Tag Archives: seafood recipes

Three-Course Turkish Dinner

After running 6 miles on Sunday morning (first time doing a longer run since my Half Marathon on April 13), I spent most of my day in the kitchen preparing an elaborate Turkish dinner.

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Aren’t my head-band and flowery apron something? Dave was handling the food photography because he got excited to use the tripod and a nicer camera than my iPhone (which I usually use). Anyway, I didn’t know he would put me into 80% of the pictures or I would have chosen to look less ridiculous.

Now to the task at hand: Cook a three-course Turkish dinner for four people in three hours. All three recipes were new to me, but the cookbook Sultan’s Kitchen has been phenomenal so far, so I wasn’t too worried about it.

1. The Appetizer – Grape Leaves Stuffed with Pine Nuts, Currants, and Rice

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Just looking at this has me wanting to make another batch of these beyond-delicious things. It was my first time making vegetarian grape leaves. In the past, I’ve stuffed them with rice and ground beef or lamb. But no longer. The combination of pine nuts and currants with cinnamon, dill, and parsley is out of this world. Sprinkled with lemon-juice, they’re a fresh, tangy summer treat. They could be their own meal and I definitely devoured the left-overs for lunch on Monday. Triple yum!

We served them with some fresh baguette and Raki – an anise flavored liquor that no Turkish meal should be without.

2. The Main Course – Flounder Fillets Stuffed with Pine Nuts, Spinach, and Scallions

Holy moly. Flounder fillets are expensive. The recipe called for 3 lbs., but that would have meant $45, so I decided to get four and divide all the other ingredients in half too. That was a good choice, since we had so much other food, too.

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First, you cook the pine nuts in olive oil until they’re golden brown, then you add garlic, spinach, and scallions and saute the mixture until it has wilted. After letting it cool, you place the desired amount in the center of the fillet and then fold it over, holding it together with a tooth pick.

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Number one and two.

Then, you steam the fillets in a mix of dry white wine, chopped tomato, lemon juice, spices, and dill for eight minutes. When it’s done, you sprinkle it with parsley.

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We served this course with bread and a choice of red and white wine. Don’t you want to take that piece of baguette and make it soak up the delicious sauce? The dish was the perfect mixture of herbs, fish, and a tangy mix of wine, tomato, and a kick of spiciness due to paprika and red cayenne pepper. So good. So so good.

3. The Desert – Rose Water Pudding

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This was a basic pudding made with whole milk, heavy cream, sugar, and cornstarch, but the rose water gave it a very unique flavor. We actually sprinkled these servings with cinnamon before putting them on the table, but were too absorbed into conversation by that time to remember taking pictures.

It was so much fun to try three new recipes and introduce our friends to Turkish cuisine. They seemed to really enjoy everything. Dave and I definitely loved all three dishes, so we’ll definitely make them again. The leftover grape leaves definitely were a special Monday lunch treat.

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Filed under deserts, drinks with dinner, leftovers, recipes, running, seafood, Turkish

Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salmon Cakes Vol. 2

Dave had class tonight, so I got a little over an hour for some full-power mid-week cooking and cleaning. I danced in the kitchen to a strange mix of music on Spotify – from 90s to high school classics to German pop.

I gave these salmon sweet potato & quinoa cakes another attempt – this time, I remembered to put the eggs into the mix instead of having to put them on top fried.

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After cooking a medium sweet potato and half a cup of quinoa, I mixed them with 6 oz. of wild Pacific salmon, half a chopped onion, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of cornmeal.

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Then I seared them in olive oil for about 4 minutes per side.

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They held together a little less well than last time, despite the eggs! I think that’s because I didn’t cook the sweet potato for long enough. It was less doughy and sticky than last time.

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Deliciousness. If you make this, make sure to add enough salt and pepper. Also, I think it would be even better with green onion than just with regular onion. Yes, now that I think of it, definitely use green onions or scallions.

Six cakes meant we have leftovers for lunch. Yay!

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Filed under dairy-free, gluten-free, lunch-prep, recipes, seafood

Salmon, Sweet Potato & Quinoa Cakes

Tonight’s dinner was made out of so many of my favorites, I must immediately declare it a new staple dish!

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Salmon, sweet potato, quinoa, scallion, and onion burgers. Can you say yum?

I got the recipe from my co-worker, but then I modified it a little because I forgot to add eggs when mixing everything together to make these balls of deliciousness.

Once I realized that the eggs were missing, I was rather surprised that everything was sticking together so well. But I won’t ask questions.

Oh! Also, I was supposed to use corn meal, but I didn’t have any. Instead of bullying Dave and sending him on an impromptu trip to the grocery store, I looked up corn meal alternatives. Did you know you can toast a slice of bread and then grind it to get a substitute? I sure didn’t. But then again, I’m sooo still a beginner.

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Here is what I did about the egg thing…. Brilliant, huh? This actually gave me the idea of adding hollandaise sauce as well for a fun twist on Eggs Benedict, but who wants to get that crazy – or eat all that dairy?

Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Salmon Burgers 

Ingredients:

– 2 eggs
– 1 large sweet potato, – peeled, cooked, and mashed
– 1/2 cup quinoa – cooked
– some scallions and about half a large onion, chopped
– salt and pepper to taste
– 2 tbsp. cornmeal

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.

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I ended up using my hands because the wooden spoon wasn’t thorough enough for me.

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Then form six cakes out of the doughy mass.

Heat olive or coconut oil in a pan (probs not hard to guess which I used) and cook them on medium heat for 3-5 minutes per side.

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Kind of surprising that it went this well without the eggs, right?!

I made these last night, so they were all ready for us to eat when I got home today after a networking coffee at Starbucks (wisely, I ordered a DECAF soy misto to avoid a sleepless night).

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Seriously, make this.

I actually liked the fried egg on top. It was more fun to look at and I am a sucker for the runny yolk – so delicious.

I also had another small slice of daiya pizza and then followed it up with a glass of coconut milk because I burned my lips with the hot sauce. Some lip icing may also have occurred. Oh life.

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April 2, 2013 · 8:39 pm