The curated kitchen: NEW cookbook “Turkey” and TWO recipes

It was the simit on the cover that got me. That traditional Arab bread, fragrant with wood smoke and heavy with sesame seeds toasted brown with fire. But there is more than mere bread in Turkey. There is more than 100 recipes. Way more than 100 color photographs of streets, of people, and more than anything, of food. I flip through this book and I am transported to the rich flavors of the Middle East with recipes such as Slow-Roasted Lamb with Apples Poached in Pomegranate. Leeks with Lemon, Currants, and Tulum Octopus Stew with Wine, Spices, and Caperberries. And Pistachio-Semolina Cake. Delicious, yes? Try for yourself! After the jump I’ve got two recipes from Turkey: a recipe for Slow-roasted lamb with apples poached in pomegranate juice and a recipe for Pekmez roasted pear, feta, watercress and hazelnut salad.


Recipe: Slow-roasted lamb with apples poached in pomegranate juice
This slow-roasted lamb is terrific served with the bulgur pilaf, especially with a few handfuls of torn mint leaves stirred through the bulgur just before serving.

51⁄2 lb leg of lamb
1⁄2 cup softened butter
2 teaspoons paprika
1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1⁄3 cup chopped walnut pieces
1⁄3 cup chopped white raisins or golden raisins
1⁄2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried mint
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
6 small Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
2 tablespoons honey
2 cups pomegranate juice

Preheat the oven to 300˚F. Trim any excess fat from the leg of lamb.

Combine the butter, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper in a bowl. Smear the butter mixture over the lamb, then wrap the leg in foil or parchment paper and place in a baking dish. Bake the lamb in the oven for 6–7 hours, or until the meat is falling from the bone.

About an hour before the lamb has finished cooking, start preparing the apples. Combine the walnuts, raisins, allspice, dried mint and pomegranate molasses in a small bowl and mix well. Divide the mixture among the apple cavities until well filled. P lace the apples in a saucepan side by side so they fit snugly in a single layer, then add the honey and pomegranate juice. Cover the pan, bring slowly to a simmer, and cook over low heat for about 40 minutes, or until the apples are tender.

Pull the lamb apart into chunks and serve with the apples on the side and some of the pomegranate mixture spooned over.


Recipe: Pekmez roasted pear, feta, watercress and hazelnut salad

6 corella pears
11⁄2 tablespoons pekmez
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups watercress
7 oz feta cheese or goat’s cheese, crumbled
1⁄2 cup hazelnuts, roasted, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons pekmez
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, dry-roasted and crushed
1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Cut the unpeeled pears in half lengthwise and remove the cores. Cut the halves into thirds lengthwise, then place the pear wedges in a single layer in a small baking dish. Drizzle with the pekmez and olive oil and roast for about 30 minutes, turning once, until the pears are very tender and deep golden all over and the cooking juices are reduced and sticky. Remove from the
oven and cool to room temperature.

Combine the vinegar, garlic, pekmez and cumin in a small bowl and whisk well to combine. Whisking constantly, slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream, then season with salt and pepper. Spread the watercress over a serving platter, then scatter over the pear, cheese and hazelnuts. Drizzle the dressing over the top and serve.


{Review copy and recipes provided at no charge.}