Istanbul

Adana Kebab (Kıyma Kebabı) (Turkish Lamb Skewer)

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In  the early seventies I was lucky enough to be visiting Turkey many times ( Istanbul,  Kusadasi  and  Izmir  among other places). At that time, Turkey  still had an oriental mystique to it which was incredibly fascinating and exiting to a young man like me. The sights, smells and noises were so much different from what I was used to – even after all these years, they still linger vividly in my memory
My girlfriend and I almost got stoned by an angry mob one day at the market in Izmir. (They actually threw stones and small rocks at us). We just came from the Caribbean and my girlfriend Edith was wearing the popular outfit of the day – high heels, hot pants and a thin t-shirt without a bra – not a good idea at the time in a mostly Muslim country. Only the quick help and intervention of our taxi driver who came running to rescue us (carefree idiots) prevented great harm or worse.
But beside that particular episode, I only have great memories of Turkey in the seventies. One of the highlights of our stay’s were always the great meals we had in local restaurants. We tried anything we could, from five-star restaurants in five-star hotels in Istanbul to small dives along the beaches and funky eateries in the sea port’s more seedy areas. The food was always great, fresh, spice-laden and exotic (to me at that time, most anything seemed exotic)
I remember  Adana Kebab  to be widely served and today I finally got around to do my own version which turned out pretty spectacular 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Afiyet Olsun !
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Turkish Adana Kebab

Turkish Adana Kebab

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Turkish Adana Kebab

Turkish Adana Kebab

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Turkish Adana Kebab

Turkish Adana Kebab

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Phyllo & Pork Cigars

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Many  years ago, when I went to Istanbul for the first time, one day my friend’s and I went to a port side restaurant which had the day’s menu displayed as actual food on a table outside.
One of the things that caught our eyes where wonderful pastries, rolled up like cigarettes and obviously stuffed with ???  We could not find out from the waiter what it was stuffed with (nobody at  the place spoke english ), but because they looked so appetizing we ordered a bunch. When they were served, much to my disappointment the first bite almost made me gag, because they were filled with  feta cheese  amongst other goodies. My friend’s loved the “cigarettes”, but sadly, I could not eat them. Although I am a fanatic cheese lover, one of the few cheeses I can not eat is feta cheese. But over the years, these pastries vividly stayed in my memories of my first visit to  Turkey  and I have since then created many different versions. ( None of them containing goat cheese ) but using fillings made of lamb, shrimps, lobster, vegetables, fish, as well as a number of sweet fillings, chocolate, strawberries, bananas, etc. They are great as party food, snack, appetizer or, as here, a main course .
Here is a version of  Turkish Sigara Boregi I concocted earlier today. Because they served as dinner, I made them much thicker then the usual Sigara Boregi, so instead of cigarettes I call them Cigars  🙂
I just loved this dish, Bella and I pigged out and eat the whole tray for dinner, all eight of them.
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Ingredient’s :

Pork,  ground
Vegetable stock,
Onions,  diced
Peppers,  diced
chilies,  diced
( I like my filling VERY spicy. If you don’t,
you might want to hold off on the scotch bonnet’s )
Tomato,  chopped
Garlic,  paste
Kosher salt,
Smoked paprika,
Parmigiano reggiano, finely grated
Butter, for phyllo
Olive oil,  to saute
Red wine,  to deglaze


Method :

Saute the meat in the olive oil until it start’s to brown.
Add the vegetables, continue sauteing until the onions
are translucent. Deglaze with red wine, add stock and
seasoning. Let simmer until meat is done and liquid
has mostly evaporated.
Brush each phyllo sheet with butter before topping with
the next sheet. In this recipe I have used three layers of
phyllo. Put some of the pork on one end of the phyllo sheets,
sprinkle cheese on top, roll up into cigar shape, cut to desired length.
A variation would be to sprinkle the pork loosely over the
entire surface and the roll them into cigarette sized rolls.
As dipping sauces I had sweet Thai chili sauce and dill-yogurt.

 Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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