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Recipes from August 26 cooking demo by OCC chefs

occ-chefs.pngChef Julie Selonke, Chef Instructor and Program Coordinator of OCC’s Culinary Studies Institute, introduced Marketgoers to the flavors of Turkish cuisine on August 26. The chef had just returned from a trip to Turkey, where she explored that region’s approach to food, one that builds its flavors with the fresh produce you can find at the Famers Market. Cooking with her was OCC Alumni Chef Hariprasad Dhatchinamoorthy. Here’s what she and her staff cooked and served.


Sivi Tas (Yogurt)

1 heaping Tbsp fresh, live yogurt

2 c full-fat milk

1-2 Tbsp powdered milk (if thick)

In a large, thick pan, bring the milk to a boil. As it bubbles and froths, turn the heat down and leave it to simmer for two to three minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the milk to cool to a temperature that you can put your finger in without discomfort. 

Beat the yogurt in a bowl and strain a little of the milk into it. Beat well and then gradually strain the rest of the milk into the yogurt, beating all the time. Cover the bowl with cling film and wrap in a thick towel. Put in a warm place for at least six hours or overnight.  

Once it has thickened a little, place it in the fridge to rest. For extra thick yogurt, wrap colander with muslin or cheesecloth and pour yogurt into it, in the middle. Gather the muslim and fasten at the top, then suspend over a bowl or sink. Leave to drain for five to six hours or overnight.  Its texture will be similar in texture to cream cheese.


Cacik (Cucumber with Mint Yogurt)

1 English cucumber, cut into small dice or grated

1 cup yogurt

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

Small bunch of mint leaves, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Mix first three ingredients. Stir in the mint and season with salt and pepper. Serve as a salad, cold soup or an accompaniment to kofte (see recipe below).


Patlicanli Pilav (Eggplant Pilaf)

2 long and thin eggplants, peeled in zebra stripes, quartered lengthways and sliced

1/2 c light olive oil (to fry eggplant)

12 oz. long grain rice

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/3 c olive oil

1 tsp sugar 

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 ripe medium tomatoes, diced

1 tsp tomato puree

3c water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 

Soak the eggplant slices in salted water for one hour. Wash the rice in hand sieve, drain well. 

Soften the onion and garlic in olive oil, stir in the sugar, cumin seeds and tomatoes and cook for three to four minutes.

Add the rice and pour in the water. Season with salt and pepper and bring the liquid to the boil for one to two minutes, then simmer gently until almost all the liquid has been absorbed.  

Remove from heat and cover with dish towel and then press the lid down tightly on top. Leave to steam for 15 minutes.

Heat a thick layer of sunflower oil or olive oil in a shallow pan. Drain the eggplant slices, squeeze them dry and fry in the oil until golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper.

Turn the rice mixture onto the service dish. Fluff with fork and toss the eggplant into it. Serve hot or cold.


Kuru Kofte (Picnic Kofte)

1 lb. ground beef, veal or lamb

1 medium onion, cut into small dice

3/4 c. panko breadcrumbs

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

Small bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Sunflower oil or light olive oil for frying

Mix and knead all the ingredients together. Punch the mixture with your knuckles to knock out air. Lift into the air and slap it down into the bowl. Repeat until the smooth surface of the pasty mixture begins to crack. Shape into small ovals or logs and gently flatten.

Heat a thick layer of oil in a shallow pan. Brown the flattened kofte in the oil. Serve hot or cold.