Stale Bread is Not The End!

If you’re anything like me, you HATE stale bread.  As in,  please-dont-make-me-put-this-in-my-mouth HATE.  But with summer upon us, bread goes stale in a matter of a day or two.

Sure, you can turn it into croutons or bread crumbs, but that only gets you so far.  If you want to get rid of multiple loaves of bread (or just one), you can go for ekmek kızartması or…

Drum roll

Ekmek köftesi!

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Basically the regular recipe for fried köfte, but instead of meat use bread!  It may sound weird at first, but it’s so close to a fritter I can’t help but love it :).  Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks for guests, the sky is the limit! Just be careful with the salt…

Ingredients
1 loaf stale bread, torn to pieces and moistened in water
1 egg
1 tbsp flour
50-100g grated tulum cheese (or any cheese), as you prefer
Cumin to taste
Black pepper to taste
Parsley to taste, chopped
Salt to taste (your cheese may be salty so be light with your salt)
Sunflower oil for frying
(Optionals)
Grated onion
Dill
Mint
Anything you think sounds good, because no one can tell you what to do!

Preparation
1. Tear your bread apart and soak it in water.  Squeeze out the excess and place the bread in a bowl.
2. Add all the other ingredients, kneading it like a dough (as described in the köfte recipe).  This should be really soft and blended!
3. If needed, an extra egg can be added if the bread doesn’t stick together well. Also,  if too wet (like you squeeze it and bubbles come out between your fingers), add flour 1 tsp at a time.
4. Pinch off about a golf ball size piece from the dough and work it in your hand, squeezing and rolling it like a stress ball.  Tap it flat with your fingers, at about 1/4 of an inch thick.
5. Heat a skillet with oil for frying. Place your köfte in the pan and let fry until dark golden brown.  Flip them and fry both sides similarly.  Place on a paper towel to soak up the extra oil.

Serve with tomatoes and cucumbers

Afiyet olsun!

Every time is a good time for POGACA!

Pogaca (turkish: poğaça/poh-ach-ah) is one of my favorite things to make and to eat!  Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, you name it, pogaca is appropriate.  Along with being versatile, it is very simple to make!  Known by other names in other countries, pogaca is a bready pocket filled with anything you can think of.  Try out this recipe next time you get a craving for a little “I dont know what”!

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Ingredients:
  • Dough
    • 3c all purpose flour (approx.)salt to taste
    • 1/2tsp baking powder
    • 1/2c canola oil (or olive oil)
    • 1/2c yogurt
    • 7tbsp butter (softened)
    • 1 egg (white only)
  • Filling
    • feta and spinach
    • potato and onion
  • Top (wash)
    • 1 egg yolk, brushed
    • sesame or nigella seeds
Preparation
  1. Put butter in a bowl to soften. Once soft, cut in the oil, yogurt, and egg white
  2. Put flour, salt,  and baking powder into a large bowl, blending well
  3. Forming a well in the center, mix wet and dry ingredients until a smooth, non-sticky dough is formed.  (you may add a little more flour if needed)
  4. pinch egg sized pieces from the dough, shape into a ball, then flatten with your palm. Do not make the dough too thin or it wont bake right (about 1/4″ thick).
  5. Place a dollop of filling in one side of the flattened circle. Fold two sides of the dough together, pinching it to seal, forming a half moon shape.
  6. brush the egg yolks on the top (one side) of the half moons (or you can make them into balls if you are feeling skillfull), sprinkling seeds to finish.
  7. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes in a convection oven, 30 minutes in standard.

Spinach Filling (pictured):

  1. Cover the bottom of a pot with a little water, dissolving a chicken buillion cube in it (or use a little homemade stock)
  2. Wash and chop spinach/onion/ and garlic. Put all vegetables into the pot and steam on medium until the spinach is very wilted and the onions are cooked.
  3. Drain off the juice and cook until dry, patting with a paper towel as needed.  Add salt, pepper, and cumin to taste.
  4. Before applying filling, mix in feta cheese

Potato and Onion Filling:

  1. Peel and grate potato and onion, saute in olive oil until soft and translucent. (when transferring grated potato and onion to the pan, be sure to squeeeeeze out the potato and onion juice, making the grated veggies drier- reducing chances of oil popping)
  2. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, parsley, and dill.