I know, I’ve been the laziest blogger lately, but I am back and full of hope that you my dear readers will forgive me. It’s already May and spring isn’t here yet, around 10 degrees Celsius in Istanbul, the humidity makes it feel even colder, there is even snow in some other parts of the country.
I’ve been sick for almost 4 times in a row, each episode lasted like 10-15 days with horrible sore throat and fever. Oh spring, please come, before antibiotics destroy my body and everything “bio” in it.
Yesterday, with all this in mind I decided that eating more fish would do me good and convinced my husband and sister to go to Garipce, a small village that lies along Bosphorus’ shoreline, near the north end where the strait meets the Black Sea, to have pan-fried Black Sea turbot, my favorite, well, one amongst a dozen of my favorites.
I don’t know if my immune system is functioning better today, but sure I am a happy and content person, having added the delicious memories of another turbot meal, another reason to love spring in Istanbul.
Now back to the blog, today, I’d like to share a kofte recipe, a late-Ottoman dish, I don’t know why, named after an Ottoman pasha, Hasan Pasha.
* For Meatballs:
750g minced meat, beef+lamb mixed in a ratio that suits your liking,
1 onion, finely chopped,
2 slices of bread crumbs,
Half a teaspoon of salt,
1/4 cup of very finely chopped fresh parsley,
1/2 teaspoon of fresh-ground black pepper,
* Potato Purée:
4-5 medium size potatoes, boiled and peeled
2 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of milk (or 1/4 cream, 1/4 milk)
1 teaspoon of salt (reduce if you add any cheese)
1/2 cup cheese, shredded (mozarella, kashar, cheddar…) -optional
* For the sauce:
1 tablespoon of tomato paste,
1 cup of water
2 tablespoon of sunflower oil or melted butter
A pinch of salt
A pinch of dried basil or mint flakes
Mix all the ingredients listed in the first section above. Knead till evenly mixed. Divide the dough into palm-size pieces and shape those pieces into round cups (1-inch high sides) with flat bottoms. Lay these meat-cups into a one-inch deep tray. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.
Meanwhile, mash the potatoes and add all the ingredients listed in the second section of the ingredient list. Then, either spoon the purée or squeeze it using a pastry bag (with a fancy nozzle if you wish) into the meatball cups you’ve just cooked.
In a bowl mix all the ingredients listed in the third section above, the sauce ingredients that is. Spoon some sauce on top of each potato heap. The sauce should hold a creamy consistency to make sure it stays as much as possible on top. Don’t worry about leakage if there happens to be some.
Add green peppers around the kofte if you like to add more color and flavor.
Put back the kofte tray into the oven for about 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven, top up with fresh parsley leaves and serve. If not going to serve right away, cover the tray with foil to keep the kofte warm and juicy.