Today was Turkey Day!  No, not that one..., it's February after all.  It was a celebration of the country Turkey.  

For once, one of our country recipes made just the right amount food for our family of five.  We had Tas Kebap and Ispanaklı Tepsi Böreği.  First, a little tidbit of knowledge.  You may think you are familiar with kebab/kebap being meat on a skewer cooked over a grill.  However, kebap can be any dish that contains cubed meat and there are many different kinds served around the world.

The Verdict:  Chip & I loved the Tas Kebap.  It reminded me of a hearty beef stew.  The Ispanaklı Tepsi Böreği was also very tasty.  The kids were not fond of the sauce in the kebap and the peppery flavors that were in the Ispanaklı Tepsi Böreği.  They all said that the spinach dish made their tongues tingly.  Thus, it was a split verdict on this one.

Tas Kebap (original recipe from Almost Turkish)

You will need:
1-1 1/2 lb stew beef
3 potatoes, peeled and diced
2 onions, diced
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
3 TBSP tomato paste
2 TBSP olive oil + 1 TBSP butter
2 cups of boiling water

To prepare this dish, you will need to find a heat resistant bowl that is large enough to hold all your ingredients and still fit (upside down) into one of your large pots or skillets.

Place the potatoes in the bottom of the bowl.

In a different bowl, mix the onion, salt, pepper, olive oil, and tomato paste with your hands.  Add the meat and mix again, making sure that the meat gets fully coated.  Add the meat mixture to the top of the potatoes.  Place the butter on the top.  Now, put the skillet on the top of the bowl.  Holding both the skillet and the bowl, turn the skillet upside down so that the bowl will be sitting upside down in the skillet.

You will want to place something heavy on top of the bowl (as above) to make sure that the bowl stays as tightly as it can be to the bottom of the skillet.  Yes, it looks very bizarre, but it this is how it cooks.

Pour 2 cups of boiling water between the bowl and the skillet.  Begin cooking on high.  When you see bubbles on the sides of the bowl, turn the temperature down to low and cook for 90 minutes.

When you turn off the heat, you will need to remove the glass bowl while it is still hot or it will seal itself to the skillet and be very difficult to move.  Once you lift it off, allow the ingredients that were in the bowl to mix with the water to form a thick sauce.


Ispanaklı Tepsi Böreği  (original recipe from Almost Turkish)

You will need:
20 phyllo dough sheets, thawed
1 lb frozen spinach, thawed
1/2 cup feta cheese
2 eggs
1 cup soy milk
1/3 cup olive oil 
1 TBSP butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Squeeze the spinach to remove excess water.  Put the spinach in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and rub leaves with your fingers.  Drain any extra liquid. 
Add the feta, black pepper, and crushed red pepper to the spinach and mix well.

In another bowl beat the eggs and combine with the milk and olive oil. Mix well.

Grease pan that is approximately the same size as your phyllo sheets.  9x13 was the best size for us, although I ended up using an 8x11.5 pan.

Layer phyllo dough sheets one at a time in the pan by brushing every single layer generously with the egg+milk+oil mixture.

When you get to your 10th phyllo layer, spread the spinach mix across the top.  

Cut the 1 tbsp butter in to small pieces and sprinkle on spinach.  Continue layering the rest of phyllo sheets, brushing each layer with the mixture.

When you've got all 20 sheets stacked, pour whatever is left over of the liquid mixture over the top.  

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. 

Allow to cool for 10 minutes then cut into squares.
1 Response
  1. Sara Says:

    Fascinating cooking method! I think I'd like this meal.

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