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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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” Are Rare Steaks Really Better? A Butcher’s View “

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I found this interesting story on “Huffpost”

Are Rare Steaks Really Better?: A Butcher’s View

Plus: A guide to different cuts’ ideal doneness

by Tom Mylan  June 19, 2012

In the game of food dork one-upsmanship, the rarer you order your steak, the more of a real gastronome you are—it means you like your meat good and a little dangerous, like it was meant to be. I always took this carnal orthodoxy as gospel; I mean, people who order their steak well-done deserve their own circle of hell. But…as much it pains my old, snobby self, I’ve started to prefer some of my steaks a little more towards the medium end of the spectrum than I’m completely comfortable with.

But why? Aren’t rare steaks juicier and more tender? Well, not necessarily. I started doing some experimenting—I’m no scientist, but even a knuckle-dragging son of a construction worker like me can learn a thing or two—and it turns out in some cases, cooking your meat a little more can make for better texture and flavor. Blame fat, collagen, and chemistry.

Ribeyes, for example, are downright gross when cooked black-and-bleu. I know there are probably a lot of old French guys rotating in their graves right now, but hold on—ultra-rare ribeyes are gross because all that luscious fat that rims the meat, the best part of the steak, doesn’t really render when barely cooked, making it weird and pasty.

In contrast, the prime ribs of my Reno, NV youth were slow roasted………. Read more HERE
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” Grilling Season Is Upon Us “

Grilling Season Is Upon Us ! ☺

Here are a few useful tips to increase your culinary satisfaction

1. It’s important to completely thaw the food that will be cooked. If it’s not thawed completely, the food will not cook evenly. Ideally, leave the food in the refrigerator until it has completely thawed.

2. Keeping what you are going to barbecue cold, and thoroughly cooking through are essential to healthy barbecue eating. Before cooking, the food should be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Meat should then be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, ground meats to 160 degrees, and poultry to 165 degrees. Using a food thermometer is essential.

3. Foods that will be barbecued should always be marinated in the refrigerator, rather than on the counter. And when reusing the marinade, it needs to be brought to a boil first, in order to kill bacteria.

4. The healthiest way to barbecue your food, according to the USDA, is to place it in the center of the grill, and put the coals off to the side. This will keep the juices from the food from dripping onto the coals. Also, any charred portions of meat should be removed and discarded.

5. During the summer it is easy to cook and leave food sitting around outside, but it can be dangerous to do so. A good rule of thumb is not to let the food sit out longer than one hour if the temperature is at or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Cut the vegetables to allow for maximum surface area on the grill; this allows for easy turning and flipping with minimal slip through the grill grate. You can cut the vegetable down to a smaller size if needed when removed from grill.

7. Use the smallest amount of oil when tossing vegetables with oil spices before grilling. The oil coating the vegetables is what causes flash fire and leaves a black soot residue on your grilled vegetables.

8. Avoid oil and use a light marinade after the grilling; once grilled toss with your oil spice blend and hold until ready to serve.

9. Try and arrange/divide the heat whether that’s gas or charcoal into two separate sections of the grill providing both a direct (over heat) and indirect heat source (nothing under but just the warm heat under the grill cover.) This allows you to move your food to a cooking section and resting section.

10. Providing a rest is a secret key that is mostly overlooked. Allow for 5-8 minutes before cutting into any meats or vegetable when they come off the grill. Allow time for the natural juices to redistribute to the interior of the grilled item. When cooking those natural juices travel to the outside of the grilling item, you need to give those same juices time to return and re-hydrate before cutting into the vegetables or meats.

It’s also important to be patient and not overturn or move food. Once you place it on the grill, you should just let the grill do its magic, only turning vegetables and meat just once, twice at the most. Also, never press down on the food, which will squeeze the moisture out of it.

Bon Appetit ! Life is Good !