Suleyman Secer, chef and owner of A La Turka on Second Aveenue appeared on Good Day New York and prepared stuffed grape leaves.
Yaprak sarma (stuffed grape leaves)
2 cups rice
1 tomato, diced
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 onions, shredded
200 gr (1/2 lb) grape leaves, fresh/ preserved
2/3 cup olive oil
3 cups water
½ lemon, sliced
2 tbsp dried mint
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp pine nuts
½ tsp currant
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
In warm water, leave the rice for 30 minutes, then wash and drain.
If you are using fresh grape leaves; Put the leaves in boiling water and cook for 5 minutes till they are soft. Drain and remove the stems. If you are using preserved grape leaves just remove the stems. Place the stems at the bottom of your pot or saucepan. (It is to prevent burning the bottom layer)
Place 3 tbsp olive oil in a pan and let the onions sauté until they change in color. Add the rice and stir a few minutes. Then add the tomatoes and tomato paste. After a while add 1 cup of hot water and cook until the water evaporates. Finally add ½ cup olive oil, dried mint, black pepper, pine nuts, currant, salt and sugar and mix them all.
Place each leaf on a plate. Put ½ tablespoon of filling on the larger end of it, fold the two sides in and roll it on like a cigarette. Do not roll them too tight. Place them tightly side by side in a saucepan. Place the lemon slices on the surface and 2 cups of warm water. Put a small lid or plate on top of them. Cover and cook on low heat for 40 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Let cool.
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 medium-sized tomato, seeds discarded and diced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp yogurt
2 tbsp lemon juice or 1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp feta cheese, crumbled
Before putting in the oven, make holes on the eggplant with a fork so that it will soften and cook better. Then place on an oven tray and roast for about 35 minutes on broil. Alternatively, you can barbecue it until softened. Then peel it, remove any seeds and place in 2 cups of water with 1/2 lemon juice. Leave in for about 10-15 minutes. After draining, cut into small pieces with a knife. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix with a spoon. Place in service plate and keep refrigerated.
If you don't want to bother with roasting the eggplant, you can skip the step above and instead just use approximately 350 gr of Roasted Eggplants in a jar. Just mix all the ingredients together and you're good to go.
Imam Bayildi (stuffed baby eggplant)
4 medium aubergines ( eggplants)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onions, finely chopped
2 garlic, cloves crushed
1 green peppers (capsicum)
1 red peppers (capsicum)
parsley, good handful chopped
3 large tomatoes, blanched, skinned and coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
black pepper / salt
1/2-1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 lemons, juice of
Heat oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5.
Slice each aubergine in half lengthwise.
Scoop out the flesh from the aubergines and chop.
Blanch the aubergine shells in boiling water for 2 minutes then drain upside down.
Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a pan and saute the onion until soft and golden.
Add crushed garlic and fry for 2 minutes.
Add parsley, chopped aubergine, tomatoes, green and red pepper, cinnamon, salt and black pepper and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add lemon juice and sugar to taste.
Arrange the aubergine boats in a baking dish and fill each one with the filling.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes.
Mucver (zucchini pancake)
2 zucchini, grated (about 4 cups)
2 carrots, grated (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons dill weed, finely chopped
3 tablespoons grated yellow onion
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
olive oil for frying
Grate zucchini and place in a cheese cloth or absorbent paper towel. Squeeze out excess water. Place zucchini in a large bowl and add carrots and onions and toss gently.
Add dill weed, feta, flour and eggs. Mix well. The mixture will become a thick batter.
Heat 1/2 olive oil in frying pan. Pour 2 tablespoons of batter for each fritter. Fry on each side until golden brown.
Drain fritter on paper towel and serve immediately.
1 package of phyllo dough, thawed (8 oz)
1 lb. feta cheese
1/2 cup parsely
olive oil for frying
half stick melted butter
In a mixing bowl, mix feta, egg, and parsley together. This is best done with a fork, mashing the feta.
Prepare oil to fry. The desired heat of the oil is 350 degrees.
While the oil is heating, remove phyllo from refrigerator. Be sure to have a damp towel on hand to cover the phyllo you are not working with. Phyllo dough dries out quickly if left uncovered.
Take one sheet of phyllo and cut into fourths. Each piece should be about 4x8. Brush each piece with melted butter. Place about 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture at the base and roll up. Seal by adding a little melted butter. Repeat with remaining phyllo and cheese mixture.
Fry in about 2 inches of oil for 2-4 minutes, or until golden brown. Use to a sieve to remove from oil. Drain on paper towel.