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Hot Served Mezes


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The meze accompanying the rakı ritual can be described as delicious hors-d’oeuvres in small portions. Snacks or bite-size delicacies from cuisines from around the world may be prepared to go with rakı. But the most important ‘meze’ for rakı is good conversation; it is as important as the harmony between the rakı and food.

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Hot Served Mezes

  1. 1. Funda İnansal hot served mezzes 02
  2. 2. 01 SOĞANLI ÇITIR BÖREK – FLAKY PASTRIES WITH ONION AND PARSLEY Serves 6-8 1 packet of filo pastry 100 g /3 ½ oz melted butter 2 tbsp sunflower oil For the filling: 1 kg onions ½ bunch parsley Salt & pepper Flaked red pepper To glaze: 1 egg yolk Sesame or nigella seeds Pre-heat oven to 180°C / 350°F. Peel the onions and chop them in the food processor, being careful not to totally pulverise them. Melt the butter in a pan and gently sauté the onions until soft. Season with the salt, pepper and flaked red pepper and mix. Remove from hea, add the chopped parsley and leave to cool. Take the first sheet of filo and brush with the butter and sunflower oil mixture and lay over another sheet. Repeat 3 or 4 times. Spread the cooled onion mix all the way to the edges and then roll evenly into a long shape. Continue in the same way with the other sheets of filo. Cut into pieces roughly 3 fingers wide. Grease an oven tray or line it with parchment. Place the börek on it and brush with the beaten egg yolk, then sprinkle with the sesame or nigella seeds. Bake until nicely browned
  3. 3. 02 STUFFED MACKEREL (Serves 3) Ingredients: 1 whole mackerel, 250-300 g Filling: 1 onion cut into half rings 1 teaspoon pine nuts 1 teaspoon currants 1/3 cup boiling water 1/4 teaspoon allspice 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 5 cardamom pods, shelled and ground 3 cloves, ground 1/4 teaspoon salt Heaped 1/4 teaspoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 5 sprigs parsley, coarsely chopped 4 springs mint, coarsely chopped 6 sprigs dill, coarsely chopped Coating: 1 egg, beaten 1 tablespoon flour 1 cup breadcrumbs 200 ml olive oil, for frying
  4. 4. 03 Salad: 1 pickled beetroot Juice and zest of 1 orange 2 teaspoons sugar 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 lemon 3 leaves of red leaf lettuce 1 teaspoon pickled capers 1 sprig parsley, coarsely chopped 1 spring mint, coarsely chopped 1 sprig dill, coarsely chopped Remove bones and flesh: Cut the gills from the mackerel with scissors, and remove, taking care not to cut the skin. Break the spine cleanly at the tail. Remove the internal organs from the opening at the head with a pair of pliers or fish
  5. 5. tweezer, and wash the fish well. Place fish on a cutting board and knead, working from the tail upward, until the meat separates from the bones, taking extreme care not to tear or puncture the skin. Then break the spine at the head, and with the help of the pliers, gradually pull the spine out of the fish. After removing it, use a teaspoon to remove all the flesh from the fish, once again taking care not to damage the skin, and place on a plate. Check the flesh for small bones and remove them. Prepare the filling: Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan, add the pine nuts and sauté until lightly golden, then add the onions. After one minute, add the deboned flesh and season with spices and salt and pepper. Add the hot water and cook for 3 minutes, then take off the heat to cool, before adding the remaining chopped herbs. Fry and bake: Stuff the fish with the filling, then cover the outside of the fish first in flour and then beaten egg and finally roll it in the breadcrumbs. Fry and bake the fish: Put the olive oil in a pan and fry the fish until golden. Drain and place on a baking tray and bake at 200°C for five minutes. Prepare the beetroot and orange dressing: Blend the beetroot, juice and olive oil until it forms a smooth purée, for around 3 minutes. Then add lemon juice to taste. Grate the orange and add the zest to a pan with the sugar. Constantly stir over the heat until it caramelises slightly, then add the juice from the orange and allow to simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and place in a blender with 1/3 cup olive oil. Blend for 3 minutes until smooth, then pour into a bowl. Serve with green salad and the beetroot and orange dressing. 04
  6. 6. 05 FALAFEL (Makes 24) Ingredients: • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked for 8 hours or overnight • 2 tbsp. fine chickpea flour • 1 medium onion, finely chopped • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley leaves • 3 tbsp. finely chopped coriander leaves • 2 tsp. salt • 1½ tsp. ground cumin • 1 tsp. ground coriander • 1 tsp. baking powder • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  7. 7. 06 • Pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste • Pinch turmeric, or more to taste (optional) • ¼ tsp. cardamom seeds (optional) • Vegetable oil Drain the chickpeas, place in food processor, and blend until the chickpeas are the texture of cornmeal. Transfer the ground chickpeas to a large bowl. Add the bulgur, onions, garlic, baking powder, herbs and spices. Mix well, then stir in 2 tbsp. water. Cover and set aside for 30-60 minutes. Pour oil into a medium pot to a depth of 2” and heat over a medium heat until it reaches 350°F. Meanwhile, with wet hands, shape the chickpea mixture into 24 1 ½ inch balls. Working in batches, fry the falafel until golden brown, for 3-4 minutes. Transfer using a slotted spoon onto paper towels to drain. Serve hot. These deep-fried balls of ground chickpeas or broad beans are pretty versatile, enjoyed in pittas, wrapped up in flatbread, on top of a punchy salad or as a mezze dish in itself. Drizzle on some nutty tahini sauce to make it even more authentic.
  8. 8. 07 LEEK CROQUETTES Ingredients: • 1 kg leeks • 400 g ground lamb • 6 eggs • 150 g breadcrumbs • Salt • Black pepper • Flour • Frying oil
  9. 9. 08 Clean the leeks, chop them into 5 cm pieces, and slice them lengthways into 6 pieces, then boil them in water until soft. Drain. Add 4 eggs, the mince, breadcrumbs, salt and black pepper to the boiled leeks, knead and shape into patties, and leave them to rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Dip the patties first in the flour and then in the whisked egg, and deep fry them. Serve with spicy garlic yoghurt on the side.
  10. 10. 09 SARDINES IN VINE LEAVES Ingredients: • 500 g of fresh sardines, deboned but with head and tail attached • 100 g onions, finely sliced • 1 lemon, sliced into wedges • 1 tomato, peeled and finely sliced • Parsley, leaves only • 200 g vine leaves, soaked overnight to remove salt • Salt • Freshly ground black pepper • 50 g butter • 50 g olive oil Remove the stem of a vine leaf, and spread the leaf on the counter, smooth side down. Put a thin slice of onion, tomato, lemon, butter and parsley leaf into a deboned sardine, and roll it up in the vine leaf. Wrap all sardines in the same way and grill them for 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately.
  11. 11. 10 FISH FRITTERS Ingredients: • 1 grey mullet or whiting • 300 g shrimps (peeled, deveined) • 250 g grated kashar/kasseri cheese • 3 garlic cloves, crushed • 1 tsp (just the tip) ginger powder • 1 tsp (just the tip) chilli flakes • 5-6 fresh basil leaves, chopped • Egg • Breadcrumbs • Salt and pepper • Olive oil for frying • 500 g walnut sauce (tarator) Roll the fish until thin. Marinate in salt, pepper, ginger, chilli flakes and a little bit of garlic. Add a shrimp and grated cheese to the marinated sea bass and wrap, use a toothpick to hold the wrap. Dip the wrapped fish first in flour, then egg and finally breadcrumbs. Fry the wraps in Riviera olive oil over a medium heat, and serve with walnut sauce on the side.
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  13. 13. 12 OCTOPUS CROQUETTES Ingredients: • 1 medium octopus, boiled • ½ bunch parsley, finely chopped • ½ bunch dill, finely chopped • 5 spring onions, finely chopped • 2 garlic cloves • 3 bay leaves, finely chopped • Salt and pepper • 200 g extra virgin olive oil • 100 g apple cider vinegar • 250 g grated cheddar • 100 g stale breadcrumbs • 1 egg Finely slice the octopus, mix with the other ingredients and knead them together. Shape them into thin rectangles (like İnegöl patties) and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours. Fry the patties in Riviera olive oil and serve with tartare sauce on the side.
  14. 14. 13 FRIEND SQUASH WITH CHEESE Ingredients: • 100 g olive oil • 2 garlic cloves, crushed • 200 g onions, finely julienned • 400 g tomatoes, julienned • 5 g granulated sugar • Salt • 1-2 bunches dill, finely chopped • 100 g grated Mihaliç cheese or hard farmer’s cheese • 100 g grated curd cheese • 100 g grated kaşar • 2 eggs • 20 g flour • 1 egg yolk • 1 kg squash
  15. 15. 14 Fry the onion, garlic and sugar in olive oil over a medium heat until caramelised. Remove the mixture from the heat and leave it to cool. Add all the remaining ingredients into the cooled mixture except the squash. Cut the squashes in half lengthwise and remove the core part with a scoop without going too deep. Boil the squashes in salted water for 1 minute and transfer them into iced water. Fill squash with cheese mixture and bake for 3-4 minutes in a preheated oven (240°C), or broil on the lowest rack until the cheese melts and the filling is hot. PAN-FRIED LIVER Ingredients: • 6-7 slices of sliced veal liver, nerves and veins removed • 1 dstspn (2 tsp) flour • 1 tsp ground red pepper • A pinch of pepper flakes • Freshly ground black pepper • Dried thyme • Chopped parsley
  16. 16. 15 For the onion salad • 1 red onion • 1/3 bunch parsley leaves • Finely chopped Cayenne pepper • Isot pepper • Sumac Lightly dip the cleaned and sliced livers in flour and quickly fry them in hot oil, then add ground pepper, pepper flakes and thyme. Add a spoon of raw butter and stir for 30 seconds, then serve on a platter. In another pan, stir the chopped onions and other ingredients without overcooking the onions, then place them next to the livers and serve.
  17. 17. HASH BROWN FRITTATA (spinach, potato and cheese fritters) Ingredients: • 1 large potato, boiled • 250 g boiled spinach • 1 cup grated mature cheese • 4 spring onions, finely sliced • 1 bunch of fresh mint, minced • 4 garlic cloves • 4 eggs • 1 tsp baking powder • 1 small cup of sodium bicarbonate • 2-3 tbsp flour • Vegetable oil for frying • Yoghurt on the side 16
  18. 18. Grate the boiled potatoes and roughly chop the spinach. Carefully mix all the ingredients. If it’s too thick, dilute with a little bit of water. Put three fingers’ depth of vegetable oil into a pan and heat it over a medium heat. Take a spoonful of the potato fritter you have prepared and drop it into the hot oil. Continue until the pan is full. Fry your fritters over a medium-high heat without letting them absorb the oil, then put them onto paper towels. Serve with yoghurt. 17
  19. 19. 18 FRIED HALLOUMI AND COURGETTES ON SKEWERS Ingredients: • 4 slices of halloumi (original from Cyprus) • 1 courgette • 1 garlic clove, crushed • 2 fresh basil leaves, chopped • 1 tbsp olive oil • Salt and pepper
  20. 20. 19 If the halloumi is too salty, soak it in warm water for 30 minutes. Slice the squashes into rings, the slices must be as thick as the halloumi. Marinate the squash with all the other ingredients. Put the halloumi and squash pieces on 2 skewers, alternating halloumi and squash. There must be 3 squash pieces and 3 halloumi pieces on one skewer. Trim the squashes and halloumi to make them equal sized cubes. Heat some olive oil in a non-stick frying pan, fry the halloumi and squash pieces on a low heat, turning regularly. Serve warm. STUFFED CALAMARI Ingredients: • 6 medium calamari • 250 g onions (chopped) • Tentacles from the calamari • Fresh herbs (parsley, spring onions, dill, fennel), approx. ¼ bunch each • 200 g rice • Olive oil, salt, pepper, allspice, granulated sugar
  21. 21. Clean the calamari, remove the thin top skin and the pen inside. Separate the tentacles and remove the protrusions in between. Fry the finely sliced tentacles of the cleaned white calamari in a pan without adding extra water or salt, and wait until the tentacles absorb their own water. Add the onion and fry in 60 g of olive oil. Add the rice and a teaspoon of each spice, as well as 300 g of water. Salt to taste and add the chopped greens. Then, through the open end of the calamari, stuff it half full with this filling, because the calamari shrinks when cooked. Close and fix with a toothpick and put the calamari in a pan. Drizzle some olive oil, add 1 tsp granulated sugar and 2 cups of water. Cook over a low heat. If a fork or skewer easily goes through the calamari, then it is cooked. You can serve it in its own juices with lemon without opening it. Or, you can serve it hot after frying in garlic butter for a short while. 20
  22. 22. PAÇANGA BÖREĞİ – FRIED TAVERN PASTRY Ingredients: • 2 lots fresh filo pastry divided into 6 equal parts • 50 g vegetable oil • 100 g yoghurt • 1 egg • 30 g butter • 2 long green peppers, julienned • 200 g pastrami, coating removed, roughly chopped • 200 g kaşar cheese • 200 g tomatoes • 1 bunch parsley leaves For breading • 1 egg • 100 g flour • 200 g light-coloured breadcrumbs Mix 50 g vegetable oil, yoghurt and egg in a bowl. Melt the butter in a pan, add the peppers, stir for 30 seconds, add the sliced pastrami and cook for a further 1 minute. Brush the yoghurt mixture onto the triangular shaped filo pastry. Put the pastrami filling, grated cheddar, parsley leaves and sliced tomato on top and roll up like a spring roll. 21
  23. 23. 22 Dip in flour, then in egg, and lastly in breadcrumbs for breading. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Fry in hot oil and serve.
  24. 24. 23 BRAISED MONKFISH (ANGLER FISH) CASSEROLE Ingredients: • 1 600-700 gr piece of monkfish, cleaned and cubed • 100 g extra virgin olive oil • 10 g flour • 50 g butter • 4 garlic cloves, sliced • 1 small onion, sliced • 100 g mushrooms • 2 sweet long green peppers, cleaned and cut into largish pieces • 1 tomato, peeled and cubed • 1 bay leaf • 10 g capers • Dried thyme • Salt • Ground black pepper • Chilli pepper flakes, if desired
  25. 25. Heat the olive oil in a pan. Sprinkle a spoonful of flour onto the cleaned and chopped fish, sear in very hot oil for about 30 seconds and remove from the heat. Melt the butter in another pan; add the onion and garlic, cook for 1-2 minutes, add the mushrooms and green peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the bay leaf, capers and tomato, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the cooked monkfish and the remaining ingredients, cook for another 1-2 minutes until their flavours have melded, stir carefully and serve in hot casserole dishes. 24
  26. 26. SARAY BÖREĞİ (PALACE BÖREK) Ingredients: • 50 g vegetable oil • 100 g butter • 250 g onions, sliced • 2 eggs • Salt • Granulated sugar • A pinch of ground cinnamon • Chopped parsley • ¼ fresh filo pastry 25
  27. 27. Heat the oil in a pan, add the salt and sugar and cook until the onion is caramelised, first over a medium heat, and then over a low heat. Beat the egg in a bowl with a fork, and add to the onion. Stir the mixture until the egg is cooked. Add the ground cinnamon and leave to cool. Then stir in the chopped parsley. Divide a filo pastry sheet into four, fill each piece with the onion filling and wrap like a paçanga burek. Leave to cool for 2 hours in the fridge before serving. Fry both sides until crispy without burning and serve immediately. 26
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  29. 29. AUBERGINE AND CHEESE PIE Ingredients: • 100 g olive oil • 10 garlic cloves, julienned • 200 g onions, julienned • 2 green banana chillies, julienned • 1 bunch of chard, julienned • 3 tomatoes, julienned • A pinch of granulated sugar • Black pepper • 400 g long aubergines • 150 g grated mature cheese • 50 g grated parmesan Fry the sliced onions and garlic in olive oil until caramelised, stir in the green chilies and chard., add the tomato and cook for 3 minutes, then add the sugar and black pepper, and stir. Leave to cool and stir in the cheese. Roll the pastry until thin and divide into four equal parts. Put the filling in the middle of each pastry part and wrap it like a paçanga börek. Seal the ends with egg. Fry in hot oil, slice diagonally and serve with tomato sauce. 28
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  31. 31. 30 FISH CAKES Ingredients: • 1 fillet of sea bass • 1 piece of salmon • 1 tub of small calamari, 3 calamari if large • 50 g small shrimps • 50 g olive oil • 5 garlic cloves, freshly minced (take care that it is fresh) • 1 tsp dried thyme • Freshly ground black pepper • 1 tsp ground red pepper • 1 finely diced coloured peppers • 2 finely chopped spring onions • 2 eggs • Chopped parsley leaves • Chopped dill leaves • 50 g breadcrumbs Tartare sauce: • 2 pickled gherkins • 1 spoon capers • 5 pimento-stuffed green olives • 1 garlic clove, crushed • 1 tbsp lemon juice • A spoonful of chopped dill and parsley leaves
  32. 32. 31 • 1 tsp mustard • 1 tbsp olive oil • 1 cup store-bought mayonnaise Clean the fish and chop finely. Add the remaining ingredients and knead. Shape the mixture into patties and leave them to rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour. For the tartare sauce, finely chop the pickled gherkins, capers and pimento-stuffed olives. Then put them in a muslin cloth and squeeze with the palm of your hand. Put the squeezed pickles in a mixing bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients. Add the mayonnaise and stir well. Store in the refrigerator. Fry the fish cakes in olive oil over a medium heat in a non-stick pan, then transfer onto paper towels. Put the fish cakes on a platter and serve with tartare sauce.
  33. 33. GRILLED OCTOPUS Ingredients: • 1 boiled octopus with suckers • 1 g pomegranate syrup • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil • 5 garlic cloves, julienned • 1 medium red onion, thickly julienned • 100 g boiled and peeled chickpeas • 1 sprig of fresh thyme, leaves only • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar • Salt • Freshly ground black pepper • 1 dessert spoon granulated sugar • Half a bunch of roughly chopped parsley leaves Soak the chickpeas overnight. The next day, replace the water and boil. After cooking, remove the skins. Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat, then add the onion and garlic. Add salt and granulated sugar and stir until caramelised. Add the vinegar and fresh thyme leaves. Stir for a while and add in the peeled chickpeas. Cook for another minute and remove from the heat. Marinate the boiled octopus with suckers in the pomegranate syrup. Put the grill on the highest setting. Grill the octopus for 2-3 minutes on each side. Slice diagonally without removing the suckers. Add chopped parsley to the chickpea and onion salad. The chickpeas must be at room temperature. Mix the chickpea salad with the octopus and serve. 32
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