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eG Foodblog: sazji - Istanbul Glutfests


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Dialup? Eeeeeeeeeeeeeew! :biggrin:

Okay, for you - the last ingredient is white, or when cooked, slightly translucent.

HINT #4: You can find it in almost any produce section, and 90% of people have no idea what to do with it.

In Turkish, it starts with "K".

And in honor of this little-respected but very tasty subterranean, I will cook it today. :)

Edited by sazji (log)

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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I'd have guessed kohlrabi, but the bulb isnt below ground.

Then there's celeriac or rutabagas and with them, I've run out of memory for the produce dept.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Okay, red pepper and carrot were in the stuffed pepper, but not in the cabbage, which leaves two ingredients. One of them has been guessed two times, lastly by Kouign Amann, before by Chef Crash.

Which leaves just one. Should I drop another hint or take into account that many readers are probably asleep right now and give them a chance?

Yeah, I think I'll go to the market now and buy myself a kilo of this vegetable, some olive oil, some parsley and some dill!

There should be an "evil grin" choice in the emoticons.

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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Oops! As I was writing the last post, Kouign Amann guessed it. Which of the three?

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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Karafs?

Bingo! Persian Karafs > Turkish Kereviz > English Celeriac.

So then, one has celeriac, red pepper, carrot and ___________.

The other has celeriac and ___________.

It's been guessed twice, but always in among other ingredients.

For a box of lokum, the final ingredient is:

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

(C'mon, if you lived in the Mediterranean, what would you put in?!) :biggrin:

Edited by sazji (log)

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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Karafs?

Bingo! Persian Karafs > Turkish Kereviz > English Celeriac.

So then, one has celeriac, red pepper, carrot and ___________.

The other has celeriac and ___________.

It's been guessed twice, but always in among other ingredients.

For a box of lokum, the final ingredient is:

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

(C'mon, if you lived in the Mediterranean, what would you put in?!) :biggrin:

I thought we already agreed on garlic?

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Karafs?

Bingo! Persian Karafs > Turkish Kereviz > English Celeriac.

So then, one has celeriac, red pepper, carrot and ___________.

The other has celeriac and ___________.

It's been guessed twice, but always in among other ingredients.

For a box of lokum, the final ingredient is:

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

(C'mon, if you lived in the Mediterranean, what would you put in?!) :biggrin:

I thought we already agreed on garlic?

We have a winner!

Well, garlic had been mentioned twice but always among other ingredients. Just like celeriac; Kouign Amann guessed it along with another ingredient.

Heh - I was almost out the gate when I realized I was going to a spice shop and really should bring my camera, as long as I was back in, I decided to reload the page and check if someone had responded.

So send me your postal info in a pvt message and I'll mail the lokum off as soon as I can get back to Haci Bekir's!

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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So, a bit more culinarity today. I headed out to another market, very early- many were still just setting up.

gallery_28660_3996_49264.jpg

In each area where there is a bazaar, all the stands are stored in a particular depot somewhere in the area. The members pay a certain price for the right to sell, to the municipality (It's not a huge fee). Evidently the tax police don't control it too strictly either because there are often some people who are mostly likely unregistered aliens selling watches and what have you.

I bought quinces, celeriac, dill, then went by my favorite local spice place to get some ground pistachios. (You'll see what for later.)

gallery_28660_3996_41888.jpg

Actually, "spice shop" is a bit of a misnomer, they are a combination spice shop and dry foods place, such as dried fruits, nuts, teas, herbs, and one of my favorite things, dried eggplants and peppers.

gallery_28660_3996_70443.jpg

The immediate project at hand is with the celeriac however; I decided to make celeriac in olive oil. Out of the whole of Turkish cuisine, the "zeytinyağlı" or olive oil dishes, are some of my favorites, and the only ones to which I claim any particular skill! There is a recipe for this in RecipeGullet. Which may be missing the onions; I can't seem to make corrections there now. :/ Here's most of the ingredients laid out. Minus the lemon.

gallery_28660_3996_51663.jpg

You can either cut it into chunks, or cut into concave rounds. Since I wanted a really nice rendition for y'all, I decided to do it that way.

gallery_28660_3996_5634.jpg

And the finished product!

gallery_28660_3996_19379.jpg

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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The next thing to be cooked involved three of these;

gallery_28660_3996_10485.jpg

two of these;

gallery_28660_3996_28757.jpg

And one of the prettier boilovers I've had in my kitchen!

gallery_28660_3996_36611.jpg

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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....and it shooting the assembled dessert (Braised quince with kaymak - clotted cream), I came as close as I ever have to "food porning." (Ah, I love English, anything can be a verb...) Trying two different platings, panicking when the kaymak started melting a bit, trying to daub out an irregularity in pooling of the liquid...! I liked the first one okay (perhaps a different surface would have been better though):

gallery_28660_3996_18366.jpg

But I think the second one is "the one." That's it...yeah, make love to the camera, baby.... :wink:

gallery_28660_3996_33043.jpg

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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What are these?

I know what I wish I had had for breakfast. The clotted cream and pistachio are stunning atop the quinces! The fruit is a new discovery for me--I only wish ours were so plump and pristine. Anything you can show or tell us about preparing quinces would be welcome.

More eggplants, too, please. I love the way the round ends were skewered on the grill upthread.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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What are these?

This is called loğusa şekeri, or "loğusa sugar." A loğusa is a woman who has just given birth. This sugar is served to people visiting a woman who has given birth. (I think it's also given to the woman herself to give her strength.) I asked what the red color was from, the guy at the spice shop didn't know. It has some clove in it for sure.

Yeah, quinces are an unappreciated fruit in much of the west. Rarely available and when they do show up it's often not very good varieties.

After peeling, quartering and coring three large quinces, I melted this sugar in some water, packed the quince quarters into the pot, then filled with water to just cover. To keep them under the liquid at first (because they want to float) I put a plate on top of the pan. When it boiled it went all over the place :)

Simmer them till they are tender but not falling apart, about 15-20 minutes at most, then let cool in the syrup. You can use the syrup for another batch if you have it left over.

There is another quince sweet that is boiled along with the seeds etc. so that it gets very thick, jelled; maybe even baked in that liquid, I"m not sure. It shows up at sweet shops. To my taste it's just way too sweet.

After making quince jelly, the remaining pulp can be boiled down till it is very thick, then spread in a pan to set. This is cut into diamonds and packed with bay leaves. I've had it mostly from Greeks and Armenians (who would make a "sandwich" with a couple pieces of this and walnuts). It's not something I've found readily for sale in Turkey though.

What else - stuffed quinces is not much made in Turkey any more but was an Ottoman palace dish; Iranians still make it. Hollowing out quinces is a bit of a job but it's good.

I've also had a nice tas kebab with quince. I don't have a recipe for it though.

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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Does the following sound right with respect to the taste?

(From the site Turkey - now

Another traditional Turkish candy is serbet sekeri (sherbet candy), a dark red, diamond-shaped sugar. To make serbet sekeri, sugar containing 8-9% water is boiled to 115 degrees Celsius. Dye, red pepper, rose water, cinnamon and occasionally lemon juice are added and the mixture is left to crystallize for about 15 hours. It is then cut into diamonds. In the past, the red color was provided by cochineal - a scarlet dyestuff con-sisting of the dried bodies of the female coccus insect gathered from a cactus native to Mexico and Central America. These dyes were originally used by Central American Indians before they were discovered by Spanish conquistadors who imported then to Europe.
Serbet sekeri is also known as logusa candy in Turkish. Logusa is a term used to describe a woman who has recently given birth. Traditionally, the day after the birth, a drink made from serbet sekeri is prepared. The serbet sekeri is boiled in water, sugar, cinnamon and cloves for half an hour and then strained. Decanters of serbet wrapped in red tulle are served to relatives and neighbors as a birth announcement. If the baby is a girl, the lid is also wrapped. If a boy, it is left unwrapped. Cold or hot sherbet is also served to people visiting the new mother during her 40-day confinement. Sherbet was believed to have restorative powers and to help cure anemia. Red pepper and cinnamon also function as natural stimulants. Many people still serve sherbet to children suffering from measles in the belief that it helps them recover more quickly.

And a few questions:

- not all the simit and acma you've shown were round with a hole in the center, whereas here in Berlin they only come in the round variety. Are non-round simit and acma a regional variation, or an innovation?

- not something you've mentioned, but local Turkish groceries here sell unsweetened ground poppy seed paste. Can you tell me how it's used?

- (sorry, this is not well expressed. I hope it is intelligible). I have the same type of gas stove as you, complete with the huge gaps in the metal frame where the burners are located. Fitting small pots on, or Italian coffee makers, etc. is an impossibility as the gaps over the burners are too large. You seem to have some type of metal frames that you slot together onto the pre-existing frame so as to reduce or get rid of the gap, is that right? They look so useful, where on earth did you get them?

- please, please, recipes and/or tips for dried eggplants and peppers. I can easily buy these locally, but don't have much clue about interesting things to do with them.

To tell the truth, I often don't read the food blogs, but I am definitely hooked on this one!

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Does the following sound right with respect to the taste?

And a few questions:

- not all the simit and acma you've shown were round with a hole in the center, whereas here in Berlin they only come in the round variety. Are non-round simit and acma  a regional variation, or an innovation?

- not something you've mentioned, but local Turkish groceries here sell unsweetened ground poppy seed paste. Can you tell me how it's used?

- (sorry, this is not well expressed. I hope it is intelligible). I have the same type of gas stove as you, complete with the huge gaps in the metal frame where the burners are located. Fitting small pots on, or Italian coffee makers, etc. is an impossibility as the gaps over the burners are too large. You seem to have some type of metal frames that you slot together onto the pre-existing frame so as to reduce or get rid of the gap, is that right? They look so useful, where on earth did you get them?

- please, please, recipes and/or tips for dried eggplants and peppers. I can easily buy these locally, but don't have much clue about interesting things to do with them.

To tell the truth, I often don't read the food blogs, but I am definitely hooked on this one!

Hehe I'm glad I've caused an addiction!

Okay, let's see - yes as I suck on a piece of loğusa şekeri there is definitely cinnamon in it! I can't detect the red pepper but maybe. That's the stuff. I was actually surprised when the batch I got was not in diamond shapes; it's the first time I've ever seen it in squares. Thanks for doing the search!

I think the reason the açma had no hole is that it was a large one. Usually they are more or less round with at least the idea of a hole in the middle, though they often rise to fill it. The stuffed simit are a new innovation, about 3-4 years old, and they aren't round. Those aren't sold on the street, only at the "simit sarayı" type chain establishments. But the traditional ones are still the same.

Poppyseed paste - I've only had it in one thing, a "çörek" from Safranbolu that was layered with that and chopped walnuts and was wonderful, not sweet at all. I did a short web search and didn't find much more than that for it. But I'll ask around.

The burner things: one often comes with stoves, which also have a small burner for the Turkish coffee pot; but they are sold in most street markets here as well. The thick one is sort of a "flame tamer;" I use it when I cook in a thinner-walled pot. Perhaps I should start exporting them? :)

Dried peppers and eggplant are used mostly for stuffing. You simmer them for around 5 minutes, and stuff them with whatever favorite filling you would use for other dolma/sarma. My all-time favorite is the style from Mardin, I'll post a recipe. For it to be right though you need pepper paste and isot, the dark roasted-oiled pepper from Urfa. If you have a Turkish grocery there you should be able to find both. The eggplant is a little tough compared to fresh. The peppers are sometimes hot, you never know. You can use them in all sorts of vegetable dishes, soups. You can crumble them, or if they have gotten a little humidity, just cut them up with scissors. I used them in my lentil-bulgur spluck I posted earlier. (Which by the way was great with the pickles, it was just what it needed...) :) Other than that I just stuff them!

Edited by sazji (log)

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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I should have stayed awake a few minutes longer! :boo hoo: :laugh:

Its good to see a recipe for celeriac. I have often wondered idly, whilst hunting more familiar produce, how it is used.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Sakji - if I send you a box of korean candies and sweets, can you send me just one lokum? Yes, just one piece of lokum (Turkish Delight) candy and I will send you a big box of korean after-dinner sweets. I have been dying to know what it taste like ever since seeing the movie "The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe". What would make Edward betray his family for a Turkish Delight? Please say yes, I've been dying for over a year now.

Yeah, I'm obsessed.

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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Really, this is one of my all-time favorite blogs. It's packed with things I don't know, and tells your story so engagingly and with beautiful pictures. I got behind reading for a couple of days and can never catch up with my comments, but I do want to say Bravo!

I use dried flaked Urfa pepper, as well as Marash pepper. I've only ever seen them as flakes in a bottle, so if you could manage a shot of them in a more natural state, I'd really appreciate it

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Sakji - if I send you a box of korean candies and sweets, can you send me just one lokum? Yes, just one piece of lokum (Turkish Delight) candy and I will send you a big box of korean after-dinner sweets. I have been dying to know what it taste like ever since seeing the movie "The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe". What would make Edward betray his family for a Turkish Delight? Please say yes, I've been dying for over a year now.

Yeah, I'm obsessed.

lolol...you poor darling!! I pity anyone who has never had the absolute pleasure of feeling/tasting a well made piece of Turkish Delight in their mouth. :biggrin:

'Well made' being the two operative words here. I have had some totally disgusting lokum over the years but if it comes from Turkey, one would expect, and no doubt get, the real thing. Perfection included.

Now, what flavour would you choose tho'? I prefer Rose or Pistachio over all others personally.

I am such a greedy soul, I would have bribed Sazji for a whole box. :wink:

BTW, we have a lokum producer here in New Zealand. His product is sublime.

Edited to add: "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe " was shot in New Zealand too, so the we sure do have Turkish Delight in common!

Edited by Sentiamo (log)
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lolol...you poor darling!! I pity anyone who has never had the absolute pleasure of feeling/tasting a well made piece of Turkish Delight in their mouth.  :biggrin:

'Well made' being the two operative words here. I have had some totally disgusting lokum over the years but if it comes from Turkey, one would expect, and no doubt get, the real thing. Perfection included.

Now, what flavour would you choose tho'? I prefer Rose or Pistachio over all others personally.

I am such a greedy soul, I would have bribed Sazji for a whole box.  :wink:

Well, let me just weigh in here and say that there is disgusting lokum to be had in Turkey as well. Really there is hardly anything here that someone hasn't found a way to make more cheaply and with lower quality. But of most things you can usually still find the decent version as well.

I would go for pistachio myself, though a good walnut is not to be sneezed at. Rose I find to be a bit cloying. I do like mastic, and one winter specialty (which unfortuntely cannot be shipped so don't get any hopes up!) is kaymaklı, where the kaymak is sandwiched between two thin pieces of usually mastic lokum. Then there is the saray lokumu, a long sausage type with walnuts down the middle (different from the cevizli sucuk made with grape juice) and usually rolled in shredded coconut... :rolleyes:

I just got a call confirming a lunch date for kebab at restaurant in the "Little Urfa" (my appelation) neighborhood in Aksaray. Expect some nice food photos tonight. ;)

Edited by sazji (log)

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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      The consular staff from Myanmar/Burma and Malaysia "unlock" the door.
       
      Then you have the ritual hand washing part.
       

       
      Having attended to your personal hygiene, but before  entering the dining room, there is one more ritual to go through. You arrive here and sit around this fire and wok full of some mysterious liquid on the boil.
       

       
      On a nearby table is this
       

       
      Puffed rice, soy beans, peanuts and scallion. These are ladled into bowls.
       

       
      with a little salt, and then drowned in the "tea" brewing in the wok.
       
      This is  油茶 (yóu chá) or Oil Tea. The tea is made from Tea Seed Oil which is made from the seeds of the camellia bush. This dish is used as a welcoming offering to guests in homes and restaurants. Proper etiquette suggests that three cups is a minimum, but they will keep refilling your cup until you stop drinking. First time I had it I really didn't like it, but I persevered and now look forward to it.
       

      L-R: Director of the Foreign Affairs Dept of Liuzhou government, consuls-general of Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos.
       
      Having partaken of the oil tea, finally we are allowed to enter the dining room, where two tables have been laid out for our use.
       

       
      Let the eating, finally, begin.
       
      In no particular order:
       

      Steamed corn, taro and sweet potato
       

      Bamboo Shoots
       

      Duck
       

      Banana leaf stuffed with sticky rice and mixed vegetables and steamed.
       

      Egg pancake with unidentified greenery
       

      Stir fried pork and beans
       

      Stir fried Chinese banana (Ensete lasiocarpum)
       

      Pig Ears
       

       
      This may not look like much, but was the star of the trip. Rice paddy fish, deep fried in camellia tree seed oil with wild mountain herbs. We ate this at every meal, cooked with slight variations, but never tired of it.
       

      Stir fried Greens
       
      Our meal was accompanied by the wait staff singing to us and serving home-made rice wine (sweetish and made from the local sticky rice).
       
       
       
       
      Everything we ate was grown or reared within half a kilometre of the restaurant and was all free-range, organic. And utterly delicious.
       
      Roll on dinner time.
       
      On the trip I was designated the unofficial official photographer and ended up taking 1227 photographs. I just got back last night and was busy today, so I will try to post the rest of the first day (and dinner) as soon as I can.
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