Tuesday, February 26, 2013




8 oz (1/2 pound) ground beef
6 pita bread, Greek style
4 roman tomatoes (You can use petite cut can tomatoes)
1 medium onion
1 tbsp pepper paste (See picture above)
1-2 tbsp olive oil or butter
1 bunch of parsley (use for filling and garnish)
4 small colorful peppers, ½ cup chopped for filling and 6 julienne pieces for top (optional)
1 tsp sweet paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
(Optional: Add ¼-1/8 tsp cayenne pepper if you like spicy)

1. Preheat the oven 400 F.

2. Prepare the filling: Use a food processor to chop parsley and then add the tomatoes and make a puree. Pour this mixture into a mixing bowl.

3. Chop the onions and peppers in the food processor but do not liquidity.  Pour over tomato-parsley mixture in the mixing bowl.

4. Add the ground beef, pepper paste, olive oil, and paprika. Season it with salt and pepper. Then mix the ingredients and knead thoroughly with your hand. Divide the meat filling into 6 equal parts.

5. Take 1/6 of the meat filling and spread on pita bread evenly. Leave about a 1/3 inch border around the edge.

6. Repeat steps with the remaining pita bread and filling mixture. Put colorful peppers over each pita (optional).

7. Have tray (s) ready. Arrange lahmacun on tray and bake about 15-20 minutes.

8. Let cool couple minutes and serve.

9. Lahmacun is generally served sprinkled with lemon juice and wrapped around vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, onions, lettuce, and parsley. You can serve with a light salad, garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.



Friday, February 22, 2013


Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15-18 minutes
Yield: About 30 walnut size cookies

This is my sister's recipe. While the original recipe calls for hazelnut you may prepare these cookies with unsalted pistachios, pecans or walnuts. No matter which nut you choose these cookies will be a delicious buttery treat that will leave you nutty and wanting more.


1- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (if the yogurt's consistency is more liquid like then you may add 1 to 3 tbsp more flour)
1/2 cups (4oz) unsalted finely chopped pistachio (or any nut of your choice)
2 tbsp sugar
1 stick plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature (about 125gram)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup powdered sugar, to coat

Upper left:Unsalted Pistachios, Upper Right: The Dough, Bottom: Cookies are ready to bake. At the bottom right pay attention to size of the cookie.
Top: Cooling down, Bottom: Covered with powdered sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 375 F

2. Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, nuts, and baking powder) in a bowl.

3. Cream the butter, sugar, yogurt and combine with dry ingredients.

4. Form the dough into small balls (teaspoonful) and place on the cookie sheet, spaced at least an inch apart from each other.

5. Bake at 375 F until lightly golden color on the bottom (About 15-18 minutes).

6. Be careful, they are very fragile when they come out of the oven. When they are cool enough to touch, roll the cookies in some powdered sugar.

Bon Appetit........

Saturday, February 9, 2013



½ cup rice or 2 cups cooked rice
4 cups plain yogurt (this is about 2 lb, 900 gr container yogurt)
2 tbsp all purpose flour (Note: use 2 tbsp corn starch or rice flour for gluten free version of this soup)
1 egg
5 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
(If you like you can add more chicken stock, or you can make the soup only with water. In this case use 7 cups water)
¼ tsp black pepper
1-1/4 tsp salt (add last)

2 tbsp butter
1 tsp sweet paprika (kırmızı biber) or Turkish red pepper flakes (pul biber)
1 tbsp dry mint (or handful fresh mint leaves, chopped)


  • Wash the rice thoroughly in a wire mesh strainer under running water until water runs clear.  
  • In a large non stick pot, in 5 cups of water cook the rice stirring occasionally until rice is tender. This step takes about 20 minutes.                                                                                   
  • Meantime in a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, yogurt, and, egg until very smooth.
  • After the rice is cool down, slowly blend the yogurt mixture into the rice.
  • Gradually pour in water and chicken broth stir well.
  • Over medium heat bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly (otherwise yogurt would curdle) with a wooden spoon. Then lower the heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and turn off the heat.

For the sauce:

  • While soup is simmering, melt the butter in a sauté pan in low heat. When the butter is foamy, add mint flakes and paprika and let it sizzle but don't burn. 
  • Pour and stir it into the soup.

  • Serve the soup hot. Makes 6-8 Servings

  • This soup gets thicker with time add more water or broth to make thinner.