Middle-east cuisine is something that is very near and dear to my heart. So when I arrived at school Monday morning to be greeted by this amazing piece of art drawn lovingly on the board by Chef T, I felt both excited and a little sad. I really miss this part of the world.
As the chef went over the history of the region, I counted the countries on the map I'd been to. The total came to ten! It dawned on me that I have a lot of knowledge about this part of the world, even more than I realised. I have a dream about travelling back to south-east Turkey and writing a book a la Paula Wolfert about the cuisine of the area. This day made me think it might almost be possible.
This hummus gets 10 out of 10 from me!
(And another student with Jewish roots who knows hummus,
BTW no-one does hummus like the Israelis do.)
This tabouleh gets 10 out of 10 from me!
This zaatar gets 5 out of 10 from me because when
we worked at ADU in Al Ain, this was pretty much the
only thing we could get from the cafeteria
after 3pm, bone dry from hours of sitting under hot lights.
Lovely pitas. They taste as good as they look.
This mother and daughter team are making mant They're sitting out on the porch in the shade in a region of Turkey where mant
This is us making mant
End product. Not the mant
Western take on Iskendar Kebab.
Made with a tamarind tomato sauce which I liked.
(For the record I have never seen a tamarind in Turkey.)
To die for. 11 out of 10.
I loved these ricotta and walnut filled pancakes.
For some reason they reminded me of Damascus.
I'm posting the recipe for this one 'cause they are dead simple to make.
Stuffed Syrian Pancakes
1 cup flour
1/2 t baking powder
pinch of salt
milk (as needed to make a smooth batter)
I cup ricotta
2 T chopped walnuts
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1t lemon juice
1/2t rosewater - Simmer and reduce all until syrupy
1. Cook small pancakes just as you would a pancake BUT DON'T FLIP IT!
2. Place 1t of ricotta filling on the uncooked inside of the pancake and fold in half pressing edges together firmly.
3. Deep-fry till golden (2-3 minutes)
4. Coat in cold syrup and garnish with crushed pistachios.
Affiyet Olsun! (Turkish for Bon Appetit!)
Middle-east continues tomorrow....