A few months ago I was watching a BBC documentary about most famous spices in the world. In the third episode, while I was watching vanilla cultivation, I had an idea: how does vanilla taste in savoury dishes? I mean, I love, many people love using vanilla in delicious cakes, cookies, desserts, but what about the other side of the coin? After a bit of research, I got inspired by a chef and started to work on this olive oil infusion.
When I was a kid, I used to think that some dishes could only be made by certain family members. For example, there was a black tea cake that I believed only my mother could bake. Turkish dumplings, I thought only my mother and aunt could make so delicious. And then there was this pastry which I believed could only be baked by my aunt, my father’s sister, as if there was something magical or that the trick was in her oven or something. Turns out, I was wrong. You just need to learn.
I recently made a big confession to myself. I don’t like quinoa as much as I convinced myself. I don’t hate it either. It’s just that quinoa has a slightly weird taste by itself and you generally need to use a lot of other ingredients to give anything with quinoa a pleasant flavour. And these balls are exactly like that, with lots and lots of other ingredients!
I love eggplant. It is one of the most amazing and versatile vegetables out there. There are so many dishes you can make and so many ways of cooking with it that you can eat eggplants every day for a long time and still would not get bored!
I’m thinking and I’m thinking hard, but I don’t remember eating cauliflower before 2003. That was the year that I studied design in Paris as an exchange student. No seriously, I don’t think I ate it, I don’t remember my mother cooking it or even forcing me to eat it. But then suddenly in Paris I started eating it in big amounts. Why? Because I was trying to live in Paris with a small student budget most of which went to rent and cauliflower was cheap!
I didn’t use to like goat cheese at all. I couldn’t stand the smell and I got genuinely upset when it appeared in my food. But then a few years ago I did Rachel Khoo’s salty cake that had goat cheese in it among other things and my perception of goat cheese changed overnight!
I don’t remember the first time I’ve heard about freekeh. Was it in a website while I was browsing through blogs, was it on a cookbook I have… No, not sure at all. But I do remember that I was immediately curious about it. So when I saw a box of freekeh in Hauler Oriental Market a while ago, I bought it right away.
I love simple tastes and the pleasure that comes from them. Preparing a tartine, aka open sandwich, is a very easy task – even when there is a variety of ingredients involved. And the result, particularly with a good quality bread, is exquisite.
I love salty cakes and I always think of new ingredient combinations for salty cakes. The first time I heard of the idea of a salty cake was when I watched Rachel Khoo’s Little Paris Kitchen programme. Until then, the idea of a cake was always very sweet for me. But… not anymore!
About 2 years ago, I published the recipe of my favourite soup in the world, together with its several stories in my life. That one is a well-known soup in Turkey. However, there is another one that even more people know and eat all the time: red lentil soup.