Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Turkish Zucchini Pancakes and Turkish-Style Grilled Chicken
I found this recipe for Turkish Zucchini Pancakes on a fellow blogger's site and had high hopes for them. I even sought out a Turkish chicken recipe that I thought might compliment it. Maybe it's because I used about the half the cheese the pancakes called for but they seemed like a lot of work for an ok end product.
And if you're having to buy your herbs it can get spendy. I felt the zucchini didn't really come through and wonder if maybe it'd be worth trying again, without salting the squash first. I guess I'm a weirdo for wanting to be able to taste my veggies? :-) There wasn't a salt amount given in the original recipe and I don't think I put enough in...thinking the feta and the salted then rinsed zuke would have added their own saltiness. This could be streamlined and improved, so I might have another whack at it and republish the recipe as I've changed it. The Monster just walked in and commented that he'd make them less dilly too, so use your own judgment on that.
The chicken thighs were good, but I don't think they merited having to wash the food processor to make the marinade. We just like the Cardamom Chicken so much better and it's easy peasy.
If you do try it and don't feel like grilling, you can just roast them like I did on a sheet pan at 400 for 30-35 minutes (or until they reach ~170). I halved the marinade recipe for 5 largish thighs and marinated overnight.
Turkish Zucchini Pancakes (Mucver):
(from Seasonal Ontario Food's blog)
450 grams (1 pound) zucchini (1 large or 2 medium)
2 to 4 green onions, minced
1/3 cup minced fresh dillweed
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil and/or mint
salt and pepper
4 extra-large eggs
1/2 cup soft unbleached flour
150 grams feta cheese (I used about 80g?)
1/4 cup grapeseed, sunflower, or canola oil
Wash and grate the zucchini. Put it in a colander in layers, sprinkling salt between each layer. Set it aside to drain as you prepare the remaining ingredients. (total pain to try to get the zuke off the paper toweling and a waste of paper towels...I'd try to figure something else out)
Wash, trim and mince the green onions, the dill, parsley, basil and/or mint. Put them in a large mixing bowl, and season with the salt and pepper. Beat in the eggs.
Rinse the zucchini and drain well. Then, take it by handfuls and squeeze it thoroughly, into a little ball, being sure to get out as much moisture as possible. Once each handful of zucchini is squeezed dry, add it to the herbs and eggs. It is really important to do this; they will cook much more quickly and evenly. When the zucchini is all in, mix in the flour and the feta cheese, crumbled.
The batter can be made ahead, kept refrigerated and covered until wanted (the same day.)
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Use a 1/4 cup measuring spoon to scoop out the batter. Place them in the hot oil, then press down to form neat 1/2" thick pancakes with the pancake lifter.
They will cook fairly quickly, about 5 minutes per side. They should be a good dark golden brown. As they cook, put them on a plate padded with paper towel in the oven to keep warm. Serve them hot, with yogurt or light sour cream with garlic mixed into it if you like.
Turkish-style Grilled Chicken with Yogurt and Cumin (Tavuk Izgara):
(From The Mediterranean Kitchen by Joyce Goldstein)
Plan ahead to let chicken marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
* 2 Tablespoons cumin seeds
* 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
* 4 to 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
* 1 Tablespoon paprika
* Juice of 1 lemon
* 1 cup plain yogurt
* 12 boneless chicken thighs, about 2 to 2-1/2 pounds, or 4 half broilers
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* Lemon wedges for serving (oops, I forgot these)
Toast the cumin seeds in a small saute pan over medium heat until the seeds are fragrant and start to pop in the pan. Remove from the heat and grind in a spice grinder5.
Place the cumin, onion, garlic, paprika, and lemon juice in a food processor or blender and pulse to liquify. Add the yogurt and pulse just until blended.
Put the chicken thighs in a shallow non-aluminum baking dish or bowl. Pour the marinade over the chicken and toss well to coat. Let stand at room temperature at least 2 hours or cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the broiler to make a charcoal fire. Thread the thighs if using on 4 skewers. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Broil or grill until the juices run clear, about 6 minutes each side. Serve hot with lemon wedges.
Yield: 4 servings