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Cooking: Turkish Dinner

Turkish food has a happy place in my memories. Back in the early days of my husband and my dating, we used to go out to eat at 2 Boston Turkish Restaurants: Istanbul Cafe (which was on Beacon Hill at the time) and Özcan Ozan’s  Financial district restaurant Sultan’s Kitchen.

A Turkish CookbookI fell so much in love with Turkish cuisine that I bought Ozan’s The Sultan’s Kitchen: A Turkish Cookbook.  It has since become one of my most used and be-splattered cookbooks.


All last week A. was requesting that I make Turkish food for dinner. So, Sunday, I broke out the Sultan’s Kitchen cookbook and got to work. I decided on a menu of:

  • Yogurtlu Kebap– Kafta Kebabs with Tomato Sauce and Yogurt-Garlic Sauce (page 78)
  • Muceddere- Rice Pilaf with green Lentils and Caramelized Onions (page 118)
  • Coban Saltasi – Shepherd’s Salad (page 127)
  • Fasulye Piyazi- White Bean Salad (page 128)

 I had made the 2 salads several times before but had never tried these particular kebab and rice recipes. I slightly modified some of the recipes based on what I had on hand and our taste preferences.

For the kebabs we used ground turkey instead of ground lamb and since it was pouring out (THANKS a lot hurricaine!) we opted to broil the kebabs instead of grilling them, although we would’ve much preferred to use the grill.  I used the spices that the recipe called for mixing with the meat, but next time I think I will add a little more salt and red pepper.

The cook book recipe for the rice included chick peas, but I opted to leave them out since I was serving a bean salad as well.  The flavor on the rice was great and I love the touch of the lentils and caramelized onions.

Shepherd’s salad is one of our perinneal favorites. It is a frequent side dish request in our kitchen. At this point I can make it without consulting the cook book– chop up the veggies, toss them with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and red pepper and you’re pretty much there.  

Shepherd’s Salad (adapted from The Sultan’s Kitchen)

2 large ripe tomatoes, diced
1 medium red onion, diced
1 English Cucumber, diced
1 Italian pepper, diced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Italian Parsley
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
6 radishes, diced
6 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1  teaspoon ground red pepper
salt to taste

Mix all ingredients together, toss, and serve.


For the bean salad, I used black-eyed peas instead of white beans. No grand design with this substitution… I did it because I HAD black-eyed peas and did not have white beans.  




 It was a great meal and supplied us with tasty leftovers for lunch on Monday.

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