This cookbook is Turkish Cooking by Tess Mallos. Full of some really amazing recipes and one I definitely want to pick up again.
A few tips before you start it is vitally important (I have discovered) that when purchasing dried beans for a recipe, that you make you sure purchase dried beans, and not (as I did) peas (which I really hate). The white bean (pea) stew takes the longest of all these recipes, though sorting out the filo pasty is somewhat time consuming, it has nothing on processing the dried beans.
- 2 oval eggplants, about 1lb (500g) in total
- 1 large onion
- 1/3 cup (3 fl oz/90ml) olive oil
- 2 cups (12 oz/375g) chopped peeled tomatoes
- 1.5 tsp salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 2 tblsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tsp chopped fresh mint
- 2 cups (14 oz/440 g) long-grain rice
- 2.5 cups (20 fl oz/625 ml) light stock or water
- yoghurt for serving
- Cut eggplants into large cubes with skin on. Place in a colander and sprinkle liberally with salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse and dry with paper towels.
- Cut onion in half lengthwise, then cut into slices.
- Heat 1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) of the oil in a heavy-based frying pan, add the eggplant cubes and cook until lightly browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Heat remaining oil in pan, add onion and cook gently until translucent. Stir in tomatoes, salt, pepper, herbs and eggplant. Bring to a boil.
- Wash rice until water runs clear then drain. Place on top of eggplant mixture and add stock or water. Bring to a boil without stirring. Reduce heat, cover pan and let simmer gently for 30 mins.
- Remove pan from heat. Remove lid, place 2 paper towels over rim of pan, replace lid tightly and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Stir gently and transfer to a heated serving dish. Serve with yoghurt.
Notes on this recipe:
- It is really really delicious. By far the best thing I cooked of the three dishes. It was absolutely perfect and really not very difficult to put together.
- If you don’t want to fuss with peeling tomatoes, we drained two tins of chopped tomatoes thoroughly which did the trick.
- Light stock would generally mean chicken stock. I’d definitely use stock over water in this dish.
- This dish serves quite a few people, and so we had it the next night too, and it was just as good.
White Bean Stew
- 2 cups (14 oz/440 g) dried haricot (navy) beans (or other small white beans)
- 6 cups (48 fl oz/1.5 L) water
- 1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) olive oil
- 2 large onions chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 cup (5 oz/150 g) diced carrot
- 1 cup (4 oz/125 g) sliced celery including leaves
- 1/4 cup (2 oz/ 60g) tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- pinch cayenne pepper
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup (1/3 oz/10 g) chopped fresh parsley
- Wash beans in several changes of cold water and drain. Place in a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Boil for 2 min then remove pan from heat, cover and let stand until beans are plump, about 2 hours.
- In a frying pan, heat oil. Add onion and cook gently until transparent. Add garlic, carrot and celery, and cook, stirring often, for 5 mins. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
- Return beans to a boil and boil gently, covered, for 30 mins. Stir in cooked vegetables, tomato paste, sugar and cayenne pepper. Cover and simmer until beans are tender without being broken, about 1.5 hours.
- Stir in lemon juice, salt to taste and half of the parsley. Cook for a further 10 minutes. Transfer to a deep dish for serving and spring with remaining parsley. May be served hot or cold.
- As I have stated earlier, I made the mistake of substituting peas for the beans. The rest of the household didn’t mind, and thought it was fine. I, being someone who doesn’t like peas, hated it.
- This is a simple recipe, it just involves a lot of monitoring because all up cooking time is over 4 hours, despite the book claiming cooking time was only 2 – 2.5 hours.
Chicken in filo
- 1/3 cup (3 oz/90 g) butter
- 2 lb (1kg) chicken breast fillets
- 4 small onions
- 1 large ripe tomato, peeled
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup (6 fl oz/180 ml) water
- 12 sheets filo pastry
- 1/3 cup (3 fl oz/ 90 ml) melted butter
- fresh parsley springs for garnish
- Heat half the butter in a frying pan over medium heat and add chicken. Cook, turning frequently o brown all over, until just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove to a plate.
- Cut onions in half lengthways and slice thinly into semi circles. Ad to pan with remaining butter and cook gently until transparent. Chop tomato and add to pan with salt and pepper to taste. Sir in water and cook gently until moisture evaporates. Mixture should look oily.
- Cut breasts into strips about 2 in (5cm) long and add to pan. Stir gently to combine then remove pan from heat.
- Preheat oven to 375C (190C)
- Spread out 1 sheet of filo pastry, brush with melted butter and place another sheet on top. Brush top with butter and fold pastry in half to give almost a square shape. Cover with kitchen towel. Repeat with remaining pastry.
- Take a square of pastry and place one-sixth filling in centre, slightly toward one corner. Fold this corner over filling then fold adjacent corners on top and finish like a parcel. Please on lightly buttered backing sheet. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
- Brush top of each parcel lightly with melted butter and bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately, garnishing with parsley sprigs.
- Tasty and not too difficult. I ended up folding the filling in the pastry as if the whole thing was a spring roll.
- Make sure you really do boil off as much water as possible in step 2, because otherwise that all comes out when you serve it.
- We used a regular unpeeled tomato and the dish was still awesome.