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Fresh Green Beans in Tomato & Olive Oil September 12, 2010

Posted by Deniz Olcay in Healthy Eats, Turkish Dishes.
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Upon your next visit to the farmer’s market, be sure to grab some green beans, fresh tomato and onions. This Turkish recipe, is called “Zeytinyagli Fasulye” or “Green Beans in Olive Oil”, and tastes best when cooked with the freshest of vegetables. Served cold, this is a very practical and healthy dish to have sitting in your refrigerator on those days you forget to prepare lunch for work. Combining sweet, salty and sour flavors together, makes this my most favorite healthy dish. Enjoy!

You will need

2 pounds of fresh green beans
5 medium sized tomatoes
3 medium onions
1 clove of garlic
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1.5 teaspoons of salt
1 cup of olive oil

1. Finely chop 3 onions, 5 tomatoes and set aside. Rinse the 2 pounds of green beans, and cut off the tips. Set aside.


Chop Onions, Tomatoes & Wash Green Beans

2. Saute the onions in 1 cup of olive oil until translucent (about 4-5 minutes over medium-high heat). Add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and stir in. Boil some water in a kettle and have ready for the next step.

Saute the onions in olive oil, add tomato paste

3. Place the 2 pounds of green beans into the pot, and stir in with the onions for about 5 minutes.

Add the green beans and cook for 5 more minutes

4. Add the chopped tomatoes into the pot.

Add tomatoes into the green beans

5. Add 1 garlic clove into the pot to give some flavor during cooking. Also add 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1.5 teaspoons of salt,  and juice of half a lemon. Also add 1 cup of boiling water into the pot. Bring to a boil, then place over low heat for 45 minutes. Make sure the pot is covered, and stir occasionally.

Add salt, lemon juice, sugar and garlic clove

6. Once cooked, allow to cool for 10 minutes on the stove, uncovered. Then place in fridge to allow the dish to cool.

Once cooked, allow to cool and place in fridge

7. Serve cold with fresh ground pepper, and additional lemon if desired. Enjoy!

Add fresh ground pepper and more lemon as desired

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Papa’s Plumpy Meatballs in a Sub September 2, 2010

Posted by Deniz Olcay in Italian Dishes.
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Now that the shock of my ridiculous title has passed, we can dive right into making this delicious treat. Undoubtedly one of everyone’s favorite foods, meatball subs are a great addition to your cooking arsenal. The good thing about learning how to make this, is that you can easily substitute spaghetti for the bread and have another tasty dish. I like to  use ground turkey instead of ground beef, as I feel it makes it healthier and tastier, but of course this part is totally up to you. I encourage you to use this as a guideline, and eventually make variations to this recipe, to create your own original meatball sub. Enjoy!

You will need for meatballs

1 garlic clove (mashed)
1 pound of ground Turkey (or beef, if you want to make it less healthy)
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of dried basil
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup of dried/stale breadcrumbs (store bought, or home made)
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1/2 an onion, chopped
1/2 cup of chopped parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of red wine
About 1/2 cup of all purpose flour

You will need for sauce

28 oz. container of whole tomatoes in juice
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 teaspoons of dried basil
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon of dried red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove (mashed)
1/2 a chopped onion

You will need for bread

Preferably french baguette (something with a thick crust so it doesnt get soggy)
Provolone cheese (or whatever you like)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and mix thoroughly

1. Combine 1 pound of ground turkey, 1 egg, 1 mashed garlic clove, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (store bought or stale home-made), 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, 1 teaspoon of dried basil, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1 teaspoon of dried thyme, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper, 1/2 a chopped onion, 2 tablespoons of red wine, 1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley and 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese in a bowl. Mix thoroughly with your hands, and set aside.

Roll meatballs to desired size and coat with flour

2. Roll the meatballs to desired size in your hands, and coat them in some flour on a plate. I usually make the meatball in my hand, and roll them on a plate covered with flour.

Meanwhile heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pot, and sautee the onion

3. Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat, and saute the 1/2 chopped onion for 5 minutes.

Add the can of tomato, along with other ingredients and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes

4. Add the 28 oz. can of whole tomato into the onions, and also add 1 mashed garlic clove, 2 teaspoons of dried basil, 2 teaspoons of dried oregano, 1 teaspoon of dried thyme, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of dried red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to “very low”. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Brown the meatballs in vegetable oil

5. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is very hot, add the meatballs and brown them carefully. They will brown quite quickly, so you have to turn them at the right time. Once browned, drain some of the excess oil, and let the meatballs cool for 5 minutes.

Add the tomato sauce to the meatballs and cook until the insides of the meatballs are cooked

6. Make sure that the skillet is relatively cool, and add the tomato sauce. If you do not wait for the skillet to cool, then the tomato will spatter everywhere!! BE CAREFUL. Cook until the insides of the meatballs are cooked, shouldn’t take longer than 5 minutes.

Place cheese in the bread and heat in the oven

7. Remove the insides of the bread, and place your choice of cheese inside the bread (provolone or Parmesan). Heat it in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, until the cheese melts.

Add the meatballs inside the bread, cover with extra cheese and basil leaves!

8. Add the meatballs into the bread, and coat with extra grated Parmesan cheese. Place fresh basil leaves as a garnish, and enjoy!