Hasanpasa Kofte – Meatballs topped with potato purée

I know, I’ve been the laziest blogger lately, but I am back and full of hope that you my dear readers will forgive me. It’s already May and spring isn’t here yet, around 10 degrees Celsius in Istanbul, the humidity makes it feel even colder, there is even snow in some other parts of the country.

I’ve been sick for almost 4 times in a row, each episode lasted like 10-15 days with horrible sore throat and fever. Oh spring, please come, before antibiotics destroy my body and everything “bio” in it.

Yesterday, with all this in mind I decided that eating more fish would do me good and convinced my husband and sister to go to Garipce, a small village that lies along Bosphorus’ shoreline, near the north end where the strait meets the Black Sea, to have  pan-fried Black Sea turbot, my favorite, well, one amongst a dozen of my favorites.

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Hunkar Pilavi – Pilaf With Lamb, Pistachios and Black Currants

The other day, I decided to try a recipe from a book by Ozge Samanci and Sharon Croxford. If any of you guys remember, that is the book my husband bought for my birthday. It’s called XIX. Yuzyil Istanbul Mutfagi which translates into “19th Century Istanbul Cuisine”. I ended up playing around with the amounts and the ingredients, but still this recipe is inspired by the above-mentioned book.

Ingredients:

3.5 cups of water

300 g (around a cup) of boneless lamb meat, cut into walnut-size cubes

100 g of clarified butter (regular butter would be fine too)

A handful of pistachio nuts, shells removed

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Erikli Kuzu Yahni – Lamb In Plum Sauce

 

I lived an almost vegetarian life till I was 18. I was thinking that eating beef and chicken was gross. Chewing on an animal’s flesh? Yuck! Lamb? Unthinkable! I was in Sydney, studying at university, something got into me and suddenly becoming a carnivore didn’t seem to be so bad after all. I started with chicken and now I am a big fan of lamb! A properly cooked juicy tender leg of lamb dish is my early ticket to heaven.

For those of you who think that lamb stinks, there is an exclusive breed of sheep native to the Thracian part of Turkey (Edirne, Kirklareli, Tekirdag and Istanbul) called Kivircik (kivirjik) smell of which is almost indistinguishable from beef. It resembles the Castilian “churra, less fatty, but still tender and juicy. Heavenly!

A combination of meat and fruits always appealed to my taste buds. This dish reminds me of the Chinese version, this one is closer to my cultural upbringing for sure. Here is the traditional Turkish / Ottoman way of combining plums with lamb:

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Published in: on July 7, 2010 at 11:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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