Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Çok Lezizdi! (It Was Delicious!)

Hello darlings.  Sorry for having been absent for the past two days.  Monday's lunchbox was a replay (Garlic Steak) and Tuesday, the cook made Tonkatsu--I was too spent to get up so I told the boy that I'd rest for a day.  So today, I made one of his most favorite things in the world: Bulgur Köftesi, Turkish Kofte.

If you haven't tried it, you really are missing a whole lot, if you are into bold and exotic flavors that is--like my boy, Enzo.  He has a very mature and diverse palate.  He eats anything from street food to high street food, from the very cheap to the, well, during special occasions, very expensive (emphasis on special occasions).  Today's recipe was adapted from the blog Almost Turkish which I tweaked a little bit to suit Filipino taste buds. The yummy salad which I made into a sauce (just so that he would eat eggplant) was from a Turkish chef, Ismail Tosun of the restaurant Eminem in Perth, Australia (what a cutie!).  

Try making these to spice up your repertoire.  It is easy, yummy and different.  You may, of course adjust the spice level according to your preference and fry a bit of the meat mixture to taste if it is already to your liking.  But remember, be brave!  You'll never know what culinary delights you're missing if you fail to try what the world has to offer.  If you don't like it, then you'll find out you don't.  And if you like it, just say--Çok Lezizdi!  And be thankful for finding one more beautiful, yummy thing to live for.  

Şerefe! (Cheers!)
Bulgur Koftesi (adapted from Almost Turkish)

500 grams ground beef (you can use a mixture of beef/lamb or beef/pork)
1/2 cup bulgur (I bought mine at Santi's Delicatessen but there's also some at Taj in Makati)
1 big onion, finely minced (I do this in the food processor)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup cilantro (wansuy-you could use less if you don't like this so much)
1/2 teaspoon cumin (a lot less than the original recipe which calls for 1 1/2!)
1/4 cup Italian or flat-leaf Parsley, minced
4 cloves of minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Put the bulgur in a bowl and cover it just until the surface with boiling water.  Let sit for 10 minutes then drain. 
  2. Combine all ingredients in a biggish bowl and mix with your hands until uniform in color and texture. 
  3. Let the flavors develop for at least 4 hours, I do this overnight.  Just make sure to cover the mixture well or else your water will taste like onions.  (Yuck!) 
  4. Form into patties, or oblongs or whatever shape you like.  Traditionally, they are skewered into to long kebab like sausages but I find that too difficult to grill.  They always disintegrate on me so we do it like pelotas--little teardrop disks.  I think they're cute! 
  5. Grill on coals or on an electric grill like we did this morning or fry in a little bit of olive oil on a non-stick pan.
Narli Paticlan Kizartma (Fried Eggplant with Tomato and Pomegranate Sauce) recipe adapted from Ismail Tosun 

500 grams fire-roasted and peeled eggplant
5 pieces canned, whole, peeled Italian tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons Pomegranate Molasses (I made my own by reducing 2 cups of pomegranate juice, 1/4 Cup sugar and squeeze of lemon until the consistency was that of molasses.  About 7 minutes in high heat)  
  1. The original recipe said that you fry the seasoned eggplant (not roasted--that's my take) and put aside.  My son won't eat that because it still looks like an eggplant.  But you can do it that way, of course.  In my version, I fire-roasted the eggplants for that smokey taste and then sauteed it with the tomatoes and garlic until it looked pretty much like a thick sauce.
  2. Add in pomegranate molasses, season with salt and pepper.
  3. That's it.  Serve and wait for the ooohs and aaaahs.  Oh and a great big hug! :-)

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