Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Best Vacation Ever

(Haiga Sophia, Istanbul)

The best vacation ever was also the best honeymoon ever, which was preceded by the best wedding ever. (I may be biased.) Part of the best honeymoon ever was the cooking class during our stay in Istanbul, Turkey.

The first thing people do is crinkle their face, and say, "Istanbul? What made you want to go there?" Well, why not. We jetted from Rome to Athens to Istanbul. We were already going to Greece, and Turkey is so close. After researching Turkey, and talking to people who had been there, we started to figure out what a cool place it is, and it exceeded our expectations when we finally made it there. We stayed at the most amazing hotel, Sirkeci Konak, and there was a free cooking class on our first night! There was one other Danish couple, and we made bulgar and beef kavurma, which is like a stew. After we finished preparing the meal, we all went up to the dining room to to eat - it was delicious! Later that night we went out to explore more of the city, which is when the picture of us in front of Hagia Sophia was taken.

There is so much more about Istanbul - like the Spice Market. AMAZING. Don't worry - I'll share more later.

Kuzu Kavurma
(Stewed Meat)
Lamb leg, onion, green pepper, tomato, mushrooms, garlic, salt, black pepper, paprika, thyme, cumin, sunflower oil

Cut meat into small pieces, sear in hot oil. In another pan, saute onions and garlic until golden brown. Add the sliced green pepper, mushrooms, tomatoes and spices. Once the meat is browned, add it to the vegetables and allow to simmer.

Kisir (Bulgar)
Dried crushed wheat (bulgar), scallions, parsley, black pepper, salt, chili, mint, thyme, olive oil, tomato paste, chili sauce, pomegranate syrup

Put the bulgar in a bowl and stir in the water. Let rest for 10 minutes at room temperature. Add all remaining ingredients to the bulgar, and combine. Allow to rest overnight for the flavors to meld.

If anyone is interested in amounts for these recipes, please let me know. The recipes above are all they gave us.

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