Turkey kofte

Adapted from Jamie Oliver

Kofte Ingredients:

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 fresh red chili
  • 50 g. pistachios
  • 3 sprigs cilantro
  • 3 sprigs parsley (omitted)
  • 3 sprigs mint
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 large egg
  • 500 g. ground turkey
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Chili sauce ingredients: (I recommend halving this)

  • 4 ripe tomates
  • 2 small onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 jalapeno chilies
  • olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. tomate paste
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

Tahini yogurt:

  • 250 g. Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. tahini
  • 1 squeeze of lemon juice

Turkish pilav:

  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves. garlic
  • 300 g. bulgur wheat
  • 400 ml. hot chicken stock
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 80 g. broken rice vermicelli
  • 100 g. can chickpeas

Directions:

  1. Finely grate the courgette, trim and finely chop the spring onions and green chilli, then chop the pistachios. Pick and finely chop all the fresh herbs.
  2. Toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan until smelling fantastic. Meanwhile, lightly beat the egg.
  3. Mix all the kofte ingredients together in a large bowl, keeping some pistachios back to garnish, then season well.
  4. With wet hands, form 16 kofte, each the size and shape of a small egg. Leave in the fridge to firm up for at least 30 minutes, then thread onto metal skewers, two kofte on each.
  5. Cook the kofte under a grill or over a flame charcoal grill, on high for 12 minutes, until juicy, golden brown and cooked through, turning regularly.
  1. To make the chilli sauce, halve the tomatoes and onions (there’s no need to peel), and bash the unpeeled garlic cloves.
  2. Place the red chillies, tomatoes, onions and garlic on a baking tray. Drizzle with oil and season, then roast for 25 minutes or until soft and slightly blackened.
  3. Allow to cool slightly, then carefully remove and discard the stalks from the chillies, the cores from the tomatoes and the skins from the onions and garlic.
  4. Add to a food processor, along with the sugar, tomato purée and vinegar. Blitz until smooth and add a lug of oil to make it glossy. Pulse again, then season.
  1. For the tahini yoghurt, mix all the ingredients in a bowl and season with a pinch each of sea salt and black pepper.
  1. To make the pilav, peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Add a lug of oil to a non-stick pan over a medium-low heat, then sweat the onion and garlic for 10 minutes. Add the bulgur and stir to coat.
  2. Pour in the stock, bring it to the boil, then turn down the heat to very low. Cover with a lid and steam the bulgur for 8 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, melt the butter and cook the vermicelli until the butter turns golden brown.
  4. After 8 minutes, add it to the bulgur along with the chickpeas – don’t stir at any point, just replace the cloth and lid and let it steam for another 8 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes – you should end up with a beautifully light and fluffy pilav.

OMG this utterly takes two hours. The flavors and textures combined together so amazingly, and we regret nothing once we FINALLY sat down, but if we had known it would take that long, in such a very humid NYC summer… At least you can eat all the leftovers cold, cold, cold. Optimism! The recipe makes way, way too much chile sauce — I would halve that recipe for sure. Everything else was in good proportions.

I used white sugar, and apple cider vinegar instead of the recommended ingredients. I didn’t buy parsley or broken rice vermicelli — although I do like rice vermicelli, but neither of us care for parsley over much. Next time! (Just kidding — or at least not in summer. Ever.) We tried “grilling” the kofte and “oven roasting” the vegetables in a cast iron pan, which took considerably more time than the original recipe called for, and made the kitchen (and my apartment) hot, hot, hot. We even tried making the bulgur pilav in the cast iron, but that was unnecessary, and transferred it back to my ceramic pan later on. The turkey is quite lean, so I would love to try this (or another turkey meatball recipe) with ground pork instead. Fatty pork ftw.

~Jessica

Sesame noodles with chili oil and scallions

Following Gastronomy Blog, adapting Bon Appétit.

4 scallions, thinly sliced
vegetable oil
red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, Sichuan pepper
700 g ramen noodles (I used mung bean thread, aka cellophane/glass noodles)
35 g tahini (sesame seed paste)
60 mL rice vinegar (I used diluted black vinegar dumpling sauce )
soy sauce, sugar, toasted sesame oil, to taste

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Fry scallion whites, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, and Sichuan pepper in oil over low heat, stirring occasionally, until oil is sizzling and scallions are golden brown, 12–15 minutes. Let chili oil cool, set aside. Cook noodles until al dente; drain and rinse cold. Drain. Set aside. Whisk together tahini, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and the chili oil (to taste) in a large bowl; season with salt. Add noodles and toss to coat. Top with scallion greens and drizzle with more chili oil.

~Jessica

Falafel with pita chips and yogurt

Arabic: فلافل Adapted from smitten kitchen

170 g falafel mixture (from the box)
olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
ground cumin
ground coriander
paprika
cayenne
Few gratings fresh lemon zest
coarse sea salt (depending on broth)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (for cooked chickpeas)
A few grinds of black pepper

Serve with:
Fresh pitas
Big handful of parsley (or a mix of parsley, cilantro and mint would be good too)
1/4 cup pine nuts
Tomato-cucumber “relish” salad
Tahini and plain yogurt
Additional paprika for sprinkling

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To make a tomato-cucumber “relish” salad: Chop some tomatoes and a smaller cucumber into very small pieces. Finely chop 1/4 of a small red onion. Mix vegetables and onion in a bowl and dress to taste with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper.

To make lemon-tahini yogurt: Whisk 6 spoonfuls of well-stirred tahini in the bottom of a bowl. Whisk in the juice of a whole lemon, 1 minced garlic clove and 4 tablespoons water until smooth. Whisk in 1 cup plain yogurt, about 1/4 at a time, until smooth. Season with salt.

~Jessica