Stuffed vine leaves (MEHSHE UARAC ARISH)

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This recipe accompanied me since I was a child, then in college and now, every time I have the opportunity. It is a meal that accompanied me from my early childhood given the influence of Syrian-Lebanese and Turkish origin that exists in the north of Argentina where the typical roast and empanadas are mixed wisely with the flavors of the near east. For my lands it is known with a slightly gloomy name, but it is a cultural issue: “children involved”. Come and see.
Ingredients for 4 people

  • 225 g of preserved grape leaves , drained.
  • 150 ml of extra virgin olive oil.
  • 150 ml of water.
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar

For the filling

  • 225 g of long grain rice.
  • 40 g of pine nuts.
  • 4 tablespoons chopped onion.
  • 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons dried mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Preparation in 6 steps

  1. Put the vine leaves in a bowl and cover them with boiling water. Let them soak for 20-30 minutes, then let them soak in cold water for 3 minutes and drain them.
  2. Place the rice in a bowl, cover it with hot water, stir it and let it rest for about 5-7 minutes, rinse it under the cold water and drain it.
  3. Mix the rice with the pine nuts, the onion, the parsley, the mint, the cinnamon and the allspice peppering to taste.
  4. Place a vine leaf on a board with the side of the leaf rib facing down. Place a spoonful of filling in the center of the sheet. Fold the stem over the filling, fold the sides over the filling and roll the leaf.
  5. cover the bottom of a pan with the leaves broken or sobantes and place the stuffed on top. Mix the oil with water, lemon juice and sugar, and pour the mixture over the stuffed leaves. Place a plate on top so that they are well closed.
  6. Cover the pan and cook over low heat for 1:30 hs., Remove from the heat and let them cool before serving at room temperature.

Stuffed zucchini

This recipe evokes directly to my childhood. It was my favorite food, and my mother prepared it masterfully with a variant of round zucchini . In Argentina, the huge mass of immigration in turbulent times of the twentieth century has left a great cultural mix and an immense culinary heritage, including Turkish food.

Ingredients for 4-6 people

  • 1kg of zucchini without stem.
  • 2 tomatoes cut into slices.
  • 150 ml of extra virgin olive oil.
  • 300 ml of water.
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Salt to taste.

For the filling

  • 350 g of onion cut into rings.
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, large, chopped.
  • 1 handful of chopped parsley
  • 350 g of tomato without seeds and diced.

Preparation in 4 steps

  1. Wash the zucchini, dry them and let them drain for about 30 minutes so they are tender.
  2. Prepare the filling. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion rings until tender but not browned. Add the garlic and stir 1 more minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add the tomato and parsley. Add salt to taste and stir.
  3. Make a hole in the end of a zucchini and, carefully, remove the pulp trying not to pierce the skin. Fill the zucchini with the onion and tomato mixture.
  4. Place the tomato slices in a large saucepan and place the zucchini on top. Mix the olive oil with 300 ml of water, sugar and a little salt. Cover the saucepan hermetically and let it simmer 1 and 1/2 hour until tender. Serve at room temperature.

Cucumber and yogurt salad

Responding to Jairo’s request from Colombia, I leave the recipe for the cucumber and yogurt salad that I have among my notebooks and kitchen notes. It only differs in some details of the recipe that you have sent me, Jairo. Thank you very much for the inconvenience of sitting down to read the blog.

Ingredients for 6 people

  • 1 large and firm cucumber. Peeling and ginning. Cut into cubes.
  • Salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 450 ml of creamy natural yogurt.
  • White pepper.
  • 3 tablespoons minced mint. A few twigs to decorate.

Preparation in 3 steps

  1. Salt the cucumber cubes and leave them in the drainer for 30 minutes.
  2. Mash the garlic in a mortar with a little salt. Add 2 tablespoons of yogurt, add the resulting mixture to the rest of the yogurt and stir well. Season with pepper. Add the minced mint.
  3. Drain the cucumber and add the yogurt mixture. Keep in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Serve it garnished with sprigs of fresh mint.

Spiced lamb with chickpeas

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The cultural influence of Syria in the north of Argentina has made the lamb and the kid an essential part of the basic diet in those latitudes that gave birth to me. I have eaten lamb for years and I have tried it in a thousand ways and, now that we are in the winter, it seems like a very good decision for the cold days of the beginning of the year. Highly recommended with red wine with the Syrah strain.

Ingredients for 6 people

  • 175 g of chickpeas that can be preserved
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 900 g of lamb shoulder cut into cubes
  • 1 large onion cut into rings
  • 350 g of aubergines cut into cubes
  • 1 teaspoon ground English pepper
  • 450g of peeled and sliced ​​tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 150 ml of natural yogurt
  • Spicy pilaf rice to serve. Although it may be another white rice.

Preparation in 4 steps

  1. If you have canned chickpeas, wash them and reserve them. If they are dry chickpeas, let them soak with water overnight or at least 3 hours and bring them to a boil for 1 hour until they are tender.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the meat cubes until golden brown. Remove them and reserve them.
  3. Add the onion and eggplant to the pan, sautéing them for about 5 minutes until they turn golden. Add the allspice and then add the tomato, garlic and mint. Add the chickpeas and the meat to the saucepan. Add 500 ml of water (or chickpea water) and stir well.
  4. Cook on medium low heat and cook for 30 minutes with the saucepan covered and then 45 minutes more with the saucepan uncovered until the sauce thickens. Add the yogurt and serve immediately with the rice.


Aubergine cream

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And continuing with the starters, and with the aubergines; I leave you a recipe that although it appears in my annotations and in my books as of Turkish origin, I have been able to access information that says that the Lebanese already knew it and ate it centuries before the Ottomans.
Whatever its origin, this sauce is very good to wait for the main dish with the famous “pica, pica”.


Ingredients for 4 people

  • 2 eggplants
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil.
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped.
  • 1 lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pita bread to serve.

Preparation in 3 steps

  1. Wash the aubergines, dry them with absorbent paper and place them on the grill or grill with the maximum temperature until the skin is singed. Peel them under the stream of cold water and press them to remove as much juice as possible.
  2. Grind the aubergines until you get a smooth cream. Little by little, add olive oil, almost all the parsley, garlic, lemon juice and salt and pepper.
  3. Place the cream in a bowl and sprinkle the rest of the parsley on top. Serve with hot pita bread.

Eggplant stuffed with cheese

You can already tell in the first 2 recipes of this blog that eggplant is an important part of the Turkish diet. It is not for less, it is a cheap, delicious vegetable, and if you have a little imagination you can take your dishes to another level. I still remember my mother’s eggplant pizzas and my mouth wanes.

Ingredients (this time for 8 people)

  • 2 large aubergines
  • salt to taste
  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil to season and a little more to fry.
  • 225 g of cream cheese or shredded provolone
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 120 g of fine bread crumbs
  • 1 sprig of parsley to decorate

Preparation in 5 steps

  1. Split the aubergine along and then split each half into 3 rectangles. Put them in a colander, salt them and let them drain for 30 minutes. Rinse them with cold water and dry them with absorbent paper.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the pieces of aubergines in batches, until they are lightly browned, adding a little oil if necessary. Remove them from the heat and let them drain on absorbent paper.
  3. Beat the cream cheese with a fork. Beat 2 eggs aside and add them to the cheese, along with the parsley. Mix everything well and then spread half the slices with this mixture. cover with the other half (as if it were a sandwich) and press lightly.
  4. Beat the remaining egg on a plate, on the other hand put the bread crumbs on a plate. Sprinkle the eggplant in the egg and then in the bread.
  5. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the aubergines in batches until they are golden brown. Remove them, let them drain and serve them decorated with a sprig of parsley.

Lamb cubes with yogurt

I have not tried this recipe for several months now. If I remember correctly, it was last winter in a small family reunion very close to the snow. Now that I look through my cookbooks and have found it, I decide to share it and point it out among the culinary objectives of the next 2 weeks.

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 450 g of lean lamb meat and cut into cubes of approximately 2.5 cm
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon more for tomato sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 slices of bread without crust
  • 4 peeled and chopped tomatoes
  • 300 ml of yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika

Preparation in 3 steps

  1. Heat the olive oil with 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan over low heat and fry the meat cubes until tender. Season them to taste.
  2. Melt the butter in a bowl over medium-low heat and sauté the tomato until tender. Salt and pepper to taste. Beat the yogurt until it is soft and season it to your liking. Lightly toast the bread on both sides and cut them into 2.5 cm squares and place them in a dish. Melt the remaining butter and mix it with the paprika.
  3. To serve, spread the tomato over the bread and add the yogurt on top, then place the meat cubes and sprinkle with butter and paprika. Serve immediately.


Chicken croquettes

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Although the origin of croquettes is associated with France, I think it is a universal and timeless food that will survive the passage of time as an international culinary heritage. Despite all this, my Ottoman friend Ahmed has insisted on the Turkish origin of the croquettes, and even with some rickety arguments poured by Ahmed in favor of the origin of this entrant, I decide to pay him a small tribute with this post on the blog.

Ingredients for 4-6 people

  • 2 large slices of white bread without crust.
  • Milk to soak.
  • 2 chicken breasts medium, cooked, without skin.
  • 1 large beaten egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Half teaspoon of turmeric.
  • Flour to flour.
  • Frying oil
  • Juice of half a lemon

Preparation in 3 steps

  1. In a bowl, cover the slices of bread with milk. Let them soak for 5 minutes. Then squeeze them and demolish them.
  2. Grind the chicken breasts in a food processor. In a bowl, mix the breasts with the bread and the beaten egg and season with salt, pepper and turmeric. Knead the mixture and roast small croquettes 1 cm in diameter. Pass them through flour.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the croquettes in batches until golden brown. Serve hot or cold, sprinkled with lemon juice.


Lamb dumplings with yoghurt sauce

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In the case of today you can see that the recipe offers the possibility of making dough for the empanadillas, although I have taken the option of buying tapas from supermarket empanadas that save time. In any case, it is more romantic to do the whole ritual. For those who prefer it, you could use wholemeal flour that provides biologically better energy.

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 250 ml chicken broth
  • 500 ml thick yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried mint
  • Fresh mint leaves for garnish

For the mass

  • 300 g flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg beaten with cold water until it reaches 125 ml

For filling

  • 200 g of minced lamb meat
  • 1 small grated onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation in 7 steps

  1. To prepare the dough, place the flour and salt in a bowl, add the egg and mix to form a consistent dough. Love it until it has a homogeneous consistency. Now cover it with a cloth and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  2. If you have decided to buy the dough made, take those 30 minutes to watch the next video.
  3. Start preparing the filling. In a bowl, mix the meat, the grated onion, and the parsley. Spice and mix everything.
  4. Spread the very thin dough on a floured surface, cut it into squares about 5cm on each side and cover them with a damp kitchen towel.
  5. Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of each box. Moisten the edges with a little water and seal them in a triangle shape. Press the edges well so that they are well closed.
  6. In a saucepan with boiling water, place the empanadillas and let them cook for 5 minutes and remove them.
  7. In another saucepan, bring the broth to a boil and cook the empanadillas again for 5 more minutes. Mix the garlic and mint with the yogurt, put it in the saucepan and heat it without letting it boil. Serve the dish garnished with mint leaves.