Category Archives: Appetizers

“Aubergine w. mixed Vegetables”

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Description:

This is a great Mediterranean dish that resembles a dish called “Imam Bayildi” from Turkey. It is usually prepared as an Appetizer. It is a great dish to be prepared a day before the dinner party and it is served in room temperature. I prepare it with a twist and use different ingredients then the typical recipe. I hope you will enjoy this dish with Pine-nuts and mushrooms, giving a different flavor to this great traditional Turkish dish!

Details:

Prep Time : 30min
Cook Time : 1 hr
Ready Time : 1 1/2 hr
Servings : 8 people

Ingredients:
8 long thin Eggplants ( wash, trim the “heads” of the Eggplants and peel the eggplants in stripes)
2 large red Bell Peppers ( washed and cut into small stripes)
1 1/2 cup mushrooms ( cleaned and cut into small pieces)
3 Garlic Cloves ( peel and chopped)
2 tbs Basil or a small bunch( chopped)
1  Tbsp Pine Nuts
3tbsp Olive Oil
4 sugar cubes
Salt to taste

1 cup of Olive Oil  to fry the Eggplants ( or as much as needed to fry the Eggplants)

Step 1:

Wash, trim the heads of the eggplants and peel the them in strips. Place the eggplants in a bowl filled with water and add salt. Meanwhile chop all the ingredients one by one starting with bell peppers, mushrooms, garlic and basil.

Step 2:

Take the eggplants from the water mixture and drain the water, pat dry. Place the 1 cup Olive Oil into the frying pan ( you might need less, but it depends on the size of the eggplant). After the oil is hot brown the eggplants from all sides or until they have softened approximately for 10min in Medium heat. After you have browned the eggplants lay them on a tray with paper towel to get the excess fat.

Step 3:

Place the mushrooms on a pan and salt them lightly, cover until all there is no liquid left from the mushrooms. Add 3 tbsp olive oil and garlic, bell Peppers and last the pine nuts. Saute until all the vegetables are golden color!

 

Step 4:

Sprinkle the vegetable mixture with sugar and salt. Cover and cook the vegetables until they are soft and juicy!

Place the chopped basil last and mix with the cooked vegetables!

Step 5:

Place the browned eggplants on a baking pan and split open a pocket in each eggplant. Place the cooked vegetable mix into each eggplant and make sure to stuff each of them and by placing the eggplants side by side on the baking pan. Add 1/2 cup of water and place them in the oven  ( 350 F) for 30-35 min until they are golden.

Step 6:

Serve in room temperature and decorate with fresh basil, enjoy!

Bon Appetite!

Posted in Appetizers, Main Dish, Recipes, Turkish Cuisine, Vegetable | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

“Eggplant Paradise”

Description:

This is a great appetizer, side dish or it can be prepared with a side of pasta to be served as vegetarian main dish. This dish is usually prepared fried in Italian recipes or in Turkish recipes, but I have tried making it in the oven, to make it healthier. I highly recommend this great healthy dish if you like Eggplants!

PREPARATION:

Details:

Prep Time : 20min
Cook Time : 20min
Ready Time : 40-45min
Servings : 6 servigns
Ingredients:
3 Large eggplant ( cut into small 1-1 1/2 inch cubes)
1 tsp salt (to be used  for the water with eggplant)
2 Bell Pepper ( Red and Yellow / Cut into small cubes)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt to taste
Tomato Sauce:
4 medium size tomatoes (peeled and chopped)
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
Salt to taste
1/2 Tbsp Sugar
1/4 cup Basil ( chopped)
Decorate:
Small Baby Mozzarella’s ( 8-10 pieces)
Fresh Basil ( chopped)
Step 1:

Wash and cut the eggplants into 1-1 1/2 inch cubes. Place them into a deep dish and cover with water, add 1 tsp salt into the water. After 5 minutes remove eggplants to a paper towel by squeezing the excess water out. This process will remove the bitter taste of eggplant. Place them into a deep dish.


Step 2:

Add the bell peppers with the eggplants into the bowl, add 2 tbsp olive oil, salt to taste and mix well. Place it to a flat oven tray and bake in 425 F for at least 15-20 minutes or until golden color.

Step 3:

Remove the eggplants from the tray and place them into a oven safe baking dish after its cooked.

Step 4:

Tomato Sauce:

Place  4 medium size the tomatoes ( peeled and chopped), 2 garlic cloves, basil, 1/2 tbsp sugar, salt to taste into a small sauce-pan and simmer until the all the ingredients melted.


Step 5:

Pour the tomato sauce on top of the eggplants and place the small mozzarella’s on top of the tomato sauce. Place the dish in 400 F for another 10-15 minutes until the mozzarella melt.



Step 6:

After its cooked and the mozeralla has melted, decorate with fresh basil. Serve with fish, chicken or as an appetizer.


Bon Appetit!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Appetizers, Italian, Main Dish, Recipes, Side Dish, Turkish Cuisine, Vegetable | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

“Salmon Teriyaki Skewers with Ginger Soy Dressing “

Description:

This dish is great to prepare for a party dish, for an evening dinner, or just as a side for a salad dish. Simple, elegant and very tasty!

Details:

Prep Time : 20min
Cook Time : 8-10 min
Ready Time : 30
Servings : 12 skewers ( 6 servings)

Ingredients:

Step 1:

1 Lb Salmon with(clean, pull out any pin bones, trim the fat and skin the fish using the filleting knife or can ask the fish department at your local store to prepare for you).

For Marinade:

3 tbsp Shoyu ( Japanese soy sauce)
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp Rice Wine Vinegar
3 tbsp Sake ( if not use Vodka)

For the Ginger Soy Dressing:

1 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger ( peeled and minced)
2 1/2 tbsp chives ( or scallions fine part/ finely sliced)
2 tbsp lime juice
7 tbsp shoyu ( Japanese soy sauce)
Extra Equipment:

12 wooden skewers presoaked in cold water

Step 1:

Cut salmon into 48- 1 inch cubes.

Step 2:

For the marinade, place soy sauce, sugar, sake, vinegar in a small pan and boil over medium heat.  Simmer for 10 minutes until the syrup is thick and cool.

Step 3:

For the ginger soy dressing, mix ginger ( that has been finely chopped), chives ( minced), lime juice, soy sauce together and let it stand in room temperature to allow the flavors to blend.

Step 4:

Mix the marinade that has cooled with the salmon in a deep dish for at least 15 minutes.

Step 5:

Place the salmon cubes on the skewers 4 piece at a time and broil in medium heat for 4 minute each side or until golden color.

Step 6:

Place them on a serving dish and serve with rice or grilled vegetables  Japanese style. Place the ginger dressing on the side of the serving plate, and use it for the salmon as dipping sauce.

 

Bon Appetit!

Posted in Appetizers, Japanese, Lunch, Main Dish, Recipes, Seafood | Leave a comment

Leeks with Carrots

Leeks with Carrots

Description:

This dish is one of my favorite dishes. I like to make this dish more towards the weekend because I love having this dish for lunch on the weekend. It is also great dish to use as an appetizer as well. Excellent source of fiber, vitamin C and calcium!

Details:

Prep Time : 20min
Cook Time : 25-30 min ( until tender)
Ready Time : 45min
Servings : 6

Ingredients:

2 lbs. leeks ( cleaned, trim, and sliced 1 inch thick circles)

3 small carrots ( peeled and cut into dice)

1 Large Onion (minced)

1-2 Garlic Cloves ( chopped)

1/2 cup olive oil

1 cup of water

1 tsp sugar

1/4 cup rice

1 tsp paprika paste

Salt to taste

1 lemon ( juice)

Step 1:

**Leeks have to be washed and cleaned very well. First remove all the tough green leaves and wash and cut into 1 inch sections. The best way is to place them in a large pot of water and soak them.

Step 2:

Place the chopped onions on a large pot with olive oil and saute the onions until glassy. Place the leeks, carrots with the onions and mix them well.

Step 3:

Add paprika paste, sugar, rice, salt, lemon juice and cup of water on the pot.

Step 4:

Cover the pot and simmer until rice is tender about 20-25 minutes. Please make sure that there is enough water at the pot to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the bottom of the pot. If it is necessary you can add 1/4 cup of water additional.

Step 5:

Serve it room temperature!


Bon Appetit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Appetizers, Recipes, Turkish Cuisine, Vegetable | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

“TALASH” Puff Pastry Pockets/ Turkish Cuisine)

“TALASH” Puff Pastry Pockets/ Turkish Cuisine

Original name: “Talash Boregi”

Description:

Puff pastry Pockets with Meat and vegetable filling. This dish is a great dish that can be used for many different ways. It can be used for dinner with a side salad, or for appetizer (by making them small sizes), they can be frozen too and can be baked when ever desired. Kids love this dish!

Details:

Filling:
Prep Time : 30min
Cook Time : 20-25min
Ready Time : 50min
Servings : Depends on the size of the “Borek Pockets”
Puff Pastry Preparation:
Prep Time : 20min
Cook Time : 20-25min ( until they are golden color)
Ready Time : 45 min
Servings : Depends on the size of the “Borek Pockets”
5×5 pastry sheets will be 12 servings
2.5×2.5 pastry sheets can be  used for appetizer and will be 48 pieces

Ingredients:

For the Filling:
1 lb Beef or lamb ( washed, trimmed and cut into small “dice size” pieces)
1 1/2tbsp butter
1 cup sweet peas (frozen)
1 cup mushroom ( washed, dried and cut into small pieces)
1 cup Carrots ( washed, peeled and cut into small pieces)
3 Roma Tomatoes ( peeled, cubed into small pieces)
1/2  tbs Tomato Paste
3 sugar cubes
1 tsp Salt ( sea salt)
1 tsp Pepper (crushed)
1 1/2 cup hot water
Ingredient for the Dough:
1 pkt of Puff Pastry Dough( frozen and I have used 1 lb 14 oz package)
Note:
The package I have used had twelve 5×5 pieces and I have used them to make my dinner size Boreks with 5×5 pastry sheets. So I had 12 servings.
to make the appetizer sizes you can cut the 5×5 pieces into 2.5×2.5 sheets and you will have 48 pieces.
Note On Meat: I usually buy Rib eye steak for this dish with the least amount of fat and also trim the fat and cut them into small pieces. It really tastes great. If you want to make it with Lamb it even tastes better but try to pick the leanest lamb stew meat from the grocery and cut into very small pieces almost the size “dice size”.

Cooking Temperature: 350F

Cooking Time: 15-20min ( until golden Brown)

Step 1:
In a saucepan place just the meat and saute it until all meat juice evaporates. Add 1 tbs butter until brown for few minutes. Place the sauteed meat on a different plate.

Step 2:
Add the mushrooms to the same saucepan and saute with some salt and drop of lemon juice until the juice evaporates. After add 1/2 tsp butter and brown for few minutes.

Step 3:
Place the meat with the mushrooms and add carrots ( diced into small pieces)and saute together for few more minutes.

After add the remaining ingredients peas (frozen) , tomatoes (peeled and chopped into small pieces), tomato paste, sugar, salt and pepper and mix them well.

Step 4:
Add  1 1/2 cup of hot water to the mixture, close the top and cook until most of the water in the mixture evaporates.
Step 5:
Our filling is done now. Let it cool before, we are ready to move to fill our puff pastry sheets. ( You can even make the inside the day before if you want to have less work!)
Cooking Tip: Don’t forget if you have any leftover filling after you use it for the pocket filling. You can serve it with rice next day for main course again…

Note:
For dinner serving cut 5×5 pieces.
For appetizer servings cut 2.5×2.5 pieces.
***You can freeze them if you don’t want to bake all of them by placing them on a Ziploc bag.

For the Puff Pastry Filling Instruction:
Step 6:
Cut the pieces and place the filling in the middle of each square.

Step 7:
Close the sides following these steps and press the sides with your fingers so the sides will stick together.
Next:

Next II:

Next III:

Next IV:
Place them on the tray by facing the smooth side of the pockets on the tray.

Dinner Size ( 5×5)

Appetizer size: (2.5×2.5)

Next V:
Brush each pocket with the egg yolk mixture equally and decorate with caraway seeds or sesame seeds if desired.
Step 8:
Bake 350F for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.



Bon Appetit!

Posted in Appetizers, Beef, Lamb, Lunch, Main Dish, Recipes, Tea Time, Turkish Cuisine | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Spinach with Garlic and Cherry Tomatoes”/ Italian Cuisine

Posted in Appetizers, Italian, Main Dish, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegetable | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment