Turkish Delight, Kofta Kebabs and Bazlama

Its now been 5 weeks of sheltering in place. On many counts, it feels like its been a lot longer than that yet, it also feels like we just visited Nepal and made momos but that was last week’s culinary adventure.

Those of you now regularly following along know the drill, but to those of you new to the blog, let me give you some quick background. Our family loves to travel but due to the shelter in place that is not a possibility. We also love food. Since during the week, we are working full time and entertaining our almost 5 year old, who like all kids in the US is out of school, I decided that it would be fun to select a country to virtually visit each Sunday. We locate the country on the world map, see how far it is from San Francisco, learn a bit about the country, check out the country’s flag and then make a food from that country for dinner.

For this week’s destination we traveled to Turkey. Istanbul Turkey is one of my favorite cities in the world that I have visited to date. My husband and I traveled there years ago before we were married. The sights, smells and sounds are incredible. It is a festival for the senses and a fascinating mix of Asian and European cultures. The people a very friendly and the food is absolutely delicious.

For our Turkish adventure we decided to made Kofta Kebabs and Bazlama which is Turkish flatbread while listening to Turkish music which is lively and has a nice beat.

Kofta kebabs are made of ground beef and infused with Middle Eastern spices. You take one yellow onion, chop it finely along with 2 cloves of garlic. Add 1 pound of ground beef and then, 1/2 tablespoon of nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin and paprika, salt and pepper and 1 cup of parsley (fresh is best but dried will do) and 2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh mint. Mix very well with your hands. Then take skewers coat with oil and slide the meat onto them in and pull down till about 1 inch thick. Place the kebabs onto a silpat or parchment on a baking sheet cover with plastic and place in the fridge till you are ready to cook.

To make the Bazlama take 1 and 1/8th teaspoon of yeast place in 3/4 of a cup of warm water add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, stir together and let sit 10 minutes until it bubbles and the yeast becomes active. Once the yeast is active, whisk in 1 Tablespoon oil oil, 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt, 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 a Tablespoon of salt, add 2 cups of flour and 1/8 a cup of parsley and mix with your hands until the mixture comes together as a dough. Then put onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is springy and no longer sticky (about 5-10 minutes depending on whether you or your child is doing the kneading). You may need to keep adding flour to get the dough the correct consistency ie springy and not sticky. At that point divide it into 6 even sized pieces, roll each one into a ball and let sit under a towel for at least 15 minutes

Roll out each ball into a 7 inch round place some olive oil on the flattened dough and place the olive oil side down in a 9 inch pan and cook 1-1.5 minutes until bubbles appear on the top of the dough and the edges are golden brown, spread oil on the top, flip over and cook another 1-1.5 minutes repeat until all the flat breads are cooked and then stack on a plate and cover with a towel to keep them warm.

Finally, place kebabs on an oiled grill and cook 5 minutes on each side. Also slice some onions and tomatoes, sprinkle with olive oil and salt and place those on the grill to cook while the meat cooks.

Remove the kebabs from the skewers, place in the flat bread with the tomatoes and onions add some hummus or yogurt sauce and enjoy a delicious Turkish meal

Afiyet Olsun!

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