Amazing Kids! Magazine

Cook Time with Remmi

By Remmi Smith, Cook Nook Columnist

 

Hi Amazing Kids!  Is it summer or is it a heat wave?  I can’t decide.  It has even been too hot to go to the pool!  Now, that is hot!!  This month we are going to roam through the cuisine of Turkey.  I am not talking about gobble gobble turkey, but the country Turkey.  A diverse land mass that links Asia and Europe.  Most of the country is located in Western Asia in the Anatolian peninsula. The European part of Turkey is called East Thrace. Turkey is bordered by eight countries and three seas: the Mediterranean, Agean and Black seas. Turkey is a blend of various cultures, as is its cuisine, but the cooking is heavily influenced by the Ottoman cuisine. The cuisine also differs  across Turkey.  For instance, the Agean region does not heavily spice its food and uses a wide variety of seafood, whereas the Black Sea dishes always contain some sort of seafood.  The food of Istanbul, the capital, is considered more sophisticated than other regions.  Have you ever had SOUP for breakfast?  I have had “soupy” cereal, but soup is part of the Turkish morning meal.  Vegetables, nuts, lentils and lamb are a few of the staples of Turkish diet.   As you know, I am big on low fat foods.  In Turkey various oils including olive oil, walnut oil, hazelnut, peanut and sunflower oil, and butter or margarine are used together in cooking.  I have modified the use of both oil and butter in the recipes below.  Did you know a sheep’s tail has fat in it?  The Turkish name for tail fat of sheep is Kuyruk yaği  and it is used in several meat dishes and kebabs. Veal is very popular in most regions, more so than lamb.  Meat dishes are usually a combination of ground meat and vegetable and one of my favorite ingredients, yogurt, is served with meat and vegetables and is sometimes used in making desserts, SOUP, and pastries.  ‘Yogurt’ comes from the Turkish word yoğurt.  I am getting really hungry as I write this, so…………………..Let’s get cooking!!

 

Remmi’s Favorite Turkish Recipes

Red and Yellow Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard

Haydari with Artichoke Hearts

Turkish Flat Bread with Toasted Almonds

Red and Yellow Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard

Ingredients:

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 11/2 tsp cumin
  • 11/2 tsp paprika
  • 4 ounces red lentils
  • 4 ounces yellow lentils
  • 1 large tomato (seeded and chopped)
  • 4-6 cups of unsalted chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 large bunch baby swiss chard (finely chopped)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces yogurt

Directions:

Heat olive oil in large saucepan on low heat. Add garlic, onion, cumin, paprika and sauté until the onion and garlic soften.  Add lentils, tomato, and chicken or vegetable stock, bring to a boil.  Cover saucepan and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring at intervals.  When the lentils become soft or creamy, add the swiss chard and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with yogurt

 

Haydari with Artichoke Hearts

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lowfat yogurt (strained overnight)
  • ½ small chopped onion
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 long green chile seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 long red chile seeded and finely chopped
  • ½ can artichoke hearts chopped

Directions:

Use cheesecloth to strain yogurt overnight in the refrigerator. This will make the yogurt thicker.  Crush onion, cumin seed and sea salt.  Add to yogurt and stir.  Add chiles, artichokes and paprika and mix well.  Chill and serve with Turkish Flat Bread.

 

Turkish Flat Bread with Toasted Almonds

Ingredients:

  • 1½ C warm water
  • 2 to 3 C bread flour
  • 3 T canola oil
  • .1 C plain yogurt
  • 1 bag slivered almonds
  • Sea salt

Directions:

Mix ½ C or warm water with ¼ c flour in a medium or large bowl.  Add canola oil and ½ C yogurt and stir well.  Add remaining flour, water and yogurt and mix well.  The dough will be sticky.  Sprinkle some flour on the counter or bread board and work the dough with your hands.  Add more flour if necessary to the dough to make it less sticky.  Divide dough into 1-3 medium size balls.  Flatten the dough with your hand and shape dough in a circle.  Cook dough in 350 degree oven on a tray or pizza block for 15 to 20 minutes checking it frequently.  Toast almonds in the oven or place them in a pan on low heat until toasted.  Garnish with sea salt and almonds.

 

DID YOU KNOW…

  • Fried eggplant and peppers served with yogurt, or seasoned tomato sauce is a common summer meal?
  • Turkey introduced the fruit cherries and coffee to Europe.
  • The Anatolian peninsula is one of the oldest permanently settled regions in the world.
  • Turkey is 1000 miles long and 500 miles wide.
  • Tulips are the national flower.
  • There are 2 of the “Seven Wonders of the World” in Turkey. They are the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus and the Temple of Artemis.
  • Eastern Turkey is very mountainous and forms the source for the Tigris, Euphrates and Aras.
  • A Turkish meal generally starts with a thin soup.

OK Amazing Kids…..have some fun and enjoy this easy to make and delicious food from Turkey….Stay cool. Remmi<3.