Dumpling Soup (Dushbere)
For the Broth:
9 cups water
a few saffron threads, powdered using a mortar and pestle (optional)
salt, to taste
1 small onion, peeled and very finely chopped (1 cup), caramelized
For the Filling:
7 oz (200g) ground lamb or beef, or a combination, not lean
1 small onion, peeled and grated (1/2 cup)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
To Garnish: chopped fresh cilantro (coriander), to garnish (substitute with dried mint in winter)
To Serve: garlicky-vinegar sauce (crush 3-4 peeled garlics and mix with about 1 cup red wine vinegar or apple cider)
Place the bones and onion in a medium saucepan. Fill with enough water to cover the lamb by at least 1 inch. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 45 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Discard the bones. Pour the broth back into the saucepan. Add the saffron, if using, (add only a little – this will add the broth a pleasant color and flavor). Season with salt to taste.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a mixing bowl combine the ground meat, onion, salt and pepper. With your hand, knead thoroughly until well blended. Set aside.
Dust the surface with some flour. Transfer the dough onto that surface. Using your fingers, place a pinch of filling into the middle of each square. Bring two opposite corners of a square together and seal the edges to make a triangle. Bring the two ends of the longest side of the triangle together and press them together to seal. Arrange the dumplings on the floured tray, apart from each other to prevent them from sticking together.
Bring broth to a boil and maintain a gentle simmer. Gently drop the dumplings into the simmering broth in small batches. Gently stir once to separate them and cook, uncovered, for about 7-10 minutes or until the dumplings surface to the top. Take one out and taste. The dough must be tender. Cook longer if needed, taking care not to overcook or the dumplings will be sticky mushy. Adjust seasoning to taste. Remove from the heat.
Ladle the dumplings and the broth into individual serving bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro or dried mint. Serve immediately, with garlicky vinegar sauce on the side, to be added to dushbere to taste.
Chicken with Eggs (Toyug Chighirtmasi)
3 spoons vegetable oil
2 spoons butter
1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 pounds / 900g boneless or bone-in chicken parts, cut into about 10 serving pieces (I use boneless chicken thighs)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon, or more, to taste, ground black pepper
4 medium ripe tomatoes, finely chopped, with their juices
3 eggs, lightly beaten
chopped cilantro (coriander) or parsley, to garnish
Note: You can also bake this dish in the oven at the last stage. Transfer the chicken to a baking dish then pour the eggs over it. Bake in the 400F (200C) degree oven until the eggs are set. It makes for a beautiful presentation if you serve this dish straight from your baking dish.
1. In a medium frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, or until it is light brown. Transfer the onion to a bowl and put aside.
2. Add the remaining oil and the butter to the same frying pan and heat over medium heat (Note: butter alone tends to brown when you melt it. Adding some fluid oil to the pan along with butter will prevent that). Add the chicken pieces and fry for about 20 minutes, or until they are brown, turning them once to cook on both sides.
3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the cooked onions and chopped tomatoes with juices to the pan. Cover and turning only occasionally, simmer over medium heat for about 25 minutes, or until the chicken is tender.
4. Pour the beaten eggs over the chicken, slightly tilting the pan to distribute the eggs evenly. Cover the pan and let cook for about 5-7 minutes (do not stir!) or until the eggs are set. Serve immediately, garnished with fresh chopped cilantro or parsley. Chicken with Eggs is delicious with bread or rice. NUSH OLSUN! ENJOY!
BAKED HONEY CHICKEN WINGS From “Anne, Ben Aciktim” by Sahrap Soysal
16 chicken wings
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons honey
salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
bread crumbs (I used panko)
1. Cut off and discard the wing tips. In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken wings, ketchup, mayonnaise, honey, salt and pepper. Toss to coal the wings well with the marinade. Leave in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the bread crumbs on a flat plate.
3. Remove the wings from the marinade. Dredge them in the bread crumps all over, then transfer onto the baking sheet.
4. Bake in the 400F (180C) oven for about 40 minutes, or until the wings are cooked (juices should run clean) and are golden brown. Nush Olsun! Enjoy!
“Grated” Pie filled with Fruit Preserves
For the Dough:
4 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or more as needed)
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3.5 oz (100 g) unsalted butter or margarine, melted and cooled
For the Filling: 2 cups apricot preserve and a handful of coarsely chopped walnuts
Butter the bottom and the sides of a 13 X 9-inch (33 cm X 22 cm) baking pan and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour and baking soda. Stir to mix. Set aside.
Place the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with a mixer on a medium speed until well blended and creamy. Add the melted butter and stir to mix. Gradually add the flour-soda mixture and mix (you may use the mixer at the initial stage, but as the dough becomes rough, use your hands) until you obtain a somewhat tacky but not sticky dough which should not be very tight. You may need to add more flour to obtain this texture if needed, but do not overdo. You do not want a very hard dough.
Now, divide the dough into 2 parts. Press one part onto the bottom of the baking pan. Shape the other part into a ball, wrap in a plastic wrap and put in the freezer to harden, for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, spread the preserves onto the dough in the pan. If using the filling with walnuts, sprinkle the walnuts on the preserves.
Preheat the oven to 370F (185C).
Remove the dough from the freezer. Try to grate it on a coarse side of a grater. If the dough grates fine without sticking to and clogging the holes of the grater, it is ready. Put in the freezer if not ready. When ready, grate the dough over the preserves to obtain a “grated” layer.
Bake the pie on the middle rack of the oven for about 35 minutes, or until it is just light golden on top. Do not overbake or the top will be crunchy. Allow to cool before cutting. You can sift some powdered sugar on top of the pie before serving or serve as is.