Posted in Fish, Indian, Thai & Chinese Cuisine, Mediterranean, Oven, Sauces, Side dishes, Turkish Cuisine

Prawn Casserole with an Eastern Asian twist

On a cold wintery evening, there is nothing better to warm you up than a nice casserole.  And, what could be better than giving it a little bit of a Thai kick! This recipe is based on a typical Turkish hot meze (appetiser) dish known as Karides Güveç (Prawn Casserole) with a few extra touches of my own.

I used frozen prawns, but of course you can use fresh ones, just make sure you clean them carefully first.  I also use pepper paste instead of tomato puree as it does not give you the burns as tomato puree tends to give some people.

This recipe serves 2-4 depending on the size of serving dish.


250 g prawns (cleaned)

1 medium onion (finely chopped)

1 or 2 gloves of garlic (crushed)

1 red pepper & 1 green pepper (finely chopped)

A handful of mushrooms (cut in half then thinly sliced)

A handful of capers

8 cherry tomatoes (chopped) – 2 regular tomatoes can be used instead

1 tbsp of olive oil

1 tbsp of sesame oil

1 tbsp of oyster sauce

1-2 tbsps of pepper paste (or tomato puree)

1 tsp of hot sauce (optional)

A glass of white wine (optional)

500ml boiling water (for stock)

Salt and pepper and some oregano for seasoning

Grated cheese for garnishing (about one handful)


Pre-heat the oven to 180°c. Put the olive oil and sesame oil in a frying pan (or wok) over a medium heat and fry the onions for 3-4 minutes.

Then add the peppers and garlic and continue frying.  Next add the mushrooms and the tomatoes. Now add the prawns.

Pour in a glass of white wine (optional).  In a jug, mix the pepper paste and boiling water with the oyster sauce and stir. Add this to the pan and stir.  Finally add the capers and the hot sauce and simmer for a few minutes. Season as preferred with salt and pepper and oregano.

Transfer the mixture into small casserole dishes and sprinkle with grated cheese.

Bake for about 10-15 minutes in the oven at 180c, then, serve with chunky bread for dipping.

Posted in American Cuisine, Barbecue, Beef Dishes, British Cuisine, Casseroles, Greek, Indian, Thai & Chinese Cuisine, Italian Cuisine, Mediterranean, Oven, Pasta, Quick and Easy, Turkish Cuisine

Basic Meatball / Burger Mixture


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 egg

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.

Posted in Casseroles, Lamb Dishes, Turkish Cuisine

Apricot & Cinnamon Lamb Casserole

peach cinnamon lamb casserole

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.

Posted in Turkish Cuisine

Et Sote (Turkish Beef Casserole)



4 Green Peppers (2 hot 2 mild)

2 Red Peppers

1 Large Onion

3 Tomatoes

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

1tbsp oil


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.


Serving suggestion

Goes well with rice, Cacik or natural yoghurt.

Posted in Turkish Cuisine


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.

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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.

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Now fold.  Start by folding the bottom up, then the top down then tuck the sides over until you have a square.

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Put some oil in a pan and cook for a few minutes on each side.

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The finished product… cut into 4 with a pizza slicer and enjoy…


Posted in Turkish Cuisine

Zucchini Fritters

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)
3 eggs
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
black pepper
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.