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“Meze-Memories” Mandarin Boutique Hotel
Here are two recipes taken from Mandarin Boutique Hotel, Faralya, Turkey’s extensive range of mezes. Serve as part of a selection of mixed starters, or as side dishes to accompany a summer barbecue. Afiyet olsun! (Bon appetit!)
Semizotlu Bulgur Koftesi - Vegetarian “meatballs” with purslane
1.5 cups of bulgur wheat
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp plain flour
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cloves fresh garlic
Vegetable oil for frying
1 bunch of purslane
1 pot of plain yoghurt
2 tbsp mayonnaise
In a bowl, cover the bulgur wheat with boiling water and leave to soak for 30 minutes before draining off any excess liquid. Add the beaten egg, tomato puree, cumin, 2 cloves of garlic (crushed), flour, salt and pepper and mix well. If necessary, adjust the consistency by carefully adding a little hot water if too firm, or flour if too runny.
Roll the mixture into bite-size balls and fry them in hot oil, turning frequently.
Finely chop the purslane and mix with the yoghurt, mayonnaise and the remaining two crushed cloves of garlic. Serve as a dip for your bulgur wheat balls.
Havuclu Patates Kavurmasi – Fried potatoes with carrots
5 medium potatoes
2 medium carrots
1/2 bunch dill
3 tbsp olive oil
Cornichons to garnish
Peel the potatoes and boil until just cooked.
Grate the carrots.
Crush the potatoes whilst adding the salt, pepper and chilli flakes.
Heat the oil in a pan and saute the crushed potatoes.
Take the potatoes off the heat and stir in the grated carrot and finely chopped dill.
Put the mixture in a cake tin and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Place the chilled potato cake onto a serving dish and garnish with finely sliced cornichons
Just a few miles beyond the world-famous lagoon of Oludeniz and its popular tourist beaches lies a section of Turkey’s Lycian Coast that remains gloriously unspoilt, and it is here, amidst the wooded hillsides of Faralya, that one of the country’s most exclusive retreats can be found – the delightful Mandarin Boutique Hotel. Comprising just eight luxuriously appointed and supremely spacious guestrooms, most with super-kingsize four-poster beds and double Jacuzzis, Mandarin will suit discerning travellers who value an intimate ambience and a personal welcome, and its wonderfully peaceful setting – combined with the favourable climate in this part of Turkey – makes this a haven of complete relaxation.
And yet Mandarin is just as well suited to more active holidaymakers: those who wish to explore the legacy of Turkey’s rich history will find numerous well-preserved archaeological site within easy striking distance, whilst those who enjoy more physical pursuits can take their pick from a range of activities in the surrounding area, from scuba-diving in the Gulf of Fethiye to paragliding from the summit of majestic Mount Babadag. Keen walkers will find some wonderful trails starting right on their doorstep, whilst for those keen to explore further afield we can assist with booking transportation and guides to suit their individual interests.
Patates Cig Köfte – Raw Potato Kofte
6 medium potatoes, peeled and boiled
2 cups of bulgur wheat
2 cups boiling water
1 tbsp butter
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch spring onions
2 cloves fresh garlic
1 cup lemon juice
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
Salt to taste
In a large pan, soak the bulgur wheat in the boiling water until all the liquid has been absorbed.
Chop the parsley and spring onion, setting some aside for decoration. Crush the garlic.
Mix all the ingredients together and blend to a puree.
Take tablespoon-size amounts of the mixture, squeeze in your hands to remove any excess moisture and shape into kofte. Place on a tray or serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining herbs. Serve cold.
Baked Leeks with Minced Meat
1 Kg leeks
300 g minced beef or lamb
25 g butter or margarine
1/2 cup of milk
2 cups grated cheese
1 dessert spoon red pepper sauce
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Finely chop the onions and leeks.
Heat the butter/margarine in a frying pan and gently fry the onions until golden. Add the minced meat and fry until browned, then add the red pepper sauce, salt and pepper. Finally add the chopped leaks, reduce the heat and continue frying until the leaks are softened.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the milk and some salt to taste.
Place the leak/meat mixture in an oiled baking tray, evenly pour over the egg mixture and sprinkle with the grated cheese. Bake in the oven at 200C or until the mixture has set and the cheese has browned.
Halekulani (www.halekulani.com), Waikiki’s legendary beachfront hotel, has created 3 specialty summer cocktails - Cachaca Samba, Mango Mint Freeze andCharlie Chan.
Along with Halekulani’s signature Mai Tai, which was invented and still served at the hotel, these summertime concoctions are available at the award-winningOrchids restaurant, by the pool and of course, while enjoying traditional Hawaiian entertainment at Halekulani’s famed outdoor gathering spot House Without a Key, which is immortalized in a 1925 Charlie Chan novel.
Below please find the recipes for these refreshing summer cocktail creations.
1 ½ ounce Cachaca
½ ounce Cedilla Acai Berry Liqueur
3 lime wedges cut in halves
½ ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce rock candy syrup
Method: Place the lime wedges in a mixing glass and muddle briskly with juice and rock candy syrup, then add cachaca and 1 scoop of ice and shake well.
Pour into a double old –fashioned glass (do not strain), add more ice if needed and serve with a float of Cedilla.
1 ½ ounce Malibu Rum
2 ounce Mango Puree
1 ½ ounce Sweet n Sour
4 Mint leaves
Method: Add all ingredients to blender with ice and blend thoroughly. Pour into rocks glass
Garnish: Dehydrated mango slice and mint sprig
1 ½ oz Barsol Pisco (Primero)
½ oz Orchid Guava Liqueur
½ oz Strawberry Puree
½ oz Lime Juice
Method: shake all ingredients with ice. Serve straight up into a chilled martini glass.
Garnish: half strawberry on the rim and kafir lime leaf.
by Barbara Kingstone
In the famous open, some areas covered, is Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda food market. There are stalls of every produce up and down the various maze-like lanes. Samples are happily given out and most of the veggies and fruit are from near-by farms.
Every city seems to have a meeting point and here it is “ the Aroma”, a coffee chain that managed to outdo Starbucks since business for them was so bad that they left the country and the locals are loyal to their own “java”.
Right on time, we meet Chef Tali Friedman. Young and entrepreneurial, this 36 year old mother has started a cooking school. But before we donned our aprons, she took us to taste food…. halva from the famed Halva Kingdom, David the fish monger, a nameless butcher, a spice shop, fruit merchant and as the grand finale,Basher, The King of Cheese with 800 varieties from around the world and known universally for the vast variety and quality.
Within the ‘shuk’, is Tali’s studio where a narrow stair case takes you to a very up- to- the- minute, state- of -the -art kitchen. The 14 of us were given our duties to chop, slice, roll, sauté, boil and whatever else was needed for all this locally grown produce. Overseeing all this were three very capable helpers.
While all was cooking , we ascended to the enclosed rooftop where bottles of Israeli red and white from the Golan Heights Winery, waiting to be tasted and we did our duty to the very last drop.
Dinner included the freshest salad where even the tomatoes were so sweet and the lettuce so crisp, brought daily to the marketplace.
This was served with a delicate fruity tasting dressing followed by green garlic soup, fish balls on couscous, perfectly done beef albeit a bit too salty for the American taste and ended with diced caramelized apples wrapped in a paper -thin dough but not filo which, Tali said, just tears too easily. Spending time cooking doesn’t seems like something most travelers want to do with their time.
But this course is an insight into the people, the food, the miracle of the Israeli’s effort to bring forth all the food from this arid country.
I guarantee, these few hours will be the most talked about part of your trip.
Wild Garlic Soup
15 stems of young garlic (remove 5cm of the green leaves coming from the top end of the stem)
2 parsley roots
2 celery roots
½ kg potatoes
1 liter vegetable stock
3 spoons olive oil (or 50gr butter)
- Slice the garlic stems to centimeter-thick “rings”.
- In a heavy cooking pot, fry the garlic and leek in olive oil.
- Peel the potatoes and roots, and chop them to similarly-sized dices.
- Add those to the mix and continue frying lightly to transparency. The roots don’t need to become “golden”, as it is preferred to maintain their lovely white color.
- Add the vegetable stock along with half a liter of boiled water. Make sure to cover the ingredients with water, and then some – about a third more. (If you don’t have vegetable stock, it can be substituted with water.)
- Keep cooking for 45 minutes, and then use a hand blender to puree (no need to sift!).
- Taste and season with Atlantic sea salt and some white pepper.
- Taste again and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- TIP: To make the soup creamier, add 150ml cream.
by Barbara Kingstone
As the small bus slowly ascended the curvy narrow road to Beit Jan, one of the all- Druze villages that dot Israel, the unusual downpour of rain and darkening skies made it impossible to see the landscape. Suddenly the bus stopped. It couldn’t make the narrow curve so that it was left to the driver to figure out how to get to our preplanned private dinner. But cell phones do come in handy in situations like this and soon there were two cars and several umbrellas to take us to the home of Salmom Dabbour, a Druze Arab and his family who live in this part of Israel and are citizens of the country.
This evening was a much looked forward to event.
With a population of only 9,000 and located 1000 meters above sea level, making this the highest point in Israel, Salmom told us about the history of the Druze. Their religion has been separated from Islam since 1017 and they believe in one God and reincarnation.
Originally the Druze of Beit Jan concentrated on agriculture but now there’s a high respect for education with many young people obtaining university degrees.
It was unfortunate that we couldn’t see the renowned pastoral view but then the unique experience was more than enough to make up for that. The anticipation of meeting a Druze family in a Druze home in an all Druze village, 800 years old. However, most of the buildings and the Dabbour’s home, are modern, built in the 20th century.
Like family we were greeted into the Nabbour’s private villa. Our wet outer jackets taken, we were lead into a spotless, large room opening onto another area where the dishes for many of the courses were kept, the kitchen hidden behind. The long narrow room where the table had been set had a sparkling white cloth with white napkins and decorated with lacy white curtains. Happily greeting us was Salmom. Cheerily he said “I’m just the server here. Amal is the boss”.
Slamom’s wife, Amal, is a splendid traditional Druze cook who learned her skill from her mother. As part of the Druze tradition is to be hospitable to foreigners so she was pleased when asked to cook her homemade dinners for visitors. She couldn’t believe that she should and could be paid since hospitality, generosity, kindness and spirituality are so much a part of the Druze practice. However, pressured to do this time and again, much to the Dabbours’s surprise, this insight into Druze lifestyle, their authentic cooking became so popular that they started this ‘business’ about 4 years ago and haven’t had a slump.
Our group of 20 was fortunate to get the entire dining room but the house can accommodate up to 50 using the other rooms.The Dabbours decided to keep this evening a private affair giving us their undivided attention.
The meal was a triumph of cuisine and as the dishes were carried out by their daughter with the help of Salmom, we wondered when it would stop. I tried counting and managed up to 15 different dishes, some hot, some cool. One in particular was stuffed spring chicken and to this day, I regret not asking for the recipe.
We started with Amal’s wonderful lentil soup and then an assortment of starters like eggplant with tomatoes, pureed pumpkin, hummus (a must at most mid eastern meals), cauliflower with tahina, majadaara, a bulgar wheat which has been boiled with water and dried for four days and separated 8 times. This organic bulgar was the hit of the appetizers. Then came Maklooubia (chicken rice with herb sauce, fried onions and turned upside down like some grand cake..what a great presentation. Already groaning from too much, little did I realize that there was much more to come. Next was Kofta, a ground lamb with tahini. Lemon which grows abundantly in this region was in most dishes. So for 14 salads, soup, 3 kinds of leaf dishes and two meat dishes and of course dessert, the price is about $150 and worth every moment, every chew and every shekel.
We applauded the shy Amal whom we insisted come out from the hot kitchen.
The rain had let up and the cars were waiting to take us to the bus which somehow had reversed. A meal to remember in a memorable setting.
More info at: 2eat.co.il/havaya
Immediately on entering Tishreen, in Nazareth, (Israell) known for their wood oven and their innovative cooking, we expected pizza. Instead the two partners and their wonderful chef are known for modern Mediterranean foods (they don’t like the overused word, fusion) as well as traditional dishes. Very soon table was filled with the traditional starters of hummus, eggplant etc.
Certainly considered one of the great restaurants among the 30 that are available in the ‘cradle of Christianity’, the city where Christ spent his young years, the restaurant was filled with locals, both Israeli and Arabs, eating, laughing, talking about their choices and making all the bad news between these nationalities suddenly seemed irrelevant.
I just had to have it for www.indulgedtraveler.com and Foad Abd Allah and Ehsan Ghinen didn’t disappoint. The presentation was also clever…a large platter with a demi tasse on its side and some coffee beans spilling out.
CHICKEN BREAST IN PLUM AND COFFEE SAUCE.
1 tbs butter
1/2 pound (250 grams) of chicken breast cut into chunks
salt ad pepper to taste
1 tsp roasted coffee beans
1/2 tsp ground ad roasted coffee beans
3 dried apricots, halved
1 tbs raisins
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup beef stock
1/4 plum juice:
Marinate the dried fruit in the wine for 30 minutes
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat
Add the chicken chunks and fry until golden and cooked through.
Add the ground and powdered coffee
Remove the dried fruit from the marinade and add to the skillet together with the beef stock and plum juice
Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
Delicious and easy. Al-Bishara 609 Nazareth email@example.com
Tishreen Restaurant, Nazareth, Northern Israel