Thursday, October 13, 2011

When it comes right down to it, I’m a meat and potatoes kinda gal.

I’m particularly fond of steak.

Can you blame me? I was born and raised in the Midwest - land of many cows. =)

I’m still convinced some of the best steak I’ve ever eaten in my life is at one of my favorite mom-and-pop joints in Juanita, Nebraska, called The Plainsman Steakhouse. I’ll definitely be making a pit stop there when I visit my family around Christmas.

Here in Istanbul, I recently discovered or actually was recommended by my kasap to try antrikot. I still can’t figure out this cut of meat - maybe a ribeye or a sirloin steak. Whatever it’s called, this Turkish cut of steak is full of good marbling and just tastes pretty darn good! At 34 TL a kilo - it’s also a bargain compared to bonfile.

Simply add rub the antrikot steaks down with some olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper and you are ready to grill - even if it’s indoors like we do here at our apartment.

You can find some helpful antrikot cooking techniques online here in Turkish, which is fairly easy to translate.

We enjoyed these grilled steaks with roasted sweet and yellow potatoes for dinner. It was a perfect meal - accompanied with a bottle of Turkish red wine, of course.

Now, sweet potatoes are another difficult foodie item to find in Turkey. (See previous foodie treasure hunt here.) But you’re in luck because I’ll share with you my new exotic ingredient place in Arnavutköy.

When I stopped in this manav (recommended by a long-time expat), I was shocked to see all the goodies. Real jalapenos, blueberries, red currants and kumquats are just a few items that caught my eye.

You’ll also be a bit sticker shocked! It just depends on how badly you really want that item.

First, I was told 25 TL for a kilo of the sweet potatoes, but then I started talking a bit of Turkish with him and another customer. Next thing I know, he shrugged his shoulders and said “On lira” for 750 grams of potatoes. It’s a deal!

Perhaps a sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving next month?

Afiyet Olsun!

For a good butcher and a specialty foods shop, check out these two places in Istanbul:
  • Kolaylar Manav, Arnavutköy
  • Kardeşler Kasabı, Gazi Refik Sok. No: 3 Türkali Mh., Beşiktaş

Pul Biber Sweet Potatoes
For 2 hungry people

2 sweet potatoes, medium diced
2-3 yellow potatoes, medium diced
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Pul Biber or spicy red chili flakes

1. Preheat oven to 400 F/205 C.
2. In a large bowl, add the potatoes, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle the seasonings on top. Using your hands, toss the potatoes in the bowl a few times to ensure they are completely coated.
3. Place the potatoes on an aluminum foil-lined baking tray. (The foil will help with the clean up later.)
4. Roast the potatoes for about 20 minutes until they start to brown around the edges, stirring once to ensure even cooking.
5. Dish up the hot potatoes onto your plate and enjoy with your grilled steak!

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jaz@octoberfarm said...

oh yum! those potatoes sure look good! i have been cooking since 4:00am this morning. so far i've mad a pork roast,herbed spaetzle, sauerkraut and gravy! i am really in oktoberfest mode!

Cuisine de Provence said...

Can't wait to buy pulbiber at the Spice market next week - hope to see you!

Julia said...

Don't you just love the fixed prices in Turkey? We entrekot in the UK (I can't even remember how we spell it!) and I've never known the real cut of it. Lovely though. :)

Joy said...

Fall is a great time for more cooking!

@ CP, yes, hope to see you in Istanbul with Claudia next week. Stop at no. 51 in the Spice Bazaar if you can.

bristol plasterer said...

This is a lovely recipe, top marks. Thanks for sharing.