Sigara Böreği – Turkish Cigar-Shaped Pastry

sigara boregi (1280x971)

Sigara Böreği is a Turkish cigar-shaped pastry made with feta cheese and a kind of phyllo pastry called yufka. They are traditionally made from Turkish feta cheese which is a lot creamier than Danish or Bulgarian feta. Although there are some rumours about some discovery around baking them, they are almost in every case deep-fried. My people have these boreks with Turkish tea but I prefer to have them with fresh salad instead.

Ingredients:
1 pack yufka (the one that is prepared for this purpose)
½ bunch continental parsley
1 pack vegan cheese, crumbled
Water for sealing the boreks
Salt
Pepper
Oil for frying

Method:
• In a bowl, mix together the vegan cheese, chopped parsley, salt and pepper.
• Spread the yufka triangles on a clean surface –I use the biggest chopping board I have.
• Place about 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture at the base and fold both sides over the mixture and roll up towards the narrow end. Seal by brushing the end with water. Repeat with remaining yufka and cheese mixture.
• Fry your boreks in oil for 2-4 minutes or until golden brown. They float a little; just make sure you turn them around every now and then so that each side is browned equally. Remove from the oil. Drain on paper towel and serve immediately.

Lemon and Caper Sauce

viana cowgirl veggie steaks with lemon caper sauce (1280x850)

Lemon and Caper Sauce

Ingredients:
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp light olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp baby capers, drained and rinsed
Juice of ½ lemon
Freshly ground black pepper

Method:
• Heat the light olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add lemon zest, baby capers, vinegar and lemon juice. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
• Remove from the heat when the sauce thickens and use immediately.

Red Lentil Kofta Wraps

I must admit, my red lentil koftas -that I posted yesterday- have been a huge hit. As I can see from the statistics, many people shared it on Facebook. Now this is something else you can make with the koftas.

There was a time when we had this raw-mince koftas in Turkey. Originated from the Eastern part of the country and one and only dish that men make! I remember watching this scene from the parliment on telly; PMs kneading and testing those koftas during office hours -as if they had all the time in the world to waste- by throwing them to the ceiling. Well, it the piece sticks to the ceiling, koftas are ready. If not, carry on kneading. And they did until it was perfect. At the end of the day, it is other people’s money and resources they are wasting. I personally never had any of that uncooked koftas even during my meat-eating days. Last time I was in Turkey, I found out that those raw koftas are banned -I am guessing they caused quite a few parasite infestation in people?

Now they sell the good old red lentil koftas instead. A friend of mine brought a whole pack of them one night to share with other friends. It is because they are still called raw-mince koftas, I was quite sceptic as you can imagine. After their innocence was proven, I decided to have a go. In a pack, you get the koftas, plain wraps, shredded lettuce, sliced onions and lemon wedges. That night, I watched everyone first to learn how to put it alltogether and now I’ll share my experience with you.

Lentil Wraps (1280x960)

To make these delicious wraps you will need:
Red lentil koftas (you know where to find the recipe)
Shredded lettuce
Sliced onion
Lemon wedges
Olive oil
Wraps (I used organic rye wraps that I picked up from Taste Organics)

Take one piece of rye wrap or any other wrap of your choice and place the lentil koftas -3 koftas per sheet- and mash the koftas with fork. Spread the koftas in the middle of each wrap, leaving a 2cm border on the sides and bottom. Add the salad ingredients, drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Now you’re not ready to rock but certainly ready to roll. Fold the bottom and the top ends of the wrap up and over the filling and start rolling from the other end -the unfolded end. Once rolled, cut in half and serve!

Turkish Red Lentil Koftas (Mercimek Köftesi)

IMG_0490-P (1280x902)

Ingredients:
1 cup whole red lentils
½ cup bulgur (fine variety)
1 large onion, chopped finely
2 tbsp concentrated tomato paste
Handful continental parsley, chopped finely
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika or chilli flakes if you prefer
Salt and pepper

Method:
• Pick through the lentil to remove any rocks and wash and drain them.
• Add the lentils and 2 cups of water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling, turn the heat down. Skim the white foamy bit with a slotted spoon. Rinse the spoon every now and then and continue skimming the foam until there is no foam is formed by the cooking process. Drain and return to the same saucepan. Add the bulgur and stir well. Place the lid and let the mixture steep until the bulgur is fluffy.
• Heat the oil in another pan and fry onions until they are thoroughly cooked. Add the tomato paste, cumin, sweet paprika, salt and pepper. Stir well.
• Combine the fried onion mixture with the lentil and bulgur. Add finely chopped parsley and knead the mixture until smooth when hot.
• Shape them up like koftas and serve.

Note: I strongly recommend you use plastic gloves while kneading the mixture as well as shaping the koftas.

Serving Suggestions: These koftas are usually served with lettuce leaves and onion salad.

Tofutti Jumbo Ravioli with Smoky Tomato Sauce

Tofutti Ravioli (1280x982)

Tofutti Jumbo Ravioli with Smoky Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:
1 pack Tofutti Jumbo ravioli

For Smoky Tomato Sauce:
1 tin (400 gr) diced Italian tomatoes
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp chopped continental parsley
Salt and pepper

Method:

  • Heat the oil in a saucepan.
  • Empty the contents of tin of tomatoes, add onion powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
  • Cook until it is sauce-like then turn off the heat. Add half the parsley.
  • Top the ravioli with the sauce and sprinkle with vegan parmesan and rest of the parsley and serve.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the ravioli one at a time and stir each time you add another ravioli. After the ravioli surface, boil for another 8-10 minutes. Drain and arange on the plates. Top up with smoky tomato sauce and vegan cheese and serve.

Tofutti Dairy Free Jumbo Ravioli

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We already have fantastic products from Tofutti. Now there is a new product in the market and it is available in Australia: Tofutti Jumbo Ravioli. This is a life saver product or more accurately a meal saver. There are 12 … Continue reading

Avocado Spread with Chives

Bountyfull Avocado Spread (1280x960)

I have been planning on using avocados with Parmazano as a spread here and there instead of butter, margarine or mayonnaise. So I managed to fulfill all of that in one go the other day and had a fantastic lunch as a result.

Ingredients:
1 large ripe avocado, halved and stoned
Juice of ½ lemon, freshly squeezed
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp Parmazano or onion powder
1 tbsp snipped chives
Salt and pepper

Method:

  • Mash the avocado with a fork in their skin and transfer into a bowl. Pour over the lemon juice.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and stir well -if you are using Parmazano I recommend you take right amount out on a plate and break the lumps first and then use it.
  • Smear the buns with Avocado Spread with Chives. Place and Bounty Burgers on top and further top it all up with a slice of tomato, lettuce or even wild rocket (aragula) like I did.

Note: Avocado Spread with Chives can also be served as a dip and is great with crackers.

Bounty Burgers (1280x960)

And enjoy!