Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Turkish Cuisine

 بسم الله الرحمن الرحيــم

Iskender Kebab, famous from Bursa, a must when visiting Bursa

I am back, but not with a recipe this time, but with some photos of things I've enjoyed eating
 in my visit to Turkey...I wrote briefly about Turkey in my English blog. The food has been a wonderful whole experience in itself.



pomegranate juice
In the Gulf region, we've been introduced to some dishes from Turkey, so it is not totally exotic to me. However, some dishes were not the real version at all. For example, shawarma is so popular in the gulf region and it is not even called shawarma anymore in Turkey, although it is a Turkish/Greek word meaning turning. Turkish diet is rich in vegetables fresh and cooked, dried fruits (figs, grapes, apricot etc), marmalade, honey, bread, diary products specilly yogurt and Ayran , and meet consumed as doner kebab, Sucuk (sausage) or kofte.

Sweets in Turkey are similar to sweets of the other Mediterranean Arabic countries (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine), such as baklava and kunefe.

Spices and herbs
Turkish tea is a must after any meal in Turkey, and there is the heavy dark sweet Turkish coffee that is served with sweets beside a glass of water.


Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Cookies with royal icing

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

I've been keen to try to make the royal icing for a while now, and have searched a lot about it. It looked beautiful and interesting, and what made me really want to have a go is that you can customise it.

You won't believe it if I said I've never had it. I think it is not something very commonly seen in our culture.So I have looked for things you need to make it, but haven't found all the things I needed, nonetheless I did make it.
I bought big cookie cutters, as I thought that I will be working on small details for the first time, I need a big space, however it has proven unnecessary.I had number 5 decorating tip so I looked for smaller ones and I could only find number 1, which was too small and causes pain when trying to squeeze too hard :S..

My cookies recipe:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup caster sugar
200 gm salted butter (two sticks)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
  • beat the butter and sugar till light and fluffy
  • add the egg and vanilla and continue beating
  • add flour, beat with the mixer for one minute, then continue mixing with hand
when using the cutters, you will need to flour your surface otherwise it will be difficult to work with the dough.
bake for 10 minutes.

I was happy to find a recipe without egg whites (my kids will be eating those so I am not keen on them eating egg whites uncooked), and without meringue which I couldn't find here at all.

The recipe of the royal icing was from this wonderful blog:
1 cup icing sugar
1 tbs milk (and more)
1 drop lemon juice
1 tbs light corn syrup
  • combine icing sugar, lemon juice and corn syrup
  • add the milk, start with 1 tbs and add till you reach favourable consistency
I had fun outlining the cookies and flooding them. Then my mistake was that I was totally impatient and wanted to do some decorations while the base was still wet. and so whatever design I wanted to make spread, so I had to stick to some dots only lol..
I hated the smell of corn syrup, so I didn't eat the cookies for the first two days and I thought I'd never do, but by the third day the effect of that very sugary sweet day faded and I ate some and enjoyed them !..
an important tip, get bigger decorating tip, tip number 1 was a disaster for me and the icing wouldn't come out  as I forgot to sift the icing when I wanted to decorate. (this is an important step)

the cookie on the left has the silent letter (h) in Arabic (my son's initial)
and the one below is (a) in Arabic (my daughter's initial)

on the second day, not anymore shiny:)

Will I ever do it again,,, emm maybe once in a while, and on few occasions..:)