Sunday, February 28, 2010


This sauce is a pillar in Turkish cooking. You'll find it referenced over and over again. The topping may change a bit from recipe to recipe but the main part of the sauce will remain constant.

Most important part of this sauce is to ensure yogurt is not too watery. There are multiple methods to remove water from yogurt such as leaving it in a bowl on a paper towel overnight or putting it over container that is covered with a cheese cloth. I use a strainer over a cup.

For crushing garlic, there are different methods as well. Here is a picture of my garlic crusher. In this crusher, the most important thing is to slice garlic in two and put salt along with it before starting to crush. I also find that if garlic is frozen, it is easier to crush. Mine is heavy duty and was brought all the way from Turkey. In the last few years, I've seen them in Canada made of wood and stone.

1 cup yogurt, 2 pieces of garlic, 1 teaspoon salt

  • Place yogurt in strainer and leave in the fridge for 1-2 hours
  • Cut garlic in two, add salt and crush them well
  • Mix yogurt and garlic together. Add more salt if needed.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Fried Vegetables are good at anytime as a side dish but they are especially good to eat in the summer when they are served cold right out of the fridge; with garlic & yogurt sauce or tomato sauce or both (first pour tomato sauce and then top with garlic and yogurt sauce). I usually serve the sauce(s) on the side. I also like fried vegetables in a bun for lunches.

3 large Carrots
2 small eggplants (Chinese eggplants work best)
4 Cubenella Peppers (Hot peppers work as well)
2 zucchinis

Cooking oil

Yogurt and Garlic Sauce:
1 cup yogurt
1 teaspoon salt
2 cloves of crushed garlic

Tomato Sauce:
4 large tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons butter
  • Wash the eggplants and zucchini. Partially remove the skin. They should look like zebra’s back with some white and some black. Slice them to size you like.
  • Scrape the carrots and slice them to size you like.
  • Wash peppers. You can slice them if you choose or you can fry them whole but if you choose to fry them whole please make sure to make a slit in the pepper otherwise they will explode
  • Make sure the vegetables are dry before starting to fry them to avoid splashing while frying. Also keep a cover at hand to be safe from unavoidable hot oil splashes
  • Fry the vegetables in a wok full of cooking oil to preferred softness.
  • Put them on paper towels to remove some of the oil before transferring them to the serving plate.
  • Prepare one or both of your sauces.
  • Yogurt sauce is prepared by mixing all of the ingredients together.
  • Tomato sauce requires a bit of work: Crush the 4 tomatoes, add in salt, tomato paste and 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook them together in medium heat until desired consistency is achieved.

Note: for healthier version, you can "fry" the vegetables in the oven by moistening all the vegetables with cooking oil and arranging the vegetables on a cooking tray in a single layer. Cook until soft at 400 degree oven turning them over at least once. The vegetables turn out dryer when they are done in the oven but with yogurt and tomato sauce, they still taste pretty good.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Happy Valentines Day...

Cookie Dough:

1 cup coconut flakes
1 cup sugar
2.5 cups flour
3/4 cup butter (room temperature)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons milk

  • Mix coconut and sugar in the blender until ground.
  • In a separate bow, mix the butter and flour. The mixture will have small lumps. Add the ground coconut and sugar mixture.
  • Mix vanilla and the eggs in a separate bowl and combine all of the ingredients to make a hard cookie dough.
  • Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to ½ cm thickness. Cut into heart shapes.
  • Preheat oven to 350. Cook 8-10 minutes (until you see the edges a little yellow)
  • Cool completely.
  • Prepare the icing by mixing all of the ingredients to spreading consistency. Spread over the cookies. The icing will harden as it waits. Wait at least 1 hour before serving.