Zen in the Kitchen

I once created a cooking class, called 'Zen in the Kitchen'. Then wrote a book called the same. Then started the group with that name and the blog came after. All this happened in Turkish. Now is the time for the English version of it. Let's see what will cook here!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Turkish cuisine book in Dutch

Today I'd like to write about a book written on Turkish food by Karin Vaneker (with Pieter Ouddeken and Erwin Slaats). It's called "Verse Munt Lamsbout & Baklava". Karin Vaneker is a Dutch artist and culinary journalist. She interviewed Meliha Genco, a Turkish mother living in Amsterdam with her family. Meliha is originally from Gaziantep so many of the recipes in the book are from that region (Eastern Mediterranean). In the book you'll read the family's trip from Gaziantep to Amsterdam, a general article on Turkish cuisine, the ingredients that are used in Turkish cuisine. Recipe section starts with breads and pastries. Here you'll see corn bread, "lahmacun" a flat bread with a meat topping, "zeytinli borek", savory pastry with an olive filling and some other pastries. Soups include green and red lentil soups, yogurt soup, mung bean soup and bulgur soup, mostly from Gaziantep region. Rice dishes are called "pilav" in Turkish, so does similar bulgur dishes. In this section, you can see bulgur pilav with vermicelli, bulgur pilav with lentils, pilav with meat and spices. "Kofte" which means meatballs in Turkish are a special section. "Tartaarkofte", grilled kofte, lentil kofte are few. In the book you'll see varieties of pickles, Turkish sweets, kebaps, salads, vegetable and meat dishes all made by Meliha and her family. I especially love the photos. When you look at them, you see that they're made by and for the family. You see family members, ingredients, the process of making some of the dishes. I wish I could read it. I sincerely hope this book will be translated in many languages. Thank you for this enormous effort and putting together a beautiful book. I believe this book will show Dutch readers that Turkish cuisine is much broader and deeper than kebap and lahmacun!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Turkish Restaurant Week DC 2009

If you are in or near Washington DC (US) or are planning a trip to DC in the next weeks, here is good news:

There is a Turkish Restaurant Week, organized by Turkish American Association and sponsored by Turkish Cultural Foundation. Between September 18-26, 2009, you can taste traditional Turkish foods for $25 (four course) at the participating restaurants, watch cooking demonstrations where Chef Channon Mondroux cooks dishes from the Ottoman Palace. There is also a lecture by Chef Mondroux on Turkish and 16th Century Ottoman Cuisine. For more info please visit:

Saturday, August 01, 2009

First figs of the season

It's the time of the season, when black figs start appearing at the market stands. Just the image of them makes my mouth watering. I know the honeylike taste of them. Unfortunately, I don't know how to stop, when I start eating them. One, three, five, seven. Oh no, I should stop now. May be one more. Or two?