Friday, November 25, 2011

This morning, I was thankful to wake up with a cup of coffee in my favorite mug and sit down with a leftover slice of my pumpkin tart for breakfast.

A delicious way to start the day!
Can't help but think of NYC every time I use this coffee mug.
Yesterday morning, I was thankful when the Bolca driver called, asking for directions to our apartment. My fat 10.5 kilo turkey finally arrived at 11:30 a.m in Istanbul, Turkey. I gave the driver a 10 TL tip because I was so excited!

Soon, I was massaging my Turkish turkey with an herbed butter made from parsley, thyme, rosemary and sage.
12 ounces of butter rubbed inside and out on this Turkish turkey!
Before I roasted the turkey, I had to finish baking the 1.5 pans of stuffing and 2 green bean casseroles. With my measly oven’s capacity, this was a bit of a challenge.

Around 2 p.m. yesterday, I literally stuffed my turkey into the oven. The drumsticks touched the side of the oven, but there was nothing else I could do - except hope that I didn’t have a smoking oven from the dripping fat.

Later, I turned on the kitchen fans and opened up the windows because my oven was smoking a bit. All I needed now was the building security to show up if the smoke alarms went off.

Well, no fire alarms went off. Everything cooked properly. I even sat down for awhile while the turkey was roasting.
The beautifully-browned bird before being carved for dinner.
Later in the evening, I was thankful when our friends arrived - even though Istanbul’s terrible traffic caused some delays.

Our friends - American, Turkish, French, Russian-American and Singaporean - all had ties to the U.S. and had lived there at some point, except for our Singaporean friend, my husband’s colleague. We welcomed him anyway! =) At dinner I toasted my friends, saying how thankful I was this city has brought us all together. Each one us went around the table saying what we were thankful for - food, family and friends were a common thread.

Having a great group of friends like this make its easier to celebrate the holidays abroad!

Afiyet olsun!
Enjoying food, wine and conversation over our Turkish Thanksgiving Dinner.
Our full dinner table with 12 guests and lots of food and wine.
Homemade herbed stuffing
Platters of both white and dark meat from the turkey.
Roasted carrots and mashed potatoes
Cream cheese-filled Gingersnap Sandwiches for Thanksgiving petit fours.
Well, we actually ate them before the pumpkin and walnut tarts were served!
Recipe follows for the Walnut-Bourbon Tart I mentioned yesterday.

Cream Cheese Dough/Rugelach Dough
(This is the same dough I used to make the fig Rugelach cookies in September.)
Yields: 2 - 9-inch/22 cm. tart shells

200      g.          krem peynir (cream cheese)
265      g.          butter, room temperature
350      g.          Turkish pasta/borek flour

1.          In a medium-sized bowl, using a stand mixer or hand blender, cream the krem peynir until smooth.
2.          Add the butter and blend again for a few minutes until completely combined.
3.          Add the flour and blend just until incorporated.
4.          If dough seems a little sticky, add a bit more flour but slightly knead the dough with your hands. Divide the dough into small plastic-wrapped packets (about 2-400 gram packets) and place in the refrigerator until cooled and slightly stiff, about 1 hour.

Now you are ready to roll out the dough on a floured surface. Line the tart pan(s) with the dough rolled out about 1/8-inch thick. Place the shells in the freezer while you make the filling. The shells need to be frozen to prevent shrinkage during baking.

Pecan/Walnut Filling
4           ea.                    large eggs at room temperature, whisked
¾          c.          185 g. brown sugar
¼          c.         60 ml. light corn syrup or Golden Syrup
¼          c.          60 ml. molasses or uzum pekmez
1/2       tsp.                       salt
1/2       tsp.                       vanilla extract
3           T.         42 g.    butter, melted
1/8       c.          30 ml. whiskey or bourbon, Maker’s Mark ** (optional)
1 c.& 2T.            250 g. walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped

In a large bowl, whisk the ingredients together in the order they are listed.

Cover the bottom of the tart shells with the nuts. Add the filling to right below the rim of the tart.

Bake at 350 F/175 C until lightly browned and the filling is set, about 12 minutes total for small tarts, or 30-35 minutes for the large tart. Remove tarts from molds while still warm.

Drizzle with melted chocolate for a more finished look.

Tagged: , , , ,


jaz@octoberfarm said...

everything looks wonderful!!! glad the turkish turkey arrived! time to get our christmas on!!!

Anonymous said...

wonderful and mouth watering! glad i stumbled into this by way of flickr =] hehehe

i'm certainly not a good cook at all, but one day, i'd really want to try this! first, i need to get some insurance and have my local fire station's number on speed dial 1 lol

Joy said...

We've been eating turkey leftovers ever since Thanksgiving now. =)

Chan, welcome! Glad you found my site! Ahhh...surely, you can glean some cooking advice from me and make do on your own. =) Cheers!

Anonymous said...

That looks awesome Joy, great Job! Looking forward to some home cooking from you in a few weeks! See you in NC!