The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

International Shopping Bloopers and Voting
Plus our Turkish Side Dish and Appetizer

So today we would like to present to you  the dishes that went along with our
 Islim Kebabi main dish... Plus share with you a bit of fun as far as bloopers go :)
As far as how we chose the particular dishes, well we just researched 
and then more research. Once we had a good idea of the authentic flavors
and dishes we played a bit with recipes. So first...
Let us present the full menu and add recipes to  the two remaining dishes.
Then on to the bloopers and voting information.
You can see the Main Dish entry here...Project Food Blog~Challenge #2
So I am sure you are all aware by now that the Project Food Blog challenge #2 was to prepare a Classic International dish that we were unfamiliar with and that was outside of our comfort zone as well as  prepare the dish as close to classic as possible... So we choice Turkish Cuisine as no team member had any familiarity.

The Menu
Main Dish~ Islim Kebabi
Side Dish~ Fig Compote with Clotted Cream
Appetizer~ Mercimekli Kofte with Pomegranate Molasses

The above photos represent our side dish A Fig Compote with Clotted Cream.
And the appetizer choice of Mercimekli with Pomegranate Molasses.

What you will need:
For the Mercimekli
2 cups lentils, traditionally red
(we used black)
1 cup bulgur, very fine
5 scallions, chopped
1 small bunch parsley, chopped
2-3 teaspoons red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons cumin, ground
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Pomegranate Molasses
2 cups pomegranate juice
1/4 cup raw sugar
4-5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Let's get cooking:
For the Mercimekli Kofte
Add lentils to boiling water and cook until very soft.
 *Unless you can find very finely ground bulgur, you may need to grind it a bit.
To grind your bulgur use a food processor or a spice grinder.
Once your lentils are soft, remove from heat source and add bulgur.
Let stand covered for about 20 minutes
Drain the lentil/bulgur and place in a large mixing bowl.
Add remaining ingredients and mix until completely incorporated,
 and ingredients molds together easily.

To shape:
Take a small amount, maybe 2 tablespoons of mixture and mold in you hand to a cylindrical shape.
Then hold between two fingers and mold until you have achieved a cylinder with flattened edges.
Serve immediately and do not refrigerate these for later use...

For the Pomegranate Molasses
In a sauté or reduction pan add juices and sugar, cook over a high heat, until sugar has melted.
Reduce the heat to a medium high and continue to boil until the sauce coats the back of your spoon.

To plate:
Place each kofte on a mini bed of lettuce, drizzle pomegranate molasses...and serve :)

What you will need:

For the compote
2 pounds fresh figs
1/3rd cup raw sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste,or extract
A pinch of ground cinnamon and ground clove

For the clotted cream
1 pint raw milk, unpasteurized
Double boiler
* Note: Make this a day ahead before you plan to serve

Let's get cooking:
For the compote
Cut figs into quarters and place in a baking dish.
Add remaining ingredients then bake covered in an oven at 350 degrees for about 1 hour.

For the clotted cream

Bring water to a low boil in mane pot, place smaller pot atop.
Add milk and simmer until reduced by at least half.
*Note: you will begin to see a crust, allow this to form.
Once reduced to about half and your crust is golden.
Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 2 hours, 
then transfer to a container.
Chill in refrigerator for at least 12 hours...

OK, now on to the bloopers...
International shopping, for ingredients that is...

Magic of Spice did the shopping so we will recount  the fun stuff.
First off, lets just say that having the vegetarian meat shop ~ Not the best idea.
So all ingredients are brought back to The Ardent Epicure kitchen.
There is a lot of prep going on and then suddenly-the roast???
Wait this is a pork roast...They don't eat pork in Turkey do they???
OK, for a moment imagine the faces of the judges or worse the unknowing google searcher that happens upon this dish and tries to re-create unknowingly to impress a friend from Turkey..An  Islim Kebabi with pork :(  NO....This however was discovered prior to creation of the dish...To much research can be a bad thing, I mean something gets stuck in your head (backward or not) and that is all there is. As pork is the one meat that is not eaten in Turkish cuisine...That is what was stuck...Pork...Secondly the eggplant...Well we want organic, fresh and photogenic if possible.  So the lovely vibrantly colored eggplants were a winner and added to the menu plan. Only one little problem, see they were the round sort versus the long. This dish required long thinner eggplants . Oh well nothing went to waste, the veggie wanted some eggplant too :)  So do we think that contests make her a bit nervous? :) 

Turkish Cuisine


Voting is open for challenge #2 

See our entry here 
If you are not registered with Foodbuzz, you can sign up here to vote...

Thank you, The Ardent Epicure team~
Adam, Grely and Alisha

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