BLACK-EYED PEAS SALAD

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INGREDIENTS

 

Boiled black-eyed peas

2 tomatoes

3 green onions

1 medium size onion 

Lemon juice/ malt vinegar/ vinegar

Olive Oil

Black pepper/ Red pepper/Salt

 

 

PREPARATION

 

Place the boiled and strained black-eyed peas into a large bowl (It is better to take uncanned peas and boil them yourself; but canned peas are also ok). Mix the chopped green onions and black peppers/salt with the peas. Put the tomatoes and season them with some red pepper. Sprinkle the round shaped onions over the tomatoes. Lastly, pour the sour sauce that you prepare out of a mix of lemon juice, vinegar and malt vinegar (the proportions of these three ingredients are up to your gusto) and olive oil. Enjoy this nice blend of peas with vegetables.

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BEETROOT PICKLE

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INGREDIENTS

 

Boiled and peeled beetroots

 

4-5 cloves of garlic

 

Vinegar/ Malt vinegar

 

1 tablespoon of olive oil

 

PREPERATION

 

Take a jar with a lid and fill ½ of it with vinegar and malt vinegar (proportions of vinegars are best to be %50-%50). Transfer the vinegar mix to another cup and add the olive oil. Then, fill the jar with beetroots choped in whatever shape you like (better to slice them 1 cm thick). Add garlic slices after every 4-5 beetrot pieces get into the jar. Finally, add vinegar-olive oil mix to the jar, place the lid and keep the jar in a cool place or refrigerator for about 48 hours. As soon as this period ends, you can enjoy your beetroot pickle. It especially suits well with red meat..   

Butternut Squash DESSERT with CINNAMON

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It is very simple to prepare this delicious dessert and it takes really little time to cook.

 

 

 

 INGREDIENTS

-1 medium size butternut squash (you can also use pumpkin)

-1 medium size glass of sugar

-1 tea spoon cinnamon

 

 After peeling the butternut squash, chop them in pieces of 2 cm thick in round or half moon shape. Put them in a big bowl and mix the pieces with sugar and cinnamon properly. Leave them aside for at least 6 hours. By the end of this period, butternut squash will give its water out and cinnamon & sugar will well blend with the squash. 

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Transfer the squash in sugared water to a pan and cook them for about 10-12 minutes at medium heat. During this time, the squash pieces will soften and the sugared water will thicken. Take the pan from the heat before all the water evaporates. Serve it (strongly recommended) with walnut and/or ice cream.     

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BRITISH WINE

British wine is different than all the wines I’ve ever tried. It has a quite sweet taste and makes an effect familiar to what whisky or brandy do to the mouth and throat, but of course slighty than those. I’ve found out that it is produced by the fermentation of imported grapes which results in a wine resembling sherry (a fortified wine to which brandy is added after or just before the completion of the fermentation process). Just like written on the back of the bottle it is a ‘nice drink to get you relaxed’, of course to whom appreciating sweet taste in wine.

FRUIT SALAD WITH GINGER WINE

A couple of days ago, I was making my usual food shopping in Tesco and stopped by the shelves of alcoholic beverages as usual which is like a habit since I do it most of the time even though I have no intentions of buying any of them J. As I was looking around I realized two wines at the lowest shelf: “British wine” and “Ginger wine”. Both made me glad. Because I can use the ginger wine in my cookings while with the British wine I will add another wine to the list of wines I’ve tried in England. Ginger wine is especially good with desserts since it has a sweet taste with a ginger aroma. I used it in a fruit salad that you can see below. It is better you wait for 10-15 min. before enjoying the salad; during this period the taste of the ginger wine mixes with the tastes of the fruits and they form a new and unique taste on their own.

 

 

 

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

We are now living autumn and it is the season for butternut squash which is from the same family with pumpkin. In Turkey we use pumpkin for making dessert and I learned that it is the tendency in Asian cuisine; for eg. it is used to make ‘halawa’ (which is helva in Turkish, a name given to a category of desserts) in Middle East and  India. As an exception, my hometown in Turkey, Manisa, has a local dish that is made from pumpkin but served as a main dish. However, I have never come up with someone preparing it; unfortunately read it from a book. I have not tried it yet since I was waiting for the pumpkin season J. When the season has reached I was in England and I’ve come up with several recipes of butternut squash soup. Then, I decided to try the soup in the first place. Here is the way that I did it:

 

Ingredients:

 

–One butternut squash

–One medium-size onion

–Chicken Broth & Milk

–Olive Oil

–Salt and Pepper

 

Preparation: Fry the finely chopped onions in olive oil until they are soft, then add the butternut squash chopped into pieces small enough to soften easily. Stir them occasionally for 5 minutes but keep the lid closed as much as possible. Add the chicken broth and boil the mix; then add the milk and keep stiring for another 3-4 minutes by decreasing the heat. Take the pan off the cook and wait for 10 min. By using a hand blender, make the mix turn into a liquid puree; add salt and pepper and put the pan for another 2-3 min. on the cook and stir the soup. It will be ready at the end of that period.

 

You can add  cream instead of milk or both. You can add curry powder, cinnamon or other spices depending on your gusto. I have served them with dry mint and baked wholewheat bread. 

 

PS: I did not use vegetable broth but I think it will be better since it can take away some of the sweat taste of the butternut squash which I”ve honestly not liked very much in a soup.

“PLANTINE” RECIPES WILL SOON BE HERE!

Being in a highly international environment is a fantastic thing and one of the most thrilling aspects is the amount of new recipes that I can learn from my friends from many countries. Besides, I’ve got the chance to experience these recipes with the native practioner of that culture and learn much more about their food culture. Plantains (a fruit that just looks like a banana but having a different taste) are the new ingredients that I have learned and I’ll soon be able to cook them in various ways (fried, boiled, grilled etc.). A friend from Cameroon will show me how to cook them as soon as I get some plantains. I’m just looking forward to it!

 

Since I am now not able to touch some plantains and cook them J, I gathered little info about them from the web and here it is:  

 

 

Plantains tend to be firmer and lower in sugar content than dessert bananas. Bananas are most often eaten raw, while plantains usually require cooking or other processing, and are used either when green or under-ripe (and therefore starchy) or overripe (and therefore sweet). Plantains are a staple food in the tropical regions of the world, treated in much the same way as potatoes and with a similar neutral flavour and texture when the unripe fruit is cooked by steaming, boiling or frying. They are grown as far north as Florida, the Caribbean and Central America, South America in countries like Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and southern Brazil, the Canary Islands, Madeira, Egypt, Cameroon,Nigeria and southern Japan or Taiwan and as far south as KwaZulu-Natal”.