Friday, September 21, 2012

Making home at new home

It's funny, how I am trying so hard to make our new home look like our old one. Things, that make us feel comfortable , and are familiar to us are gathered from store to store. And of, course, food is a big part of it. Whenever I see a similar ingredient in the supermarket, I am grabbing all the boxes from the shelf in fear that I won't find it some other time.Cooking home-comfort food for me was a natural call, that I followed, and cooked our favorite dishes all week long. Uzbek plov, Borscht, Pelmeni, fried potatoes with mushrooms(russian style),chicken noodle soup, and of course a piece of simple cake. I shared the recipe of Uzbek plov before in my blog.
Sometimes, if I want to make a quick version of it, I use chicken meat instead of lamb, and it becomes super-quick and delicious meal.
The basics are the same, please, let me know, if you want step-by-step recipe for Plov with chicken.
Today, I want to share a recipe for Borscht soup. It's a "landmark dish" in Russia, and Ukraine. Everyone makes borscht their only right way, and everyone knows, that their mother's Borscht is the only best version of it, that have a right to live. I am very flexible about cooking, and accept their versions, but still , my grandmother's borscht was the best, I had ever tried. After consulting with my mom (live Skype conversation, she followed every step of the process), I am ready to put this for public view.


Soup Pot-5 liters.
One Frying pan.
Box Grater
Knife and cutting board.

Beef Bones with some meat on it.Mom's preference is veal.-500-700 gr. (For Stock)
Beets-1 medium/or 2 small
Yellow onion-1 medium
Carrots-2 medium
Sweet red pepper- 1
Tomato paste -1 Tablespoon
Ready tomato sauce 4 Tablespoons/or 1-2 fresh tomatoes grated
Parsley or celery stalks for meat stock.

1.Make a basic meat stock. Wash your meat, and bones, add cold water, after it gets to the boiling point, skim the foam, add salt. You can tie together parsley, and few pieces of red pepper, and add it to your stock at this point.
2.Peel, and wash the beets. Add whole beets into the stock.It will be easier for you to work with them later after they will get little softer.
3.Chop your onions, cut 1 carrot into small cubes,1 carrot grated, cut potatoes in cubes. Slice the cabbage. My cabbage was medium size, and I used a quarter of it.Grate the tomatoes, if you use fresh ones.
4. The stock cooks about 40 minutes. Depends on your meat. After 30 minutes of cooking time, pull out beets, and cool them down under the cold water.
5. Grate the beets. Heat oil on the frying pan, and add onions. After onions turn golden color, add beets, and grated carrot. Cook for 2 minutes. Add tomato paste, stir, and add tomato sauce/or fresh grated tomatoes.Cook 5 minutes. Add 1 ladle of your meat stock to it. Cook until beets are soft-about 10 minutes.
6.Add potatoes to your stock. If your cabbage is hard, add it to stock before the beets mixtures.If it's not, add it after the beets mixture. You have about 10 minutes to decide that, before your potatoes are getting ready. Cabbage cooks about the same time.
7. Turn off the heat.Cover it with the lid, and let it stay for 30 minutes. It has to absorb all the juices.
8. For the serving, I make bread croutons, or toasted Garlic bread . Add a teaspoon of sour cream to you plate with Borscht. Borscht is always more delicious the next day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Alacati, Cesme, Urla.

I must say thank you to our wonderful friends-Guniz & Deniz. Deniz's mom opened the doors of her beautiful home for us, where we enjoyed fantastic weather, great food, and best company ever. We stayed at Urla, which is conveniently located next to more crowded and popular Cesme, and Alacati cities. We did couple day trips to Efesus, Cesme beaches, and enjoyed our evenings by browsing streets of Alacati. Absolutely the best breakfast, I ever had. (Urla)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Marmaris, Datca, Knidos.

Moving to Turkey.

Summer 2012 brought a lot of surprises into our life. We sold our cafe, and moved to Istanbul, Turkey. This is a brand new beginning for my family. I hope you will enjoy new turkish-inspired culinary adventures, and my very hard to adjust to new ingredients experience. I will try to cook my family's favorite dishes with new turkish equivalent ingredients, and share my new finds with you. We started our new life with very exciting chapter-Vacation. We moved from city to city in our car, and stayed in different places couple nights, which gave us some time to rest, and some time to enjoy. Stop #1-Lagoon between Adrasan and Olympos-Antalya.
Zero comfort, fantastic pebble beach, the best sea in the world, and you eat whatever you catch, or kill. The owner of this little paradise killed a wild goat, and cooked it for a dinner. The meat was cooked without any spices added to it, and yet, it had an amazing the strong oregano sense in every bite. It was amazing!
Catch of the day