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Ottoman Cuisine--An Introduction

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 October 2016 at 13:18
As we've often discussed, Brook - the ingredients will often be adapted to local tastes, customs or availability, but the underlying concept and technique will be virtually unchanged.

I often find it interesting to watch how some foods, such as this, travel across whole continents, or even farther....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 October 2016 at 15:34
Absolutely, Ron. That was the point of my post.

In this case, however, it might not even be national borders that are crossed. There's no doubt in my mind that the Ottoman version included chef-to-chef and household-to-household variations.

I do like the sounds of Lisa's Uzbecki filling, and will give it a go first chance. As with the Ottoman version, I'll likely use red onions rather than the Spanish, cuz I like the looks of finished dish better that way.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 October 2016 at 16:26
Brook,

In all sincerity, you should write a book or créate a PDF platform magazine.  This is absolutely amazing.

Thank you for posting all of these exceptional historically traditional récipes too ..

To comment on The Roman Influence:

PORT OF CALL KUSADASI ..

KUDASASI, which means "bird island" in Turkish, is the launching off place for a variety of wonders ..

Ephesus was the Captial of the ancient Roman Province and its ruins are among the most extensive and impressive in the world.  In Turkish, this region is called " Efes "..

On that trip, I had bell peppers stuffed with rice and currants, Lamb Börekler, a phyllo pastry dating back to Roman times, of course still served and Turkish Yogurt ..

I had published that article in the 1980s ..

Thank you once again.

All my best regards ..


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2017 at 14:25
Originally posted by I I wrote:

Brook shared a recipe with me for Turkish Sea Bass with Garlic-Hazelnut Sauce; it looked incredible, so I decided to give it a try and was not disappointed. Due to cost and availability, I substituted cod fillets for the sea bass, and it worked very well. This dish looked and tasted like something belonging in a fine-dining restaurant, yet was incredibly easy - and healthy.


I completely forgot to follow up on this - mea culpa!

This really was good, and I learned quite a bit about Ottoman and Turkish flavor profiles by trying it. I would heartily recommend it to anyone who wants to try a good fish dish...or someone who wants to dive into the world of Ottoman cuisine.

Quote Turkish Sea Bass with Hazelnut Garlic Sauce

5 sea bass filets, skinless (I substituted cod)
Water
1 teaspoon salt                                          
1 recipe hazelnut garlic sauce (below)
Chopped parsley

Poach fish in salted water for 15 minutes and align them on a serving plate.

Serve fish with the sauce. Sprinkle with chopped parsley      


Hazlenut Garlic Sauce

2 oz hazelnuts
2 garlic cloves
Crumbs from 2 slices bread (1 cup)
1 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup water                                      
2 tablespoons vinegar
Juice of one lemon
4 tablespoons olive oil
Minced parsley for garnish

Grind hazelnuts, garlic, bread, and salt in a mortar. Transfer to a mixing bowl, add water, vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil and mix well.

5 servings


For the benefit of those who are reading this, I will post some notes that I took on this dish, as well as Brook's replies:

Originally posted by I I wrote:

....Also, we had the Turkish Sea Bass with Hazelnut Garlic Sauce (using cod as a substitute) for supper. The dish looked nice - restaurant quality - and tasted great.

Two small execution problems:

1. We used just a bit too much salt on the cod (I actually liked it that way, but someone else eating it would probably have pointed it out).

2. The sauce seemed a lot thicker than I expected it to be, almost like cookie dough in texture. I am guessing not enough liquid or too many hazelnuts.

Also, The Beautiful Mrs. Tas wasn't fond of the hazelnut flavor, saying that the nuts tasted stale to her, but she very much liked the dish otherwise. Maybe next time, we'll try almonds (which should still adhere to the Ottoman theme) or walnuts - maybe even peanuts, although that will take it out of Istanbul. But now that I think about it, cod probably does, as well.

Having said that, I really liked all of the flavours that were in there, which went wonderfully together. Great-tasting, and healthy, to boot. It was not only easy, but it also looked like a high-dollar dining experience. Looking forward to having it again.


And Brook's reply:

Originally posted by Brook Brook wrote:

My bad! I’d also thought the sauce was too thick. Should have mentioned that, but it slipped my mind. Thinning it down, next time, would be a good idea.

It’s always a good idea, with hazelnuts, to pan-toast them before using, in order to reawaken the oils, and intensify their natural flavor. They tend to sit on store shelves longer than is good for them. I don’t know if “stale” is exactly the right word. But “dry” and “dusty” are certainly not remiss. Otherwise, I agree that almonds would be a good substitute. So would Brazil nuts, I think---although they weren’t known to the Ottomans. Peanuts, to my mind, are a bit of a stretch. While the finished dish might be good, it would be too far from the Ottoman mode, IMO.

So far as cod; why not? True, it’s not exactly Ottoman in nature. What fish and seafood they ate came mostly from the Black Sea. But sea bass takes a second mortgage, nowadays. And, flavorwise, doesn’t contribute enough to a dish like this to make up for the high cost. For something like Eric Ripart’s signature Black Bass with Port, I’m willing to bite the economic bullet. But not for this dish, in which the sauce is actually the key element. Mahi Mahi goes on and off sale around here. That might be a nice alternative as well.


In all, this was seriously good, and deserves a shot. With Lent coming up, it might be a good time to try it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2017 at 14:35
Originally posted by Brook Brook wrote:

TURKISH CHICKEN BREASTS STUFFED WITH RICE, PISTACHIOS & HERBS
(Pilic Sarmasi)

For the stuffing:     
1/4 cup pistachios     
3 tbls clarified butter
2 tbls chopped shallot     
1 cup short-grained rice
1.5 cups chicken stock     
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded, chopped
2 tbls fresh mint, minced     
2 tbls fresh parsley, minced
3 tbls fresh dill, minced

For the chicken:     
6 boneless, skinless, breasts     
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tbls butter     
2 tbls shallot, chopped fine
2 med tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 tbls dill, chopped fine     
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tbls fresh parsley, chopped fine

Blanch pistachios for 1 minute. Rinse in cold water. Rub to remove skins. Set aside

Preheat oven to 350F.

Make the stuffing: Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and rice, and cook gently, stirring, to coat them evenly with the butter, about a minute. Add the stock, bring to boil, lower heat, and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the tomato, pistachios, mint, parsley and dill. Mix well and set stuffing aside.

Flatten breasts slightly with a mallet. Season with salt and pepper. Place each breast on a square of parchment. Spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of stuffing in center of each breast. Gently roll up the parchment to enclose the chicken breasts, securing both ends with twine. Place breasts side by side in a baking dish. Bake for about 45 minutes, turning halfway through baking.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a small skillet. Stir in the shallots and cook 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, dill, salt and pepper. Mash with a fork or potato masher until tomatoes form a puree. Add the wine and cook another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Unwrap the breasts and cut each into thick slices. Spoon the sauce onto warmed plates and place sliced chicken on top. Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm.


We tried this dish as well, and I was again impressed with how easy these Turkish dishes were, especially considering the huge returns in flavor and presentation. Not only did this dish look like the proverbial Million Bucks on the plate, it also was tasted incredible!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 April 2017 at 12:19
Brook  & Ron,

The recipes are absolutely amazing.  I am very interested in the stuffed Chicken breasts ..

Thank you for taking the time to post them here.

Happy Holidays Gentlemen ...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 April 2017 at 06:36
Thanks for the kind words, Margi. The stuffed chicken is an amazing riff on chicken rolls.

We moved the Rhodian fish cakes recipe to the Sephardic thread, which is where it belonged in the first place. So, if you go looking for it, there it be.

Ron: Something I should have mentioned before, but just occurred to me re: the fish in hazelnut sauce. A lot of the "stale" flavor comes from not removing the skins from the nuts. My fault, as I just assume it's something cooks do automatically. Easiest way is to pan toast the nuts, then, when they're cool enough to handle, rub them together vigorously. That will loosen the skins and you can discard them. For "discard" read, "add to the compost pile."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 April 2017 at 08:19
That might have been it right there, Brook - I'll be sure to keep that in mind, next time.

Thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 April 2017 at 14:42
Brook,

Removing the hazelnut skins is a wise idea.

Tend to be a bit bitter if not eliminated. 

Also would love to do this recipe too ..  ( the fish with hazelnuts )

All is closed here due to Holy  Week but next week I shall copy down in a note book your 2 recipes and go to Central Main Market which is where the Farmer´s Market is  too .. 

Have a wonderful holiday ..

Ron:   Have a fabulous holiday too !! 





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 April 2017 at 09:11
    Ron, Brook, Margi...

   Nice recipe, I'll certainly be giving it a try at some point.  Not sure if I'll make it as written or come up with any substitutions at the time of preparation.  Interesting thoughts on consistency and flavors of nuts, etc.  I'll have to see how it comes together and what I have available at the time.  I could see how a fine hazelnut powder would take all the moisture out.  One possible solution may be to add just a bit of finely chopped hazelnut to make the sauce, then top the dish with the remaining before serving.

    Brook, you mention Eric Ripart's Black Sea Bass with Port.  I've made that recipe a few times I'm I'm always amazed at the great balance/flow of flavors.  It is certainly worth spending the extra money, if able, on black sea bass.  This is one of the few recipes I usually follow exactly.







Originally posted by TasunkaWitko TasunkaWitko wrote:

Originally posted by I I wrote:

Brook shared a recipe with me for Turkish Sea Bass with Garlic-Hazelnut Sauce; it looked incredible, so I decided to give it a try and was not disappointed. Due to cost and availability, I substituted cod fillets for the sea bass, and it worked very well. This dish looked and tasted like something belonging in a fine-dining restaurant, yet was incredibly easy - and healthy.


I completely forgot to follow up on this - mea culpa!

This really was good, and I learned quite a bit about Ottoman and Turkish flavor profiles by trying it. I would heartily recommend it to anyone who wants to try a good fish dish...or someone who wants to dive into the world of Ottoman cuisine.

Quote Turkish Sea Bass with Hazelnut Garlic Sauce

5 sea bass filets, skinless (I substituted cod)
Water
1 teaspoon salt                                          
1 recipe hazelnut garlic sauce (below)
Chopped parsley

Poach fish in salted water for 15 minutes and align them on a serving plate.

Serve fish with the sauce. Sprinkle with chopped parsley      


Hazlenut Garlic Sauce

2 oz hazelnuts
2 garlic cloves
Crumbs from 2 slices bread (1 cup)
1 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup water                                      
2 tablespoons vinegar
Juice of one lemon
4 tablespoons olive oil
Minced parsley for garnish

Grind hazelnuts, garlic, bread, and salt in a mortar. Transfer to a mixing bowl, add water, vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil and mix well.

5 servings


For the benefit of those who are reading this, I will post some notes that I took on this dish, as well as Brook's replies:

Originally posted by I I wrote:

....Also, we had the Turkish Sea Bass with Hazelnut Garlic Sauce (using cod as a substitute) for supper. The dish looked nice - restaurant quality - and tasted great.

Two small execution problems:

1. We used just a bit too much salt on the cod (I actually liked it that way, but someone else eating it would probably have pointed it out).

2. The sauce seemed a lot thicker than I expected it to be, almost like cookie dough in texture. I am guessing not enough liquid or too many hazelnuts.

Also, The Beautiful Mrs. Tas wasn't fond of the hazelnut flavor, saying that the nuts tasted stale to her, but she very much liked the dish otherwise. Maybe next time, we'll try almonds (which should still adhere to the Ottoman theme) or walnuts - maybe even peanuts, although that will take it out of Istanbul. But now that I think about it, cod probably does, as well.

Having said that, I really liked all of the flavours that were in there, which went wonderfully together. Great-tasting, and healthy, to boot. It was not only easy, but it also looked like a high-dollar dining experience. Looking forward to having it again.


And Brook's reply:

Originally posted by Brook Brook wrote:

My bad! I’d also thought the sauce was too thick. Should have mentioned that, but it slipped my mind. Thinning it down, next time, would be a good idea.

It’s always a good idea, with hazelnuts, to pan-toast them before using, in order to reawaken the oils, and intensify their natural flavor. They tend to sit on store shelves longer than is good for them. I don’t know if “stale” is exactly the right word. But “dry” and “dusty” are certainly not remiss. Otherwise, I agree that almonds would be a good substitute. So would Brazil nuts, I think---although they weren’t known to the Ottomans. Peanuts, to my mind, are a bit of a stretch. While the finished dish might be good, it would be too far from the Ottoman mode, IMO.

So far as cod; why not? True, it’s not exactly Ottoman in nature. What fish and seafood they ate came mostly from the Black Sea. But sea bass takes a second mortgage, nowadays. And, flavorwise, doesn’t contribute enough to a dish like this to make up for the high cost. For something like Eric Ripart’s signature Black Bass with Port, I’m willing to bite the economic bullet. But not for this dish, in which the sauce is actually the key element. Mahi Mahi goes on and off sale around here. That might be a nice alternative as well.


In all, this was seriously good, and deserves a shot. With Lent coming up, it might be a good time to try it!
Enjoy The Food!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 April 2017 at 16:09

Gentlemen, 

Eastern Mediterranean Fish Varieties in the Greek / Turkey Region Include:

1)  Gilt Bream
2)  Denton
3)  Meagre - also known as:   Corvina
4)  Grey Mullet ( Prized by the Greeks for its Taramasalata ):   It is made with Grey Mullet in Greece.




***  COD:  Newfoundland, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Sweden, Arctic Circle of Alaska ..
They do not have an affinity for warmer waters. 


I am sure there are more, however, I have to go through my Book:   Alan Davidson Series

THE TIO PEPE GUIDE TO SEAFOOD ..

The names of the fish are in 7 languages too plus the LATIN NAME OF THE SPECIES:  English, French, Spanish, Basque, Catalan, Galician and Portuguese.   There is a series of these books ..   And  they are published by:  Santana Books.

I would check to see if any of Alan Davidson´s books are on Amazon.

Turkey is a large producer of Almonds.  They are delicate .. 

Hope this has been of some help.  

ALSO, 1 MORE THING, PERHAPS YOU CAN CHECK ON SUBS for these types of fish and see what you come up with.  Google Mediterranean Fish in Turkey ..






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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 April 2017 at 19:16
Dan, you're absolutely right about Ripart's Black Sea Bass with Port. It's with good reason it was his signature dish at Le Bernadin for many years.

I don't make it often, because of the cost of seabass, and it's one of the very few recipes in which I refuse to make substitutions.

One thing I learned from it was the benefit of a double reduction (i.e., reducing one liquid then adding the second and reducing it). I've tried it, once, with a single reduction and there's a subtle but noticeable loss. I've adapted the technique to other recipes, and it does make a difference.
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