tisdag 28 juni 2011

Third Week: INTUITION - Workshop with Evren Uzer

Making Meze and talking.
Three forms of eggplant and one dish from the Ottoman royal court.

I asked Evren to come and cook with us, and at the same time giving a “lecture” or rather a talk about different social experiments concerning food and social behaviour, alternative ways of living and such. The workshop, talking and cooking went by perfectly. 


Four eggplant dishes from commoners kitchens.

Patlican salatasi (Turkey) / Moutabal (Lebanon)
1 large eggplant, pricked all over with a fork
1 garlic cloves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini
for garnish: olive oil, chopped parsley, red pepper flakes, pomegranate seeds, etc.

Preheat a grill or preheat the oven to 250 C and roast the eggplant for 40-45 minutes, until the skins are black and the flesh is soft and collapsed.
Meanwhile, smash the garlic with the salt in a mortar and pestle until paste-like. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and tahini until thick and lighter in color. Add the garlic paste.
When the roast eggplants are cool enough to handle, split them in half and scoop out the soft flesh. Puree the eggplant flesh in a food processor until smooth.
Add the eggplant puree to the garlic/tahini mixture. Taste for seasoning. Allow to rest until cool.
To serve, spread in a platter and drizzle with olive oil and any of your desired toppings.

Meltizanosalata (Greece)
1 large eggplant
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons of wine vinegar
3 cloves of garlic, minced
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

Pierce the eggplant with a fork and char on the grill, or over an open flame (alternatively, broil for 10-15 minutes) until the eggplant turns black and is very soft. Set to cool and drain on a rack with paper towels underneath.
As soon as it can be handled, peel by hand (the skin will come off easily), and transfer to a bowl. Chop the pulp into small pieces with a knife, and mash with a fork. With a wooden spoon, stir in oil and vinegar slowly, alternating between them, until well blended. Stir in garlic, salt, and pepper.

Kyopolou (Bulgaria)
1 aubergines
1 red bell peppers
1 green bell pepper
1 medium sized tomatoe
2 cloves garlic,
fresh parsley
1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
olive oil

Bake the aubergines, tomatoes and peppers in the oven for about 40 minutes at 220C until the skins are pretty burned / Peel their skin and cut into small pieces.
add the crushed garlic./ Mix well and add the olive oil and vinegar, and salt to taste
serve cold and sprinkle some parsley on top

g:aubergine (Goteborg)
localize your eggplant salad with Goteborg ingredients!

1 eggplant

An example from Ottoman Court Food

This dish is a classical period Ottoman Court Food from 15th -16th Century. Risoni is a replacement from a similar rice product.

30 grs + 30 grs butter
150 gr non salted almonds
1 kg chicken
10 sun dried apricots, julienne cut
(or 15 fresh apricots)
3 tablespoons of razaki grape (replaced w 1 ts raisins)
2 tablespoons of honey
2 cups of risoni

optional**: 1/2 teaspoon of powdered cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Split the chicken into four pieces and cover with water, sprinkle salt and start to boil.
Put the almonds in hot water for 15 min, then peel of the skin and split into half.
Put apricots in lukewarm water (if you use fresh ones you don't need to) then cut in julienne.
When the chicken is boiled, take the boiling water out (keep on the side for using later) and separate the bones of the chicken and pull the chicken into shreds.
Put for cups of chicken's boiling water in a pot add, honey, grape, raisins, almonds and apricots and heat to boil. (optional: take a cup of this sweet mixture to add to the chicken pan later)
At a medium size pan, heat the butter and sautee risoni.
When sauteed, add risoni to the pot together with some salt, cook until it boils down.
After it boils down let the risoni pilav rest for 15 min.
Place the chicken pieces on top of the pilav.

My addition: sautee the chicken pieces in a piece of butter and the sweet mixture you have spared earlier from honey, apricot, almond and raisin mixture.

*It is possible to access some other versions of this recipe but I used the one that is closest to the original which is from the book by Marianna Yerasimos where she took from Sirvani (Marianna Yerasimos, (2007) 500 Years of Ottoman Cuisine, Boyut Publishing: Istanbul, p:93)

** these ingredients were common at some of the other versions, which doesn't seem to out of place. Use your intuitions and feel free to experiment with these and more!

Evren Uzer

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