained rather than entertaining. It was a nice, relaxing way to spend two weeks but I find myself – even now that we’re well into the New Year – looking for a way to make someone else feel special and cared for.  After some recipe rummaging, I had my answer: Labneh. Soup might comfort, jelly might wibble-wobble, but Labneh delights. This Middle Eastern thickened yogurt appetizer seems oh so fancy but is really a set-it-and-forget-it kind of affair – exactly what I need to pay it forward during a busy time of year. It’s mild and tangy – but if you use full fat yogurt, very creamy and indulgent in a… healthy way (it’s made with yogurt, after all). Does your mind ever wander when you cook? Mine does. As the yogurt strained in the cool, dark refrigerator I considered the people who came in my life for no more than a season – perhaps a brilliant season, perhaps a painful one. I reminded myself that letting them go is a gift. Ahhhh, what a gift for my heart. …

Read More

Greek Yogurt with Honey

Makes 1 serving I’ll try every dish at least one time thanks, in great part, to this humble dessert. I first had it on my 8th grade class trip to Greece, during a day trip to the Delphi ruins. The road weaved and bobbed through dark green forests that clung to the mountainsides. I, too, was dark green by the time we stopped for lunch at a quaint restaurant nestled under a cliff. Unfortunately – or fortunately – Greek food awaited. There was no time to be sick. While I have no memory of the main course, I do remember the dessert – yogurt with a dollop of golden honey. I’ve thought of it often since then, much  like an elderly woman dreams of young love. Of course, at the time, I was nowhere as poetic. In fact, I met the dessert with an ugly face. A yuck face. I almost pushed it away, but – on a whim – decided to give it a chance. Thank goodness for small miracles. Ingredients* *These proportions should serve …

Read More

Armenian Hazelnut Cake in Honey Syrup | Revani

Serves 8 This dense cake has a muffin like texture. Depending on how coarse you grind the nuts, you can experience quite a bit of “crunch.”  Serve chilled or room temperature with vanilla ice cream. Ingredients: For syrup: 1 cup water 3/4 cup sugar 2 Tbsp honey 2 pieces cinnamon stick 2 lemon slices 3 Tbsp brandy For Cake: 4 large eggs, separated 1/2 cup sugar 3 Tbsp vegetable oil 1/4 cup greek yogurt 1 cup flour 1 1/2 cups toasted, skinned, ground hazelnuts (you can grind them up in a food processor) 1/3 cup ground walnuts 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 orange, zested 1 lemon, zested optional garnish – hazelnut halves Method: For the syrup: 1. Combine all syrup ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Let cool. For the Cake: 1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease a 12 x 9 pan with vegetable oil. 2. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar until light yellow and a ribbon forms. Add oil, yogurt, flour, …

Read More

Cucumber and Yogurt Dip | Jajik

Serves 6 Serve this refreshing dip with toasted pita chips. You’ll be cool as a cucumber even on a hot day. Ingredients: 2 cups greek yogurt 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed 2 medium cucumbers, peeled, grated, and squeezed dry with paper towels (see photo at bottom of recipe). 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint 1 tsp dried cilantro 2 Tbsp olive oil 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp ground sumac for garnish (optional) Method: 1. Combine all ingredients in a serving bowl, except for sumac. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour or over night for flavors to mingle. If left to sit overnight the liquids will separate. Just stir to combine again. 2. Garnish with ground sumac. Serve with pita chips or lavash (flatbread). Votes: 1 Rating: 5 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe Serve this refreshing dip with toasted pita chips. You’ll be cool as a cucumber even on a hot day.Cucumber and Yogurt Dip | Jajik CourseAppetizers & Snacks LifestylePotluck Friendly, Vegetarian Food TypeDips, Vegetables Servings Prep Time 6people 15minutes Passive Time 1hour Servings Prep Time 6people 15minutes Passive Time …

Read More

Lamb Baked in Yogurt | Tava Elbasani

    Serves 4-6 Although this dish is simple, the tender lamb and tangy yogurt are very satisfying on a cold winter’s day.  Use Hungarian Paprika to give the dish mild heat. Ingredients: 3 lbs lamb, cut into 10 pieces 2 cups cooking water from lamb 2 Tbsp butter 2 Tbsp flour 4 eggs 3 cups greek yogurt 1 tbsp white rice 1 tsp red pepper (paprika) salt Method: 1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, sear the lamb on all sides. Do not crowd. You may have to sear just a few pieces at a time. 2. Add all pieces back into the pot and cover with water. Add a generous amount of salt and simmer for 1 hour. 3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add flour and stir until they blend and cook together. When the mixture thickens and begins to turn the color of light peanut butter, begin adding the water. Heat until thick, stirring constantly. You are essentially making gravy.  Let cool. 4. Preheat the oven to 350F. NOTE: I …

Read More

Leek Pie | Byrek ose Lakror

Serves 8 Byrek ose Lakror emerges from the oven with a beautiful, shining crust. Cut into the pie too soon, however, and your dreams will shatter. You must wait a full hour for the pie’s juices to redistribute. Ingredients: Leek Filling 2 large leeks, cleaned and very thinly sliced (use only the white/light green part. Thick slices and/or green parts won’t cook properly) 6 eggs 1/4 cup greek yogurt (or regular yogurt strained for 30 minutes) 1 lbs. cottage cheese, strained for 30 minutes 4 oz crumbled feta cheese 1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme, or dried thyme, ground salt, to taste (remember, feta cheese is very salty) 1/2 tsp pepper Pie Crust 1 package puff pastry 1 egg, beaten Method: 1. Preheat oven to 400F. 2. In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients, except for leeks. When the mixture is smooth and blended, add diced leeks. Set aside. 3. Roll one sheet of puff pastry into a 15″ circle. Place pastry on the bottom of a 9″ pie dish. NOTE: You can also lay the puff pastry down in your pie dish …

Read More