Friday, March 2, 2012

Easy Dinner - The Turkish Way

Sucuk comes in a pack of 6 or 8
My oldest and best friend is Turkish and we grew up on the same street. We went to Turkey together and I lived with her family for a few months (it is a long while ago - but not telling you how long, lets just say, it feels like yesterday). Back then, everyone cooked and family meals were the highlight and the end of a day. The whole family came together (sometimes the neighbours as well) and the food was placed in the middle of the table and everyone helped themselves. Laughter filled the air and everyone talked across the table and enjoyed the delicious meal - how could you be in a bad mood when eating these treasures.

My friends mother did most of the cooking and I helped out - no recipes were used. She just kept saying to me, cook with your heart and it will taste good. It was in Turkey where I learned what works and what should be avoided in cooking. I fell in love with food and loved the idea of sharing the food. Up to today, I still love cooking for people, watch their faces when they try my food and I am happy when I see that they love it. I never said thank you to my friends mum - but it was down to her that I am cooking.

Rice, peas & sucuk - tasty
It was in Turkey where I came across unusual (at least for me at the time) ingredients like ocra (still don't like it), orza and sucuk. Sucuk is a sausage similar to chorizo - just finer milled. It is sold in a pack of 6 or 8. You can eat it straight (just peel it first, the skin isn't edible) or pan-fry it. As little meat as I eat, I love sucuk. I couldn't even tell you why. It is tasty, spicy without being hot and you can do a lot with it.

I love it in this very simple dinner. Cooked rice, finely chopped vegetables and the fried sucuk. A few herbs and a dab of butter and you have a very tasty meal indeed. I slice the sausage and pan-fry it without adding any oil or butter in a non-stick pan. The oil in the meat will cover the pan soon enough. When nicely browned (it depends on your liking how much you fry it, I love it a bit crispy), add the cooked rice and the finely chopped vegetables (I have added just peas for this one). Stir-fry until the vegetables are cooked and add a dollop of butter and seasoning. Et voila - an easy & tasty dinner ready in minutes.

You can buy sucuk in Mister Bell's in the English Market for about €6 for a pack. They don't have it all the time tho.

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