With 6 busy ladies, it can be difficult to find an available Sunday for our beloved cooking club. Originally planned for January, we finally had our first cooking club of 2011 this past Sunday. I hosted and selected Turkish cuisine in celebration of my fall trip to Istanbul.
My table was set with a vintage Suzani purchased at the Egyptian Spice Market in Istanbul and tulips, one of my favorite flowers. Tulips were originally commercially cultivated by The Ottoman Empire, although they are commonly associated with The Netherlands.
We started with an appetizer (or meze) from Selena using her Armenian mother in-law’s recipe. I believe it is called Kisir in Turkey or Eetch of Armenia. Made from fine bulgur, cilantro, tomato paste, and onion. The key is to make it ahead and let it marinate.
Eetch:1 cup bulgur1/2 cup vegetable oil1/4 cup lemon juice15 oz can of tomato saucechop up red onion and cilantro for the toplavash cracker bread to dip
It is seriously addicting people. Delicious.
Next up was a fresh and delicious salad from our Greek goddess, Stephanie. (Love how the region is representing.) The recipe comes from Food and Wine and is called “The Woman’s Salad – A little spicy, a little juicy, a little hot, a little sour, and, of course, a little sweet.” Love that description!
For the main event, I served up Turkish Spiced Chicken Kebabs with Pomegranate Relish and Tahini Yogurt from Bon Appetit Magazine. Sadly, I could not find pomegranate seeds anywhere. They are just barely out of season so I substituted with orange zest. Not quite the same but still tasty. Instead of making the Baharat seasoning I used chicken seasoning that I purchased in the Egyptian Spice Market in Istanbul and brought home.
Accompanied by Nicole’s Turkish zucchini Pancakes that were amazingly fresh and flavorful.
And Shannon’s spiced Basmati rice provided the perfect vehicle for sauces and protein.
Sadly, Katie had to stay home due to that terrible cold that is going around but still managed to send along her dessert of Turkish Coffee Pudding…exotic flavors.
Our dinner just so happened to coincide with the Academy Awards, which we snuck a peek at between courses. Hurray for King’s Speech!
Lots of mmm’s and yum’s. Turkish cuisine is delicious. Simple, clean flavors that pack a punch. I recommend any of these recipes to spice up your weekly dinners!