When I invite guests over, normally I cook a mix of Turkish and American foods. My repertoire of food is what I learned from my mother and the Joy of Cooking. When I have dinner parties the main dish is usually something American-ish, because I am more comfortable cooking it, and confident a that it will turn out well. However, the other day I had some friends over, they were both foreigners and did not have the same ample opportunities to eat Turkish home cooking. The home style of Turkish cooking is very diverse, and particularly tasty. It is also not usually served in restaurants, so when both members of a couple are not Turkish, they have fewer opportunities to eat what I consider real Turkish food. I made three vegetable side dishes and one main dish. I also made cheese cake which I served topped with sour cherries, which I dropped on the kitchen floor trying to put it away. (3/4s was left. I was fairly irritated.)
Yoğurtlu Pancer Salatası/Beet and Yogurt Salad
Cooked beets, shredded, minced dill and garlic yogurt.
Zeytinyağlı Pırasa/Leeks in Olive Oil
Leeks and carrots sautéed with olive oil and tomatoes served room temperature.
Yoğurtlu Havuç Salatası/Carrot and Yogurt Salad.
Sautéed carrots mixed with garlic yogurt.
Hünkar Beğendi/Sultan’s Delight
OHHHHHH…One of my favorites. Slowly stewed lamb or beef chucks with tomatoes and peppers on a bed of roasted eggplant that has been whipped with cheddar cheese.
Dinner was really fun because my friends had never had any of these dishes and were really surprised. It was also very tasty if I do say myself. I am getting more confident with my Turkish cooking. There are still occasional mishaps and my börek is weak, but in general I am coming along. My Turkish cooking is definitely more developed than my language fluency.