Salep (Sahlep)

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Yesterday, a friend of mine gave me pure dried salep. I was familiar with salep of course but I’ve always had those instant salep mixes. She ensured me real salep was different, so I’ve decided to give it a try. I must say for a first attempt the result was: delicious!!! It tastes like Turkish ice cream (which is very different than the ice creams we know). A bit of useful information on Salep: Salep is a traditional Turkish drink. It was a popular beverage during the reign of the Ottoman Empire. It is produced from the bulbs of some species of the orchid family. They only grow in certain regions in Turkey. Real salep is expensive so the more expensive the better. You can find it (the instant ones) in your local Turkish supermarket, but for the real ones you should go to Turkey or any other former Ottoman land.  All I can say is try it out and you’ll find out 🙂

For two cups you’ll need:

  • 1 teaspoon of salep,
  • 2 cups of whole milk,
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar (optional)
  • vanilla (optional)
  • cinnamon

Mix the salep, the milk and sugar in a pan. Stir on low heat until you have a thicker consistency. (When removing from the stove you can add some vanilla). Pour into a cup and garnish it with some cinnamon on top. You can also add some chopped walnuts or pistachios as a topping.

Afiyet olsun!

PS I’m not even mentioning the health benefits. Just look it up 🙂

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Sütlaç (Turkish rice pudding)

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One of my favourite desserts is rice pudding. Not just any rice pudding but the traditional Turkish one. Originated from the Ottoman cuisine, it is a light and nutritious dessert. Although, every country has its own rice pudding recipe, for instance, the Spanish have their ‘arroz con leche’, the French their riz au lait’, the Flemish and the Dutch their ‘rijstpap/rijstebrij’, the Arabs their ‘Riz bi haleeb’ and etc., I only have a craving for the Turkish version. While most of the countries use cream along with milk, the Turkish one is just made with milk. Actually, I think it’s one of the most plain rice puddings out there using simple ingredients. Originally, in the Ottoman palaces this dish was made with rosewater. If you like rosewater I would strongly recommend you to try this dish out by adding 3 tablespoons of rosewater (and maybe 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom for a Persian version).

For 10 small bowls you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of white rice (any rice is ok, but I prefer the broken one or short one)
  • 1l of whole millk
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 sachet of vanilla (optional)
  • rice flour or corn starch (optional)
  • rosewater (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped pistachios or pistachio powder
  • cinnamon

Pour the rice and water in a pan and cook till the water is almost absorbed. Add the milk and stir gently (prevents sticking) until the milk starts to cook. Mix one spoon of rice flour with a cup of water and add to the mixture. Then add the sugar and vanilla and stir for another 5 minutes before removing from the stove. Garnish with cinnamon, chopped pistachios or almonds on top. Serve cold.

Afiyet olsun!

Pan con tomate

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Pan con tomate, tostada con tomate or simply bread with tomato is a Spanish recipe (actually Catalan) . I discovered this last year while on Erasmus in Spain. To be honest I’m not a huge fan of the Spanish kitchen (don’t shoot me 🙂 ), but this is one of my favourite dishes (along with tortilla and paella), I can eat it every day! Actually, when I make pan con tomate it’s more my style. I call it pan a la Yazz 🙂 because I cook the mixture with, garlic, basil, pepper and oregano for 5-10 minutes. Perfect for breakfast. Try it! It’s so easy that you’ll love it.

Ingredients:

  • bread (any kind will do but I personally prefer Turkish bread or baguette)
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 clove of garlic (optional)
  • Basil and pepper (optional)

First, slice the bread into 2 halves. Grate your tomatoes in a bowl (or put them in a food processor).  Mince the garlic (or cut the garlic in halves and rub it over the bread) and mix with the tomatoes. Then mix with salt, pepper and basil. Toast the bread in a frying pan or toaster. Drizzle some olive oil over the bread and spread the mixture on it. Voila that simple! 🙂

¡Buen provecho!

Homemade pizza

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There is nothing like a good homemade pizza. It’s easy, cheap, healthy (ok maybe it’s not that healthy but it’s healthier than the ones you buy outside), but above all it’s delicious 🙂 Since the picture I took wasn’t really good, I used an old picture that a friend of mine took months ago.

Ingredients

  • For the dough: 21gr of fresh yeast, 2, 5 cups of flour, 1 cup of lukewarm water, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of sugar, oil.
  • For the sauce: 1 clove of garlic (optional), olive oil, tomato paste or tomatoes , salt and black pepper.
  • For the topping: Whatever you like! I used onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, black olives and basil.

Dissolve the yeast in a bowl with water. Add the flour, salt, sugar and oil to the mixture and knead for about 15 minutes until you get a smooth dough. Cover the dough with a towel and leave it to rise for 30 minutes. Divide the dough in 2 balls. Roll them out into pizza shapes and cover with tomato sauce.  Sprinkle some cheese, put your preferred toppings on it and before you put it in the oven sprinkle more cheese on it. Bake in preheated oven at 200C for about 20 minutes. Don’t overload your pizza with toppings otherwise it won’t cook.

Buon appetito! 🙂

Passion for food

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Hello everyone! Welcome to Yasemin’s cuisine. This is quite exciting. The reason I’m here is simple: I love food! I love cooking it, eating it and sharing it and I’d love to share my recipes. So if you are looking for original recipes keep an eye on this blog 😉