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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Turkish Dinner: Chicken Soup Rice

I know, I know -- sound crazy.  I wanted to serve rice with Turkish Kebab and Turkish Flat Bread so I added rice and water to the rice cooker (rice cooker proportions, 1 cup rice/2 1/2 cups water in my case), then mixed in 1 packet of Lipton Noodle Soup and 1 tbsp butter.  I should have added some carrots for color.  It was yummy!

Turkish Dinner: Bazlama Turkish Flat Bread

I also made this bread, to go with Turkish Kebab.  It was another recipe on my should-try list.  The original recipe is here:  It's delicious!

1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup Greek-style yogurt
1 tbps white sugar
1 tsp salt
4 cups bread flour (original recipe calls for all-purpose flour)
1/2 tbsp crushed rosemary (my addition)
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

I don't have patience or time for kneading bread so always make dough in the bread machine.  However, I always bake in the oven -- don't like the hole left by the blade.  It takes 1.5 hours for the dough cycle.

Spray large bowl with non-stick spray (as well as lightly oil your hands) and shape dough into a large ball.  Cover and let rise for 2 hours.  You should have a lot of dough! ;)

Divide the dough into small balls, approximately tangerine size (not a standard comparison but I am looking at the bowl of tangerines).  Place back into the bowl and let rise 10-15 minutes -- this will make shaping much easier.

Sprinkle the cutting board (or counter, if your prefer) with flour and shape each ball into the round, the size of dessert plate.  I didn't roll the dough -- it was very easy to stretch it with hands.  Place rounds on cookie sheets and let rise for 15-20 minutes.  To avoid any possible draft, place cookie sheets into the cold oven.

Heat the grill (we have an electric grill which I love) or skillet (cast iron is recommended) to medium-high heat.  Bake rounds until golden brown on the bottom, flip, and bake until the other side is golden brown, too.  Brush with butter and place in a bowl covered with paper towels; cover to keep warm and soft.

Turkish Dinner: Turkish-Style Kebab with Eggplant and Tomato.

I found a promising recipe last month (Turkish-Style Kebab with Eggplant and Tomato) but haven't seen small eggplants until today.  Made it for dinner today and it's absolutely delicious and fairly healthy -- lean meat, nothing is fried, yummy veggies.  It looks pretty, too.  I added chopped fresh parsley before serving (not shown).

6 small Japanese (baby) eggplants
2 large fresh tomatoes
2 lbs lean ground beef (turkey would be even better, I think)
1 small onion, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, pressed
Black and red pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Other spices (didn't add anything else but will experiment next time)
Fresh parsley, finely chopped

Mix ground beef, onions, garlic, and spices.  Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Slice eggplants into thick round.  Sprinkle with salt and let rest to remove bitterness, if any.

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Spray round baking dish with olive-oil-flavored non-stick spray.  Count the number of eggplant slices and make an equal number of meat patties, same size as eggplant rounds.  Layer eggplant rounds and meat patties in a circle, as shown above -- eggplant, meat patty, eggplant, meat patty...  Slice tomatoes and arrange on top.

Cover and bake for 25 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 20 minutes or until done.  Sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Soft Bread with Flaky Crust

Made this bread last night and it was great.

Original recipe is here:

1 cup warm water
2 tbsp white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp crushed rosemary
2 1/4 tsp bread machine yeast

Add ingredients in the order recommended by your bread machine manual.  Usually, you start with liquids and add yeast last.  Select Dough cycle (you can also use Basic or White Bread setting but I don't like holes left by the blade and always bake in the oven).  When dough is ready, shape it into two loaves, place on the greased pan, and let rise in a draft-free area until doubled (20-30 mins).  Preheat oven to 400 F and bake bread for 20-30 mins or until golden brown.  Brush with butter (you can some crushed garlic for extra flavor).

Corn Casserole

I cook a lot so not sure why I haven't made corn casserole before.  I tried this recipe last week and it's a winner!  S. and my brother insisted on eating it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Hope you will enjoy it, too.

The original recipe is here:

1 (15 1/4 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (15 1/4 oz) can cream-style corn
1 (8 oz) package corn muffin mix (Jiffy)
1 cup sour cream
1 egg (not in the original recipe)
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup shredded Cheddar

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Stir together all ingredients except Cheddar cheese.  Pour into greased 9 x 13 casserole dish.  Bake 45 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and top with cheese.  Bake for 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.  Let stand for at least 5 minutes and then serve warm.

I think it tastes better when reheated the next day so it's a great dish to prepare ahead.  Also, I may add bacon bits next time.

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