Saturday, October 16, 2004

A Taste of Turkey

Saturday October 16th, 2004

My friend Katja invited us around for a wonderful Turkish dinner on Saturday evening. I had been working a 6-day week so I was really looking forward to being pampered by some of her delicious home cooking, without having to lift a finger. Because it is a cuisine I am less familiar with, I was also intrigued to learn about and taste the Turkish dishes she'd prepared. All of the food was aromatic and flavoursome, using spices and strongly scented ingredients like mint and saffron.

Yesil Mercimek Piyazi
Green Lentil Salad
click on this image for a different view

Sebzeli Tavuklu
Chicken and Green beans with Saffron
click on this image to enlarge

Ic Pilav
Rice with Currants and Pine Nuts
click on this image to enlarge

Peynirli Patlican
Eggplant stuffed with Cheese
click on this image to enlarge

Semolina Cake with Syrup
click on this image for a different view

To accompany the food, Katja suggested we bring some sturdy spicy wines like Cotes du Rhone. We chose a Chateauneuf-du-Pape and a Gigondas, both of which are Rhone villages with their own appellations as well as a less fancy bottle of Cotes du Rhone, all from The Wine Club in San Francisco. Another guest bought a delicious bottle of dessert wine that paired perfectly with the moist semolina cake. Purchased at Wholefoods, the Domiane Bru Bache La Quintessence 2001 Jurancon was syrupy and not too sweet. Needless to say the bottle didn't last long.

wine1 wine1 wine1
Click on any of these three wines for a closer look at the label.

Never-ending Strawberry Season
Little Red Hiding Hood bought us a basket of Summery Fruits

Good company, excellent food, new tastes, spicy conversation, friends old and new, a perfect way to spend a Saturday evening. All the thanks to Katja, who had even written out a list of all the Turkish Recipe names in advance for me, just in case I should feel the need to do a bit of blogging later.
A Taste of Turkey


  • At 17/10/04 12:43, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Could you let me have the name/author of the recipe book you used please?

  • At 17/10/04 15:13, Blogger Estelle Tracy said…

    Everything looks so yummy! As my parents are Turkish, I am familiar with some of the dishes. My favorite is revani, especially with coconut sprinkled on top... In case you are interested in some Turkish recipes, I would like to recommend you a blog, The pictures are gorgeous and some of the recipes are translated into English.

    Thanks for sharing this meal with us!!

  • At 17/10/04 17:33, Blogger Sam said…

    Estelle - I forgot to mention in the blog that Katja actually used salted pistachios on the Revani. She thought a little salt would balance out the sweetness. Indeed it worked very well. thanks for the blog recommendation. I am going to check it out.

    Dexygus - one of the other guests bought the strawberries. They were from Wholefoods on Franklin/California I believe. She moved here from France only recently and couldn't believe the strawberry season here lasts into October. For me, nothing is ever quite like a real English strawberry during the month of June, but, the strawberries we had yesterday were suprisingly tasty. They actually tasted of strawberries which doesnt always happen these days!

  • At 18/10/04 10:33, Blogger Delphine said…

    Thanks, reading your blog helps remembering beautifuly the delightful flavours of our very civilised saturday diner... :)

    One trick for the strawberries: choose believing your nose only; if they don't have an enchanting perfume, don't buy them! And don't wash them too hard, because the flavour comes from the outside of the berry.

    The same strawberries were delightful with your creams, Estelle!

  • At 18/10/04 18:15, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am thrilled everyone enjoyed the evening. I for one had a blast picking my recipes out. The cook book is A Taste of Turkish Cuisine by Nue Ilkin & Sheilah Kaufman. I found it on I look forward to my next dinner party and a menu that I hope is equally as yummy! Thanks gang for bringing the perfect wine to accompany the meal. Katja


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