Hope you’re all doing well and eating well.
You know what Mrs. Julia Child always said, “People who love to eat, are the best people.”
And that is the cold hard truth, friends! We are happy to be around so many wonderful kindred spirits that love to eat, because we love to cook! Game. Set. Match. It’s impossible to think about all the food choices we make each day, week, month and year. At least three squares a day. It’s even more impossible to consider all the adventurous food choices we can make and choose not to make; instead, settling for the easy, familiar or safe choices. Last week’s Oxtail Stew for our 21st country, England made many of you reevaluate your safe choices day to day. Bravo, to those of you who are joining in the adventure!
THE DINNER: This week we explored Turkey! What a treat that was. For many of us, Turkish food introduces many different flavor profiles we associate with the Mediterranean and the middle east. It’s exotic and mysterious. According to many culinary experts, Turkish cuisine is considered one of the three greatest behind French and Chinese because it embodies the whole region it is in and is the basis for many other countries. Kabobs and Dolmans are common foods, and we wanted to see what the deal was with Turkish dessert also, since it’s legendary.
Ever since I was in 3rd grade and I read C.S Lewis’ book The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe I have had a fascination with Turkish Delight. So that was a must. Ever since I was a caffeine seeking adult, I have had a fascination with Turkish Coffee. So that was a must. And for many the idea of Istanbul includes a vision of street food, so for that we were happy to make Kofta (meatballs) served in a traditional pita with humus. We weren’t able to make our own Turkish Delight, but pulled the recipe for you. We bought Turkish Delight to have with our homemade Turkish Coffee though, recipes below and on our pinterest for that.
The recipe for the Kofta called for “lamb” only, but anyone who has ever made meatballs, knows you always, always, always use two to three types of meat. ALWAYS. So rather than anger the meatball gods, we chose lamb, beef and pork. Flavor profile, check. We also knew better than to pan fry after dry baking, why create more work when you can oven fry and turn the meatballs? We didn’t know either, so we made the meatball gods happy on that front too. It turned out amazingly, so please be sure to interpret directions/recipes according to what makes common sense.
Kofta (Turkish Meatballs) served in pita with humus Recipe: http://ladyandpups.com/2013/03/11/turkish-kofta-platter-eng/
Turkish Delight Recipe: http://www.ehow.com/how_4675788_turkish-delight-easy-way.html
Turkish Coffee Recipe: http://www.foolproofliving.com/how-to-make-turkish-coffee/
OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:
Ease of prep and cooking: TWO STARS out of five for this Dinner.
Really simple. The hardest thing to locate on our ingredient list was the lamb, and that was really simple; let that be your litmus test here. Again, we read the recipe and interpreted the needed cooking method and meat composition according to common sense and meatball etiquette. So that’s also something to be aware of if you’re making this dish. Pan frying is the same as oven frying– so whatever floats your boat. You’re bound to adore the pine nuts in this one, so make extra of that. It went quickly. Also, you might not need as much humus, but let’s be real here… no one has ever said “no more humus, please” in the history of the universe, so it’s certain to not go to waste even if you don’t eat it all with the Kofta.
Best dish of all time scale: FOUR and a HALF STARS out of five for the Dinner
There were so many wonderful spice profiles in this. The depth of the flavor was all over the map. Seriously. There was hot pepper flakes, mint, cumin, coriander, shallot, yogurt, cinnamon– seriously, the list goes on and on. It was so unique to the Mediterranean and middle east. There was no comparison. It was also very easy to put together. The pita was a great way to store the meatballs and helped even out the flavor with some blandness. The Pine nut/ Pepper flake mix was a big hit! Something wonderful happens with crunchy nuts and spicy pepper flakes. We weren’t able to make Turkish Delight, but bought the ingredients and plan on doing it in the future. The Turkish Delight that we purchased was delicious and the rosewater background was unexpected but was perfect with the chocolate dipped variation we found. It was pleasant with the Turkish Coffee we brewed for after our Kofta. The coffee was rich and full-bodied after such a flavorful meal. This one was really good. Turkish Delight is a little like gumdrops– chewy and “rubbery” in a candy sort of way. It was a great consistency.
It seems that we have traveled through the Caspian Sea, and ventured into our Brovsky roots for next week’s country, Russia! We are pleased to be venturing into the food that is our own heritage and can’t wait to see what the ancient Tzars have in store for our culinary world!
I’ll probably have to watch Dr. Zhivago or Anna Karinia to prepare myself mentally…
(pronounced “dasveedAnja” or “goodbye” in Russian)!
– L & K