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Quick & Tasty Turkish Mantı August 17, 2010

Posted by Deniz Olcay in Middle Eastern, Quick Eats, Turkish Dishes, Uncategorized.
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Mantı is one of the most admired dishes in Turkish cuisine, equivalent to the “ravioli” of Italy. The main difference is the use of garlic yogurt as a sauce, and dough as the casing for the meat instead of semolina wheat (used to make ravioli pasta). It is quite laborious to make the authentic version, so my parents often used to default to this tasty alternative recipe. I have posted a picture of the original dish below:

So.... Beautiful...

I hope you enjoy this tasty alternative I have posted below, I often cook it when I am in the mood for something quick, filling and delicious. Enjoy!

You will need:

Elbow Pasta (you can use any type of pasta you like!)
1 Pound of ground turkey or beef
1 Onion, finely chopped
2 small cups of plain yogurt (preferably not non-fat)
1 clove of garlic
2 teaspoons of Sumac (a spice found in middle eastern specialty shops)
2 teaspoons of Dried mint
2 teaspoons of Dried Oregano
1 teaspoon of dried red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of butter
Ground Pepper / Salt

The Ingredients ! ( Most of them anyway)

1. First, chop the onions and set aside. Then, use a garlic press and mix the mashed garlic with the yogurt. Add some water to the yogurt if it is too thick.

Add garlic to yogurt. Add water if necessary

2. Salt the water, add some olive oil to prevent sticking, and start boiling the pasta.

Pretty easy stuff!

3.Cook the chopped onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until translucent in color

Cook the chopped onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil

4. Add the 1 pound of ground turkey or beef  into the onion. Cook on medium heat, until the beef is all brown.

Add the ground turkey or beef into the onion

5.On the side, in a small pot (or Cezve), cook 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes in the 1 tablespoon of butter over high heat for about 2 minutes. Make sure the red pepper flakes do not burn.

Cook 1 teaspoon of red pepper in the butter

6. Once the beef is cooked, turn off the heat. Add 2 teaspoons of Sumac, oregano and mint to the beef. Add salt and pepper as necessary.

Add the sumac, oregano, mint, pepper and salt to the beef

7. Add the yogurt mixture to the pasta, then top with some of the red pepper/butter liquid.

Add the yogurt mixture to the pasta

8. Top the yogurt with the beef, and add more spices as you wish. Enjoy!

Add the beef, and top with additional spices as desired!


Yogurt-Blue Cheese Salad & Quick Pita Pizza March 17, 2010

Posted by Deniz Olcay in Quick Eats, Salads.
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For the Yogurt-Blue Cheese Salad you will need(serves 2):

Red leaf lettuce
1 tomato
10-12 of your favorite olives

1/2 cup of plain, low-fat yogurt
1/3 cup Danish blue cheese
1/2 clove of fresh garlic
2 tbsp. curly parsley

1 tbsp. pine nuts

1.  Wash and dry the lettuce, place in bowl.

Chop salad into bite size pieces.

2. In this salad, chop the tomatoes larger than you normally would you want to be able to scoop your scrumptious dressing with them.

Cut 1 tomato into large pieces.

3. Combine the yogurt, blue cheese, garlic and salt it to your liking.  Mix it up quite well to combine the yogurt and blue cheese chunks.  Then add the parsley to the yogurt-blue cheese dressing.

The main ingredients for your salad: yogurt, blue cheese, garlic, salt to taste

Yogurt-Blue Cheese Dressing with parsley

4. Pour your dressing over your chopped salad.  Add olives and pine nuts and enjoy!

Top your chopped salad with your dressing, olives and pine nuts.

To accompany your salad I recommend a quick pita pizza!  Please use which ingredients are in your refrigerator.  One of my favorite versions of this quick pizza is a caprese (mozzarella, tomato, basil), but I used what I had on hand!

For the Quick Pita Pizza you will need (serves 2):

1 pita bread (split into 2 even circles)
2/3 cup Vermont Cheddar cheese (sliced)
1/2 tomato
1/4 cup red pepper
2 tbsp. sundried tomatoes packed in oil
Parsley for garnish
Olive oil

1. Take one pita bread and slice it down the middle in order to make 2 even circles.  Take some olive oil and use your hands to spread the oil on both sides of the pita, this will help the pita crisp up in the oven.  Place most of your cheese on the pitas, save some as a topping. Pre-heat your oven to 350°F.

Cover the pita slices with your favorite cheese!

2.  Add your tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, red peppers, extra cheese and parsley. Remove the seeds of the tomatoes, to ensure your pizza does not get soggy.  Drizzle a bit more olive oil on the top before you place it in a 350°F  oven for about 7 minutes.  In order to brown the edges and melt the cheese place in broiler for 1 – 2 additional minutes.


3.  Plate your salad and pita pizza and enjoy a delicious quick meal you can have for lunch or dinner!