Soganli Yumurta – Eggs With Onion

 

I’ve been the laziest food blogger for the last few weeks. Sorry about making you, my dear readers, stare at a couple of meatballs and gherkins for weeks. I have some good news that, maybe, compensate for my failure to post as often as I should. Ottoman Cuisine has been selected as the ‘featured blog of the day’ on Foodista.com. On December the 8th, our blog will be featured on the main page of Foodista.

I chose to celebrate the news with a very Ottoman recipe. This recipe has been revived in the last couple of years from the dusty pages of palace kitchen records. Seems very simple, cook the onions, crack the eggs, sprinkle with spices, you’re good to go? No, not so much. The original recipe calls for 4 to 6 hours of work with a lot of attention to detail. This recipe was a Ramadan specialty in palace kitchen. They say, especially on the 15th day of Ramadan, chefs from Enderun (an educational institution within Ottoman palace) prepared this dish and served it to the Sultan. If the Sultan approved the dish, the head chef of Enderun would be assigned kilercibasi (head butler) to the palace, one of the highest ranking personnel of the palace kitchen.

Here is what I like about this recipe: If you are patient enough and pay attention to each step and choose the finest ingredients, it is hard to go wrong. You do not need to be crafty, so you are not running much risk there.

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Menemen – Turkish Style Omelette With Vegetables

Here is a simple breakfast dish, a staple food in Turkey, especially when it’s summer.

Ingredients (serves 2-4):

3 tablespoons of olive oil,

1 onion, grated,

4-5 yellow banana peppers, capsicums and/or hot peppers, chopped into 1 cm pieces,

2-3 tomatoes, peeled and diced,

1/2 teaspoon of salt

3-4 eggs or 50 g grated cheese (or you can leave these out completely)

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Kaygana – Turkish Omelette

Breakfast in Turkey is not considered complete without fresh cheese, tomatoes, olives and bread. Egg dishes and/or pastry usually accompany these. A traditional recipe, despite wide variations, a common favorite of both people of rural Anatolia and the Ottoman elité, is called kaygana. It’s something in between crepés and omelette.

Again, contemporary Turkish cuisine has a tendency towards neglecting classic recipes of good old kaygana, especially those sweet ones. Savory types still have a huge crowd of fans. I know dozens of locals who frown upon recipes such as “eggplant kaygana” or “anchovy kaygana”, let alone sweet kaygana recipes. They say they hate the idea of a sweet omelette because mixing eggs with sugar/honey sounds gross, well, what’s the main ingredient in a sponge cake, or almost any cake for that matter? I can’t sympathize with them, sorry. When a classic Ottoman dish is of concern, I am ready to try it, it turns out to be delicious 99 percent of the time  and that 100th percentile never came in my way, anyway.

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Cilbir – Poached Eggs In Garlic Yogurt

Ever eaten ice-cream with a fork and a knife? I am just back from a 5-day trip to my dad’s hometown in Kahramanmaras, in the Mediterranean Region of Turkey and that’s how they eat gelato there. Kahramanmaras ice-cream includes dried orchid roots and goat’s milk as its main ingredients, is very hard and does not melt easily. The best way to eat it is with a knife and a fork.

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