Well hello there. I am finally returned from a 2 week trip to Turkey, marginally less pasty and slightly fatter. I had been sure that my trip would inspire my culinary creativity, I mean we had spanking fresh seafood on our doorstep and all that Mediterranean produce. Sadly there were two issues with the food in Dalyan.
1. Most restaurants catered for foreigners by adding every conceivable dish to bulging menus. They would claim to be traditional Turkish, yet have 'Mexican steak', chicken curry and egg and chips proudly offered.
2. They bloody love dill there, I'm not a massive fan. I don't dislike it, but it's ubiquity was tiresome.
We did eat some fab meals at our villa, courtesy of my father in laws Turkish recipe book and an assortment of willing chefs. My husband and I also discovered a genuinely traditional restaurant where we ate an assortment of meze that was fabulous. One of the dishes, bizarrely named 'woman's thighs' because of it's soft yielding texture, is well worth adding to my eclectic repertoire.
Woman's Thighs meatballs
1 lb ground beef
Cup of cooked rice
1/2 of bunch parsley (chopped
DILL - if you like it.
Pinch of cumin
Plenty of salt and pepper
1 medium sized onion (chopped )
1 cup of plain flour
vegetable oil for frying
Take rice, ground beef, parsley, dill, onion, 1 egg and s+p into the mixing bowl. Knead them all until well combined. Cover the bowl and let it rest for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Take the bowl from refrigerator and make small patties ( about the size of an egg )
Place vegetable oil on frying pan and turn the heat on medium high. Place flour in a bowl and take the other two eggs into another bowl and beat it.
Take one meatball, dip it first in flour then into egg and place it frying pan. Fry both sides of the meatball. Repeat this step for all of the meatballs.
The other notable dish was a very simple salad of lamb's lettuce in a garlic yogurt dressing. Ridiculously easy and sooper-dooper delicious with pretty much anything. I loved it with Pide, the Turkish equivalent of pizza, but it is fab either with grilled meats or as part of a meze spread.
Lamb's lettuce salad
Bag of lamb's lettuce leaves
Clove of garlic
Couple of tbsp of full fat Greek yog
Salt and pepper
Crush garlic and mix well with yogurt, salt and pepper.
If possible leave for a couple of hours for flavours to meld
Mix with lettuce leaves
Drizzle with oil
So these are my top recommendations for recreating Turkey in a small corner of west London. The other option is just to cover everything you eat with shitloads of dill. I shall leave the choice to you.