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Turkish Carrot Salad – Yoğurtlu Havuç Salatası November 11, 2006

Posted by Paula Erbay in Salads.
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This recipe is based on a classic Turkish Meze* dish. I first had it at a party hosted by a Turkish friend in Connecticut, Evgin. Each couple (10 in total) was asked to bring something from their native country. That would have resulted in a large quantity of food by itself. But, being Turkish, she also prepared several meze and roasted a leg of lamb! We ate and drank and talked all night. This dish was an instant favorite and I have been trying to make it as well as Evgin ever since.

Preparation Time:  40 minutes 

INGREDIENTS:
2 lbs Carrots, shredded available in most supermarkets already shredded
3 T Olive Oil, Extra Virgin
3-4 Cups Yogurt, Plain Whole good quality thick yogurt, Karoun or Mountain High
4 Garlic Cloves
½ tsp Salt, Kosher, Coarse
½ Cup Dill, fresh chopped – or to taste

Carrot Preparation: Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add carrots stir to coat with olive oil. Allow to cook over medium heat with lid on until carrots begin to wilt, stir every couple of minutes. Take off heat after about 10 minutes and let “sweat” with the lid on while preparing the yogurt sauce. They should still have some crunch to them as it is a salad.

Yogurt Sauce: Mash garlic cloves with kosher salt in a mortar and pestle until it becomes almost liquid. Or, the method I prefer: press garlic cloves with a garlic press, add kosher salt, with a wooden spoon continue to mash the garlic and salt until it liquefies. Mix garlic puree with yogurt. Add fresh chopped dill to yogurt mixture, reserve 3-4 tablespoons.

Mix carrots with the yogurt-dill sauce. Adjust seasoning as needed. Sprinkle reserved dill over the top prior to serving. Serve room temperature.  It can be refrigerated – liquid from the yogurt will separate, drain excess liquid prior to serving.

 carrot-salad.jpgServing Suggestion: Mound Tabouli salad in the center of platter and surround it with carrot salad. The contrast of the deep green Tabouli and creamy orange carrots is lovely.

* Meze is a collection of appetizers, salads, and side dishes common in Turkey and throughout the Middle East. Most often to accompany drinking Rakı.  

 

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Timballo November 11, 2006

Posted by Paula Erbay in Main Dishes.
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Inspired by the movie Big Night this timballo was called Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Timballo for a 2001 Oscar Dinner Party. It featured a pastry dragon and is based on the recipe for “The Leopard’s Dish” by Celestino Drago.

Ingredients:
1 Ragu Recipe, Paula’s
1 Béchamel Recipe, Paula’s
1 Pastry Dough Recipe, Paula’s
1 lb Pasta, dry – Penne or Ziti
½ lb Proscuitto Coarsely chopped
3 Eggs, Hard Boiled quartered
½ lb Chicken Livers optional
10 oz Peas, frozen thawed
½ lb Mozzarella Cheese
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese grated
2 Chicken Breast halves Boneless, skinless
1 Egg Beaten – for glaze
Butter
Thyme, ground To season chicken & livers
Brandy or cognac To season chicken & livers

Directions:
1. Make Ragu and refrigerate until ready to assemble – meat should be removed from sauce and stored separately. Reheat ragu sauce prior to assembly.

2. Make pastry dough the day before. Refrigerate overnight, take out about 20 minutes prior to rolling.

3. Coarsely chop the sliced proscuitto. Then cook over medium heat until softened, but not browned. Can be made ahead of time and brought to room temperature prior to assembly.

4. Sauté chicken livers or chicken breasts in butter, season with salt & pepper and thyme. Use the same pan as the proscuitto so any bits will add flavor to the chicken/livers. Add a little brandy if desired. This can be made ahead of time. Bring to room temperature before assembly. If using Chicken livers, slice them. If using Chicken breasts, shred them.

Day of Assembly:
1. Roll out 1/2 of dough on a floured surface into large circle to line a 10 – 12 inch bowl with 1 inch overhang. Line bowl with floured side against the inside of the bowl. Cover with plastic and set aside2. Roll out the other half to cover the top of the bowl with 1 inch overhang to seal the completed pie. It should be the same thickness as the dough lining the bowl. Cut decorative shapes with the remaining dough. Cover w/plastic and set aside. For “Tiger/Dragon” a dragon shape was used with small stars and crescents scattered about. 3. Make the Béchamel sauce (see recipe). Keep warm and set aside until pasta is cooked.

4. Cook pasta al dente. Drain (I use a pasta pot so the water stays in the pot – important for next step). Toss with some butter then add the ragu with the Parm. cheese mixed in.

5. Add the peas to the hot pasta water. Let them cook while mixing the pasta with the ragu. Then drain and set aside.

ASSEMBLY & Baking:
Layer the fillings into the dough lined bowl as follows:

1/3 Pasta tossed with Ragu
Half of each of the following: Béchamel sauce, Chicken livers or breasts, Proscuitto, Peas, Eggs, Meat (from Ragu), Mozzarella.
Repeat ending with the remaining pasta.
Note, you may not use all the ingredients if using the 10 inch bowl. Press the ingredients down as you go (with back of spoon) to compress and meld flavors.

Place dough over top. Crimp edges very tightly. Place a large piece of parchment paper on top. Invert onto a rimless baking sheet (it will be very difficult to transfer to a serving platter if the baking sheet has a rim).

Attach decorative cutouts over pie (brush back of cutouts with water to adhere). Brush entire pie with beaten egg (for “Tiger” it was brushed in tiger stripes). Pierce the top a few times with fork.

Bake at 350 for about 1 hour. Let stand 10 minutes prior to serving. Cut into wedges at table so each serving has some crust. Note: For easier handling, transfer to a cardboard circle then onto the serving platter.

For background on this dish & a photo click here Timballo for a Big Night 

 

Béchamel Sauce for Timballo November 10, 2006

Posted by Paula Erbay in Main Dishes.
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Ingredients: 
3 T Butter, unsalted
3 T Flour, all-purpose – Approximate
3 Cups Milk, whole – Heated
Salt & Black pepper – To taste
Nutmeg, ground – To taste
Cayenne pepper – To taste
Directions:
Melt butter in saucepan.Add flour and let sizzle. Whisk together (Roux). Gradually whisk in hot milk, try to avoid lumps. Keep whisking until there are no lumps. Add seasonings to taste.Adjust the amount of flour as needed when adding it to the butter, usually equal amounts of butter to flour.

This recipe is required for Paula’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Timballo. Four recipes are required to complete this dish: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Timballo, Ragu for Timballo, Béchamel Sauce, and Pastry Dough for Timballo.

Pastry Dough for Timballo November 10, 2006

Posted by Paula Erbay in Main Dishes.
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Ingredients: 
4 Cups Flour, all-purpose

2 ½ T Sugar
1 ½ Sticks Butter, unsalted – Cold
1 Egg – Extra large
6 T Milk, whole

Directions:
Cut butter in several small pieces (tablespoons).
Place flour, sugar, and butter in food processor. Use the pulse button a few times until butter is mixed into dry ingredients. Slightly beat the egg. Add the egg and 4 Tablespoons of milk to food processor. Blend, if after a few seconds it seems too dry add more milk, tablespoon at a time. It should form a ball in food processor, if not test it with your hands – if it holds together, remove from processor DO NOT OVER BEAT. Form into two disks (dough should be smooth, but not wet). Cover with plastic and refrigerate (overnight is best).

This pastry dough can be used with other savory fillings.

This recipe is required for Paula’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Timballo. Four recipes are required to complete this dish: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Timballo, Ragu for Timballo, Béchamel Sauce, and Pastry Dough for Timballo.

Ragu for Timballo November 10, 2006

Posted by Paula Erbay in Main Dishes.
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Ingredients:
½ lbs Beef Lean, boneless

¾ lbs Veal Lean, boneless

1 Onion – Finely chopped
2 Carrots, peeled Or 12 baby whole
2 Celery stalks – Finely chopped
¾ oz Porcini Mushrooms, dry – Soaked in hot water
2 lbs Tomatoes, Canned San Marzano – drain, reserve juice
2 Bay Leaves – Or more to taste
½ Cup Red Wine, Dry
Olive Oil
Salt & Black Pepper To taste
Cayenne Pepper Good dash – to taste
Cinnamon, ground Good dash

Directions:Note: I used 1 pound of veal stew meat. After I trimmed it there was about 3/4 pound. Use a large pot.1. Cut beef and veal into about 1/2 inch cubes. Set aside2. Finely chop onion, carrots, and celery. Cook in olive oil over medium heat for about 20 minutes. Add should be soft but not browned, stir often.

3. Add meat and stir all together, add bay leaves. Cook another 15-20 minutes.

4. Chop the mushrooms (after they have soaked in hot water about 20 minutes). Add the chopped mushrooms and wine to the pan. Cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed, another 10 – 15 minutes.

This recipe is required for Paula’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Timballo. Four recipes are required to complete this dish: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Timballo, Ragu for Timballo, Béchamel Sauce, and Pastry Dough for Timballo.