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Ladies Thighs

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HistoricFoodie View Drop Down
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    Posted: 24 February 2016 at 20:55
Meatballs---called, variously, kofte or koftas---might as well be the national dish of Turkey. They are found everywhere, from street vendors to haute restaurants, in dozens of variations. While lamb is often the protein of choice, koftas are made with beef, chicken, vegetables, and even fish.

During the heyday of the Ottoman Empire, palace chefs went through a period where they vied to create dishes with whimsical or suggestive names. Among these was Ladies Thighs; lamb koftas flattened and shaped in the form of their namesake.

Much of the time the Ladies Thighs are merely formed into balls and fried. Other times, however, they’re served with sauces, yogurt, or broths. Although it can be a time consuming pain in the neck, forming them into the original shape can be fun, especially when entertaining.
My favorite is Ana Sortun’s take on this classic. It’s a complex dish to make, but well worth the effort:

Ladies Thighs with Red Pepper Broth & Fresh Peas

Red pepper broth:
8 cups chicken or veal stock
1 red pepper, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
1/2 cup Turkish red pepper paste *
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
6 Tbsps. unsalted butter, slightly chilled
salt and pepper to taste

Bring stock to a boil in a stockpot; add red pepper and pepper paste; reduce heat to low; simmer until red pepper softens and broth has reduced slightly; remove from heat; cool; strain broth through fine sieve.

Place strained red pepper and 1 cup stock in a blender; puree; stir puree into broth; bring to a simmer over medium heat; add pomegranate molasses; return to a simmer; remove from heat; whisk in butter; season; reserve and keep warm.

Assembly:
2 Tbsps. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups Spanish onions, minced
canola oil (for deep frying)
2 lbs. ground lamb or beef
1 cup short grain rice, cooked
4 Tbsps. fresh parsley, chopped
2 1/2 tsps. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried spearmint
3/4 tsp. cinnamon stick, finely grated
2 lg. eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour (for dredging)
6 eggs, beaten with a little salt
1 cup tender pea greens, roughly chopped
2 cups fresh peas, shucked and blanched

Heat butter and oil in large skillet set over medium-high heat; cook until butter begins to brown; add onion; reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Heat oil in deep fryer to 350°F.

Combine meat, rice, parsley, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, spearmint, cinnamon, and onion in the bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment; beat on high speed until creamy and smooth; beat in the 2 eggs; cover; refrigerate at least 10 minutes; form chilled meat into balls; roll each ball in flour; dip in egg wash; drain; deep fry until golden brown, about 4 minutes.

To serve, place a meatball and some pea greens and peas in warm bowls; top with sauce.

*Turkish Red Pepper Paste is used extensively in Turkish cooking. Basically it’s red peppers and chilies, in various proportions, charred, peeled and deseeded, and processed with salt, sugar and water, then reduced to a thick paste. It’s available in Asian and Mid-Eastern markets, or you can simply make your own.


But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 March 2016 at 19:24
We've talked about this one, Brook - sooner or later, I will have a slow or holiday weekend, and I'll have to give this a try ~ Thumbs Up
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HistoricFoodie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 March 2016 at 05:56
My suggestion, Ron, is that you spread the prep work out over several days. Particularly if you'll be making your own red pepper paste.

There's nothing difficult about Ladies Thighs. But it can be time consuming.
But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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