This is a basic recipe that can be used to make all kinds of meatballs or burgers. In Turkey we like our Köfte, which are meatballs flattened into small discs. In Italian and Indian cooking I tend to roll the meatballs into small balls. You can even put small cubes of cheese in the middle of the balls which are especially nice when cooked in a tomato sauce and served with spaghetti. This is my husband’s recipe which he learned from his mother.
500 g minced beef
1 1/2 cups of breadcrumbs (if using freshly ground – only use half a cup if using fine breadcrumbs bought in the shop or it will be too dry)
1 onion (finely grated)
1 tsp cumin
A pinch of thyme
Salt & pepper
A pinch of hot chilli flakes (optional)
Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with your hand. Knead it for a good few minutes then form into a ball.
Now you can pull off small amounts to form into meatballs which you can freeze for later or cook straight away. You can also divide up larger amounts to make burgers too.
This is an Eastern Turkish recipe I found from a Turkish housewives site (forget the name of it now)…
1 tbsp margarine (or oil) for frying
300g diced lamb
2 cinnamon sticks
½ tsp coriander
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp paprika
1 cup water
3 dried apricots
1 tsp grated ginger
1 clove of garlic (crushed)
½ an onion (finely chopped)
½ tbsp flour
Marinade the lamb with all the spices ın room temperature for 30 minutes.
In a separate bowl, place the apricots and add enough boiling water to just cover them.
Put margarine/oil in a pan, heat then brown off the lamb.
Add the onion and garlic and stir until browned.
Add the flour and fry for 1-2 minutes. Now add the ginger.
Add water to the same level of lamb (not too much) then dice and add the apricots. Place the cinnamon sticks in the pan.
Simmer for 1 hour (check water while cooking and stir as necessary. Add more boiled water if too thick.
Serve along with rice.
4 Green Peppers (2 hot 2 mild)
2 Red Peppers
1 Large Onion
500g Beef (diced in small pieces)
1 tbsp Pepper paste
½ tsp Cumin
½ tsp Black Pepper
½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Paprika
1 beef stock cube
Slice the peppers in thin strips and chop them finely. Chop the onion finely and put them all in a bowl. Chop the tomatoes and keep them in a separate bowl.
Put the beef in a wok (without adding any oil) and add the salt, paprika, black pepper and cumin.
Let it simmer on a medium heat in its own juices for about 10 minutes. (Stir regularly to avoid sticking) Once it is browned remove the beef and set aside.
Add the oil and saute the peppers and the onions. Stir regularly till they are golden.
Add the tomatoes, then in a small bowl mix the pepper paste in 2 tbsps of water and add to the mixture (if too thick add a little more water as needed).
Add the beef and the stock cube and cover the wok with a lid. Let it simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes.
Goes well with rice, Cacik or natural yoghurt.
Gozleme is like a filled pancake that can be eaten any time of the day. This morning my husband cooked them and I took photos to show how easy it is.
Lay out one sheet of filo pastry (yufka) and sprinkle desired filling. We had cream cheese, white cheese, cheddar cheese (kasar), ham, red and green peppers.
Now fold. Start by folding the bottom up, then the top down then tuck the sides over until you have a square.
Put some oil in a pan and cook for a few minutes on each side.
The finished product… cut into 4 with a pizza slicer and enjoy…
These Zucchini (Courgette) Fritters make a nice starter or an interesting addition to any buffet. They are very moreish, so once you start you just can’t stop.
5-6 small firm zucchinis, grated (makes about 4 cups)
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
3-4 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp paprika
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup olive oil for frying
Put grated zucchini in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and let drain for 10 minutes.
Wrap in a clean tea towel and squeeze to get all the juices out then place in a bowl.
Add the other ingredients except for the flour and frying oil and mix well.
Add flour in slowly and mix well.
Heat the oil in a frying pan. Drop scoops of the mixture into the hot oil. Make sure they don’t touch.
Fry them on each side until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes.
Drain excessive oil by placing fritters on paper towels or greaseproof paper.
Serve with plain yogurt or garlic yogurt sauce.