Turkish Wedding Soup with Spiced Sauce

February 23, 2008

Image: Kadir’s Treehouses in Olympos, Turkey

I hope you were lucky enough to have a treehouse when you were little. If Sam and Harry were looking for an unusual place to spend their honeymoon, they may have discovered a number of treehouse hotels scattered around the world in interesting places. There’s also a wonderful (and enormous!) treehouse restaurant in England’s Alnwick Garden, but we need a place where Sam and Harry can also spend the night. We’ve already imagined them on a safari so I ruled out this treehouse in a Costa Rican Jungle; and while I enjoyed the very punny website for these treehouses in Oregon , I thought these treehouses in Turkey sounded like the most fun!  There are such good things to eat in Turkey, too, including this variation of the traditional “Turkish Wedding Soup.”  Appropriate, or what?? -Almostgotit

Turkish Wedding Soup with Spiced Sauce

Serves 8

2 onions
7 carrots
4 pounds lamb neck bones
10 cups beef broth
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 pound butter (2 sticks, divided)
1 cup flour
6 egg yolks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 1/2 teaspoons paprika

Peel the onions and carrots, cut into quarters, and put into a soup pot with the lamb bones, broth, and salt. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour, or until the meat is soft. Strain the broth into a bowl. Remove the meat from the bones and cut into thin strips or dice.  Return meat and broth to soup pot.

Melt 12 tablespoons butter and work in the flour. Slowly add 1 cup of the warm broth while mixing well. Gradually stir this butter-flour mixture into the rest of the soup, then bring soup to a boil, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and cook for about 10 minutes. Keep the soup warm.

Beat the egg yolks with a fork and mix in the lemon juice. Add 4 tablespoons of hot soup. Stir this mixture briskly into the rest of the soup: egg yolks will “cook” immediately. Reheat over a very low flame, or you may even turn off flame and cover pot to keep it hot. Do not boil or soup will “break” and become watery.

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter, remove from heat and add cayenne pepper and paprika. Pour the soup into serving bowl or individual soup bowls. Swirl spoonfuls of spiced butter over the top of each.  

Adapted from New York Times Bread & Soup Cookbook by Yvonne Young

Cheddar Pudding

October 4, 2007


Bored with your usual breakfast? Try this easy bread pudding. You stir it together the night before, then pop it in the oven as soon as you get up. By the time you get showered and dressed, it’ll be ready. Add bacon or sausage if you like, pre-cooked, of course. If there’s any left over, you can have it with salsa for supper. HARRY

PS Lakshmi at The ‘yum’ blog suggests serving it with chutney and chili. ‘Sounds great.

5 slices whole wheat bread, buttered and cubed
1/4 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (1 cup)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup half-and-half

In a greased 1-quart casserole, combine the bread, cheese, eggs, and half-and-half. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 275 degrees F for 45 minutes or until set.
Makes 4 servings.

Grilled Hamburgers

August 3, 2007


A good hamburger is like a mini meatloaf. Fill it with wonderful, rich, tasty things, bind it with egg and breadcrumbs, toss it on the grill, then sit back and bask in the glow! SAM

4 pounds ground beef
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
2/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon black pepper
8 hamburger buns
Mayonnaise and spicy mustard
8 slices tomato
Pickled Slaw

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, garlic, egg, sherry, mustard, horseradish, bread crumbs, and pepper. Shape into 8 patties. Grill the hamburger patties or broil them 6 inches from the heat for 4 to 6 minutes on each side. Place in warm buns spread with mayonnaise on the bottom, mustard on the top, and top with tomato and Pickled Slaw.
Makes 8 servings.

Deviled Eggs

July 17, 2007


I don’t know why something so heavenly would be called ‘deviled,’ but you can ‘devil’ eggs with anything from capers to anchovies to chipotle peppers. This is a very basic, summer picnic-type version. Master it, and you’ll be halfway to Paradise. SAM

12 eggs
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sweet pickle juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Hungarian paprika

In a large pan, cover the eggs with water. Put on the lid, bring to a boil, and immediately remove the pan from the heat. Let the eggs sit, still covered, for 15 to 20 minutes. Submerge them in cold water for 5 minutes. Peel them, slice them in half lengthwise, and remove the yolks. In a small bowl, mash the yolks with a fork. Stir in the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, pickle juice, salt, and pepper. Fill the whites with the yolk mixture and sprinkle with paprika.
Makes 24 deviled eggs.

Ham-and-Cheese Strata

June 24, 2007


Ham-and-Swiss sandwiches for breakfast? You bet! Especially when you bake them like this! You can put together the sandwich part the night before, seal it with plastic wrap, and set it in the fridge. When morning comes, all you have to do is pour on the eggs and cream and pop it in the oven. Not exactly like having someone else do breakfast for you—but it’s close. You know, I’ve been thinking … my next boyfriend had better be a cook! SAM

14 (1/2-inch) slices Italian bread
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 pound honey-baked ham, roughly chopped
1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
2 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)
2 green onions with tops, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
Freshly ground white pepper to taste

Spread one side of the bread with mustard. Arrange half the slices, overlapping, mustard side up, in the bottom of a lightly greased 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Top with ham, tomato, cheese, and onions. Place the remaining bread slices on top, mustard side down. Combine the eggs, half-and-half, paprika, and pepper and pour evenly over the bread. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 to 50 minutes, until golden brown and puffy. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 4 servings.

Egg Salad

May 30, 2007


Invite someone to breakfast on a hot, summer morning and serve egg salad … The fresher the eggs, the better they hard-cook. But you can’t go wrong with this plan: Submerge the eggs in cold water in a sauce pan, cover, and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and let the eggs sit, still covered, for 10 minutes. Transfer them to cold water, and when they’re cool enough to handle, peel them. SAM

1 dozen hard-cooked eggs, quartered
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

In a large bowl, chop the eggs coarsely with a pastry blender. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper, stirring until just mixed. Sprinkle with paprika. Make sandwiches or serve as a salad.
Makes 2 cups or 4 servings.