Sunday, September 26, 2010

TURKISH APPLE COOKIES (ELMALI KURABIYE)

Fall is Apple season.  I used McIntosh apples for this recipe.  I was also short of time this morning so I took a short cut.  Instead of individual cookies that are oval shaped, I rolled them into a log and cut them to show the middle part.  They are a similar consistency to shortbread in that they not very sweet and on dry side just the way we like them with coffee or tea.

Cookie dough:
250 gr margarine
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup icing sugar (if you like sweeter cookies, you can increase to a cup)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 package (9gr.) vanilla
3 cups flour
Filling:
3 middle size McIntosh Apples
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup walnut chips
  • Start with soft margarine that is room temperature.  Add in yogurt, icing sugar, vanilla and baking powder.  Slowly add in flour to get a soft dough.  Cover and set aside to rest.
  • Peel apples and grade them.  Put in a pot, add in sugar and cook until all the juice is gone.  Add in walnuts and set aside to cool.
  • Depending on the shape you want to use, roll out the dough and arrange the middle.  In my case, I rolled it out to a rectangle on waxed paper, spread the filling all over.  I rolled into a log making sure wax paper could be removed.  I removed the waxed paper and moved it onto a cookie sheet.
  • Cook at 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes until it is golden brown. 
  • Let it cool completely
  • Cut into shape, arrange on a plate and sprinkle generous amount of icing sugar.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

SOBIYET (CREAM FILLED BAKLAVA)

This recipe has a story.... When we first moved to Canada, I was a teenager.  A family friend would make Sobiyet but he would not share his recipe (his secret).  No Internet at that time.  After having his Sobiyet a few times, I tasted semolina in the filling and created my own version of the filling.  I used my mother's measurements for the syrup and store bought dough.  This desert has since become "my" specialty for my friends and family.  My children, and grandchildren can safely say this is one of those true family recipes.


1 Package Filo Pastry (It must be a brand with thinner sheets like Krinos's)
Ground raw Pistachios
1/2 cup unsalted butter

Filling:
1.5 cup milk
4 tablespoons fine semolina

Syrup:
2 cup sugar
1.5 cups water
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Topping
Ground raw Pistachios
  • First prepare the filling.  Mix cold milk and semolina together until smooth in a pot and cook at medium heat until it thickens.  Cover and let it cool.
  • Melt the butter and pour some at the bottom of the cooking pan.  Use a cooking pan with higher sides because later you will be pouring the syrup, you don't want it to leak.
  •  Open the package of Filo pastry and lay it on a table or a big cutting board.  In this recipe you do not separate the sheets. You will be using the stacked up sheet as is.
  • Cut Filo pastry in strips (width wise).  See the picture below
  • Cut lengthwise to create small squares
  • Put a teaspoonful of the filling in the middle of the square.  Sprinkle half teaspoon of ground pistachios on top.  Fold sobiyet into a triangle.  You will need a bit of water at the edge to make the dough stick and keep its shape while cooking
  • Fill your pan with uncooked Sobiyets.  Make sure there is a bit of room between each one.
  • Pour melted butter over them all.  You may want to use a little brush to start to make sure each of the Sobiyets has a bit of butter to start them off.
  • 1 package makes approx. 30 - 35 Sobiyets
  • Preheat oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Cook the Sobiyets until they are golden brown.   Approx 45 minutes to 50 minutes
  • While Sobiyets are in the oven, make the syrup
  • Stir water and sugar together.  Bring to boil.  Add in lemon juice.  Reduce heat to medium.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat
  • Pour syrup over the Sobiyets as soon as they come out of the oven.  Both Sobiyets and the syrup will be hot.  Move pan all around a few times to ensure syrup spreads across all of the Sobiyets.  Leave it aside.  
  • Once most of the syrup soaks into the Sobiyets (Approximately 15 minutes) put it in the fridge.  Fridge is a key step.
  • Sobiyets will look "crispy".  Move them to a serving plate.  Pour whatever syrup is left in the pan over them.  
  • Sprinkle with ground pistachios just before serving
One of the best things about this recipe is that it freezes well.  You can make them weeks ahead and store them in the freezer.  If you take them out of the freezer 2 hours before serving, it leaves them a bit cold and crispy which is the preferred way to eat for some people

Sunday, September 5, 2010

GREEK PASTA SALAD

This is a healthy salad.  Original recipe is from Heart and Stroke foundation web site.  I added olives.  I also think sliced cubenalle peppers would be good in this recipe as well.  You can use any shape pasta.  I used bow tie pasta.

2 cups (500 mL) whole-wheat pasta
2 cups (500 mL) diced English cucumber
2 cups (500 mL) grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup (125 mL) thinly sliced red onion
1 cup (250 mL) cubed light feta cheese, rinsed
1/2 cup black olives

Dressing

1/4 cup (50 mL) red wine vinegar
2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
1/2 tsp (2 mL) black pepper
  • Cook pasta as per directions on the box. Drain, rinse and place in a large bowl.
  • Add the rest of the salad ingredients to the bowl.  Keep some of the feta cheese for the top.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the dressing. Pour over the salad and toss.
  • Crumble remaining feta cheese at the top of the salad
  • This salad can be made one day ahead. Keep refrigerated.