Monday, July 30, 2012

COOKING IN ISTANBUL - Cooking Alaturka

This is one of my favorite things to do while traveling - take a cooking class.  
After checking around I chose Cooking Alaturka mostly because reviewers just raved about the owner, Eveline, and her chef Feyzi. 

There were eleven of us and we all had a good time cooking together and then dining on the finished product.

                              So, let's get right to it and start chopping away with the machete!

                                                     Chopping mint, parsley, and dill

                          Because of the cooking time, we started with the eggplant boats

                                                Then on to the stuffed grape leaves      
                           The trick is to roll them tightly so that they don't fall apart during cooking  

                       Semolina cakes hot out of the oven and then doused with a simple syrup
                                                  The syrup is absorbed as the cakes cool

                                                                   DINNER TIME!

                                    Red lentil and bulgur soup with dried mint and chili pepper
                                                               (Ezogelin corbasi)
                                   This is one of the best soups I've ever tasted and the first recipe
                                                 I will make when the weather cools down

                                                Zucchini patties with herbs and cheese
                                                               (Kabak mueveri)
                                               Light and crispy, no extra seasoning required

                                           Eggplant braised in olive oil with onion and tomato
                                                                  (Imam bayildi)
  While I really enjoyed these, this recipe requires a lot of olive oil so I doubt I will make
                  Plus, eggplant is not at the top of my family's favorite vegetable list

                                                   Vine leaves stuffed with minced meat
                                                              (Etli yaprak dolmasi)

       These hot stuffed grape leaves were so delicious that I don't think I can ever eat them cold again
                                        Really, a lovely dish that holds its own as an entree        

                                  Semolina sponge cakes with hazelnuts and a dusting of pistachios

                                    Heaven--we all could have eaten more.  So sweet and moist.

                                                                      Apple tea
                                                              My new favorite tea

                                                      A happy, friendly, helpful group

                                                                     Chef Feyzi
                                (He looks so stern but he's very funny and offered great instruction)

                                                            George and Eveline
                                          Eveline runs the outfit and teaches, George is her
                                                               happy partner

Recipes will follows when I recreate--assuming the Arizona weather cools down some day


  1. I think you should try the eggplant on your family. I have NEVER liked eggplant anything and I LOVED this! IT was a great class and thianks for the post to relive the fun time!

  2. Yum -- can't wait for the recipes!

  3. Love your travel style Kim...I am in the midst of picking a few courses out in Saigon...I will pass on the details of the one I like if you should find yourself visiting one day. :) xx

  4. Leslie: You try it on your family first!

    Jennifer: I think you will especially love the soup.

    Jeanne: Cooking classes in Saigon sounds perfect!