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How to Make the Perfect Hasselback Potatoes

How to Make the Perfect Hasselback Potatoes

I am a huge fan of potatoes, whether they are baked, roasted, fried or boiled. Ok, maybe boiled potatoes are not my first choice but still, I could eat potatoes every single day. If you love those crispy, garlicky, golden potatoes, and you don’t want them to be fried, I have the perfect recipe for you.

There are many different recipes when it comes to potatoes, but the one I will tell you about today is very delicious and easy to make. The stars of the show are hasselback potatoes.

I am sure you have already tried hasselback potatoes or at least you have heard about them. Word is that they got their name by a Swedish restaurant called Hasselbacken in Stockholm that introduced them first. Ever since, they have become one of the most commonly used side dishes all around the world.

 

Health Benefits of Hasselback Potatoes

 

Considered the best side dish, potatoes also have many other benefits. They have a lot of health benefits and are a great source of vitamins and minerals, especially the skin, so make sure you don’t peel it when possible.

Some of the health benefits are that potatoes can boost your immune system, improve the blood sugar level and reduce the risk of heart disease. However, the nutritional content can vary depending on the time of preparation. The best way to keep them healthy is not to fry them, for starters.

plain hasselback potatoes

Potatoes are extremely versatile. You can make them baked, boiled, fried or steamed. They are also incredibly filling which means you will eat less for your next meal. In addition, they are good for losing weight on the long run.

Even though hasselback potatoes look like a lot of work, they are actually quite simple. You can easily make them satisfyingly fluffy and crunchy. Here is how.

 

How to Prepare Hasselback Potatoes

 

First step is to choose the best type of potatoes for the recipe. Russet potatoes are widely used because of their soft inside which makes them perfect for mashed potatoes or crispy baked ones. However, my advice is to buy small potatoes (something similar to Jersey Royal) because you can leave the skin on and, trust me, it will taste completely differently.

Next comes the cutting part. It can be a bit tricky to cut ¾ of the potatoes without going all the way through. If you don’t have the special hasselback potato slicer, don’t worry – there are many kitchen tools you can use to do this. Place the potato between two chopsticks or two wooden spoons so you don’t cut more than necessary. The more slices you make, the better. Think about all the cuts filled with butter and cheesiness. Yummy!

Buttery hasselback potatoes

Depending on the type of potatoes you choose, the cooking time will be different. If you choose bigger potatoes, it is best to pre-cook them. For example, you can boil them for 10 minutes or you can put them in the microwave. Some people wrap them in foil but I strongly suggest you don’t do that if you want that crispy outside.

When you are ready to bake the potatoes, find the perfect pan to hold them in single layer. Make sure the oven is hot, somewhere around 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Check them frequently until you get the desired final result.

 

Ingredients

 

Hasselback potatoes can be made with plenty of different ingredients. You can go for a veggie version, use bacon or other type of salami.

Spices for Hasselback Potatoes

  • Butter: This is one of the ingredients which is a must for this recipe. You can put chunks of butter after you cut the potatoes, or you can melt the butter beforehand. If you decide to go with melting the butter, simply pour it on the potatoes before putting them in the oven.
  • Oil: Most commonly used is olive oil, but you can go for any other type of oil. Also, duck fat or goose fat can give you a unique taste.
  • Toppings and spices: There are many different combinations you can use to spice up your hasselback potatoes. You can use smoked paprika or chilly if you want to get the color and the heat at the same time. If you decide to go with a plain version like salt&pepper, add Greek yogurt or grated cheese at the end. If you feel like something fresh, chop some chives and top the potatoes after baking. You can also add garlic or thyme. It’s up to you. For extra crunch, you can finish the potatoes with breadcrumbs.

 

As one of the most famous recipes in the Nordic cuisine, hasselback potatoes have definitely found their way across the world. They are perfect for weekend dinners or busy weeknights and can be used as an accompaniment to steak, fish, or roast chicken. I promise this will be one of your favorite recipes ever! Dig in!

9 Traditional Irish Foods You Have to Try on St. Patrick’s Day

9 Traditional Irish Foods You Have to Try on St. Patrick’s Day

Bring the hearty tradition to your home by preparing authentic stews, corned beef, pies, cakes and more comforting Irish foods! Potatoes are, of course, a must any time of the year! Irish food is simple, comforting, and perfect for family cooking.

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#1 Irish Stew

This liquid Irish food is a combination of meat and veggies native to Ireland. In the past, mutton meat was favored because it is fattier and more flavorful and the dish was cooked in a cauldron, a large metal pot with a lid and handle, used for cooking over an open fire. Today, lamb and beef are usually used, as well as kid goat, slowly cooked for hours until tender. As far as vegetables are concerned, potatoes & onions are a must, sometimes complemented with carrots. Herbs like parsley, thyme & bay leaves are also added for extra flavor.

#2 Boxty Potato Pancakes

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Credit:theveglife.com

The term ‘boxty’ can refer to potato pancakes, dumplings, and bread. It originates from the Irish phrase ‘arán bocht tí’, which means “poor-house bread”. The most popular version of this Irish food is made with finely grated raw potato combined with mashed potato, flour, baking soda, salt, buttermilk, and sometimes egg. The mixture is fried in a pan on each side, just like a standard pancake. However, traditional alternatives include using only raw potatoes, boiling it as a dumpling or baking it as a loaf in the oven. Whichever version you decide to make, you can serve it with almost anything you like – ham, bacon, eggs, tzatziki or crème fraîche.

#3 Colcannon

Potatoes were introduced to the Emerald Island from the New World in the 16th century. Back then, they were a cheap and plentiful source that transformed the Irish diet, especially among poor people. Potatoes are still a staple Irish food which appears in a number of varieties – Colcannon is one of them, a classic, cozy potato mash with cabbage or kale, onions, garlic, and butter or cream.

#4 Soda Bread

Soda bread is a variety of quick bread traditionally made with baking soda as a leavening agent instead of yeast, added to a mixture of flour, buttermilk, and salt. The lactic acid in the reacts with the baking soda to form tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide and make the bread soft & fluffy. In Ireland, the flour is typically made from soft wheat which has lower levels. Also, in some recipes, the buttermilk is replaced with yogurt. Every family on the Emerald Island has its own recipe for soda bread. Some like it sweet and add egg, butter, nuts, raisins, or other dried fruits.

Others prefer it savory and add seeds or oats for extra healthiness, or even Guinness beer for extra fluffiness!

#5 Cottage Pie

The recipe for Cottage Pie has been around since the 1700’s and was first created with the intention to use up Sunday roast leftover beef combined with the new crop brought from the New World, potatoes. Its name originated from the category of people who used to make this practical and cheap dish most frequently – the poor farmers who lived in cottages.

Cottage Pie is pretty much Shepherd’s Pie only made with beef instead of lamb or mutton, cooked in a gravy with onions and vegetables like carrots, peas, or celery and topped with mashed potato. More modern versions also call for a grated cheese on top of the mashed potato topping.

#6 Corned Beef with Cabbage

Not many of us know that this traditional St. Patrick’s Day Irish food is rarely eaten in Ireland. In fact, some people are unsure whether it’s actually Irish at all. Corned beef is considered more of a New World dish favored by Irish Americans. Nevertheless, the dish is delicious and deserves to find its way to your table, at least for St. Paddy’s Day!

#7 Bangers and Mash

Bangers are actually sausages made of pork and veal, often seasoned with ginger or caraway. Bangers and mash, also known as sausages and mash, is a traditional dish of the British Isles, including Ireland. The dish is especially popular as a pub grub, which suggests that it is very quick and easy to make.

This Irish food is sometimes served with fried onions, onion gravy, or peas. For a vegetarian mashed potato casserole, omit the bratwurst and add a cup of cooked peas and a cup of cooked carrots to the skillet.

#8 Irish Cream Cake

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Credit:bettycrocker.com

Chocolate layers and spread with fluffy Irish cream filling plus tangy apricot jam and almond brittle tops for a crunchy finish. This beautiful cake is just one example of the plethora of sweet Irish foods made with Irish cream. You can also add it to brownies, pies, ice cream, cheesecake, and more!

Irish cream is a cream liqueur based on Irish whiskey, cream, and other ingredients such as coffee. It typically has 15 to 20% alcohol by volume but as far as these desserts are concerned, feel free to serve them to your little ones. Most recipes call for an addition of up to a ¼ cup of Irish cream which is not much when distributed throughout the mixture. Besides, most of the alcohol content evaporates during cooking!

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#9 Irish Coffee

Irish coffee is a cocktail consisting of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and sugar, topped with thick cream. The original recipe calls for non-whipped cream, although there are varieties made with whipped cream as well.

Irish cream can also be added as an alcoholic substitute for milk or cream and sugar in hot coffee, with or without whipped cream on top.

 

Dumplings – How To’s and Recipes

Dumplings – How To’s and Recipes

You must have tried dumplings from the store at least once and you probably found them tasty. But wait till you prepare homemade ones! Round, chewy, and packed with your favorite sweet or savory filling – you just won’t be able to stop eating!

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We find these Asian cuties perfect for all kinds of get-togethers and celebrations. Well, actually, that is their traditional use – they are a must-make dish for the Asian New Year because they symbolize good wishes for the year to come.

Buying Dumpling Wrappers

Making these pastry treats from scratch at home is a laborious task, so we suggest you skip the making of the wrappers and only make the filling.

Store-bought wrappers (called gyoza) are the easiest to find in almost every grocery store (should be near the tofu). Other, less widely available wrappers can be found at the Asian market.

Folding the Dumplings

No matter which type of filling you choose, here are a few tips to help you fold the dumplings quickly and easily.

Prepare ahead. Make sure you have enough space on the counter.

Needed equipment: small bowl of water, the bowl with prepared filling, a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Start. Open the package of wrappers and arrange several wrappers on the counter.

Place a tablespoon of the filling on each wrapper. Even though this amount might look too small, resist the temptation to add more because you will be unable to close them.

Dampen the edge of the wrapper with some water with your fingers. This will act as a glue and facilitate the sealing.

Fold in half, then press the top closed.

Make a double fold on each side, then press to seal. Add more water if necessary.

Once you finish filling and folding, arrange the dumplings on the baking sheet.

 

 

Cooking the Dumplings

Frying.  Add some cooking oil in a pan and warm over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the dumplings (make sure they’re not touching each other). Cook until they are golden brown at the bottom.

Add some water to the pan (about three to four tablespoons), then cover and lower the heat. If the dumplings are freshly made, cook for about 4-5 minutes. If frozen, cook for 7-8 minutes. Once the wrappers are translucent, they are done.

Boiling. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the dumplings and stir to prevent them from sticking. Add 1 1/2 cups of cold water and bring to a boil again. Repeat this one more time. Remove one of the dumplings to check for doneness. If it is not cooked through, boil for a few minutes more.

Steaming. Line a steamer basket with parchment paper, then arrange the dumplings. Steam over simmering water for about 5-8 minutes, depending on whether they’re fresh or frozen.

What to Do with Leftover Dumplings

You can cook the dumplings right away or freeze them. In case you want to freeze them, do so while they’re on the baking sheet. Once they’re completely frozen, transfer them to a freezer container. They keep up to three months.

If you end up with unused wrappers, place the, in a sealed container and keep in the refrigerator for about one week.

In case you have a surplus filling, you can shape it into balls and fry in a pan. Savory fillings pair great with pitas and salads, whereas sweet ones can be topped vanilla or chocolate cream. Yummers!

 

Amazing Dumpling Recipes

Chicken and Dumplings

A steaming bowl of creamy chicken and Asian pastry is a comforting one-dish meal. All you need is a spoon—and your appetite! For a variation, instead of making the dumplings, add 2 cups cooked pasta with the chicken in Step 2.

Steamed Vegetable Dumplings

Impress your guests with homemade steamed Asian pastry—they’re easier to make than they look. Dip in teriyaki sauce and enjoy!

Apple Dumplings

Treat yourself to this wonderful dessert. Tart apples and sweet raisins wrapped in warm pastry—it’s like a personal-sized apple pie! For added flavor, try using apple-pie spice instead of plain cinnamon. Apple-pie spice is a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, and it’s available in your grocery store’s spice aisle.

Peach Dumplings

This sweet treat will remind you of lazy childhood afternoons watching the bees buzz around the fallen peaches in the orchard. Variation: Substitute canned pear halves for the peaches. Another great substitute are tangy plums (such as Santa Ana plums). They aren’t sweet enough to eat fresh, but they are perfect for wrapping in pastry. Just cut the fruit off the pits and follow this recipe.

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Caramel Dumplings

It is so hard to wait until these delicious little cuties cool enough to eat. You’ll burn your fingers more than once! The best way to eat them is to spoon a warm dumpling and some sauce over vanilla ice cream. Alternatively, serve them in a bowl with a dollop of sour cream or a few spoonfuls of whipping cream.

A Carnival in Your Kitchen – 8 Amazing Brazilian Foods & Drinks

A Carnival in Your Kitchen – 8 Amazing Brazilian Foods & Drinks

Brazilians are not only excellent in soccer (why do I know this?) and dancing the samba; they’re also great in cooking and enjoying delicious foods.

Let’s go to sunny Brazil and pick out 10 dishes. It’s not going to be easy, I warn you, since Brazilian food, just like Brazilian people, is one of the best in the world.

Brazilian food is a patchwork of native traditions and influences from European, Asian, Arabic, and African cuisines, with great varieties from region to region.

 

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The cuisine has preserved some of the ingredients used by the native peoples like cassava, cumaru, guaraná, cashews, and açaí. European immigrants introduced their own favorites like wheat, leafy greens, dairy, and wine.

Besides all the delicious Brazilian foods mentioned below, we mustn’t forget the national beverage – coffee, as well as Brazil’s native liquor – cachaça.

Pão de queijo – Brazilian cheese bread

 

Two staples in Brazilian cuisine – cheese and bread – are combined an unexpectedly delicious delight. Soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, these gluten-free cheese puffs are enjoyed any time of the day. They are made with tapioca flour, eggs, and grated cow’s milk cheese. They are usually rolled into small balls (even though there are varieties as big as cakes) and stuffed with meat or cheese fillings.

Make your own: Pão de queijo

Espetinhos – Brazilian Kebabs

Espentihos are a Brazilian food found at almost every public event throughout the country. The word translates as “little skewers” and these kebabs can be made with many different things, including spiced chicken or beef, hot dogs, sausages, fish, shrimps, and even cheese. Espetinhos are usually served with hot sauce or manioc flour (an ingredient that accompanies many other Brazilian foods). In addition, icy beer is almost always at hand when eating these Brazilian kebabs.

Make your own: Espetinhos – Coconut Milk and Lime Shrimp Brazilian Skewers

Feijoada – Brazilian Black Bean Stew

Feijoada is the Brazilian food which ‘unites’ the so-different regions in the country for the simple reason it is eaten literally everywhere. It is a stew composed of sausages, chopped pork, and black beans. Traditionally, the recipe calls for less usual parts of the pig as well, like ears and feet! It is usually served with rice, toasted manioc flour, oranges, kale, and cachaça liquor on the side. Brazilians must really love this food, bearing in mind that its preparation takes 24 hours. Luckily, most of the restaurants in the country have Feijoada on their menu so you can skip the cooking and just enjoy.

Make your own: Feijoada

Açaí

One of the most popular superfoods and the star of many Instagram accounts, açaí is a fruit native to the Amazon. Native peoples used to consume it for energy and prepared sauces to serve with fish dishes. Today, it finds its way to the omnipresent acai bowls, smoothies, breakfast granolas, frozen sorbets, and even beer!

Make your own: Autumn Acai Bowl with Vanilla Bean Cashew Butter

Brazilian Sticky Coconut Rice

 

 

One of the most common side dishes in the country is coconut rice. But what makes the Brazilian version different from all the other similar recipes out there? Brazilians have a special method of preparation – first, they toast the rice; then they add brown sugar. In addition, there is also canned coconut milk, and just a little bit of salt to balance the sweetness of the sugar, plus some more toasted coconut on top (if you wish).

This Brazilian food is very easy and simple to make. The final result is creamy and flavorful rice that pairs especially well with pork dishes.

Make your own: Brazilian Coconut Rice

Brazilian Soup

 

Soup is the food of choice for the ceia, late-night supper, but also on Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The recipe we’re offering here is a delicious tomato creamy soup with shrimp, coconut milk, and various seasonings. There’s nothing better for the cold, winter nights here up North!

Make your own: Brazilian Shrimp Soup

Top Brazilian Drinks

Cachaça/Caipirinha

 

As mentioned before, cachaça is considered a national drink in Brazil. It has been around since the early 16th century and accompanies many Brazilian foods. It is made from fermented sugarcane juice and is the main ingredient in Brazil’s national cocktail – caipirinha, which is made with lime slices, brown sugar, ice, and uncolored, unaged cachaça. However, this is the basic version; we’re offering one made with strawberries! Other popular drinks are the Brazilians favorite soda – Guaraná, Caldo de Cana (pressed sugar cane juice), and água de coco (coconut water).

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Make your own: Strawberry Basil Caipirinha Cocktail

Limonada Suíça – Brazilian Lemonade

 

Have you ever had a creamy lemonade? Well, it’s high time you did. Actually, this is a limeade, since the original recipe is made with limes. However, if you are a lemon person, who’s to stop you from using them. Because the ingredient that makes it special, creamy, and sweet isn’t the fruits but the condensed milk. Another paradox about this popular drink is its name – Limonada Suíça means Swiss lemonade, which is completely weird. Nevertheless, make yourself a big glass of lemonade and bring summer to your home!

Make your own: Brazilian Lemonade

 

12 Ridiculously Easy and Delicious Lebanese Foods

12 Ridiculously Easy and Delicious Lebanese Foods

Ready to explore some new flavors? Today, we’re revealing the best Lebanese foods.

Lebanese food is bursting with fresh ingredients, delicious mezze appetizers, rich tastes, vivid colors, and spices. But the best feature of this Middle Eastern cuisine is its hospitality. Lebanese foods are meant to be shared with friends, family, and even strangers.

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Lamb is the most commonly used meat variety and it appears in many dishes like kafta, but chicken and beef are also found in many recipes. Additions like lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil are a must if you want to recreate the flavors that make Lebanese food so unique and special. Fresh vegetables also find their way into dishes like tabbouleh and fattoush, making Lebanese food one of the healthiest on the planet.

Sfeeha – Lebanese Meat Pies

Sfeeha or Sfiha is pie-like Lebanese food (a similar dish is Turkish pide). The traditional version was made with ground mutton, whereas modern versions usually call for beef or lamb. Other toppings include cheese, vegetables, and curd. Also, sfeehas used to be wrapped pies, whereas today they are round, open-face pies or folded into triangles.

Laban – Lebanese Yogurt Sauce

Laban is a cool and creamy yogurt sauce consisting of yogurt, mint, garlic, and lemon juice. It is a perfect addition to grilled meat dishes, fish like salmon, dolma, sfeeha pies, or tabbouleh. Absolutely refreshing!

Kafta

Kafta is a meatloaf or meatball dish found in Middle Eastern, South Asian, Central Asian, and Balkan countries. The simplest form of kafta is made with ground or minced meat (chicken, beef, lamb, or pork) plus onions and spices. In Lebanon, it is usually made with ground beef onion, allspice, black pepper, parsley, and salt.

Kusa – Lebanese Stuffed Zucchini

Kusa are zucchini stuffed with a mixture of meat and rice, commonly seasoned with garlic and dried mint. Tip: The best zucchini type for this Lebanese food is the Lebanese zucchini which is smaller and light-green in color. The recipe is easy to be turned vegetarian by simply replacing the commonly used beef with chickpeas.

Hummus

Lebanon and Israel are having a long-term quarrel about who invented this popular food. Currently, Lebanon holds the Guinness Record for the largest dish of hummus in the world. The dish was prepared by 300 cooks and weighed over 10,000 kg. It was made using the usual ingredients – boiled chickpeas, tahini butter, olive oil, and lemon juice.

Lebanese Potato Salad

Ordinary potato salad gets an exotic twist with the addition of tangy lemon vinaigrette and fresh mint. It is quick, easy, vegan, dairy-free, and perfect for hot summer nights. (The name ‘Leposa’ in this recipe is coined using the first two letters of each word in ‘Lebanese Potato Salad’!)

Hushwee

Hushwee is a staple Lebanese food, simple yet full of flavors. It is composed of ground meat cooked in ghee, complemented with toasted pine nuts and cinnamon. This mixture can be used for sfeeha pies, eggplant mousakas, or for stuffing veggies (dolma). It can be also combined with baked or mashed potatoes or pita bread. Bonus for all those following special diets – this Lebanese food is paleo and gluten-free!

Fattoush

Fattoush is a salad composed of pieces of toasted or fried flatbread and vegetables (mostly greens, tomatoes, and radishes), plus herbs to taste. One of the special features of this Lebanese food is that the veggies are cut in quite large pieces. However, the two ingredients that give fattoush its special, sour flavor are staghorn sumac and purslane. The former is red berries, usually sold ground, whereas the latter is a green with a tangy, lemony flavor.

Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is a salad/dish consisting of bulgur and finely chopped veggies, most commonly tomatoes and onion, seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, mint, and salt. In Lebanon, it is made with more parsley, sometimes replacing bulgur with quinoa, and served as mezze.

Mujaddara

Mujaddara is a dish made with cooked brown lentils and rice, and garnished with caramelized onions. In Lebanon, there are two versions of this dish – mujaddara, which is a puréed version with a consistency similar to rice pudding, and mudardara, made with whole lentils and rice. Both versions are often served with Laban.

Tawook

Also called ‘Shish taouk’, this Lebanese food is traditionally made with marinated chicken. It can be served in two different ways, depending on the country and region – on a platter, along with veggies, French fries, and/or rice, or as a sandwich in many Levantine countries. The former version in Lebanon is commonly accompanied by a garlic paste sauce called toum, tabbouleh, and/or hummus. The latter version comes in a flatbread and is combined with tomatoes, lettuce, and pickled turnips.

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Toum

Hummus is not the only amazing dip/spread coming from the Levantine countries. Toum (which translates as “garlic”) is a sauce composed of garlic, olive oil or vegetable oil, lemon juice, and salt, all traditionally crushed together in a wooden mortar with a pestle (one of the Lebanese versions also calls for mint). Toum is usually used as a dip, especially with chicken dishes and sandwiches.

 

 

10 Turkish Foods You Will Adore

10 Turkish Foods You Will Adore

You can’t go wrong with Turkish food! This Mediterranean cuisine has something for everyone – from spicy meat-based dishes to sinfully sweet delicacies like baklava. Foods are often combined with Turkish yogurt or ayran, a cold yogurt beverage mixed with salt, while Turkish coffee is an absolute must any time of the day!

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Though it was hard to select, here are the 10 Turkish foods you will absolutely adore.

Menemen

Just when you thought that you’ve tried all possible ways to prepare eggs, you discover this Turkish food. Menemen is an unexpected combo of scrambled eggs and a veggie stew. To compose it, start by cooking tomatoes, peppers, and onions to a broth, then quickly whisk in the eggs, which are basically broiled by the heat of the veggie mixture. Optionally, you can add sausages or cheese. Serve menemen hot with bread on the side.

Gözleme

This traditional savory Turkish flatbread and pastry dish is made of hand-rolled leaves of simple, unleavened dough brushed with butter and eggs and then filled with various ingredients. The most common fillings include meats (minced beef, lamb, seafood, or sucuk sausage), veggies (spinach, potatoes, yams, eggplant, radish, zucchini, mushrooms, leek, onions, peppers, garlic), cheese, eggs, herbs, and spices. The dough pieces are sealed and cooked over a griddle, then served as a breakfast or snack.

Lahmacun

Also known as Turkish meat pie or Turkish pizza, lahmacun is basically a crispy flatbread topped with minced meat (usually beef or lamb), combined with a salad (onions and cilantro are a must), lemon juice, and heavily seasoned. It can be wrapped, folded, or simply eaten by pulling it apart.

Lentil Soup

This Turkish food is not only delicious but also very easy to make! It is a puree made of red lentils and various spices, garnished with cilantro and complemented with lemon juice on the side. This fulfilling meal is rounded with slices of hot pita bread.

Dolma

Dolma refers to all stuffed foods in Turkish cuisine. It uses a rice-based mixture with spices, nuts, and sometimes dried fruits to stuff vegetables like courgettes, bell peppers, cabbage leaves, or grape leaves. Istanbul and the bigger coastal towns offer more modern takes on this Turkish food, such as stuffed mussels, which are a street food staple in the country and favored by night owls.

Kofte

This Turkish food is known as Şiş köfte or kebab. It is made of minced meat, usually lamb, mutton, beef, or veal combined with herbs, often mint and parsley, grilled on a skewer (şiş) Köfte dishes are usually served with ayran, salad, and/or pilav (read below).

Yogurt

Yogurt is one of the most beloved Turkish foods. Turks have been consuming it in large amounts (over 2 million tons a year) for over a millenum. It can be eaten plain, used to accompany many dishes like meats, salads, and soups, but also serve as a base for ayran.

Pilav

Pilav is the Turkish version of roasted rice. If you are a fan of simple things, smother the buttery rice in yogurt or use it as a side dish for meaty dishes such as kofte. Probably the most popular pilav variety is Nohutlu Pilav, which means “rice with chickpeas”. This Turkish street food is composed of layers of rice and chickpeas topped with roasted chicken.

Baklava

This dessert can be found in many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries. It is believed that it originated in Central Asia and spread throughout all Ottoman countries, all the way to Europe. The most delicious variety of this sweet Turkish food is made of fine filo pastry, soaked in honey, and covered in pistachio.

Turkish coffee and Turkish delight

The beautiful sweet cubes we know as Turkish delight are called ‘lokum’ in Turkey. They can be found in many flavors, shapes, sizes, and colors but probably the most authentic variety is the one flavored with rosewater, once a very popular ingredient in Ottoman desserts. Lokum is dusted with coconut flakes or icing sugar and sold in beautiful boxes to take home as a souvenir.

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Turkish delight is often served alongside Turkish coffee at the end of a meal. Kahve, as the Turks call it, first appeared in Istanbul in the 16th century, and ‘conquered’ many of the Balkan countries where it is still served on a daily basis.

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